Friday, July 29, 2011

Crocheted granny squares

I know there is a phrase to describe occurrences like this but I can't think what it is...
This morning I dug out this crochet scarf and put it on, thinking again how much I like it and its beautifully swampy, underwater-y, murky combinations of colours! but especially it got me thinking about crochet granny squares.  This scarf is simply a sewn-together row of large-scale mohair crochet granny squares, and I was thinking idly about how much I would like to make a scarf or something out of the original type of crochet granny squares; those ones that were all kinds of colourful but always black-edged.
So I took the above photo this morning  (I've still been taking photos occasionally but not always putting them here), and afterwards, Cassie and I were going along to meet with my mother in the Jo Sharp knit shop, which is a tiny little shop but like a wonderful Aladdin's Cave stuffed full of divinely colourful balls of woolly goodness...  Of course you guessed it, we walked in and what should I see but straight away!, and that is this rather funky little skirt below, made entirely out of exactly the crochet granny squares I had been daydreaming about.  Bizarre coincidence; magical thinking? that I should select this vaguely granny-squarish scarf and be thinking about granny squares, and then immediately find this rather cool new-age take on granny-scarf couture??  (cue Twilight Zone music)
(image of the Hexagon skirt below from Jo Sharp)
Don't you just love it?  Old fashioned, unusual, quaint, reminiscent of those awful old op shop blankets like you always saw flung over Rosanne's couch on the 80's sitcom?  Goodness, that thing was so daggy as to eventually become quite cool, yes?  No?  Am I on my own on this one?  Well, I guess to my 80's-addled consciousness the ol' granny square blanket did assume an aura of grungy chicness anyway....!
So Mum and Cassie did a bit of enabling, and I did not walk out of the knit shop empty handed...   I just bought a few colours to get going along with some blacks for the edging, but I can always go back for more if I need to...  I'm still undecided as to whether to just go for a scarf as per my original thoughts, or to go for the full-on skirt... what do you think?


Details:
Skirt; Vogue 7303 with modifications, green cotton velveteen, details here
Scarf; crocheted by me, details here
Tights; my own design, denim print jersey, details and a tutorial on drafting your own tights here
Top and cardi; Metalicus
Shoes; Francesco Morichetti, from Zomp shoes

32 comments:

  1. Your scarf is gorgeous! I'm a bit wary of full-blown granny square-ness (must be my 80s history as well), but I've seen it cropping up as "cool" quite a bit on the internet. I'm sure whatever you make will be stylish; for myself I'm filing away the idea of a subtle-toned granny square scarf someday.

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  2. I REALLY like the skirt, and I'd say go for it, it would suit you (plus, you already have a scarf, right?). Personally, I like the modern twist and irony of a skirt made of granny-squares.

    BTW, those rusty-red wool skirts are both lovely!

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  3. You could so carry off the skirt but I do wonder how long such a thing would be wearable and whether it would become uncool overnight. It would be such a shame given the work put into it.

    I have several of those blankets. When we first got married they were used as extra layers on our beds, not as something fashionable to drape around the place.

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  4. Wait a minute... wait.. Just how did your DOG enable you???!!! LOL. Your mom, sure, she is another creative visionary soul. But your DOG? lol Poor Cassie doesn't deserve such blame.

    Your scarf is gorgeous, the colors you chose are gorgeous. I am not a huge fan of the granny square, having lived through it the first time around. Yes, as a teen in the 70s I too wore the ubiquitous vest crocheted that my mom crocheted in that 70s acrylic golden color.

    But if anyone can convince me I need granny squares back in my life, it's you!

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  5. Wow, poor grammar in my paragraph, but I hope you get the gist. It's 2:35am and I should be sleeping. :D

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  6. I'm with Shams, I've never been one for the granny squares but, having said that, I really like your scarf. No matter what you decide I'm sure it will look good on you, as everything does.

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  7. LOL. So sorry to have confused your dog and your daughter! Yes, you have two very apt enablers to hang out with. :D

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  8. Well, Cate Blanchett says to go for the skirt: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/photo-gallery/gallery-e6frf94x-1225775826881?page=2

    I think that the skirt is cuter than that dress. It'll be nice and warm in the winter, and you'll look great in it.

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  9. The skirt is very cute and if you do get bored of it you could always turn it into a small blanket! I like the idea of a scarf too though maybe not all together. DX

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  10. I have become a fan of the granny square and made myself a blanket recently.
    I say go for the skirt, I believe it would suit your style.

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  11. Hehe! These have been all over the place lately.

    I must admit I still loathe the original 70s/80s-colour scheme versions, but I quite like your muted scarf version. But I've always been more of a texture than a print/pattern kind of girl...

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  12. I would have said that I hated granny squares - until I saw that Jo Sharp skirt! That's just gorgeous & Jo Sharp is so talented. I have got to brush up on my crochet skills & track down that pattern.

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  13. Well like the rest, I grew up with the granny squares, and believe it or not they were on the back of our couch, my grandmother made them and I do not associate them with anything wonderful, but I know you can pull it out of the dungeon if anyone can!! I really like the Cate Blanchett dress and I know you love doing your own thing so I say make your own dress! You will need to make sure you get some of that tacky yellow gold color if you want it to be authentic though heehee. Have a great weekend.

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  14. Hi Carolyn! it's called a 'synchronicity', i've had them completely on me mind the past day or so. here you can listen to a podcast on synchronicity:

    http://hiddenexperience.blogspot.com/2011/07/audio-conversation-with-trish-and-rob.html

    and read in the comments about a very wild one that happened to me.

    i love these granny squares - a few months ago i saw a girl with this type of scarf - so wonderful, i was so green with envy! i vote for skirt, but just crochet the squares individually, then overcast them together. so later if you want to convert to a scarf, no problemo :) (not that i'm a rampant repurposer meself, no!) the colors you've chosen are reallly beautiful.

    thank you for the photo permission! of course i will credit you - i talk about the inspiration i took from you and describe some of your variations in the post. i link to your posts, but it seemed nicer to put a couple of pics in so people could see them (and your brilliance) more easily. i'll send you a link when it's up.

    have a great day!! steph

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  15. hi Carolyn! thank you so much - post is here:

    http://dashingeccentric.blogspot.com/2011/07/get-most-from-your-sewing-pattern.html

    let me know if there is anything you would like me to edit or change. i REALLY look forward to your posts on how to get the most our of your favorite patterns- you are the Queen of Creative Pattern Use!!!! thank you again, steph

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  16. If you were daydreaming about the squares used it the skirt ... I think, it's destined, you should certainly go for it. And my gut feeling is you strike me a someone who will pull it off really beautifully ... and I say that only having landed on your blog a few minutes ago.

    By the way, I found you via this post http://nosignposts.blogspot.com/2011/06/on-cultural-appropriation.html and hopped over here after reading your comment ... the bit about birds perhaps claiming some cultural appropriation on Native Americans and their use of feathers, made me chuckle a bit, but also nod my head in agreement. I have considered this ... I mean when someone uses elements of their earth or from animals, can they truly stake claim to them? Can only Native American's adorn themselves with feathers, which really belong to the birds, not them?

    Hope you're well.

    Love,
    Susanna

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  17. Huh, that skirt really is cute! You should definitely make it, I do think it would fit your style! :) I like the big granny square scarf, too - you really rock the mixed neutral outfits. :)

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  18. Indeed, the skirt will look great on you, and I think the colours you picked are great. I only wonder whether you will like the edging in black, seeing how many natural tones you wear. Really looking forward to seeing it on you.

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  19. Oh, I think it looks gorgeous! I love granny squares, we had quite a few things made from those where I grew up - pillowcases, blankets and such. They were actually made by my grandmother as well, so it extra cute :) I have thought about making a huge scarf of these, the ones you almost disappear in, and can crawl into on cold winter afternoons on the couch!

    About the skirt I think you should go for it! I remember a knitted skirt my mom made in the seventies (she still has it somewhere!), it is wonderful and totally unique. Considering the colors, I would add a few more. Not that those aren't enough, but it's so beautiful with loads and loads of colors. I would maybe go for darker blueish and greanish hues.

    A great inspiration is the knitwear designer Kaffe Fassett, I love his way of using 20 or 30 colors in the same piece!

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  20. well, you have a scarf already, so why not go for the skirt? then you could wear it not just as an accessory. I think you could totally pull it off. My sis made me a long skinny blanket once with this type of granny square. Ages and ages ago ....

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  21. Maybe it would be costly, but I might make both. The skirt is adorable and you have the perfect figure for it. Don't wear them together, but it would be nice for your 2011 colletion. A bit "cohesive." I am 45 and think that the modern, grannysquare skirt is fabulously stylish. Go for it!

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  22. totally off-topic question for you, but I thought you might be a good person to ask : I am going to order some 10 inch double pointed knitting needles, but it seems they can only be gotten in wood (Brittany birch, specifically) -- I've always knit with metal needles and never tried wood. Would you be able to tell me how the two compare? Am I going to be frustrated with wood?
    Or anything else I should know. Thanks!

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  23. Go with the skirt definately! Seeing I am a Granny I am going with the skirt too. It is so jewel like and fun. Thankyou for a lovely mornings shopping Mum

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  24. Go the skirt Carolyn ... I think it really is your style and I don't 'know' of anyone else better who could carry it off! I'd love to wear it but alas I'd look like an over done toilet dolly (Australians will know what I mean).

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  25. Oh, you would actually make it in time to still be cool!

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  26. Great skirt and i love your scarf its gorgeous! Have a lovely weekend.

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  27. Thanks a bunch for your help with the knitting needles ... one more question, if I'm not pestering you too much. --> Did you find your gauge significantly different between the two kinds (aluminum vs. bamboo) or was it comparable?

    thanks again. Have a good weekend! (tho yours is halfway gone already, I guess.)

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  28. Oh, the skirt is REALLY cute. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with. I have a photo in my end of the month collage that features squares like this in a hand-knit cardigan.

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  29. Love the skirt! Don't think much of Cate's dress though. In the 70s and 80s my grandmother used to get jumpers from the op shop and reuse the wool. We were all given one of "Roseannes" blankets. I even had here make one for my first car ( blues and whites - acrylic wool bought form a shop in Forrest Place), For a long time there I didn't really appreciate the "Roseanne" blanket, but about 7 years ago I repaired mine ( have you ever tried reverse crochet??) and it now takes pride of place on our bed all winter long. It's a way of remebering a very skilful grandmother. I love it!

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  30. yup, I have a comment re. birch needleson the maroon shirt day, is that the one? Thanks for the advice. I think I am going to try out some wood needles as they come in the length I need, and a tiny bit sticky might be nice as my work might not slip off dpn's so easily.

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  31. Skirt, skirt, skirt!!!

    And the scarf. Why not, it just means a few more granny squares, right?

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  32. Serendipity :o) I love grannies, I'm making a hexagon-granny blanket at the moment.

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