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You Can Make Anything With Granny Squares

The granny square is one of the most ubiquitous, widely-recognized pieces of fibercraft out there. Almost everyone can remember finding one of those colorful, black-trimmed, usually scratchy afghans in their house, or the house of someone they knew. Like much of the history of crochet and knitting, the exact origins of the granny square are unknown, though, according to this source, one was published in 1897 as a "Patchwork Square" in Weldon's Practical Needlework.

The popularity of the granny square makes logical sense -- they're great for using up small pieces of yarn, so they could be made cheaply with leftovers, or even from sweaters that had fallen apart. During times like the Great Depression, it was vital to be able to reuse and remake items to save money. The squares are versatile as well -- they can be made into blankets, potholders, dishcloths, or pieces of clothing, as was evidenced by their popularity in fashions of the 1970s. Today, they're everywhere, from high fashion to the classic, and they're an icon of the crochet world.

Interested in making something out of the popular granny square? Here are several patterns that use them, both traditionally and with a modern twist.

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  • Collette Griffith

    I've been making granny squares for many years! Hats, purses, afghans, scarves, vests, bookmarks...let's see...there are so MANY ways to use granny squares! I LOVE them!C