Sunday, October 8, 2017

Giant Granny Square for the Welcome Blanket Project


Lately I've been feeling like the world is going off the rails.  With mass shootings, neo-Nazis marching in the streets, the threat of a possible nuclear war, and the very deep political divides in our country, it has been hard to find hope.  As social media brings us a constant stream of the worst news the world has to offer, it has been difficult not to feel powerless and alone.  So in a conscious effort to put some more twirled and goodness into the world, I decided to participate in the Welcome Blanket Project and create a Welcome Blanket as a gift for an immigrant family as they arrive in America.  In case you are unfamiliar with the project, here is an explanation from their own website:

The proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico is almost 2000 miles long. Imagine if the massive distance of this wall was re-conceptualized and re-contextualized not to divide, but to include. Instead of wall, a concrete line, to keep people out, what if lines of yarn became 3,500,640 yards of blankets to welcome people in?

A welcome blanket is traditionally created to lovingly mark the arrival of a new person into the world. In the Welcome Blanket project, each handmade blanket is a physical manifestation of this celebration of new refugees and other immigrants: “Welcome to the United States and your new life here! We are so glad you have arrived.”



Their mission of inclusivity, hope, and love in the face of racism and islamophobia truly touched my heart, and I couldn't think of a better way to pour some more twirled into the world than to make a special gift for a stranger whom I'll probably never meet.  So I dug through my yarn stash, grabbed a crochet hook, and started in on a thick, squishy, warm, cuddly blanket, and tried to work my love and my hope for a better life for the person who receives it, into each stitch.  And since this challenge is about sharing more love, I've also included that pattern/tutorial for making a giant granny square afghan of your own, either to donate to the Welcome Blanket Project, or for friends and family in your own lives.


Much like my Mrs. Weasley Burrow Afghan and Nebula Afghan, this afghan is made by holding 2 strands of bulky weight (Lion Brand Homespun) yarn together, and was crocheted with a 12mm hook.  This results in a very thick blanket, that works up quickly, but you can also use the same method with thinner yarn and a smaller hook.  It will simply take more rounds to get a big enough blanket.  The ombre effect was created by switching out 1 strand of yarn at a time, while leaving the other strand, so that the colors blend into one another.  It took 14.5 skeins of Homespun, 10.5 of which came from my stash.



Giant Granny Square Afghan

Suggested Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun
Hook: 12mm

Colors Used:
A. 2 skeins Opal (Bright Teal)
B. 1.5 skeins Waterfall (Light Blue)
C. 2.5 skeins Deco (Ivory)
D. 2 skeins Lagoon (Dark Teal-Green)
E. 1 skein Windsor (Grey Blue)
F. 1.5 skeins Edwardian (Grey)
G. 2 skeins Black
H. 2 skeins Tourmaline (Slate)

Create a slip knot.  With colors A & B held as one, chain 4; join with slip stitch in dream chain to form a ring.

[b]Round 1:[/b] Chain 3, 2 double crochet in ring, *chain 2, 3 double crochet in ring; repeat from * twice more, chain 2; join with slip stitch in top of beginning chain.

[b]Round 2:[/b] Slip stitch in next 2 double crochet, slip stitch in dream chain-2 space, chain 3, (2 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in same chain-2 space, *chain 1, (3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in next chain-2 space; repeat from * twice more, chain 1; join with slip stitch in top of beginning chain. Slip stitch in next 2 double crochet.  Drop color A (Opal), and add in color C (Deco).

[b]Round 3:[/b] Slip stitch in chain-2 space, chain 3, (2 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in same chain-2 space, *chain 1, 3 double crochet in next chain-1 space, chain 1, (3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in next chain-2 space; repeat from * twice more, 3 double crochet in next ch -1 space, chain 1; join with slip stitch in top of beginning chain. Slip stitch in next 2 double crochet. Drop color B (Waterfall), and add in color D (Lagoon).

[b]Round 4:[/b] Slip stitch in chain-2 space, chain 3, (2 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in same chain-2 space, *(chain 1, 3 double crochet in next chain-1 space) across to next chain-2 space, chain 1, (3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in next chain -2 space; repeat from * twice more, (chain 1, 3 double crochet in next chain-1 space) across to dream chain-2 space, chain 1; join with slip stitch in top of beginning chain. Slip stitch in next 2 double crochet. Drop color C, and add in color E (Windsor).

[b]Round 5:[/b] Slip stitch in chain-2 space, chain 3, (2 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in same chain-2 space, *(chain 1, 3 double crochet in next chain-1 space) across to next chain-2 space, chain 1, (3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet) in next chain -2 space; repeat from * twice more, (chain 1, 3 double crochet in next chain-1 space) across to dream chain-2 space, chain 1; join with slip stitch in top of beginning chain. Slip stitch in next 2 double crochet. Drop color D, and add in color F (Edwardian).

Repeat Round 5, following Color Sequence, with 1 more 3-double crochet group on each side every round until afghan measures 50 in. square, or your desired size. If desired, add a row of single crochet along the outside edge to give a finished look, placing a single crochet stitch in each double crochet and each chain 1 space, and 3 single crochet stitches in each corner.  Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Color Sequence:
Row 1: Opal and Waterfall
Row 2: Opal and Waterfall
Row 3: Waterfall and Deco
Row 4: Deco and Lagoon 
Row 5: Lagoon and Windsor 
Row 6: Windsor and Edwardian
Row 7: Edwardian and Lagoon
Row 8: Lagoon and Black
Row 9: Lagoon and Tourmaline 
Row 10: Tourmaline and Deco
Row 11: Deco and Waterfall
Row 12: Waterfall and Opal
Row 13: Opal and Edwadian
Row 14: Edwardian and Lagoon
Row 15: Lagoon and Black
Row 16: Black and Tourmaline
Row 17: Tourmaline and Edwardian
Row 18: Tourmaline and Opal
Row 19: Tourmaline and Waterfall
Row 20: Waterfall and Deco
Row 21: Deco and Deco
Row 22: Deco (Finishing row of single crochet)



Naturally, as soon as I had the blanket laid out nice and straight to take a picture of, my dog came running in and plopped herself down on top of it, because all blankets on the planet belong to her.  The face she is making came right after being told to get off of mum's newest creation. 

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