Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Know What You Were Thinking



And so was I. The fate of a bazillion granny circle-in-a-squares, last seen sporadically, patchily, warming anklebiters and inevitably destined for an unjoined, disadvantaged future, frequenting forgotten corners of an abandoned linen press or lurking alongside dust bunnies in ne’er swept corners of a drafty, possibly haunted house. Non?

NON!

There’s been quite a spurt of action and if I type fast and without punctuation the enthusiasm may not yet wane so keep up with me while I update you on the extraordinary news that of the bazillion grannies I can confirm that twenty now have woven-in-ends and approximately HALF did you get that HALF have been crocheted together using a flat braid join and can I just say that end weaving in became so incredulously boring that I momentarily but seriously considered the procrastinatory ironing of an item of clothing. With pleats. Shocking.





Three items worthy of note:

Item One
I will pay anyone almost anything (possibly even the beloved stick insects) to weave in eight ends per square at a bazillion squares minus the twenty completed (which, let’s face it, is the merest drop in the ocean).

Item Two
No one should ever – not even twenty years hence through my rose-coloured tintery– let me pretend that this project was ever a joy. Except maybe for that bit at the very start when it was fabulous car craft and effectively distracted me from backseat driving tendencies which may explain why the Mr seems disarmingly encouraging about this one – certainly more so than the Friday crocheting of rock bikinis.

Item Three
As far as I can tell, I have made every mistake under the sun. From these mistakes there has been learning. There has been the undertaking of vows:

Vow A. Thou shalt not use splitty cotton for anything again, not even a scarf for a gnat, regardless of nice shiny colours and non-itch factoring.

Vow B. Thou shalt step back after square number one and objectively analyse whether a smaller (slippery-er) hook should be used before, as opposed to after, the production of a bazillion prototypes.

Vow C. Thou shalt weave in those bloody* ends (eight per square) as one goes, rather than declare it ‘swimming lesson’ (not mine) craft at the very bitter and pointy end (now) and endure exuberant child splashing, non hook glide due to wet cotton and the general waft of chemical chlorine for future all-sensory snuggling delight.

Vow D. Thou shalt join as one goes, rather than upon completion of aforementioned bazillion, which would naturally entail the crocheting of a whole additional round for each granny and only THEN achieving some joinery.

Vow E. Thou shalt consider the merits of shagpile at the beginning, rather than squintily convince self and household of that certain je ne sais quoi and so cop the second ever, as blindingly good as the first, eight year old eye roll.




* I’ve not blasphemed in a post before and believe this to be particularly mild all things considered.

nb. The circle-in-a-square pattern was initially inspired from here, but we know where this got me, don’t we?

56 comments:

Pascale said...

LOL! I had so much fun reading this. I started a granny square project some time ago and never got further than square 12. I know for sure now that I will never finish my project - Thanks for pointing that out!!

PS: But don't give up now as your granny squares look gorgeous and it would be a shame to stop now! Just hang in there!

Little Ted Canvas said...

Brilliant post!! I can so relate to you and those ends, shocking, endless,tedious ends! But like you say, it's all been a (not so) happy learning experience & what a massive accomplishment, I bet it will look amazing...must giggle at the 'swimming lesson project' mine sit in the bag from week to week, never touched - darn sociable parents who want to folllow me to my corner & chat!

mrs smith said...

Gosh darn that end-weaving mullarky! That's why my crochet project has remained firmly in the work-in-progress bag for quite some time now. You have convinced me, that compared to your crochet trials, I am being a pansy, and I am inspired to resurrect it. Your work is, as always, beautiful.

Cathy {Tinniegirl} said...

You know, I don't mind the end weaving so much. It's the joining I really hate.

If fact, if you were serious, I'm sure we could come to some kind of arrangement for end weaving. Like a 'let's have coffee and weave ends' type get-together. Or a 'I'll take another gorgeous cowl for end weaving' type arrangement.

Lola Nova said...

I haven't the words to express how much I love this post. How you have made me smile in your glorious blaspheming brilliance. I much needed the smiling bit.
That is all.

Buttons by Lou Lou said...

I even found myself reading that fast without the punctuation and with the enthusiasm. I have no idea how to make granny squares but I can appreciate from the quantity that there was a lot of time involved. I love your photo and your willing models there. Very cute. Granny square beanbag covers would be cool. Great story telling as usual! Lou.

One Flew Over said...

But look at it...worth every bit of pain and angst.

Sandrine said...

Oh lala!!LOL :) If you start mixing some french in the story must be really craft trauma!!But so much worth the trauma...the preview looks fabuleux!!;)xx

Leah said...

Great Photo of the kids! Love it. All hooker's (excuse the expression) should print these rules out and have handy when they are looking at any granny blanket project. Crocheting in the ends as you go is a MUST! Saves so much time. They look stunning so keep going! Dont let it beat you. Lol.

Kirsty said...

Of course you know all about my similarly agonising experience.

I really want to see that flat braid join in the flesh. x

Nikki said...

The waft of chlorine will be a constant reminder of your OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.... once it's finished.

Think "PYRAMIDS", "ROME".....or, my favourite (an Irish one), "It'll take just as long NOT to do it".

CurlyPops said...

Ahhhhhh Haaaaa Haaaa I shouldn't laugh I know, but that's gotta be the reason why I never took up that crocheting malarky!

Cherry said...

Ah my goodness I know what you mean about weaving in the ends. I had 64 squares and after weaving in 20 or so I gave up and only half weaved the rest and just snipped... Baby blanket survived the first wash but then I had to stitch up a square that started coming apart in the middle. Will have to watch that blanket very closely now!

angelina said...

so so funny. splitty yarn is the pits isnt it. i could imagine that the weaving and joining of all those tiny bits would be a pain...i have done long scarve rowes in my blanket to be and will just do a flat join in the end. nothing like what youare accomplishing. but i love them scattered like ladybugs all over yourkids! xxx

Stomper Girl said...

May I add to your splitty yarn vow, with thou shalt never use metallic splitty yarn for anything even though it's pretty and shiny and multi-coloured because it is the WORST yarn in the world for anything.

The finishing-off part of the project is ALWAYS where I come unstuck. Ask me what happened to that nice bit of chevron knitting I cast off 2 months ago. Has it been blocked, had its ends sewn in, been stitched together and lined to make a nice little clutch? Has it? Mmm. That would be a big fat no, methinks. Meanwhile, plenty of new stuff going on.

Meanwhile, get on with it woman. I can't wait to see your finished granny thing.

Mel said...

Ugh I am soooo with you on the splitty cotton thing. I too was lured by the colours but NEVER AGAIN!

Now keep up the good work! You're (kinda not really) almost there!!

p.s I missed the rock bikini's! How did I miss that! They are insanely good. Awesome awesome photos too. My eyes were not rolling but were wide with excitement and awe!

M* (Melanie) said...

Nice joining pattern!

I bet it will look sensational when it's finished and curse as you do now, I bet there is a lot of satisfaction and pride at the end of it all.

Andi said...

You seriously make me laugh!!!
Once you've finished the gorgeous blanket, can I have it?
hehehe

Kylie said...

When you find someone to weave in the ends for you... can you send them my way please, babe? That is, of course, if they haven't gasped their last working on yours! ;) Still haven't gone back to my green hexagon thingy... can't face those ends! Second-born is very smug that her round blanket will be finished before first-born's ;) Good luck with your quest and keeping to your vows, Tania. I can thoroughly recommend crocheting a round blanket... you just keep going around and around - no ends!! Have a great week :) Kx

staci said...

Awesome squares, love the colors! I do not like crocheting with cotton, I find it tortuous, so many kudos to your for your perseverence.

But my real question is, how on earth did you get your kids to sit still long enough for that terrific photo???

Michelle said...

Just think how wonderful it will look when it is all finished (But yes. I am all for weaving in the ends as you go, and joining as you go too.)

Sue said...

And to think I used to wish I could crochet! Thanks for sorting me out. Great post.

Tracey said...

oh my, Tania, and do you remember rather naughtily enticing me with said splitty yarn! Despite it all, those colours are fabulous and the yarn does feel oh so nice, and now I am perhaps thinking there is practical merit in me sticking to the one colour per square approach (however dull the end result may be). I still am lime green with envy at all those pretty colours together...

june at noon said...

What a great post! I love the photo of your kids, love even more that they let you do that! Mine, at this age, would just be a blur of arms and legs and grannies flying through the air!

I always say the same thing about loose ends, that I will weave as I go, and yet I never do. It's just so hard to want to.

Umatji said...

oh you are so from another species my friend! I take all my many hats off to you and firmly state - I truly doubt I will ever granny!

Fer said...

Thanks for reminding me why I don't crochet very much!

Amanda said...

Cracking up!!! I totally raced through the speed reading paragraph..You seriously have a way with words, like no other...

And OMG I feel your pain, and I too have learned those lessons the hard way. Although I still have not finished what I have started and banned myself from any "big" projects til finished..Hope you can keep the gusto going...

Miss Milla's said...

Very,very funny post. It is like the words have been taken out of my mind, as I too have began a cotton granny square project, using a tiny little hook, and have not joined or weaved at all.

But silly me did do some calculations on how many tiny little slippery squares were needed to make one big blanket, and guess what, not a square has been made since then. But seeing your project near the end has inspired me and a few squares might get done tonight!!

Can not wait to see the finished project.

Chicken Willow said...

Thanks for sharing your lessons learnt. I'll refer back to them if I ever go and start a huge project like this.

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

When pregnant i decided to make a whole heap of little squares to make into a cot balnket- just lines not proper granny squares.... and i did make enough for a blanket but there they sat... in a plastic bag.... they were used last week to yarn bomb the composting toilet and I am thrilled that I have finally found a use for all the bloody squares that made me feel guilty. I appluad you and this is a great reminder of why I will neve start a granny blanket EVER.

Jodie said...

WhatIi was thinking is ...ooohh I love that first photo- It has to be one of my favourite blog photos ever...

Gina said...

Meanwhile, it's going to be so so so gorgeous. I know that you don't care about that right now, but it has me palpitating.

Adriana said...

Very funny post!
I really enjoyed reading it.

The granny squares are beautiful and I'm sure when it's all finished - it will be well worth the effort!
Maybe it will become a family heirloom...?
My crochet blanket (started quite a few years ago and now folded in a cupboard somewhere, forgotten) only ended up being about about a metre square.
One day I'll get back to it!
Maybe...

Love the photo of the kids!

nikkishell said...

Oh but it's going to look bloody good when it's finished!!!

PS the word verification for my comment is 'wally'. I shall let you decide who is the wally :P

Missie Krissie said...

Lol! That first photo was great! They look like they are being slowly eaten by granny squares! Haha

Jo James said...

Love that first pic :) And you crack me up but good! For the first time since discovering your knitty delights I'm HAPPY that I don't know how to make anything yarny. So thanks for that. Truly. I need another medium like I need less hours in the day.

Madeline said...

All those ends make me squirm. Tucking them end sounds like torture.

ecoMILF said...

you're such a hoot! Tres drole indeed. Wishing you lots of luck and fast graceful fingers to help you finish this majestic blanket off at some point in the near future before you go completely bonkers. ox m.

Loz and Dinny said...

I think that photo of your offspring is my favourite yet in blogland...at this point I guess I could out myself in that my very own crocheting experience is contained in one granny square that I regularly unravel so I can start it again at each Brown Owl night I attend ... as these days it seems I don't get prepared in advance to A.Organise something else or B. Buy the right size crochet hook to match the wool I have...

Taps said...

I think its got to be worth it just a bit for that fabulous photo!! Brilliant!

Taps said...

I think its got to be worth it just a bit for that fabulous photo!! Brilliant!

vadjutka said...

oh and wow!
you can be VERY proud of yourself; these are wonderful!

I could not make even one granny square, so I adore those ppl who make these lovely things.

Black Eyed Susie said...

Man, I can't even crochet. I do know the pain of trying to weave in intarsia ends in knitting though. With cotton. Never, ever, ever again.

That's going to be possibly the most beautiful granny square blanket ever made though. If I was closer I'd come weave a few ends for you.

Bek said...

Oh man, I know how that feels. For what it is worth:

a) You inspired me to weave in some ends of my blanket in progress. Though they keep popping out, so what's the point. I must be doing something wrong.

b) That blanket will be a real beauty. You know that, right?

Michelle said...

Oh my granny goodness...
I love this post...
and understand totally how you feel...
I try to do all my projects that join as they go...and hate splitty cotton too...
Thank so much for venting...I mean sharing...lol...

heather said...

oh who is going to teach me to crochet now?

you are going to be so in love with your granny blanket when it's done. it will be worth all the pain. a bit like child birth, even the bad scary ones, you will say, yep, it was worth it, no doubt. ha!! and if you don't i will say it for you! it bet it feels so good in pure cotton. yummmmmmmmmmmmm.

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

Your squares look amazing and work well as separate units!! Your kids don't seem to mind.I must admit the sewing of the ends is quite a tedious job.

dillpickle said...

Jo Sharp cotton colour is so brilliantly gorgeous that I'm sure I'll be sucked into the splitty abyss again before too long....

And, I have a granny blanket so close to finished it's not funny, but getting the motivation to finish joining is proving to be a rather enormous obstacle. I suspect though that your finished product will be magnificent, whereas mine will be about 6 years out of date (colourwise) by the time we can call them blankets!!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I was away for three weeks and I can't catch up ! Lovely gnomes , luscious cake , fossils , modesty vests for pebbles and , now , nearly completed granny squares .
Good luck with the weaving in ...
Could you bribe your children to help , perhaps ? Or just announce at the breakfast table , "This kitchen will only be serving cold catfood till the ends are woven in ."
Hard to tell though . You might have to eat your Whiskas ...

Colette said...

I keep coming back to look at your photo. It's so cute, so fun, so beautiful! Just wanted to tell you that!

Narimasu said...

I have printed your vows and will post them with my crochet and knitting stuff as I think they're lessons I need to remember before I (again) start a similar project!! Thanks for the wise words!!

Corrie said...

that is THE coolest crochet photo I've ever seen! love it!


so hearing you on the ends!!!!! but imagine when the blanket is finished!

Corrie:)

Sally said...

Oh the end result will be wonderful... very very wonderful... but yes - weaving in the ends as you go is certainly the way to go.

Claudia said...

I had so much fun reading your post and looking at the photos of the children covered with grannies. I know my children would have loved joining in had I only been crocheting at the time when they were small. Your children look very proud being a part of the fun! Greetings from Germany

Victoria said...

Fab photographs and a great post. I must keep those crochet commandments in mind!

jeannie said...

Have you seen Megan Mills' tutorial on tidying up ends? Take a look at megan.cc
She is terrific. I pledge to work ends in as I go and teach all my students to do the same. We are going to watch her videos this week in class.
Best of luck. Hang in there and enjoy that gorgeous creation. :0)