08 February 2010

Good Gracious, Granny

If there is any hope for me recovering from how much I hate the number 4, that hope is the granny square. Because until very recently, the very sight of a square (the physical manifestation of that unpleasant digit) was odious in my sight. It's okay if it's turned on its edge because then it's more like a diamond. In fact, when Jason and I were talking about engagement rings, I told him I wanted a princess cut diamond (of course) but that it had to be set like a diamond and not like a square. This was slightly problematic. It required a custom setting. And he even had the jeweler remove 4 diamonds so there would be two columns of 3 diamonds on each side of the center stone instead of 2 columns of 4. This is serious business, folks. It affects my life in a big way, this 4 factor. But like I said, if there is any hope, it is the granny square: that wonderful, deceptively simple, super-duper fun, basic, traditional crochet motif that has me thinking in squares morning, noon, and night.

For this past week's weekly make, I have made a granny square blanket. Okay, I guess I'm making it rather than have made it. It's quite a big project. And I'm not going to let you see it until it's done, because it will be more impressive that way. But I'll help you imagine it. Picture a granny square that just keeps going. Row after row after ever-increasing row until you have a big enough square to cuddle up in with a nice cup of [insert warm beverage of choice] and a good book. I got my inspiration from those lovely gals over at the purl bee. But my blanket looks nothing like this one...except that it's square...and uses the same stitches. But the color palate is completely different, and you'll just have to wait and be surprised. I'm really really hoping for a snow day tomorrow so I can finish it. [oh please oh please oh please please please] <-- notice I don't even say things in 4s. As I sat on the living room floor last night, stitching away, Jason took a break from Mario Kart to ask me what I think about as I do projects like this. He wondered if I have to think "stitch, stitch, stitch" the entire time. I told him that at that moment, I had "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" by Starship in my head, and I was trying to figure out how to finish the sheep on my mom's apron. I think I finally got it! No, probably not. :o/

(Sidenote: Check out this amazingly 80's music video for "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," complete with big hair, poor lip-syncing, and clips from Mannequin. Terrible movie. One of the greatest love songs of all time. End sidenote.)

There are some projects that do require me to pay careful attention to what I'm doing. But repetitive projects like this blanket allow my mind to wander a bit more, which is nice because when I'm thinking about something else, I'm surprised by the progress I make rather than counting down to the end of the endless row. Generally in the process of my makes, I think about what I'm going to blog about them. I try to remember little triumphs and defeats along the way. I try to focus on the process so that I can not only record the end result but also document how I got there and the lessons I learned along the way. I try to improve my skills and my speed and the efficiency of my hands as I work. I think about whether or not it would be practical to mass-produce whatever I'm making at the moment, how much I would charge for it, how I would stage the picture for my etsy shop (coming soonish) or display it at a craft show. I gauge my passion for what I'm doing. I try to decide whether I like it or not, if I would make it again, and what I would do differently next time. I think about where or how or by whom the object will be used. And occasionally I think about what God thinks about all my making. I think about how I am made in His image as a little creator. I try to invite Him into my projects so that He can be my companion in creating and occasionally my muse.

I really love creating. I love imagining new things and designing them so they're possible and actually making them with my hands. I think just the act of creating would be enough for me to be completely satisfied. But it's all these accompanying thoughts that really make me notice what I'm doing beyond just what I'm doing. They put the project into the broader perspective of how I am becoming a more creative person, or unearthing the creativity that has been there all along, waiting for me to learn the skills to finally be able to give it a voice. And that's what this blog is about. It gives me a framework to notice and follow through with my creative impulses and a stage where I can display them and invite others into the inner workings of my mind.

In my next post, I have quite a big announcement coming your way. I'm pretty excited about it. Okay, that's a lie. I'm pretty thrilled about it, in a "way to go, Robin" sort of way. Time to celebrate.


  1. Speaking of granny squares you should look at this blanket. It makes my heart smile. I'm trying to decide if I want to purchase the pattern or just figure it out. I'm leaning towards playing around until I figure it out.

  2. You are slightly insane. Just thought I'd let you know. But in a lovely sort of way, I assure you. I hope someday f-our doesn't become such a hideous thing to you. After all, what would happen if you guys have 4 children? And they're all girls? Or all boys? Oh my, oh my. =)

    Also, I had to look up what a granny square was because I had no idea, seeing as how I don't really know anything about sewing, or knitting, or crocheting, or any of that. I'm not even sure I know how to sew on a button correctly. I mean, I can do it, and it stays, but I'm not sure it's the proper method. So, needless to say, I'm impressed by everything you do, and looking forward to seeing your granny square. Hooray!

  3. Jacqui, that blanket it adorable! I love the color scheme. From what I've seen of your work, you are an expert crocheter. I'm sure you can figure this out. Bubble crochet circle with doubles, triples, and chains to make it a square? Let me know if you do it and how it turns out!!

    Hannah, we will NOT have 4 children. Definitely not. NO WAY. 2...maybe 3, and then one of us is getting surgically altered. As far as button sewing goes, I don't know if there is one "right way." I think as long as it stays on, you're golden.