I have no idea when it was that the idea came to me. It might have been in discussion with my friend Gemma. It might have been looking at crochet jumpers in the High Street store, Zara. It might have been the aftermath of finishing my last book on Granny Squares, but the notion came upon me. I needed, felt compelled to make a Granny Square Jacket.
Making a crochet Granny Square Jacket is not a task to embark upon lightly. In the 1970’s a granny square jacket was ‘de-rigeur’ and like many aspects of fashion from this period, the Granny Square can veer from striking and fashionable over to mad and a bit batty. Having written ALOT of patterns this year, I knew this design was just for me. No noting down, no scaling up for different sizes. A one of unique, bespoke project. I did a fair bit of research before I began my design, I looked at Pinterest and vintage 70’s patterns to work out how many squares I should make and the very best arrangement.
Any Granny Square garment is quite a fashion statement. I decided that I wanted to tone down the look with a block colour sleeve. I also know from experience that you have to really be very careful with the crochet stitches you choose so not to make very stiff and bulky garments. For that reason it occurred to me that it might be better to knit the sleeves. I did not take the easy route my friends and chose the very beautiful but labour intensive double moss stitch. So before I began any part of the crochet I knitted the two sleeves. They took quite a bit of time, but it was a discipline I felt I had to follow.
When I got onto the granny squares the project seem to fly by. I had just a couple of rules. There were to be no half-squares or triangles. I endeavoured to keep the colours evenly spread and the last round of each square had to be completed in the signature red. I forgot to mention that I chose to use Stylecraft Life DK and I chose bright and purposefully clear colours. When I was at University I had quite a few bright red jackets. Red is one of my happy colours and even as I get older the colour still suits me, so why not.
I blocked all the squares when they were all completed and marked out the layout. Each square was attached using a slip stitch seam in rows. This is a firm yet flat seam, to create a nice cohesive material.
When the body was finally constructed I seamed the sleeves and added a crochet linen stitch cuff and linen stitch around the hem of the jacket, the button band and the collar. In my first pass at this I found the neck opening too floppy and open and so I added a few more rows and finally decided to add a moss stitch collar. The final garment is far more wearable because of these additions.
Am I pleased with the final jacket? Yes I think so – I have worn it many times and when I was shopping the other day my friend recognised my jacket before they recognised me – so certainly this Granny Square Jacket is eye catching – good or bad.