The Sewing Place

Granny square advice please

sewingj

Granny square advice please
« on: November 03, 2019, 12:09:19 PM »
Spurred on by several of you I am teaching myself to crochet - with the assistance of Bella Coco videos.
I`ve actually now managed a granny square but the bit I find most difficult is where you come to the end of each round and to connect with the beginning you have to slip stitch into the 3rd chain up from the bottom of the first stitch (many apologies - I don`t know the right terminology yet).
I`m struggling to see which is the 3rd chain - I`ve been using Stylecraft DK acrylic and Stylecraft Aran.  I`m wondering if there is another yarn which would differentiate  the stitches more clearly.  If so I would do a few practice squares and then, hopefully, would have a better idea what I am looking at and can switch back to the Stylecraft.

Failing that, could one of you pop round and show me?

BrendaP

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2019, 12:17:54 PM »
From my experience Stylecraft acrylic has quite a loose twist so that might be why you are finding it difficult to see/count the chains.  Something with a firmer twist, such as a DK sock yarn or  might be better. 
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

SkoutSews

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2019, 12:31:46 PM »
That bit is always tricky for me too. Trying to get the hook through the stitch, I struggle with that. The three chain stitches are going to imitate a treble in the finished effect, so you can get an idea, from the height of the chain, of where the slipstitch has to go.

Are you enjoying your new crochet skills? I'd love to pop in for coffee and a crochet chat, but sadly I guess you're a day's travel away!

Kenora

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2019, 20:05:33 PM »
@sewingj - I'd like nothing more than to be able to pop round and show you! Unfortunately, Cornwall is a long journey from anywhere. :(

It's really good that you've managed to make a granny square, just by using the tutorials. They're not the easiest things to start with, so very well done. :D

I've used Stylecraft Special DK a lot and, while it can have a bit of a loose twist, I'm not sure what to suggest that would be better. Sock yarn has a tighter twist but can be expensive, so I suppose it would depend on how much you want to invest in this project. The only thing I can suggest is to try to remember to crochet more loosely when you're making the 3 chains at the beginning of each round. I know it can be difficult to get your hook into the third chain, but it's not the end of the world if it goes in the second chain. By the time you've joined all your squares together, you're not even going to see which chain the join is in. :)

I hope this helps a little .... and keep up the good work. <3
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

Fiona M

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2019, 21:07:52 PM »
You could put a stitch marker into the third chain, so that you can spot it easily when you come back round to it. 

Sheilago

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2019, 21:12:04 PM »
@sewingj , I was just going to say it’s not too critical which exact loop you crochet into, when I read @Kenora ‘s comments. I agree completely ( and I’m relieved- I thought maybe I was a bit of a sloppy crocheter! 0_0).

Kenora

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2019, 21:15:26 PM »
@sewingj and @Sheilago - I was also going to suggest that, if it's too tight/difficult to crochet into the chain itself, it's also acceptable to crochet into the space behind the chain. As long as you do the same thing on each round, so that it looks designs rather than accidental, it should work. :)
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

sewingj

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2019, 09:14:16 AM »
Thanks very much everyone - all very helpful.
I had been practising mainly with the Aran yarn because I thought that would be easier being a bit thicker.  In fact I now realise that the stitches are better defined with the DK so I did a square using that and found it easier.  I do like the idea of marking the third chain though - just waiting for ebay to deliver some stitch markers!

I shall persevere with my granny squares then the next step I think is trying to work out how to read a pattern!

b15erk

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2019, 09:24:08 AM »
Well done for persevering with the crochet @sewingj !  Bella Coco videos are very good.

I wouldn't worry too much about yarn, I use Stylecraft a lot as I find it very soft, and reasonably priced.  I'm sensitive/allergic to wool, so always use acrylic.  I bought some very nice yarn in a local pound shop last week - three for two.

The beauty of crochet is that there are lots of patterns which use up small amounts of leftover yarn.  The granny square is perfect for beginners, and as you get more experienced you can add one or two fancier squares.

As the others have said, in the scheme of things, second chain/third chain won't be noticed.  My mum always used to say that a blind man on a horse would be glad to see it!

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.

sewingj

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2019, 15:31:46 PM »
More advice needed please!  I`ve now completed several granny squares using Stylecraft Special DK and am quite pleased with them but I`m wondering if they need blocking?  They are quite wonky but there seems to be some dispute on the internet about whether or not blocking works on acrylic yarn.

Any thoughts please - and if you do think I should block what is the best way to do it?

Kenora

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2019, 20:56:00 PM »
In my experience, blocking doesn't really work with acrylic yarn. If you try to use steam on acrylic it will "kill" the knitted/crocheted piece unless applied really, really lightly - just hovering above the piece with the steam .... and, even then, it doesn't block as well as a 100% wool piece will.

The other alternative is to pin your squares out on a foam board, spray them lightly with water, cover with a clean cloth and leave overnight to dry. This will "fix" the acrylic item into shape, but only lightly.

I, personally, use the very light steam method above the worked piece, but you have to be very careful not to over-steam it. I just pin it into the shape required, apply a very light steam, and then leave to dry completely before unpinning.
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

BrendaP

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2019, 20:57:09 PM »
Blocking really means what you would do to the finished item.  In this case it's probably just a gentle wash and either tumble dry or lay flat and air dry, so not really much point in doing so unless you think the work has become grubby

If you over heat acrylic - hot wash and/or hot iron you will 'kill' it.  That means that it will stretch out and go flat and limp.  Once that has happened there's not much you can do about it.
Brenda.  My machines are: Caroline a Singer 201K-3 born 1940, Thirza a Featherweight 221K born 1949, Azilia a Singer 201K born 1957 and Vera, a Husqvarna 350 SewEasy about 20 years old. Also Bernina 1150 overlocker and Elna 444 Coverstitcher.
http://paternoster.orpheusweb.co.uk/

sewingj

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2019, 21:10:19 PM »
Thanks both of you. I don't think I will bother. I think they will straighten up a bit when I sew them together anyway. I'll go for the rustic look!

Kenora

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #13 on: November 12, 2019, 21:13:26 PM »
@sewingj - they'll be fine once sewn together. It's surprising how a collection of out-of-shape "squares" can turn into a lovely blanket. You're probably being over-critical of your work - we all do it. :)

ETA : I'm working on a tapestry-crochet piece at the moment. It's the first time I've tried this technique and I'm finding it hard not to let the yarn "underneath" show through. This is despite the instructions telling me it's bound to show through! I'd still like it to be perfect, and not show! ;)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 21:17:50 PM by Kenora »
Minding my P's & Q's in Portreath

b15erk

Re: Granny square advice please
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2019, 09:16:15 AM »
I made a glorified daisy granny square to give as a gift a few months ago.  I didn't fuss too much about the brand of yarn, I just used odds and ends of leftovers, just as long as it was more or less the same colours - pale blue, white and yellow.  This meant that the squares were only 'more or less' the same size.

Once it was crocheted together, given a quick hand wash and pulled about a bit, it was fine.  It's waiting to go when the baby arrives - eta December 31st!

Your granny squares will look lovely @sewingj !  Good for you for persevering!

Jessie
Jessie, who is very happy to be here!!  :),  but who has far too many sewing machines to be healthy, and a fabric stash which is becoming embarrassing.