Knit and Crochet Away!

Granny Square Madness

This is a follow up to my blog post Making My Own Granny Square Afghan, in which I discuss how I taught myself via YouTube videos to crochet granny square blocks.

Recently I’ve took a little hiatus from blogging and social media as I was struggling with an intense bout of grief related to widowhood and things going on in the world (grief sucks as a hobby, I do not recommend it).

One thing I did to distract myself from spiraling into the pit of despair was to keep crafting, specifically working on making granny square blocks for an eventual granny square blanket.

I became a little obsessed with crocheting these blocks and my living room became “Granny Square Central”:

Note – the granny square blankets you see on my sofa above were “rescued” from thrift shops and are part of my “Rescued Granny Square Afghan” collection I mentioned in the previous post (see the Postscript section of this post for my exciting latest acquisition in my “rescue” activities…)

I also began taking a little kit with me when I left the home so I could work on granny squares while riding in the car (while someone else was driving), when waiting at an appointment, when traveling, etc. I did not want to be away from my yarn and crochet hook!

Working on granny squares has been a wonderful distraction and feels very peaceful and grounding. Thank goodness for handwork!

I used a stash of old Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn I’ve had for 20 years in grays, magenta and oatmeal, which is blended wool and acrylic yarns:

And with all this granny square crocheting my collection of completed squares began to build. In the image below I have my completed blocks in a large plastic bag:

At first I designed a block with 4 rows but then added a 5th row to make it bigger, which looked like this:

Then I decided to experiment with a variety of other combinations and below is a slide show of many of the different type of blocks I’ve made (47 to date):

I’ve completed 47 blocks and after laying them out I’ve decided to make the blanket 9 blocks by 10 blocks (90 blocks), so I have another 43 blocks to make.

Here is my latest version of laying out my completed blocks (I had 46 done at the time I took this image):

And here is an image from the first time I laid out the blocks to see what they looked like (I had 15 blocks completed). Mike my Miniature Schnauzer thought the blanket was ready for him to use!

I am currently making 43 centers for the next round of blocks and I decided to have less color changes (a lot of color changes means a lot of weaving in ends) so I am only doing three colors for the rest of the blocks.

Limiting the rest of the blocks to three color combinations works well as I am nearly out of the magenta and the oatmeal but I have lots of the light and dark gray (which will also be the lattice and border when I join the blocks together). So most of the remaining blocks will have a magenta or oatmeal center and then the light gray and dark gray for the remaining color combinations.

I think the centers are so cute, it always pleases me when I finish a center and get the ends weaved in:

I’ve begun working on other projects besides obsessively making granny squares but that is for another post. Now I have to find some YouTube videos on options for joining together my granny squares.


As I mentioned earlier in my post, recently I “rescued” another granny square afghan from the thrift store – a very lovely one. I cannot believe the amount of work that went into this blanket – it must have taken many months to finish. I know the cost of the yarn/materials and then time and effort were more than the $7 that it cost me to buy it from the thrift shop!

This new afghan has given me a lot of comfort. When I was feeling particularly sad I would wrap myself up in it as I knew a lot of love went into making it. I felt I could feel that love when I was snuggled in it and it comforted and calmed me.

I nicknamed it the “full of love afghan”. I do not know how it ended up in a thrift shop but I send a thank you out into the Universe to whoever made it whether they are still living or have passed.

49 thoughts on “Granny Square Madness”

  1. I’m so glad you have found “granny square therapy” for this terrible pit you have been in. And those squares are just beautiful, as Mike is showing you. You will have something to show for this time rather than just looking back on it as a very painful interlude. I’m searching for things to distract from the reality of 200,000 deaths, tragic fires, and terrible infighting; and then losing our hero RBG was the last straw. My area was threatened with hurricanes last week but did not even get a drop of needed rain–mixed blessing? I will concentrate on being thankful

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    1. Thanks so much Martha. I am sorry that you are struggling too with all the sad stuff going on in our world and it seems like 2020 keeps punching us in the teeth. I think concentrating on being thankful helps. Virtual hugs, T

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    1. Thanks Dave and the picture early in the post are the individual crocheted granny square blocks that I will be joining together to make the granny square blanket. Later in the post I have them all laid out but they have to all get stitched together πŸ™‚

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  2. I’m excited for your granny square blanket. You have found some great blankets to rescue. I love that you could feel the love from your recent find. I know whoever made it would love knowing that it helped you a bit.

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  3. hugs to you, tierney. i, too, have had many days of feeling overwhelmed because this year has been so freaking hard in so many ways. ❣️

    and i just read your blog about finding one of your little wallets in a thrift store. how bizarre! i am using the one you gave me, and just showed it to my hubby vince and read him part of the blog. what a strange feeling that must have been…

    hang in there.

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  4. that “rescue” blanket is amazing – the story it could tell of it’s maker, was it for her (assuming a her) or a gift for someone else – did they make it from a kit, why did they use those colours… a whole lot of forgotten story. BUT now it’s that comfort that you need…and as for your own “granny square blanket” another story unfolding…


  5. I got goosebumps as I read your last paragraphs about the “full of love” afghan. I am sorry you have been through a rough time.
    Your afghan is gorgeous and I am sure will have pride of place in your afghan collection. I am so impressed that you taught yourself to crochet. I too find something comforting and comfortable about working with a single hooked needle and yarn.

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  6. Your blanket will look amazing, I love the combination of shades of gray and purple.

    Every time I read one of your posts I get the urge to start doing some craft-work! At the moment I started a patchwork blanket, so I’ll go for finishing it πŸ™‚

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  7. I love this post. I am sorry your spirits were so low. I carry my knitting with me everywhere. I mean everywhere. It is like Linus and his blanket.
    I love that you are rescuing afghans. I often think of the original owners when I purchase something handmade and given up.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it and I see I am not alone in my obsession! I was at dinner with friends and I was crocheting while we visited – ha! I am glad those poor afghans won’t be alone and sad at the thrift store lol (but I am not a hoarder – ha!) πŸ˜‰

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  8. It is good to see you posting again! Crafty is great therapy.
    I love the color combinations you chose. You make me want to make a granny square afghan!
    I once made a afghan similar to the flower afghan you have. I made pink roses on white squares. It was for my son’s fiancΓ© and she loved it. She died in a car accident, and I now have this afghan as a special memory.

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    1. Thanks so much and I like the combos too. I was working within the limits of what I have (from the Improv Handbook – limits spark your creativity, paraphrased) and I am quite pleased. I am so sorry to hear what happened to your son’s fiancee and I am glad she had that beautiful gift you gave her in her life.

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  9. I believe each item of handwork carries a bit of the spirit of the maker. You are benefiting from what’s being passed to you from your thrift store Afghan and in turn giving it back out in your own work. The chain of love and meaning continues thanks to you. I hope you are feeling better these days and you have encouraged me with this post. Thank you.

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  10. Lovely work. I am glad you have found something to help take your mind elsewhere. We all definitely go through ups and downs especially now. Big hugs from a far.

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  11. Well firstly, *hugses* for the first part.
    I believe you were warned about the addictiveness of granny squares – son’t be surprised if this is just the first of many (MANY) blankets you end up making πŸ˜€

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  12. I first learned to crochet when my oldest was a newborn…it gave me something to do creatively that I could easily put down and pick back up without messing up the project…granny squares are the best! This post reminded me of all of that and I just might dig out my hook and stray skeins of yarn because of it!
    Your thrift store find is phenomenal both in construct and in subliminal snuggles.

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    1. Oooh very cool that this post inspired you to dust off those crochet hooks! I am so glad I randomly decided to pick it up! I do love my latest GS thrift store find. Thanks for your thoughtful comments πŸ™‚

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  13. So many squares πŸ™‚ and you know what your color choices, those greys and whites, make me think of? Mini schnautzers! Tell me, is that a coincidence or am I so dense that I only realize your awesomeness just now??

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    1. I think it was subliminal. I am trying to convert everyone to being miniature schnauzer obsessed like me πŸ™‚ You know Mike did seem to coordinate with the blocks! Thanks Torben for stopping by πŸ™‚


  14. Keep crafting Tierney, it does help us get through the difficult times,I always have embroidery in my bag to do at random times, I had to smile at the comment above about Linus and his blanket – that’s how my embroidery wallet feels – I get a bit panicky if I realise I haven’t anything in my bag, especially after being stranded on a train for 5 hours once! Your blankets are gorgeous. Grief has a habit of creeping back again every so often, take care πŸ™‚

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    1. 5 hours on a train and no handwork!?!? That sounds painful πŸ™‚
      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments, I really appreciate them. As many of those lovely smalls you work on I bet you always have hand work with you!


  15. I like to think that what we create with our hands carries the love we pour into it. So grateful that during this difficult time, you were able to wrap yourself in the love of a thrift granny square blanket and pour your own love into a blanket that will bless anyone who experiences its warmth and comfort. I am so eager to see your final blanket. Hope you will share the youtube video you use to sew the squares together. Dogs are a good judge of comfort. Looks like Mike is giving you two paws up on this blanket.

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  16. Amazing work, Tierney! You have become a granny square pro!
    They are so soothing to work on, and I find the little centers adorable as well. I love working on them while (I used to) ride the bus in Chicago. Hurray on the amazing find. That afghan is a work of art!

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    1. Thanks so much but you know all it shows is I can learn from YouTube videos πŸ™‚ They sounds like a great project for bus rides! Wish I was working on them when I used to live in Seattle and take the bus to work each day! I am so lucky to have found that flower afghan! Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

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