Remember your first piece of crochet?

This is what it looks like now.  Feel old yet?

Get it? Because it’s a GRANNY square?

Oh, the granny square.  A staple among crocheters, a harbinger of bad dreams for older crafters who lived through the 1970s, the granny square is actually even older than your granny.

Patterns as far back as the mid-1800s include instructions for the granny square, although in its younger days, it was quite the looker, and went by the name “patchwork square.”  It had probably been a crochet staple for quite a while before it made it into print, but the first record found so far is from Weldon’s Practical Needlework, which published its patchwork square pattern in 1897.

Even back then, crocheters were taking advantage of the granny square’s benefits.  The description for the pattern notes how handy it is for using up scraps of yarn.  Once you’ve collected enough scraps to make a bunch of squares, you can sew them together into blankets or rugs.

During the Great Depression, the ‘waste-not-want-not’ quality of the granny square made it an excellent way to get the most out of the least.

The Joy of Granny-Squaring, from 1974


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