Once upon a time, a redheaded girl named Katie tried to make an ugly crochet blanket. She used up all of her scrap yarn, in a very random order, paying no mind to colour clashes or matches. She found it quite fun, a welcome break from the toil and trouble of choosing yarn of colours that blend or pop or match. The blanket grew and grew, until one day it was 160cm wide. Katie weaved in all of the loose ends and declared the ugly blanket to be done! “I will call the it The Hodge Podge!” she said, because of the marvellous mixture of pinks and blues and yellows and greens. The only thing was, it turned out that the blanket wasn’t so ugly. It was full of colours, a lot of some colours and a little of others. It was big and warm and cosy and comforting and that redheaded girl slept under it all winter long.
Although she was so happy with her crazy kaleidoscope blanket, she said to herself “One is not enough!”. So Katie got to work and created… The Hodge Podge No. 2!
Started – June 2013
Finished – July 2014
Pattern – Basic granny square with one chain between each cluster, and two chains on each corner.
Size – 140cm x 140cm
Yarn – Random, mostly 8ply soft acrylic
Hook size – 4mm
Border – One row of US single crochet/UK double crochet
The Hodge Podge (bottom) and The Hodge Podge No. 2 (top).
Started – August 2010
Finished – June 2013
Inspired by – Carina’s granny square blanket
Yarn – Shepherd Colour 4 Me 100% wool in every colour I could get in 2010
Hook size – 4mm
Finished size – 155cm x 100cm
Details – 70 squares with six rounds each. (Five colour, one cream) Joined on-the-go. Border of four rows in cream.
Belongs to – Me!
The Hodge Podge blanket is officially finished. I think. In all of its crazy colour-combination madness. All of the ends have been weaved in and I’ve been sleeping under it for about a month so it feels finished. I may add some more rows to it at some point, but for now it’s done. And this blanket is just for me. It’s the twelfth blanket I’ve made so I guess it’s about time I keep one.
It’s made entirely of scraps from my stash with no thought given to colour, pattern or order. It is mostly acrylic but there is some wool and cotton in there too. It’s about 160cm x 160cm, very warm and quite heavy. I started the blanket in April 2012, did most of the work in the following September/October, then put it aside until just recently. Rather than making lots of granny squares and then joining them later, this blanket is one large granny square. I turned the blanket over after each round to avoid the shape of the square becoming distorted.
Do you have a granny square blanket in your house? Since I learnt to crochet four years ago I’ve noticed how many fictional homes on TV and in movies have a crochet blanket draped on the couch. Remember the crochet blanket on Roseanne? An episode was even named after it – “Home Is Where the Afghan Is” (check it out at 3:34 in this video). Don and Betty Draper have a crochet blanket on their couch in the early seasons of Mad Men, Amy from The Big Bang Theory has a blanket made of granny squares and I remember a beautiful blue and brown chevron blanket in the movie Bridesmaids.
Hodge Podge number 2 is already underway, again, random colours from my stash with no plan as to the pattern or order of the colours. Since both are made of scrap and leftover yarn it makes the blankets practically costless projects right? Free craft! Some say the granny square pattern was originally designed for just that, using up leftover yarn.
Here’s a video tutorial to get started on your own granny squares. You know you want to!
Photographed at Free Range Living in Kurnell, NSW.
Us crafters are a funny bunch. I’m yet to meet a crafty person who doesn’t have a half-finished project or six collecting dust. Why do we lose interest in projects we began so enthusiastically? Buying fabric and yarn is so fun! Starting a new project is exciting! The planning of a new design makes us happy! I guess sometimes the buying and planning is more fun than working through the middle stages of a project. Which is probably why this blanket has been sitting in a box, unfinished, for er, about two years. It’s almost done now though, just a few loose ends to tidy up and maybe a few more rows around the edge. When it’s finished it will be the eleventh blanket I’ve made. (With probably three half-finished blankets collecting aforementioned dust).
Diary of a Crochet Blanket – A story of excitement and neglect.
August 2010 – Enthusiastically bought skeins of wool and started making granny squares. Chose Shepherd Colour 4 Me wool because of the large colour range. Blanket originally inspired by Carina.
November 2010 – Finished the 70th granny square and started joining the squares.
December 2010 – Finished joining the squares then decided the method I’d used was totally unacceptable and had to be re-done. The squares didn’t line up well enough for my liking. Took all 70 squares apart.
January 2011 – Started joining the squares again, using the join-as-you-go method.
Sometime in 2011 – Got sick of the joining with about two dozen squares left.
2012 – Left the blanket in a box, untouched.
June 2013 – Figured I should probably finish a few old projects before starting too many more. Joined the remaining squares over two nights in front of the TV. (Paper Giants – Magazine Wars, The September Issue and House Rules)
June 2013 – The blanket will be finished!
Happy birthday to my little cousin Amy, she recently turned 21. She’s smart, confident and ambitious. She’s loyal, affectionate and popular. And she loves a gluten-free cupcake with cream cheese frosting.
Some blankety facts:
* The rainbow contains 11 colours.
* The yarn is Panda Magnum Soft and Stylecraft Special DK.
* I started it in August and finished in early December. (During this time I also worked on a baby blanket, the Hodge Podge, Mr Ladybug and Yoda)
* To keep the blanket square and stop it from becoming crooked I turned the whole blanket over after each row, before starting the next one. By alternating the side you start each row on you avoid the distortion that can happen with large granny squares.
ETA: Here is the colour pattern I made up –
I hope this helps those who have asked!
Four rounds of colour A
One round of colour B
One round of colour A
Four rounds of colour B
One round of colour C
One round of colour B
Four rounds of colour C
One round of colour D
One round of colour C
Four rounds of colour D….
The blanket know as The Hodge Podge continues. I still have plenty of yarn to use so I guess this blanket could turn out to my biggest one yet. It’s pretty cosy and just the right amount of ugly. I’m also working on a small blanket that is coming together quite quickly but will have to remain a secret until it arrives at its new home next month. What are you making? I know Thouraya is working on some sweet, spring dresses. She has two of the cutest models around!
Another project finished, and only a little (ok, two months) later than I planned. This eight-colour throw is for my grandmother who, I’m pleased to say, seems quite enamoured with it. I love this yarn and the colours were all in my stash. Next on the agenda is to finish The Hodge Podge. Then a present for a baby due in January, a blanket for an October 2013 wedding and oh, maybe even a little something for myself.
The antidote to worrying about colour choice? Start a project with random scraps of yarn. It can’t go wrong!
Fourteen squares completed, I think I’ll need about 40 or so to make this blanket. And, like usual, I’m having what I call craft anxiety. I’ve mentioned it before and it happens at some point during most major projects, whether its crochet or painting or an extravagant six-layer rainbow cake. The I did love it, but now I’m not sure I like it at all thoughts usually pass and I keep working on the project. Sometimes though, I deliberate for a while before continuing and sometimes I don’t finish the project. When I do keep going I always end up happy with the result. Fingers crossed that happens with this granny square blanket.
A new project has begun, with a due date in late June. It is an eight-colour granny square throw and this time I am following a colour scheme I found in a pattern, rather than putting together my own. I’m using Panda Magnum Soft 8ply yarn straight from my stash and I’ve matched the suggested colours in the pattern pretty well. This yarn is so soft and warm, my only wish is the range included more colours – especially a warm yellow. I used the same yarn on the big ripple blanket I finished last year.
Click here for the pattern for an eight-colour granny square throw from Lion Brand Yarn.