It’s amazing what you can do with a few squares. (Okay – it takes more than a few!)
When Lisa mentioned to me how cool it would be for the homeless students of the Beaverton School District to receive a hand-crafted blanket – I thought, “Yeah – it’d be cool if someone would do that.” Because – honestly – I couldn’t imagine that kind of undertaking.
I mean – have you ever knit or crocheted a blanket? I have. It doesn’t happen overnight. (Like a simple hat or pair of fingerless gloves can!)
It felt pretty daunting.
A blanket I may not be able to whip right out.
Squares I can blow through like crazy!
Pretty much everyone can.
Squares are probably the best way to learn new patterns and techniques and stitches.
They’re a great way to learn knitting if you’re a crocheter.
They’re a fabulous way to learn crocheting if you’re a knitter. (Granny square anyone? They’re amazing!)
The beauty about squares? Added together they bring about phenomenal results.
[Ana's Baby's Blanket by Dina McBride, crocheted in Kertzer Super 10 Cotton.]
Phase 2: crafting squares to put together “crazy quilts.” I.e., small-ish blankets that can have squares of any size, color, texture, natural fiber – knit or crochet – that will be pieced together and distributed to the homeless student population. This will ease into focus post-Thanksgiving and conceivably continue through the end of the school year.
So let’s talk particulars.
There are some important details that can’t be messed with. (i.e., “the rules.”)
First – in order to get some sort of semblance of order, we’re gonna need to block squares. (There’s a great Ravelry thread on this here – with a pretty concise tutorial nested in here. Also a blog post that’s great here, and here, as well.)
Second – to maintain some sort of consistency -I’m going to request NATURAL FIBERS ONLY for squares. (If you really and truly don’t want to or are unable to work with natural fibers, and really want to be a part of this effort – then feel free to complete a whole blanket on your own. I certainly would not discount that option!) Why? They block so much better!
Third – we want SQUARES. Not rectangles. Not trapezoids. Not circles. While those are all potentially lovely and could certainly have a stunning application and finished product – when we start talking about hundreds and hundreds of squares – we gotta stay -well – square!
Fourth – I don’t care how big your squares are. That’s the beauty of the crazy quilt concept. Have a need to crochet up a bunch of 3-inch granny squares? Live it up! Want to knit a stack of 7.5″ Barn Raising squares? Go for it! Big or small – bring ‘em on!
Fifth – They can be knit. They can be crochet. They can be garter stitch. They can be granny squares. They can be moss stitch. They can be cabled. They can be lace. They can be shell stitched. Find yourself a stitchionary and go wild.
Sixth – They can be any weight of yarn. Really. Seriously. I mean it. We’ll make it work.
Seventh – They can be any color. Yep. Absolutely any color. Hand painted. Varigated. Overdyed. Natural. Never seen dye at all. Whatever. The more variety the better. Remember – crazy quilt!
Seems like a lot of details, but if we’re all on the same page – it’ll go so much better.
- Finished blankets right around the 3-foot by 5-foot dimension.
- Set up a series of “quilting bees” when we can sew finished (ends woven in, blocked) squares together.
- We may potentially need to crochet or knit on edgings on these. We’ll need to factor that in.
- Keep going until a serious number of kids have hand-crafted crazy quilts in their possession.
So that’s it.
I’m going to be finding patterns for different squares to feature here on the blog each week. I think one for crochet, and one for knitting. You can consider it a bit of a CAL or KAL (crochet along or knit along), if you’d like.
And of course – if you need yarn – let me know! I’ve got yarn!
Questions? Comments? Thoughts? Bring ‘em on! :)