I was pleased to see in the Guardian today that crafting hobbies like knitting and sewing have soared in popularity during the lockdown. The craft beating all the others hand down, however, was my own beloved crochet.
I’ve long been a fan; finding it so much easier than knitting and so much less fiddly than sewing. I even wrote an article a couple of years ago about its benefits as a mindfulness tool, which I’ve dusted off for you today… So if you’d like to try it for the first time, or just want a new fun pattern to make, try these Mitred Granny Square and Granny Ripple patterns – you could be well on your way to crocheting your own inner peace.
There are loads of videos online showing you how to get started with these particular stitches. If you’re fairly new to crochet, I recommend watching one before trying the instructions below.
Mitred Granny Square
For the five-colour mitered granny square, you’ll need five colours of the same type of yarn. Try worsted weight acrylic for a snuggly, easy-to-wash finish that won’t break the bank. You’ll also need an appropriately-sized hook, scissors, and a tapestry needle. If you use a 5.5 or 6mm hook, you should get a square which is between 7 and 8 inches in size.
Sl st slip stitch
Dc double crochet
* repeat from this asterisk as many times as asked.
Start with a slip knot and ch5, join with sl st.
Row 1: ch3, then 2dc into ring for your first granny shell or cluster. *Ch2, then 3dc into ring, *rep twice more. Join into last ch of initial ch3 with a sl st.
Row 2: ch3 and turn. Working into corner space, 2dc. Ch2, then 3dc into same corner space. *Ch1 then 3dc, 2ch, 3dc, *rep three times. Ch1 and sl st into last ch of initial ch3. Fasten off.
Row 3: with second yarn color, join at top right hand corner and ch3. 2 dc into corner space, ch1, 3dc into next sp, ch1, 3dc, 2ch, 3dc, ch1, 3dc, ch1, 3dc, ch3.
Row 4: turn work and 3dc into first space. Then ch1 and 3dc into next sp, ch1, 3dc, ch2, 3dc and ch1, continue this pattern until the last 3dc, then ch1 and 1dc into the top of the ch3 from the row below.
Row 5 and onwards: this pattern now continues, with 3dc, 2ch, 3dc at each corner and 3dc, 1ch on straight sides, until the square reaches your desired size, with a color change every two rows.Pro tip: Mitered granny squares can be sewn up to create a variety of patterns, experiment and pick the design you like best. If you pick neon colors, you can create clever optical illusions with the squares.
2. Granny ripple
The good news is that you can use up lots of oddments of yarn in a granny ripple blanket, as long as you choose yarns of the same weight. DK or worsted yarns make a lovely cozy afghan but you may want to choose a lighter yarn, say a baby aran, for a baby blanket. Pick a hook to match your yarn weight. It’s always a good idea to check the ball band for recommendations. You’ll also need a tapestry needle and some scissors.
Ch st chain stitch
Dc double crochet
Sl st slip stitch
Decide how wide you’d like your blanket to be and ch the appropriate number of stitches, in multiples of 18, plus 2.
Row 1: count six chains from your hook (without including the loop on the hook) and work 3dc into that chain. Sk 2ch, 3dc into next ch and repeat once, giving you 3 clusters of 3dc. Now sk 5ch and put 3dc into next ch. This creates your dip at the bottom of each chevron or ripple. Sk 2ch, 3dc into next ch. Sk 2ch again, 3dc into next ch sp. Now ch3 and work 3 more dc into the same ch sp, to create the triangle shape at the top of the chevron or ripple. Continue this pattern, with alternate dips and peaks, until the end of the row. Now ch5 and turn.
Row 2: From now on, work 3dc within the spaces as you come to them, following the pattern of peaks and dips. It’s as simple as that!