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How to
You can find a basic granny square pattern on the Internet (if you don’t already know it by heart).
Here’s a quick rundown:
First two rounds of granny square
Chain 4, join with slipstitch to first chain to form ring
Round 1: Chain 3 (counts as first double crochet), DC two times, chain 1, DC three times, chain 1 (repeat twice) so you have a total of four chain 1 corners, join to third chain of chain three;
Round 2: Slipstitch to first chain 1 space. Chain 3, DC twice, chain 1, DC 3 all in chain one space. Chain 1, DC 3, chain 1, DC 3 in next three chain one spaces. Join to third chain of chain three and finish off.
Bi-colored granny square
(Huge thanks to Cara at Happy Yellow House for teaching me this one.)
With first color, chain 4 and join with slipstitch to first chain to form ring
Round 1: Chain 3 (counts as first double crochet), DC two times, chain 1, DC three times, chain 1. Add new color, chain 1, DC 3 times, chain 1, DC 3 times (now you have two different colored sets of 3 DCs). Join with slipstitch to third chain in chain 3; turn
Round 2: Slipstitch into chain 1 space. DC 3, chain 1, DC 3, chain 1; DC 3 chain 1 DC 3 in next chain 1 space, chain 1; DC 3 in next chain 1 space and pick up first color; chain 1 DC 3 in same space, chain 1; DC 3, chain 1, DC 3, chain 1; DC 3, chain 1 in next space; join with slipstitch to third chain of beginning chain 3.
Note: When making the bi-colored square, do not cut either color until the square is completed.
Join the saltines using a whipstitch. I have found it best to leave a long tail on the saltines to use for joining (and minimize the number of ends left to weave in).
Also, join going from left to right and top to bottom using the graph, and I make my saltines based on which one is next in the graph. Join the saltines for each strip, then join the strips together.
Once one square is completed, begin again with the first saltine for the next square and so on.
Once you have two completed squares, join them together. It’s important to remember to use yarn that matches at least one of colors of the squares you are joining.
For example, if you’re joining a pink saltine to a green one, use either the pink or the green to join. When joining the strips and large squares together, this could mean using several different lengths of yarn so the whipstitching does not show.
Once you have completed assembling all the squares, you can use whatever border around the entire crochet quilt you prefer. A simple border of two or three rows of single crochet around seems to suit these best, don’t forget to put three single crochets in each corner.
Journal Gazette photos
Joyce used graph paper to draw her 10 saltine-by-10 saltine butterfly design.

‘Saltines’ help quilt pattern

Join all of your saltines using a whipstitch.

I have crocheted a number of quilts in the last couple of years and have longed to design my own crochet quilt.

Inspired by the crochet quilt designs at www.happyyellowhouse.com, I set out to come up with what I call the “Flutter and Bloom” crochet quilt.

The beauty of the crochet quilt is how truly simple it is to complete, yet how intricate it can look. If you haven’t seen them before, go check out Happy Yellow House.

The quilts are made by crocheting “saltines,” the first two rounds of a granny square. In some cases, you have to crochet saltines that include two colors to form triangles of color.

In order to come up with this pattern I drew a butterfly onto graph paper, which I found at PaperPrintout.com, then squared off the butterfly.

From there, I tinkered with the sizing, hoping, once I figured out how to square it off, I was able to tinker with size.

I wanted to keep the larger squares at 8 saltines-by-8 saltines, but that wouldn’t work and give me a frame that had the butterfly centered in the square. Eventually I made my way to the 10-by-10 square.

As with knitting, you can reduce or increase the size of your crochet by changing hook size. I know my gauge pretty well and rarely do a swatch, but I knew I’d probably use an H hook for this project. The tulip square was simpler to design.

Once I had the squares designed, I put them together in a layout that included a total of nine squares (five butterfly, four tulip).

Because the squares included 100 saltines each, this turned out to be too large, so the blanket that I am working on will be a total of four squares.

Use your imagination to come up with the perfect color scheme. I used bright yellow, pink, green and purple.

A bit about this project by the numbers:

In order to figure out how much yarn was needed, I first crocheted a saltine and weighed it on my kitchen scale. It came in at about 0.1 ounce (barely measurable on the kitchen scale).

From there, I figured out how many saltines I would need of each color (including the half saltines for those squares that form points).

Once I knew how many saltines of each color I would need, I multiplied by 0.1 to come up with the number of ounces of yarn I would need in each color.

As always, I typically buy an extra skein of yarn in each color just in case. Then, I usually end up making hats, booties, sweaters to match the blanket.

If you like to crochet for charity (such as Project Linus), I think this is a great project.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach Joyce, call 461-8364 or e-mail craftyliving@jg.net. Also, got to the blog at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving. Hear podcasts on knitting at Crafty Living: Math4Knitters.

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