I'll have today's granny post up this evening, but I wanted to share a little insight into how I get ready to connect my granny squares. This is my step-by-step technique for making my blankets from this project.
- First and foremost you want to figure out the blanket size that you want to make. We have a full size bed and I wanted a blanket with a good drop all around our bed, so I decided the finished size should fall somewhere around 80" x 88". Here's a good chart to help you figure out the size.
- Next, figure out what size squares you want to make to get to your finished blanket size. I went for the obvious 8" squares. 10 wide x 11 long, 110 squares total. Of course, once I add the joining stitches (I'm using the flat-braid join) and border the blanket will be bigger than 80" x 88" and I'm fine with that. It will just have a longer drop.
- Then I start my squares. Something I've been doing with this granny a day project is to create a little mock up of all the squares as I go. This is a completely optional step, but it works for me. Since I have pictures of each square, this is the easiest way to lay everything out without actually having to lay everything out. Which is nice because we don't have a lot of floor space in our house. Here's the mock-up I made for this blanket:
I didn't actually finish this one out, but I got enough of it done that I knew where I was going. This is a purely optional step, but I like to be able to see it all laid out before I make too many squares of one color and then have to make more to make up for it. For this one, I had the squares with white go in every other space and then I made sure I didn't have too many flower squares too close to one another, and didn't have too many squares with the same color too close together.
- The next step is also completely optional, but I have found it easier to connect squares if they have close to the same amount of stitches on each side. These squares vary from 27 - 31 stitches, most of them being 29 stitches. I go as far to adjust the square as I make it to make sure it falls in the range that I want. Then I mark the square with a color coded system by looping a color to the front of the square to mark the stitch amount. This helps me when I'm connecting because I don't have to count each square to see how they are going to line up. I know how many stitches are on each side at a glance and adjust my connected stitches to make sure everything lines up nicely. Again, completely optional, but it works for me. You can see this in the photo below, the bright green yarn connected to the front of some of the squares are my squares with 28 stitches.
- Next, I actually lay everything out. I lay out a big sheet in the living room floor and lay out all of the squares according to my little mock-up. Levi helped me with this last night.
After they are laid out, I still make some adjustments. In this blanket's case, I had 4 leftover squares, not sure why but I did so I traded out some of those squares for squares that I didn't like as much. Then I shifted around some of the squares to make sure it looked the way I wanted it to. After I'm happy, I take photos just in case something tries to get out of order while I'm connecting it.
- Next, I make stacks of each row. Starting from left to right I stack them all up. Then I tie each stack together and number it.
Since I don't just sit and connect squares without stopping, having everything numbered helps me keep it all in order and assures that I don't lose a square. Which has been known to happen.
- Then I connect them! I use my photos as a reference and put them all together. I make sure my connecting stitches are the same on each row so everything squares up like it should. Then I pick out a border and finish it off.
I have a lot of connecting in store for myself this month. Wish me luck!