Show of hands: Anyone have a pile of random granny squares just sitting around? Thought so. Time for a stash-busting project!
The one we're about to do together is awesome for two reasons. First, it uses up granny squares in all kinds of sizes, color combos and yarn weights. Second, it creates a gorgeous afghan — and no one will ever guess you raided your pile to make it.
How to Crochet a Stash-Busting Blanket
1. Lay Out Your Squares
Find a space big enough to let you spread out all the granny squares in your stash, so you can see what you're dealing with. Then organize them by size — in actual inches or centimeters. (No eyeballing allowed!) Keep the squares in place, because you'll be back.
2. Choose a Matching Yarn for the Border
You want to pull together all those mismatched squares, and the best way to do that is to create a border around each one. A neutral color yarn (think white, black or gray) works great on borders, but pick any shade that looks right to you.
Now pick your
based on weight. This can be tricky if your granny squares have different weights. If that's the case, you have a few options:
- Choose a yarn in the same weight as the one in most of the squares.
- Go for a medium (worsted) weight, especially if you have a wide range of weights in your squares.
- Select a bulky weight, which makes for a heavier blanket. Just remember that it can be tough to add bulky yarn around very lightweight (sock weight) yarn.
3. Size Up the Crochet Hook
Use a crochet hook that's the right size for your border yarn. Or find a hook that works with the border yarn as well as with most of your granny squares.
For a worsted weight yarn, you'll want a mid-sized crochet hook. If most of your granny squares are lightweight, choose an F or G, but if the majority are mid-weight or bulkier, opt for an H or I.
4. Crochet a Border Around the Largest Granny Square
Start with the largest granny square in your lineup. If there's more than one in the L size, grab 'em all.
Now, crochet a border that either continues the design of the big granny square or else creates a new flat-edge border (a round of single crochet would be perfect!). Whatever border you choose, just make one round.
5. Add Borders to the Remaining Squares
Using the same yarn, crochet borders around the rest of the squares in your stash. The goal is to make all the squares the same size. So instead of adding just one round as you did for the larger squares, you'll crochet enough rounds so each square is the same height and width. That way your squares will look consistent, and the border will also even out the weight of each square.
It might be tough to get all your squares the exact same size, so don't worry if you can't. Just get as close as possible, aiming to make the odd-sized squares slightly smaller (not larger) than the others. Later, you can block one of those squares to stretch it, add an extra round of single crochet, or stretch the square when you join it to the others so they'll all fit just right.
6. Play Around With the Layout
After you've finished adding borders to all of the squares, lay out the whole stash again, this time arranging the squares in the shape and size of your potential blanket. Keep moving the squares around until you find a color pattern that makes you say "YES."
Got more squares than you need? Save some for your next stash-buster. Too few? Crochet a couple more. You might want to make these in the same color as the border, so your afghan will look even more planned out. Or choose a hue that picks up colors in the other squares.
7. Stitch Everything Together
Aha, now your afghan is really happening! Connect the squares using any joining method you prefer.
8. Add Another Border If You Want
If you're craving a more polished look, crochet a border around the entire blanket. You can pick the same shade as the borders you made for the individual squares, or go for a complementary color. Just make sure the yarn you use is the same weight as the one you chose for the original borders.
Now, get ready to cozy up to your new afghan, and start collecting stray granny squares for your next stash-busting project!
Photos by Kathryn Vercillo of Crochet Concupiscence