Friday, 16 August 2013

Book review: Granny Squares

I bought this book a little while ago, simply because it looked so happy and colourful! Let me tell you about it...


Granny Squares by Susan Pinner includes 20 granny square projects, and unlike many books which feature a collection on a theme, I could actually see myself making every project! No duds!


I have an old stool which is screaming for a cover like this


And this beauty of a cushion would be great in Little Flower’s room...though I’m not sure I’d allow the pretty picnic blanket to be tossed on the ground!


And one day, when I have my own craft room (a gal can dream!), I will have a lampshade like this


While most of the projects feature very colourful yarns, there are a few pictured in one colour, a simple ivory, which shows off the beauty of the texture. I like all the rainbow brights, but part of me would love to do one of these projects in neutral shades...and these projects would be perfect opportunities to try out some of the colour schemes from my Colour Palettes Pinterest board.

Granny Squares is full of gorgeous photos that definitely add the chic to granny chic! The book is printed on the beautiful, matte, quality paper that I love. Dotted throughout are super ‘Granny’s Tips’, which offer sage bits of advice that are useful for beginner and advanced crocheters alike.

Anyway, I don’t like reviewing a book without actually having tried at least one project, so here’s what I’ve started


This bold, bright bathmat is perfect for the girls’ bathroom – their current one, which I crocheted a while ago, is getting quite worn. If I make this one then we can alternate between the two mats.

Now to the nitty gritty: How is the pattern? Well, for the most part, it was easy to follow and made a fun little hexie


But I was wishing for a little more explanation with certain elements. It assumes knowledge of cluster stitches, or you have to refer back to the beginning of the book for a full explanation. Sometimes I prefer everything to be laid out in one pattern, to save flipping back and forth (I know how to do clusters, I’m speaking here for beginner crocheters or for anyone working on a new technique). How do you feel about this? Do you like the pattern in detail, or do you prefer to get on with it and have a reference page if you need more explanation? I’m curious...

Also, the yarn requirements call for equal amounts of merino DK and acrylic DK, and the hexagons are worked with one strand of each yarn together – but no explanation as to why. Does the acrylic help the merino wear better underfoot? I’m not sure. And heaven knows I don’t have the same colours in both merino and acrylic, so I know I won’t be working it up this way.

In fact, I tested this with some of the yarn I used on the original bathmat, which was a very silly garden meadow mat that was perfect for a child’s bathroom


The girls love this mat, and the bright flowers match the colours I painted on the cupboards and walls. So I might use the leftovers to do some hexies and buy more of the same yarn. It is a chunky acrylic, so I don’t have to bother hooking two strands of DK together.


I need to rummage through the craft cupboard to see if I can dig up the original wrappers for this yarn, because I can’t remember what it is! And here’s where I heed a useful tip found on page 33 of Granny Squares: “I keep extensive notes and file all my ball bands with a small sample of the yarn. It might seem a bit of a hassle to do this but in the long run you will find it extremely useful.”

Indeed. There’s my New Year’s Resolution!

Chrissie x

16 comments:

  1. Nice book and thanks for the fab review!
    I love the girls bathroom ..... it is soooo pretty and the meadow bathmat too.
    Happy weekend my lovely friend
    love jooles xxx

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    1. Thank you Jooles! And look - I've made a hexie! ;-) Cxxx

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  2. I bought this book a couple of months ago and have found it very inspiring. I want to make most of the things in it which is the sign of a good craft book I think! I'm taking it away on holiday and I'm starting the blanket on the front cover. Only one square done so far - just getting the hang of the pattern... x

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    1. Oh you'll have to keep me posted on the blanket - I have my eye on that pattern, too! Great holiday project, I'd love to see what colours you're using... Cx

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  3. OH, how I wish I could crochet! Your bathroom is gorgeous. Have a lovely weekend XX

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    1. Suzanne, you're so crafty I know you could learn very quickly! Add it to your winter To-Do List, it will be the perfect new craft to learn during the chilly winter evenings! Cx

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  4. Early morning, grumpy child, tired mum. The eternally lovely Joy of Joyjinks Creations left me a comment, and my finger tapped 'publish' on my ipad but 'delete comment' was too close...and the comment was deleted! Doh! Luckily, I was able to copy the original comment, which I will paste here. I'm sure there is some techie way to solve this...thank you, Joy, as always! Cx

    Lovely review of a lovely book Chrissie - it's not often that we find those that are full of 'I wanna make' projects!
    When it comes to following patterns I prefer to have reminders on special stitches included with the actual pattern - it's more convenient and free-flowing, to my mind!
    This hexi pattern is lovely and I'm looking forward to seeing the girls' new mat - and I also like their older one too!
    Joy x

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    1. Oh Chrissie - so patient and sweet of you to rectify the little problem! I've been caught a few times with that sort of pickle when using the iPad but now 'zoom in' to the area first - such a nuisance!
      Have a wonderful week!
      Joy xo

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    2. Yep, I'm zoomin' from now on! ;-)

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  5. Thank you for this review! I now really want this book, it looks so beautiful. I love the hexi.
    Marianne x

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  6. Thank you for the review. I've got two granny square books already, but I'm sure I could find room for one more.
    S xx

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  7. It's a great book, I'm looking forward to making lots from it! I've started to save bits of yarn and there labels but they are shoved in a draw! :) x

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    1. It's a slippery slope Ada, I started with a drawer when I first learned to crochet, now it's a little cupboard stuffed with scraps here and there, I try to organise it, but I'm going to need a proper system...Chrissie x

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  8. Oh how darn cute is that bathroom, I mean really OMGosh, OMGosh, OMGosh, well, you get the drift... giggle! I just popped over from Gilly's blog GillyMakes as she was talking about your little giveaway. Just wanted to say nice to meet a new friend from across the pond, I live in New Hampshire USA. Looking forward to that stitch-along in September, eeek, that's next week! Yikes, where did summer get to?!
    Hugs,
    Beth P

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    1. Welcome, Beth, and thanks for your comment! Glad you like the bathroom - I posted more photos on a very early blog posting, it's very homemade and revamped Ikea stuff, and *so much fun*! And you're right - September is next week, eeeek! Time flies when you're having fun... Cx

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  9. I love this book and I so enjoyed making the stool covers from it. There are so many wonderful projects in it. Great review as always xoxo

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