The Great Yarn Challenge
Be sure to check out the Great Yarn Challenge website to see how you can participate in this challenge and enter to win prizes!! These are some great prizes so if y'all don't want them… we'll take 'em… just sayin'… But you should go see by clicking here: Great Yarn Challenge
After a bit of thought we settled on an oldie but a goodie for our final design. The Granny Square afghan!
There is a reason this pattern is so popular and timeless. It's a simple stitch pattern that works up quickly... but done right it creates a finished piece that is worthy of handing down from one generation to another. In addition, it is a great place to start for folx who have never made a full-on crochet project before.
You can use one color of yarn to make a simple but solid crochet block. Alternating rounds between 2-4 colors will give you the ability to mix and match blocks to fit your personal space. Feel free to change colors every round, only the even rounds, at random, or combine squares of solid and striped colors... the options are truly endless!
We're included the instructions for making the classic Crocheted Granny Square block along with instructions for a "Join-As-You-Go" technique which will speed up making your final project. You can make your afghan or throw as large or small as you like.
You can use your favorite yarn and colors that make you happy! For our project, we used Red Heart Super Saver. It is am affordable yarn that just about anyone can find in big box stores, dollar stores, and even thrift stores. A truly accessible material. Once you have finished your afghan it will certainly be the first thing you pull down when you want to wrap yourself in warm and comfy joy!
Our challenge partner for this week is the always vibrant and unstoppable Quayln Stark. Follow along with Quayln on his site at Break the Status and on his Instagram at @portquoelio.
Of course, you can find our Instagram posts about this project and the rest of the creative chaos at @EmbraceTheCreativeChaos and be sure to tag us with your projects and use the hashtag #thegreatyarnchallenge so the folx at Craft Yarn Council can see your glorious creations.
Read on for instructions...
Join-as-you-go Granny Throw
“All granny squares are motifs, but not all motifs are granny squares.”
Update: Y'all asked for it so here is a full photo of our layout for our own throw. But don't be afraid to follow your own creative chaos and use your own colors and even alternative materials to make a different kind of project. Hats, rugs, floor mats… anything goes with a Join-As-You-Go Granny!
Top-Linked stitches can be used anywhere you are joining the tops of the stitches to any other fabric. In Granny Squares we use them across the flat edge of one motif to join another. The key feature of this technique is that you are joining the head of the stitch you are making to an adjacent chain, chain space, or stitch. Top-linked joins can be made with any height of stitch—as long as it has a head to use to make the join, you are good to go!
Top-Linked Double Crochet:
Remove loop from hook, insert hook from front to back through corresponding stitch of second fabric panel, return loop to hook, yo, insert hook in indicated stitch of first fabric panel, yo and draw up a loop, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook, yo and draw through 2 loops on hook and through stitch of second fabric panel.
1. Remove loop from hook.
2. Insert hook from front to back through the corresponding stitch of the second fabric panel.
3. Return loop to hook.
4. Yarn over and insert hook into the next stitch of the first fabric panel.
5. Yarn over and draw up a loop.
6. Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook.
7. Yarn over and draw through 2 loops on hook. AND through the stitch of the second fabric panel.
8. Repeat Steps 1–7 along stitches to be joined.
This type of join creates a seam that can definitely be seen on one side of the work but is hardly noticeable on the other. In fact, the resulting seam has a twist to it, where the loop is removed and placed under the head of the stitch it is joined to.
Tip: This same join can be worked without the first step of removing the loop from the hook. Try this technique again, working only Steps 2–6. The result is a thicker seam, with the loop from the first panel sitting on top of the stitch head from the second panel.
Finally, try this join again, working the head of your double crochet into the chain space of one of your motifs, without first removing the loop from your hook. This creates a beautiful join that is similar to and works well with a Chain Join.
Chain Joins work very well for joining motifs by connecting adjoining chain stitches. They are also great for attaching the chain section of a motif or lace panel to the stitches of another panel of lace or solid fabric. As long as you can insert your hook into a panel of fabric, these joins will work perfectly. We use this join to attach corners of our Granny Squares to each other.
Insert hook from front to back through the corresponding chain space or stitch of a neighboring motif, yarn over and draw through the motif AND the loop on hook.
Chain 3 join (ch-3 join):
Ch 1; keeping yarn on hook and holding yarn to back of work, insert hook into corresponding ch-3 sp, work sl st in corresponding ch-3 sp, ch 1.
1. Chain 1; keep yarn on hook and hold yarn to back of work.
2. Insert hook in corresponding chain 3 space
3. Yarn over and draw through chain 3 space AND loop on hook.
4. Chain 1.
In order for your Chain Joins to be balanced, you will always work them with an odd number of stitches. The important point to remember is that the middle chain is the joining chain that is worked into the adjacent chain, chain space, or stitch. This same technique works the same for chain 5 joins, chain 7 joins, etc.
And there you have it! Whether you use our Join-As-You-Go-Granny pattern to spruce up your own space or as a way to giving back to your community, have fun with the colors and, if, like us, the creative chaos takes over and your throw turns into a car cover… that's great too! Sometimes ya just get caught up in making and joining and, the next thing you know, it's 2am and you've created a true beast of a project. That's all part of embracing the creative chaos and we wholeheartedly endorse such actions.
Be sure to check out how you can enter to win prizes on the Great Yarn Challenge page and tag us and Craft Yarn Council on Instagram so we can all revel in the crochet goodies. Until then…
Shannon and Jason
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