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 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!
These baby blankets are just big enough that I can't get a good full on photo of them. That's it, I need a wide angle lens. haha I like to justify incredibly big purchases with silly reasons.
To finish off this blanket I learned another new joining method! I used the flat braid joining technique with this one. While it's a little more time consuming than the zig zag chain method I used on the other blanket, it is way prettier! I can't recommend it enough for baby blankets. Do you all know of any other cool joining methods? I will never sew squares together ever again!
I finished it off with a couple of rounds of two dc clusters and a shell stitch edging.
Want to see what everyone else participating in A Square a Day in May did with their squares? You can see all the finished ones here. A lot of people are still finishing up their blankets so it will be updated as everyone finishes.
It was soo difficult to get a full photo of this one so forgive the light coming through the fence.
I learned a new joining method for this blanket! It's probably one of the easiest methods I've ever used before. I was browsing Ravelry for joining methods and coming up empty so I just started looking for full blanket patterns so I could see what joinging method they used. When I saw this one from DROPS, I knew I had to learn it. It even has a chart and a video.
For the border, I did a single crochet all the way around, then a double crochet-chain-skip the next space around. Then I did a simple little edging that my old boss taught me. It's super easy! You just do a double crochet in one stitch then a slip stitch in the next stitch and repeat that around. It makes a pretty little finished edge.
One thing I like to do when I'm giving crocheted items as gifts is to use the same yarn to wrap the present. It gives a little hint to what's inside. Sometimes I make a little pom pom, but this time I just wrapped it up with a bow.
This is pretty big for a baby blanket, in fact, while I was doing the edging, I thought this size (4' x 4') would be great for a lap blanket.
Get more information about yarn amounts etc. on my Ravelry Page. I'll update this tonight.
I really wanted to jump around yelling it's finished, it's finished!!!! I fnished the blanket on Saturday, weaved in the ends, took photos, and called my mom to come pick it up since she was in town. I've never been so happy to give something I made to someone. She was very excited about it too :). She said she was going to have to go buy all new bedding for their guest bed so it matched... so cute.