Sometimes my love of all things woolly gets me into some funny situations. A few weeks ago I was picking up my daughter from a play date. It was not long after the local Ag Show (see Show Fever) and we got talking about how much fun it had been, and of course my entries in the crochet section. The conversation soon turned to granny crafts, and how they had some much loved crocheted blankets that were made for their children, but had been loved so much they were falling apart. I could feel my eyes lighting up with curiosity against all of my social graces. I REALLY wanted to see them. Perhaps I could assist somehow?
After some coaxing, an old granny rug was brought out. It had been played with and treasured as all old grannies should be, but the stitching was coming apart in several places, and some of the squares themselves were fraying. It looked like a challenge that I must take on! Now the polite and socially aware part of myself knew that it is not normal to take someones treasured items on the second meeting and offer to fix them. But the curious crocheter in me was almost desperate to get my hands on this frayed granny and restore it to it’s former glory. The curious crocheter won.
Once I got home I realised what a challenge I had taken
on. The granny was essentially a scrapghan made up of large squares. The squares were joined by sewing them together with a multi-coloured yarn, a technique I didn’t normally use for squares, completed with a blue crocheted border. The main problem had been that the sewing was coming apart in many places, and over time and use some of the squares themselves were damaged. Where to start?
So I began with a dodgy square rescue as the whole thing was about to fray beyond repair. It’s not easy to pick up a row inside a completed square but I did my best to ensure it wouldn’t keep fraying. Then I began unpicking the joining stitch along the first row. My plan was to join them together by crocheting them, using the same colour as the border – blue. It was a much stronger way of joining, and would hopefully breathe some more life into the treasured blanket.
Once I started crocheting the first two rows of squares together I was struck with the enormity of what I had started. I was unpicking someone’s prized blanket, and changing the look of it with my joining technique. What if the whole thing fell apart in my hands and was irreparably ruined? What if they hated the new look it would have? What if I couldn’t fix it the way I thought I could? In panic I checked back with the owner once more, who gave me the green light to go ahead. So I carefully carried on.
I was trying to maintain the integrity of the original project so I made sure each row was unpicked at a time, then rejoined so the squares remained in the same position. I kept the border row as it was, and repaired the damaged squares as best I could.
As I worked I thought about the original maker of the blanket, lovingly crocheting woolly squares of goodness for her granddaughter out of brightly coloured yarn. There is something I find so special about these kinds of granny blankets. Not perfect, but precious.
My completed project was nowhere near perfect, but I hope I have managed to breath a few more years of use into this one for its owners.