Thursday, May 31, 2012

Granny's Daughter

When you craft with yarn, you end up with leftover yarn, usually not enough to make anything, but throwing it away seems wasteful.  I either hand roll it into a ball, use my yarn-winder to make a center-pull skein, or leave as-is. I sometimes have a pristine ball of yarn or two left when I finish a project. What I should do is return them to the store for a refund, but I always talk myself out of it or plain forget about it.

Thus a stash begins...

My favorite way to use scraps to make something useful, like an afghan. I have made several "scrapghans," including the one shown in my first post, with light and dark shades of a color, surrounded by black. Last week, while cleaning up the sewing room, I came across a gallon container with little squares in it--Granny's Daughters. Basically, a Granny's Daughter is round one of a Granny Square and uses between 2 and 3 yards of yarn.

About 15 years ago, I received a 3-ring binder 'card' which featured a Granny's Daughter afghan pattern that is one of Vanna's favorites. (Did you know that the most famous letter turner is a mad crochet artist with her own line of yarns?). It was designed by Nancy Fuller and is the same as her pattern on Ravelry. Anyhoo, the offer was to join a club and they would periodically send you a new pattern card, or even win a lapful of yarn! (like I need one...). Vanna: I like the variety of colors in this afghan. It's made of miniature granny squares you can work using bits of leftover yarn from your collection (emphasis mine). Yup, always trying to get you to load up the stash, er, collection.

I never did join the pattern club, but thought using up small scraps would be a "good thing." Thus the jar of granny's daughters has slowly grown over time.

These are so easy and quick and they can be done without looking. Great for TV, travel or anytime you have a minute. This pattern calls for over 800 GDs, so I started working on it and have about 400 ish ready. The major drawback to this pattern is that each tiny GD has two ends which must be woven. Have I said I hate weaving end?  However, I have perfected it and crochet over the tail when making the first 6 dc in the 5 ch ring. When I finish, I just weave that one back the opposite direction and take the final tail and weave it on the opposite side of the ring. Balance, symmetry.

So far I'm proud of myself. I've been weaving tails before they go in the jar, thus avoiding the drudgery of weaving 800 at once. Now I'm just working on the GDs. I can make about one per minute at slow speed, so if I need 400 more, that's a minimum of 6-2/3 hours, PLUS the weaving time (it takes more time to weave than crochet). Add in time to 'balance' the porportion of colors, and I should be ready to progress to the second part of the project by mid-June. I have plenty of white yarn on hand to do the joining, so completing this stash buster will actually free up space!

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