Dolly Henry is a sewing and design blog for the creative wanderer, where style meets play and making is a lifestyle.

Hi, I'm Megan - owner, designer and writer at Dolly Henry! Join me here as I explore the ins and outs of creativity, dabble in dollmaking and raise my voice on issues facing creative entrepreneurs.

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Crocheted Granny Squares & Their Many Loose Ends

Sometime in the past month or two, I have been struck with a sudden and sensible desire to finish my many WIPs (work in progress) to sort of clear some space for some new projects and ideas. In my collection is a set of gorgeous grannies - Granny Squares that is - that I started in 2015. 

While the general making of the squares was done quite quickly, they have been gathering dust (or not actually, I keep them in a nice box. My WIPs at least have good accommodation!) while I dithered about, pushing the fact I have to tie in eleven million ends to the back of my mind. 

I am the queen of procrastination and in the cases of non-critical things, excellent at putting off tedious tasks such as this. I blame the weather for this sudden change in behaviour. Summer has finally arrived in my part of NSW and while the locals are sweating it out, this former north queenslander is smugly wearing shorts instead of jeans with her jumpers. It has struck me that it might be odd to wear shorts, and a jumper, and socks around the house - but it's still too cool to fully commit to a full-on summer outfit and it's been so long since I've seen my legs, I am wondering if my shorts and skirts were always this short.

The wonderful weather and the fact I have settled into Daylight Saving time, means I have been spending quite a lot of time outside. So yesterday afternoon, I decided to take my box of loose ends outside and enjoy some relaxation. (Henry came too, with his new super short haircut!) After all, what has avoiding my box of squares done for the many, many ends I need to tie in? Of course, nothing. The fairies certainly won't do it for me. Even they find it too tedious.

I don't know about you, but I always find tasks I have been putting off are never as bad or as big once I decide to tackle them, as I have built them up to be in my head. I was delighted to find I had already tied in about half my granny squares a few months ago when I was no doubt struck with a similar bout of discipline. I think the tellie got me through that lot.

This morning after my jobs were done, I finished off the last few squares and laid them out on the kitchen table to see where I am at. These grannies hardly ever seen the sunlight (bit like my legs!) so they might have squinted a bit as I plopped them on the table somewhat unceremoniously. It has been SUCH a busy week, after doing the markets on Saturday and Mon & Tues spent out and about (that's right, I am on a nickname basis with the first two days of the week...I am working on Wednesday...) that it was necessary I declared today a "slow day"...

And what is slower than tying in ends? it isn't that bad! Wouldn't want to put you off!

I think they look rather happy, don't you? They were meant to be a blanket, which they will still be, except I am going to deviate from my original concept. Got a bit bored after 3 years. I know what you're thinking...commitment issues, right? 

So instead of making the whole blanket out of granny squares, I have decided to join all the squares that I have made so far and make them the center of the blanket, and then crochet around the outer edge in bright colours until I feel the blanket is big enough - about lap/throw size I think... 

I haven't colour arranged them in these photos, I just wanted to get an idea of the size from what I had so far. I then did something VERY sensible and got out my trusty notebook. Do you have a trusty notebook? What makes a trusty notebook different to other notebooks, is that over time, you accummulate so much precious information that it's basically the first thing you grab when there is a house fire. I have two now...and they are like my little secret black books of creative information. I probably should put them in safe...

Anyway, trusty notebook in hand I recorded the current measurement of the center granny square panel and decided I needed to make at least 8 more squares, so the panel is less skinny rectangle and more squarish. I also want some more navy blue in there as about only one square has a good dollop of navy and for me, it just does something to the other colours...something wonderful. That's not colour theory, just personal opinion. I made that discovery when I was in year 4, with the colouring pencils. Navy...adds the something-something to your palette!

Anyhow...Miss Marmalade approves. I think it goes with her 80's vibes... that's probably why I was inspired to make a granny square blanket. Watching all those 80's/90's family shows...wasn't there a granny square throw somewhere in view? I love it when they incorporate homemade things in the it when I spot a handmade quilt - even if the colours are a bit off. There is something very real life about it...

These grannies have had quite the life but they are about to actually become something! They started as a simple beginner project and morphed...even their design was changed after an opinionated comment on Instagram...a comment that was quite right, even if the delivery was off... That's one thing I will say for long time works in progress...they accumulate baggage, I mean stories, the longer you work on them...

Here's to gorgeous grannies, and friends who tell you how to crochet your ends in as you at the end of the day, you only have eleven billion ends to tie in, instead of an estimated 20 billion...

3 things that help deal with tedious crafty tasks:

1. Do what anyone does these days..throw a screen at it! 
TV or DVD for me, Netflix for most...definitely the way to go!

2. Sit outside with good company and tie in your ends as you watch the sun go down...more refreshing than the TV version and because you are outside and can occasionally stop and throw a ball for a dog, it's practically exercise!

3. Spotify or a Podcast...with a cup of tea...block out the rest of the planet and focus on the task at hand, aided by a lively tune in your earbuds!

Have you ever had a WIP that it took you awhile to finish because there was a part you were NOT so keen to do? Spill the beans in the comments!

Megan x

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  1. The grannies are so, so pretty! I love your colour combinations, my eyes leap from one favourite to the next - which is about all the exercise I want to do in this warm weather xo

    1. thank you Kellie! It is your beautiful blanket that has spurred me on to completing mine!


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