Cynthia Graham crochets afghans based on the classic granny square design. (Steve Perez / The Detroit News)
Back when knitting and crocheting were taught in schools as part of a class called “home economics” (ahh ... the good old days), Cynthia Graham learned to do both at Damon J. Keith Middle School in Detroit; although she still knits, she’s more hooked on crochet.
“I like crocheting better than knitting because it’s with one needle — a hook, and you can go real fast. Knitting takes more time because you use two needles,” explains the Detroit resident, who finds crocheting far more relaxing.
In fact, that’s how she came up with the idea for turning a simple granny square into throws, baby blankets and even queen-size bedspreads. She says, “One day, I just kept going (crocheting) because it’s so relaxing to me.” As the square got larger and larger, Graham got the idea to alternate different colors of yarn to create a pattern.
“I like to do a variety of colors, but they (the afghans) have to be at least two or more colors. The same color (throughout) is boring. I’ve done up to seven colors,” she adds.
Graham, who mostly uses a worsted-weight acrylic that she finds at Meijer and Wal-Mart, has given her cover-ups as graduation and Christmas presents, however, she especially enjoys gifting them to relatives who are going through chemotherapy or dialysis treatment to “brighten up their day.” She has started referring to her handiwork as “crocheting for a cause.”
Here, she shares her pattern for making one of her warm and cozy afghans.
Traditional Granny Square Afghan
Level: Advanced beginner
Estimated time: 30 hours
Tools: Size J or K crochet hook, scissors
Supplies: Worsted weight yarn: four 8-ounce skeins of violet, four 8-ounce skeins of lavender
Abbreviations: ch chain, st(s) stitch(es), dc double crochet; sl st slip stitch, cont continue
Ch 6 sts with violet. Join ends with sl st to make circle.
Ch up 3 sts. Then make 11 dc sts in circle. Count the first three ch sts as a dc st. There should be 12 dc sts in circle.
*Ch up 3 sts (first dc) and make 2 more dc in same st from first row. Ch 1 st and make 3 more dc in same st for first corner.
Skip 3 sts and rep above *steps. Cont until there are four corners of 6 dc sts each, with two sets of 3 separated by 1 ch st.
Sl st top of last dc to top of first dc.
Now, turn work around, ch up 3 sts and cont crocheting in following color sequence (Note: to change colors, tie ends together at start of new row):
Rows 1-7: violet
Rows 8-11: lavender
Rows 12-18: violet
Rows 19-23: lavender
Rows 24-26: violet
Knot off and work in all loose ends.
Contact Cynthia Graham at (313) 437-5385
Detroit News Staff Writer Jocelynn Brown is a longtime Metro Detroit crafter. For more craft news and giveaways, visit her blog at detroitnews.com/crafts. You can reach her at (313) 222-2150 or email@example.com.