MY GRANNY SQUARE DESIGN FOR THE KNITCRAFT/HOBBYCRAFT GRANNY SQUARE MONTH C.A.L.
I’m so excited to be able to share my design for the annual Knitcraft Granny Square Month C.A.L. with you at last!
The past few months have been really busy and a massive learning curve for me, because I decided to take the plunge and submit some design ideas to some magazines and yarn companies, and was absolutely thrilled to be given my first ever professional commissions! I have my first magazine commission in this month’s edition of Simply Crochet Magazine, another magazine commission in progress and today is my day for the Knitcraft Granny Square Month CAL, hosted on the Hobbycraft Ideas Hub
ALL OUT RETRO!
You might have guessed that I’m a little bit obsessed by all things retro, quirky and kitsch! you just need to look inside my Shedio (garden studio, don’t you know!) to see that! I like to collect weird and wonderful dolls and toys and love the graphics and imagery of bygone days, so after a bit of thinking, sampling some ideas, and not getting far….it dawned on me that I should be playing to what I know and love best, which as a Gen Xer, means the 70s, 80s and 90s!
Yep, that’s it I hold my hands up, and I’m not gonna apologise, the 80s had the best colours, the 70s had the best crafts and the 90s…well, that was my Uni years and beyond so it was the best fun! So anyway, I thought retro, rainbows and roller-disco! It’s got to be done!
Do you collect something fun or odd? Let me know in the comments!
MY DESIGN PROCESS
For this design I started out old school style, with a pencil, some pencil crayons and a squared note pad! I almost always start my designs in a sketchbook, to get my ideas down quickly, and work through themes and thought processes.
Drawings work better for me than a list or words, though I do include them too to explain or remind myself what my doodles were about or to suggest colours or yarns or other possible directions. It’s a kind of brain dump, visual brainstorming or mind map process that generates more ideas as I put things on paper. Ideas, spark more ideas, and there’s only so many hours in the day so they’ve got to go somewhere where I can revisit when I have time! So for example on when working on this design idea, I did a rough version of the roller boot design on graph paper, but ended up with a whole 80s blanket idea sketched out in my sketchbook to work on afterwards! (more new on that to come soon!)
Once I had drawn my lo-tech version on paper, having already made a tension swatch to work out a rough idea of how many stitched would fit into the required 20x20cm square, I tested it using the correct yarns (Knitcraft Cotton Blend DK). I then copied it onto a Stitch Fiddle digital chart where I could edit it adjusting the design very slightly as I changed the gauge from working a Tapestry colour work technique where all the colours not in use are encased inside the others in the row, to using the intarsia colour work method where unused colour yarns are dropped to the back of the work and picked up as needed according to the chart.
I realised that using so many colours per row, was making the rows really ‘fat’ where the other threads were carried inside and distorting the square shape to an oblong, so it would be much more yarn efficient, and cleaner looking if I used the other method.
In the final design I used a combination of Tapestry, Intarsia and Fairisle crochet colour work, whichever was best suited for each section, but only floating yarn across the back of the work where there was a small section between colour blocks, only encasing the unused threads where there were 2 or 3 colours per row at most and intarsia where the block of colour were larger.
I explain this a little more in my pattern, but if you are interested it diving deeper into the world of crochet colourwork I would recommend Crochet Colourwork made easy by Claire Goodale or watching this tutorial from Lovecrafts Introduction to tapestry crochet
After I had confirmation that my design had been selected for the CAL (joy oh joy….soooo exciting!), I made a second test sample of my square including the edits and a neater method for creating a border using a slip stitch foundation row, and that’s the one you can see over on the Hobbycraft Ideas Hub from today!!!
COLOUR WORK TUTORIAL
My ‘Get Your Skates On’ Granny Square pattern is available FREE to download HERE, and has all the info charts and instructions for creating crochet colour work that you’ll need to make this square! I would say the difficulty rating is advanced beginner to intermediate, because there are lots of colours used which makes colour changes quite fiddly.
If you are new to crochet colour work, I suggest trying a small sample using two colours say in a chequerboard pattern 20 stitches wide x 20 rows changing colour every 5st and 5 rows to get your confidence.
I watched a few you tube videos and looked up the techniques in several books but I found the most important thing is when working on the wrong side of the work, to make sure you bring the working yarn over to the right before hooking through the new colour, then laying it back to the left and crocheting over it for one stitch as described in my short video below. This keeps the stitches looking clean and in line on the right side.
ARE YOU READY?
Are you ready to take part in the Knitcraft Granny Square Month CAL? Are you set to make your own ‘Get your Skates On’ Granny Square? If you want to use the recommended yarns, you’ll find the link to the #GSM23 yarn bundle below!
If you missed the start of the CAL, or you want to try a different one, the previous year’s GSM are still available on the Hobbycraft Ideas Hub!
You will need:
5mm crochet hook
8 colours of DK yarn – I used the recommended Knitcraft cotton blend yarn, but any DK is fine but where possible I would stick to the same brand & fibre content as different brands tend to vary in thickness slightly which can affect the tension and consistency of the fabric in colourwork. A good substitute yarn for this project would be Ricorumi as they are available in small 25g balls and in 80 colours !
A Pair of scissors
8 small pieces of card or yarn bobbins
A darning needle
OK so if you’ve got your equipment and materials ready….LET’S ROLL!!!
I can’t wait to see your makes, and your colour ways of my roller skate square!
Please share with me via DM @hookanory or by tagging me in your posts or using the hashtag #hookanory
HAVE FUN & HAPPY HOOKING FOLKS!
Love Deb xxxxxx
MISSED OUT LAST YEAR?
DON’T WORRY – ALL THE PREVIOUS KNITCRAFT CALS ARE HERE (plus some cute supplies from yours truly!)
P.S. HOBBYCRAFT COMPETITION!
YOU CAN WIN £100 Hobbycraft voucher too if you upload you square HERE! and you have a chance to be featured on Knitcrafthq instagram stories if you share your squares using the hashtags #shareyourknitcraft and #gsm23
(please note this is a Hobbycraft competition hosted on the Hobbycraft Ideas Hub – I’m just sharing it, I’m not affiliated with it in any way other than my design was part of the CAL)
LOVE THIS BLANKET?
Are you a fan of fun designs and bright colours?
Do you love the 80s aesthetic?
Do you enjoy crochet colour work?
WELL….. I’ve got an amazing treat coming up for you!
Here’s an exclusive SNEAKY PEEK of my upcoming 80’s blanket pattern! Due for release this Autumn! I will be looking for testers very soon so if you are interested in testing, or just want to be one of the first to know when it’s released, sign up to my newsletter HERE!