Granny squares are go!
My grandma was a crafty lady. She could sew, tat, crochet, knit, quill, and do all manner of other handicrafts as well as make a mean lemon meringue pie, roll perfect spheres of butter (whatever happened to butter balls?), bake fabulous sponge cakes and delicious Old English Matrimonials and much more.
Of those skills, I’m not sure why it was crochet that she decided to teach me – maybe she realised my lack of coordination meant knitting would be too hard, or that I’m much more interested in eating rather than cooking? Whatever her reasoning, my (still fairly basic) crochet skills are thanks to her. However, it’s been years since I crocheted anything from scratch, so even though I’d been thinking about getting on the ’70s revival bandwagon and making something using granny squares (or Afghan squares, as they are also known), nothing actually eventuated.
That is, until I rediscovered this doll’s blanket that my grandma made (I’m not sure why the image is so small… WordPress has changed their formatting and I’m struggling to work out how to do anything!)
Despite my usual reluctance to part with ANYTHING of sentimental value, especially a textile, I was struggling to justify keeping this and was all ready to hand it on to an opshop when I realised it might be exactly what I needed to make this jumper wearable.
I do, of course, realise that there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this jumper. It’s comfortable, 100% wool and I got it for $1 at a church sale (winning!). But I’m just not one for beige or V-necks so it had been sitting on my to-do pile while I worked out how I could make it more “me”. I think I nailed it!
This wasn’t a super quick project but it wasn’t too difficult.
I removed two of the squares from the middle of the blanket to form an opening for my head and placed it over the jumper, then fiddled around a fair bit to get the positioning right. I took squares off the corners and repositioned them over the shoulders. Then I handstitched the crochet to the jumper and used some red wool to crochet around the neckline (I unpicked the stitching between the two squares at centre front to create a more folksy effect).
The result is a jumper with more colour, more pattern, more texture… everything that’s more me!
I’m happy that not only have I salvaged something my grandma made, I’ve also been able to extend my winter wardrobe for one whole dollar! I really enjoyed working with the squares as the crochet makes them a bit stretchy so they are much more forgiving to work with than a woven textile, meaning that even though they are sitting over my bust, I didn’t have to make darts or do anything tricky to get them to be the right shape.
I’m extremely tempted to find more granny rugs in opshops and see what else I could turn them into. I suppose even though I can’t bake or knit, I do at least have the superskill of “making stuff out of crap”!