Granny Square or Flower Child

I think I have more questions than answers after finishing this project.  This will create lingering in my mind.  The topic is crochet.   This is definitely the most challenging project I have made in crochet as it involved gauge, fit, shaping, and color changing within a row, none of which I am sure I did correctly and none of which I’ve ever done, before.  Also, technique in sewing the crochet pieces together.  What I knew however is that this pattern would be a great way to use up some remnant stash with its offering of color possibilities.  I have plenty of remnants from past projects of small bits of color however I knew I did not have enough of one color for the main body.    Purchasing only three skeins and using those scraps,  I thought this a great way to stretch yardage.  I did go with the yarn used in the pattern for this main color (MC), a silver grey filatura-di-crosa- zarina-chine.

Organizing stash by weight serves me well when choosing from remnants.  I just pull the container holding the weight I need/want.  Housing same weight yarn  in wide mouthed containers with remnants from each project wrapped separately in plastic bags and inclusive of their very important yarn bands  lets you see your choice quickly and efficiently and reminds you of the content and recommended gauge of that particular fiber.  To me, organizing is a huge time saver and allows my brain to remember the colors I have in particular weights.   These containers go from fingering on top, sport weight, worsted/aran, to bulky weight scraps at the bottom.

I had a really hard time getting the gauge for this and had to go down quite a few hook sizes to get even close to what the pattern required.   Here is the first rainbow I created which ended up being way too large.

We all know it is vitally important to achieve gauge for fit purposes.  In this case, gauge also had to be achieved for those multitude of pieces that would have to fit together, much like a jigsaw puzzle.

Here you see the pieces sewn together and on the blocking table.

What probably worked against me was the fact that I was using remnants of different fibers.  I quickly learned that the cotton worked up at a larger gauge than the wool even though of the same fingering weight.   To solve, I interchanged two size crochet hooks picking up and using the smaller for the cotton remnants, the larger for the wool scraps even within the same square measuring  fastidiously with each completed piece making sure they were in accordance with the schematic in the pattern.

Using online tutorials for learning shaping, both increasing and decreasing videos were informative and understandable.   Sewing crochet together videos were also helpful.  But, color change?  I kind of figured that out on my own.  Some questions, however.  Questions such as:  Is there a method in crochet on how to  keep all ends on one side of the fabric?And, is it possible to weave in the ends as you go?  Is there an easier way to take notes than this?

Does crochet fabric have a right and wrong side as this project had me flipping the fabric right side to wrong side and back again in the creation of it.  I couldn’t see that one side looked different than the other.  Probably these answers could have been found online also and will serve perfectly in good standing as a start point for the next crochet beauty I have in my queue.

This was a  light-hearted photo shoot much like the whimsy of the pattern, Granny Square Vest by Anna Sui from Vogue Knitting, Early Fall 2011.  Hubby and I both seemed to have ideas on how to share different aspects of this crocheted vest.  We went to one of hubby’s local fishing holes and walked around the watering hole taking these shots utilizing the natural flowers,  fallen branches and even climbing and using the guard rails as photo props.

We wanted to show off the vest’s brilliant color and granny square neckline that folds over as little or as much as you want . . .

it’s flower-child side of timeless . . .

its side profile of blue skies/white clouds demonstrating its ability to wrap  . . .

and finally its purposeful short back side in all its glory that reminds me of an insignia detail you might see on a motorcycle jacket . . .

One or two more, just because . . .

How creative is this designer?  How much fun will this be to wear?

What timing for a little local history regarding weather.

Today, a rainbow in the sky,

yesterday (ten years ago) ‘Surprise Ice Storm’.

14 thoughts on “Granny Square or Flower Child

  1. I just love this vest, and your account of the process of making it. You are fearless! It really is a happy vest for a few reasons. I like how you arranged the different squares – the symmetry of the dark one with white middle at the centre of the collar/front, and below it, the asymmetry of the two underneath. I’d say, if you can’t tell which side is the back, you have made a reversible garment! Until, as you say, you sew in a label. You could still wear the label on the outside, though, just to let everyone know you made it. Very postmodern… If I attempt to make a garment from leftover wool, I will come back to read this post and the comments. Well done!

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    1. Such a nice comment. I thank you for your kindness. I LOVE your idea of wearing the label on the outside, so thank you for that. I love this vest, too and agree with your ‘postmodern’.

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  2. that is so adorable – and it looks like it would really go with any casual outfit. AND it uses up remnants? Win all the way around.

    I know of no official magic way to deal with ends in crochet, except the starting row, I always lay the end along to loop in a granny square so I capture it in that first round. And I do think there is no right side of a granny square. Or, rather, there are two right sides. But I could be wrong. I have never seens a difference, as you discovered.

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    1. I totally love this piece, Sarah. It looks great with black underneath also as the black shows off the colors of the vest. Gotta say, I love using those remnants. Yeah, it’s a conundrum about rightness and wrongness of crochet fabric. It confused me during the process of making as well as now in the wearing. Sewing in the label will help once I make a decision and commit to what side I want up. One more project in the photo shoot queue! Working up a quickie now so should be done soon (famous last words) and then it will be time to finish two incomplete projects, one problematic and the other timely. And, so it goes.

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        1. I am very appreciative of the time I have now to actually work through some of these projects that I’ve had in the queue, some for years. So, I’m just working through being as patient as I can in hopes to take these next few years and really enjoy knitting without too many anxieties and stresses around me or maybe to help me with the pressures around me. Either way, my goal is to plow through. Wish me luck.

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          1. haha . . . I recently had a convo with another knitter on Ravelry about our respective stashes. I was telling her how I have felt like mine is a noose around my neck, always nagging, always there as if I’ve been negligent etc. Everything negative. She was telling me how she views her stash as comfort, peace, and happiness as then with it, she knows she will never run out of beautiful yarn to work with and she doesn’t need to think or worry about shopping and/or whether she will have funds for more. This could easily be a blog post but I am working really hard on making that emotional switch to her point of view. Thoughts?

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          2. Clearly she has done a lot of work on this. I like her viewpoint, it is very freeing. I had an aunt who stashed craft supplies for her retirement because she knew she would have no spare cash then.

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  3. I remember that pattern. You did a great job, I admire your courage to take on such a project and learning the technique as you go. A wonderful way to use remnants, and you seem to have a glorious weather. Enjoy it! We have a lot of sunshine here too, but boy is it cold in the mornings. I have to put mittens on to drive.

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    1. Thank you, Agnes. I love this little happy vest. The weather is turning but has been so cooperative as we catch up on some photo shoots. I am most appreciative of Mother Nature’s patience before she turns completely.

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