scrappystickyinkymess

Blocked Granny Squares holder

8 Comments

The last of my sidetracked posts, where I drift away from scrappy, sticky and inky, but retain the mess….

The other day I mentioned that I wanted to create a storage system for my dried, blocked Granny squares.  Maybe it’s the acrylic yarn, maybe it was that I didn’t wet them enough, but I found that once unpinned from the blocking board they did retract a little.  Not much, but over time, who knows?  I started just pinning the stacks onto the blocking board but I really need THAT for actual blocking so wanted to come up with something else. So I did.

Points to note

  1. This does not need to be as waterproof as the blocking board – I am gong to be storing blocked but DRIED squares
  2. It doesn’t have to be big.  Assuming you are working on only one project, it can be small.
  3. There are very probably other choices for materials.  As usual, my goal was, if not to recycle, then at least use things I had to hand rather than spending money

What I used:

  • an old pizza box from a scrapbooking kit delivery
  • a leftover chunk of wallpaper
  • bamboo skewers
  • a chunk of styrofoam packaging
  • a handful of cheap larger eyelets (my Cropadile tells me 3/16ths inch)
  • a piece of scrapbooking paper I will NEVER use
  • contact paper

First I took the scrapbook paper and marked out squares, from 3 to 8 inches.  All the squares shared the same corner point.  I also marked out 3, 4, and 5 inch squares from the opposing corner.  Cover it with contact paper – although the squares SHOULD be dry, if I were to mistakenly add a damp one, I want the paper to be protected.

blockstorage

I know that is hard to see, but this will hopefully make it clearer. The six top squares will share the top left corner (oops – now where did that black do go??) and the three lower squares share the lower right.

blocker

Now you are going to punch holes and add eyelets to define the squares.  My skewers did NOT FIT in the smaller scrapbooking eyelets – test your skewers in your eyelets first.

The base is simply a pizza box with the sides cut off.  I stuck them together in a stack and covered them with the wallpaper piece,

2blockstorage

then stuck the eyelet-riddled paper to the top.

3blockstorage

The skewers were sharp enough to punch thru the wallpaper, the pizza box cardboard, and into a block of styrofoam – that was both to protect whatever it was sitting on, and give better support to keep the skewers upright.

I did lightly sand the skewers (plastic Pick-Up-Sticks were my first choice but they are a bit too flimsy and bendy) just to remove any rough bits but overall these were pretty smooth.  I threaded a skewer thru the corner chain-space then stuck that thru the top corner eyelet.  Peg out the remaining corners to hold the squares in place.

4blockstorage

You can do two different sizes and let them share a skewer, like you see above. Just to show you how it could work.

This will hold my squares happily at the right size, till all are done and blocked.  And I can store a TON of them – there are 6 of the small ones pegged out and you can see I can fit 10x that.  If, as the stack grows, the tension makes the skewers go a bit wonky, I punched inch-increment holes in a bit of foam core to create a brace for them, like so:

5blockstorage

Yes, it was a bit of work to accomplish, but it will keep my squares in shape so I don’t have to RE-block them if it takes me longer than I expect to finish.  {wink} I will be interested if anyone finds the idea useful, or if they just think it’s a pointless extra step – for me, as it so often is, it was about bringing the random idea in my head to life.  I think it’s useful, but is it NECESSARY?  Maybe not, given I have NEVER blocked a Granny square before and I’ve made LOTS of crochet over the years, but maybe yes, as I can already see this is going to give me nice even squares to join, rather than concave bowls, and for ME, not having to struggle to hold wonky bowls lined up to crochet or whip stitch together makes it worth it.

 

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8 thoughts on “Blocked Granny Squares holder

  1. to my knowledge, acrylics will not retain the blocked shape unless they are steamed lightly. Once you do that, you can take them off and stack them up. Part of what is causing the problem is that they have a circular beginning and keep wanting to go back to that. The square ones in the photo to the right would probably no t even need to be blocked.

    • Interesting – I have always read that acrylic will hold it’s shape even with wet blocking but cotton will not. More investigation is needed I think 🙂
      MA

  2. I think the acrylic yarn is also the problem. You also might want to try using a larger needle. This might make your stitches a little looser, which might help everything stay flatter in the first place. Although I’ve only been crochet for a couple of months, so what do I really know?

    • I’m actually trying to train myself to loosen up and keeping the same hook size 🙂 I find that so long as I don’t let the feeding yarn (from ball or skein) get too taut then I can manage a looser stitch. I think to get it to lay flat I would have to be REALLY loose, too loose to look good. I did try a larger hook at first but didn’t like the look of it – I can’t explain, it just looked floppy and stringy. It’s the nature of circles, I fear. I’ll see how I finish and adjust for the future.
      Thanks for the tip.

      MA

  3. Love your idea!

  4. Wow, your ingenuity is amazing!

  5. I don’t knit or crochet, but this looks like a brilliant idea. Your curiosity and problem solving abilities are amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Had another thought. I agree with the first commenter. I worked in picture framing many years ago and when a needlework was brought in for framing it would be blocked (they would staple it to a board – that wouldn’t work for your squares), then sprayed lightly with water and left to dry overnight. It would keep its shape after that. Just a thought. Hope this helps.

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