October 09, 2013

Karen's Striped Granny Blanket

One on the foundations of crochet is the granny square.  It's a motif made of clumps of double crochet that can be made into just about anything- the most simple being either a quilt of small squares or one gigantic square blanket.

granny square via Purl Bee

via EmpowerNetwork

Because of it's simplicity, it's also very versatile to being modified to make either elaborate squares, or as with this blanket, a more abstracted form.

I fell in love with the simplicity and sleekness of this blanket when I came across it on the Purl Bee.  Although I don't shy away from the cute or quirky, my mom has a much more classic sense of style.   She also likes things to match in a way I've never mastered.  We often joke that things have to be in "her colors"- dark brown, black, and gold usually.

Because of this blankets simplicity and sleekness, I thought it would be perfect.  Swap out that delicate alpaca yarn for a very sturdy yarn (Loops and Threads: Impeccable Solids), and you get something warm enough to survive my parents freezing air conditioning that also matches their decor.

p.s.  After all this talk about matching, let me just say that these pictures are taken on my couch, not my parents.  These couches have given up on matching and instead mean I can put basically anything in my living room and call it matching.

Ta-da!  Plus Oy very nicely modeled for me.

The basic premise is that the wider and taller granny stitch is interspersed with rows of single crochet in a contrast color.  I did my stripes at random intervals, but you could also make them evenly spaced, like in the original.

The Pattern:

Foundation Row:

Start with your contrasting color.  Cast on a multiple of 3 + 2 stitches (i.e.  (3x50)+2 = 150+2= 152).  The easiest way to do this is to make it about the length you want, count across in threes, finish out your set of three, and do two more stitches.  Single crochet across row, repeat.

Alternatively, you can use this technique to create your initial row of single crochet as you go, skipping the annoyingly huge chain step.  It takes the investment of learning the new technique, but it can definitely expedite the process and give you a more accurate estimate of how wide your blanket will end up.  If you do this, crochet your initial foundation row, then single crochet across for row 2.

Granny Rows:

Row 1:  Chain 3 (this is the 1st double crochet [dc]), dc in 1st stitch.  *Skip two stitches, dc 3 in  next stitch.    Repeat from * until end of row.  If your last bunch of dc's isn't in the last stitch, dc one in last stitch.

Row 2:  Chain 3, dc in 1st stitch.  3 dc in each space between dc's until end of row. dc into top of chain from your previous row.

Repeat row 2 until you have it as long as you like, then switch to your contrasting color.

Contrasting Color Rows:

Row 1:  1 sc in each stitch to end.

Row 2:  1 sc in each stitch to end.

Switch back to your main color and repeat!

Finish with contrasting color, and tuck in your ends.

 right side

 wrong side

the edges

And with all that modeling, Oy is worn out and ready for a nap.

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