Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Remarkable Granny Stitch

Lately, I've been pondering the classic granny square and the stitch pattern from which it's made - 3 double crochets, chain 1. I had been looking for a comfortable casual cardigan pattern and decided on Not Your Granny's Sweater #1 by Marty Miller. The pattern is based on granny squares. I had never spent much time making granny squares before. I made one when I first started crocheting because, well, you've just got to! It's almost a crochet rite of passage. That poor square is now used to clean my bathroom sink. And that was about as far as I went with granny squares. But as I was working the first square for the sweater, I began to really like the look of this stitch pattern. I'm not sure what it is about it. Perhaps the symmetry and the balance of positive and negative space. I also like the way the first round looks like a flower and the diagonal lines of shells formed by the corners of each round.

The stitch pattern can be worked in rows as well as rounds. What is it called if worked this way? The granny stitch? The granny square stitch? I haven't found it in any of my stitch dictionaries under those names. It's a version of the shell stitch really.

I've decided it would be fun to do a series of projects using this stitch pattern both in rows and in the form of the classic square. Searching on Ravelry, I've found all sorts of patterns using this stitch pattern not just afghans which is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Here are a few:
The Concamerate Shell by Janet Brani
Granny Short Mitts by Mearacaera Designs   
Easy Crocheted Hat by Meg Kealey
Granny Shawl by Charlene Van den Brande
Granny's Got New Ears by Carol Veitch

I love those earrings. What a fun use for bits of leftover yarn!

I just remembered another pattern that I've made using the classic square - Tessellations by Tracy St. John. This is a really fun hat pattern that is another good use for yarn leftovers. I've made several. Here's one of my favorites being modeled by my pale faced friend.

I'll post a photo of my granny cardi when I finish it. I'm not sure what my next "granny" project will be after that, but I'm looking forward to exploring the uses of this versatile stitch pattern. Anybody want to join me?

Speaking of Finished Projects

Here's the finished sweater that I was swatching and calculating for in my July 7 post. Since it isn't really the original Lorelei pattern, I called it the Lora Lie.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Highlights from the Knit and Crochet Show - San Diego

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Knit and Crochet Show in San Diego July 21 - 25. This is the national show of the Crochet Guild of America and The Knitting Guild Association. If you ever have a chance to go to one of these shows, I highly recommend it. This was my third show, and I've enjoyed each one. There are wonderful classes, lots of other yarn crafting enthusiasts to socialize with, and of course, a yarn market. 


I ran into my friend designer Andee Graves in the line at the hotel registration desk. Reconnecting with friends is one of the best parts of the show.

Workshops and Classes

From Get Your Geek On to Engineered Tunisian, there were lots of opportunities to learn. The former was a workshop led by Vashti Braha, Amy Shelton, and Doris Chan where we explored some of the geeky crochet topics beloved by those of us who aren't content to always color inside the lines. For example, what are some of the unusual places in the anatomy of a crochet stitch where you can pull up a loop to make a stitch? In Engineered Tunisian taught by Jennifer Hansen, we learned how to do increases and decreases and manipulate Tunisian stitches to make cables. These are the skills needed to complete Jennifer's Tunisian Keyhole Cravat pattern. I also took Design Your Own Crochet Stitch Pattern with Marty Miller and Shell Game (an exploration of shell stitches) with Karen Klemp. I was so engrossed in learning all the new things that I totally neglected to take any photos. Oh nooooo!
I have to go to next year's show just so I can redeem myself with better photos!
Design Competition

Thursday evening we got our first look at the design competition entries that were displayed in the market are. Here are a few of the lovely entries.

   Aegean Dress by Kristin Lynn                     Blue Poppy Coat by Alla Koval (turned to                                                                             display the interesting back)


Tunica Geometrica by Susan Walsh                    Lollapalooza by Julia Bryant



What's a fiber show without a chance to buy fiber? The market opened for a preview Thursday night and ran through Saturday. I think my favorite part was the Yarnover Truck. I had heard about the truck on a podcast a few years ago but had never seen it. It's a mobile yarn shop operate by 2 women in southern California. Here it is on the floor of the market.

A few purchases from various vendors:

Fashion Show

Saturday night was the big finale with the banquet and fashion show. Many of the design competition entries were modeled as well as other garments and accessories made by attendees. Here are the models wearing the many variations of Doris Chan's Lotus Lattice top.

San Diego

Before heading home, I spent a day seeing some of the sites in San Diego. Here's the Museum of Man in Balboa Park.

Also in Balboa Park, the Botanical Garden building with its lily pond:

View of the harbor from Cabrillo National Monument: