Home Decor: January 2013 Archives
Granny Squares are the Chevrons of the crochet world. They are super hot right now and go with everything. But they don't have to be the granny squares of era's past; today's granny squares have blended in inspirations from floral, Asian and whimsical aspects of pop culture. Granny Squares rose to stardom in the 1970's where they dominated the knitwear scene. Today they are stars for different reasons: they are an excellent way to use up small amounts of yarn, they are quick and they are comforting. The granny squares look has worked its way into toys, décor and apparel unlike the 1970's though it is only the technique that has been incorporated.
Here are some of my favorite free granny square patterns.
Crochet Spot's Granny Square with a Flower is a very simple granny square with a lotus like flower floating in the center. The look is gorgeous because it is uncluttered.
Yarning has also created a floral based granny square but she has created hers in a more traditional fashion. You can see how this square works into a complete blanket which is incredible.
Hop Scotch Lane has taken granny squares to a new level. One project is a giant granny square blanket worked in beautiful yellow tones and another is an owl with a granny square belly.
But my favorite is Repeat Crafter Me's Owl Granny Square which is a traditional granny square with an owl worked first that stands out from the granny square background. You can work the owl without the background and use is as an appliqué. I made two using the pattern and let me tell you they are fun and easy. I made a girl version (pink, light green and teal) and a boy version (brown, navy, grey) using Lion Brand's Wool Ease. I loved making them and am planning on working up an afghan using this pattern and a traditional granny square pattern together.
The idea of a giant polka dot wall came to me as I was watching one of my favorite HGTV Shows: Sarah's House. One scene is a glimpse of her office which features a wall covered in circular paint chips. Sarah's paint chips are hanging on hooks but the idea of similar feature jumping into my head for my daughters' room. I set out to make it immediately and all it took was a book of scrapbooking paper, my Fiskars Circle Cutter and a box of thumbtacks (Oh and many hours). Here's how to make your own Polka Dot Wall.
One box of Silver Thumbtacks (I purchased a box of 200 from Amazon)
First work on all of your paper with the wrong side facing up, it is easier to cut this way and if you are working with glitter paper or shiny paper the cutter slides though it much better with the wrong side up.
Tape down your paper to prevent it from sliding while you cut and draw lines down the center of your paper vertically and horizontally, this will make a grid of 4 on the back of your paper. Set your cutter to 5.5'' and place it in the center of one squares of your grid. Cut your circle following the directions from my previous blog: Notional Notions Circle Cutter. Cut 4 circles from each sheet of paper and continue until all sheets of paper have been cut or you have enough polka dots for your wall (Mine has approx. 140 dots). Cut one final dot from a piece of scrape paper as your thumbtack guide (see pictures below). This will help you place the thumbtack in the center every time. Fold the guide in quarters and then open it back up. The 2 fold lines meet in the middle at the exact center, place a thumb tack there and remove. Cut a small wedge out of the guide, like a piece of pie. To use the guide you will place it over a dot, insert a thumb tack in the center of both the guide and dot then remove the guide by sliding it off the dot and thumb tack.
Next, layout your dots in small stacks of color and pattern so you can easily grab the next dot. You can start either in the center or one of the bottom corners and begin randomly placing your dots allowing at least 1'' between dots and no more than 3'' (this will give you a nice saturated look without looking over-crowded). You can layout your dot on a grid pattern by using a clear quilting ruler and chalk lines. I preferred a random layout because it reminded me of bubbles rising to the surface.
I placed my Polka Dot wall right above our crib to give my newborn an interesting piece of art to study when she is playing or (hopefully) putting herself to sleep in the upcoming months. The scale is much grander than a small mobile and will keep her entertained for hours. The patterns are sophisticated enough to grow with her. My 3 yr old also loves the wall and decides each day which dot is her favorite. This is wall art that can stay with them through the years.
Tassels have hit it big this season, though not as big as the chevron or pom-pom, I think they will grow in popularity even more in 2013. Like Pom poms making your own tassels is the key to a hot look this season. Making your own ensures no one else will have your look, color or texture. Tassels are very versatile which is why they are so hot right now. Their many uses includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings, curtain tie backs, trim, blanket fringe and pillow tassels just to name a few.
To make your tassel select your yarn and cut a piece 8-10'' long and lay it perpendicular to the direction you will be wrapping your yarn (see pictures for examples); this will be your tie. Begin wrapping your yarn around your tool and continue until you have half the thickness of the tassel you want (then wrap a little more just to be sure). Clip your yarn off the skein opposite of your tie and then knot your tie around all your wrapped yarn and knot if again. Slide the tassel off your tool and cut the yarn directly opposite of your tie. Pull on the tie and grab all the yarn about ¾'' to 1'' below the tie and begin wrapping your tassel with your yarn (or other if you choose). Wrap until you get the look you desire and knot of your yarn and clip a long tail. Thread a tapestry needle with your tail and feed the needle into your tassel and down to disguise your knot and tail. Trim your ends and use your tassel.