Join Me?

@Ldyjarhead (10157)
United States
October 1, 2008 10:34am CST
I've posted quite a bit of my various crochet afghans and such, and if you've followed any of them you know that I prefer to work my things in the back and forth patterns and can't do granny squares to save my life. I was looking at various patterns to use up scraps and have seen some afghans that are made with just regular squares or rectangles crocheted and then stitched together in a patchwork-type style and they are just as pretty as any I've ever seen. They're not grannies, but to me they look even nicer. Squares would be so easy to work up quickly when I'm waiting at the doctor's office or wherever, so I think I might start doing that. My problem is joining them. I know some are crocheted together, some are sewn, and I'm not sure which would be easiest for me. I know I can look up the various ways to do it, but I was hoping to get some input from those that have done granny (or other 'pieced') afghans as to which way would be the best for a novice at joining pieces.
9 people like this
11 responses
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
1 Oct 08
I usually sew them together because that's what my mom taught me. But both methods have their advantages. Sewn seams lie flatter but have a tendency to come loose, especially on afghans that get a lot of use. Crochet seams are bulkier, but they won't come apart as easily as sewn seams, so they are more durable and will give the afghan better wear. I really couldn't say which is easier for a beginner; I find it more difficult to do crocheted seams, but I got used to doing the sewn first. BTW, I have a friend who crochets, but the granny square is the only stitch she can do!
6 people like this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
1 Oct 08
I think sewing would be easier, but then I need to figure out whether I want to have a base color between all of them. If I do, that would mean edging them all in that color first before sewing. Hmmm ....
7 people like this
@capirani (1841)
• United States
1 Oct 08
By sewing do you mean with needle and thread, on a machine, or what? The only way I know of for sewing it is with yarn and either a plastic canvas needle or darning needle. They don't come out any sooner than any other way of putting it together with yarn.
3 people like this
• Lubbock, Texas
1 Oct 08
I do NOT like my squares of rectangles sewn together. Maybe it's because I never can get the tension right, but I just don't like the look. The way I join mine is place two pieces together with the right sides facing out. Make a loop in the end of the yarn like you were beginning a new piece, pass the hook through the first corresponding loops of both pieces and make a slip stitch. Continue to slip stitch each set of corresponding loops or stitches of the two squares. This method makes a ridge on top of the finished blanket, outlining each piece.
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
1 Oct 08
Easy enough, but are the squares already edged in the same color, and you use that color to join?
6 people like this
• Lubbock, Texas
1 Oct 08
Yes. I always make the last row of the squares or rectangles the same color and join them with that color. When I start a scrap afghan or lap robe I always try to find enough yarn of one color to do all the edging and joining before I start so I don't have to go buy something when my objective is to use up scraps. If you wanted to just use various colors without an edge border it would probably be better to sew them together with carpet or upholstery thread as it would bury itself in the yarn and not show. I just don't have much luck with the sewing.
5 people like this
@capirani (1841)
• United States
1 Oct 08
It depends on how you want yours to look whether or not you use the same color to join as the color you finished your squares with. A lot of granny squares or square pieced afghans will use one "base" color for the joining and if they want that part to look bigger, they might border each individual piece in that same color. It is just up to you and what you want to do with yours, and what style you use to put the pieces together.
4 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (21069)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
1 Oct 08
I've always just stitched them together, using yarn. (Except for the one I knitted all of a piece... that one was fun, and of course not portable -- I worked on that one on my sofabed while watching TV.)
5 people like this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
1 Oct 08
Do all of the squares have the same color around the edges first, though?
6 people like this
@BarBaraPrz (21069)
• St. Catharines, Ontario
1 Oct 08
Some do, some don't... just depends on what look you want.
3 people like this
1 Oct 08
Hi Ldyjarhead, I'm no good at these things, all I can do is crochet a blank and do some knitting but to answer to your problem I won't know how, maybe its easier stiching together with wool. Tamara
5 people like this
@JoyfulOne (6242)
• United States
1 Oct 08
I've made lots of granny square projects over the years. When I 'join' them, I use either one or the other of the two ways I prefer...just depends on the look I want when it's finished, and what I'm using it on. The first way, I take two granny squares and lay one on top of the other (like a granny square sandwich lol.) Then I take a crochet hook and pass through all four of the exposed posts (or sew with a yarn needle). (Starting at the corner to the next corner.) I do them in a long strip of them joined that way, then when I get the strip of granny's together, I'll make the rest of the strips the same length. Once I have my strips done, I'll do the same sandwiching and sew (or crochet) the strips together from one end to the other. One thing though, you want to not make tight stitches, so that they will lay flat and not be bunched up. Another way I use is to lay the strips flat and to join them by passing the threaded yarn needle, or crochet hook, through all four edge posts. (You can also use regular thread for lighter unseen stitching/joining) Again, starting at the corner and working across. Using this kind of method, you can add an extra design if it's for a kid's bed...you can go on the diagonal and make an X design of the joining, in contrasting yarn. I like grannies because you can carry them anywhere to work on them, and use up that left-over yarn. Wish I had a digital camera so I could show you better, hope I explained my methods good enough!
4 people like this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
1 Oct 08
You say: The first way, I take two granny squares and lay one on top of the other (like a granny square sandwich lol.) Then I take a crochet hook and pass through all four of the exposed posts (or sew with a yarn needle) This confuses me. What do you mean by 'four exposed posts'? How are you actually joining them? I'm not concerned with how to lay them out, I want to know physically what you do to join them - crochet, blanket stitch, what?
7 people like this
@jillbeth (2711)
• United States
1 Oct 08
I use an overcast stitch myself. I never thought about using a blanket stitch. That would definitely be more durable! I don't see why it wouldn't work.
6 people like this
@JoyfulOne (6242)
• United States
1 Oct 08
Since I'm not explaining too well what I'm picturing in my mind, here's a couple of links that show (and explain) what I'm talking about. The first link (crochet cabana) shows how to whipstitch, backstitch, and mattress stitch them together. It also shows the differences in how it turns out looking like. http://www.crochetcabana.com/tutorials/joining_squares.htm This next link shows how to join with a yarn needle, or by crocheting. Good pictures! Like they say, a picture's worth a thousand words lol. http://crochet.about.com/library/weekly/aa010999.htm I like to make the last round on any granny square the same color, so that when it's done there's a more finished look to it, and the color yarn, or thread, that I use to join will be more invisible. I don't care for using the overcast stitch as it always seems to throw it out of kilter so that the rows aren't exactly matched side by side (but then again, maybe it's just me)
4 people like this
@peavey (16866)
• United States
1 Oct 08
I don't crochet, but I knit and I join pieces of different colors by sewing. When I make a square or whatever, I leave a tail long enough to sew the edge onto another piece, that way I have the right color for each piece and the seams don't show as much. I do a wide whip stitch, finishing off by running the end over a few times, then through several stitches of the piece. I've yet to have one come apart.
4 people like this
@capirani (1841)
• United States
1 Oct 08
The plain squares pattern is something I have been wanting to try and probably will do so this winter. Right now I am working on car seat covers for babies and I use larger size granny squares for those. I am tired of that pattern. So I am looking forward to experimenting with different style squares and doing a patchwork pattern afghan. I might do each square with a different style stitch to add some variation in the total afghan. For example, some in ripple, some in double crochet, maybe some in shells, and some in single or triple crochet and maybe any other interesting stitch I might be able to figure out how to do. I guess there are various ways to piece them together. One way is to use a darning needle or plastic canvas needle and just overcast yarn like you would do with sewing two pieces together. I use slip stitches to piece mine together. It leaves a ridge and the very first small afghan I made in this way came out a bit messy. I didn't think about the ridges and someone else pointed out to me that if I do it that way I need to remember to make sure all the ridges come out on the same side of the afghan. So I have been careful about that after that first time. I think the needle way of piecing it together will make it flat on both sides. I do love the granny square pattern though. It is really quite easy to do...a lot easier than the instructions are to read. I don't like changing colors though so my favorites are all one color of yarn and the granny rectangle pattern I like best that end up bed-shaped. I am not good at following the instructions and for the most part all I know I have had to be shown. However I have worked harder at figuring out the instructions and do better now depending on how they are written. Some can be so confusing.
3 people like this
@Ldyjarhead (10157)
• United States
1 Oct 08
Your first paragraph describes exactly what I'm talking about doing. I was going to try two different ways - one with just two colors of the same pattern edged and joined with black, and another with various colors and patterns making up more of a 'real' patchwork. I made two 8" squares tonight and joined them to see if it was something I could do, and I think it'll be ok. I might go with a smaller square, though.
4 people like this
@capirani (1841)
• United States
2 Oct 08
I have been working on these car seat covers and basically they are larger sized granny squares...5 of them...and I am so tired of working on them. It is changing colors often, then having to fasten them all together, then going around the outside with a border to make it look finished. I will be so glad to finish this latest one up and work on something else. This one I have done for sale and I am way late getting it done. Want to finish by the end of this week if I can.
3 people like this
@onlydia (2808)
• United States
3 Oct 08
I would crochet them togeither as sewing. Well they some times come apart if not done right. I have not done them myself but I have seen it done. Let me know how it goes. I mite it it a shot. I did start one and just kept going on it. it covered a queen size bed. Have a nice day. Your friend onlydia
2 people like this
@the_evil (46)
• Philippines
2 Oct 08
yah! ofcourse i will join you!
1 person likes this
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
2 Oct 08
LOL, you crochet? Really?
1 person likes this
@mtdewgurl74 (18118)
• United States
3 Oct 08
I love granny squares I have made throws and even purses house shoes and other things using the granny square. I have done both stitched(blanket stitch and crocheted them together. crochet is easier for me since it is faster. but sometimes the stitched together looks prettier. My mom done a star granny it wasn't a granny but it looked so pretty it starburst with other colors.
1 person likes this
• United States
2 Oct 08
I do the granny squares & I always sew them together as I am afraid that if crochet them together if the end that holds them together gets pulled by accident then the whole thing will come apart so that is why I sew them I have a problem sewing them togehter too the blanket gets so big when putting it together have a good day