Why I Love This Unfinished Granny Square Afghan

I bought this afghan at a yard sale. It was love at first sight, even though one edge is unfinished and the overall piece is so small (about 1.5′ x 4′). I told myself I could patch the hole by taking off the last row of granny squares and using one of them, but I haven’t done it yet. I’m afraid I’ll ruin it if I try to cut it up.

The incomplete afghan I bought at a yard sale.
The incomplete afghan I bought at a yard sale.

Why did I fall in love with this unfinished cast off? Part of it is the mix of colors in each square. The wide range of colors apparently chosen at random remind me of my favorite antique scrap quilts, made with tiny pieces of hundreds of fabrics with no concern about making something that matches the decor.


Part of it is the complexity of the granny squares. I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with so many colors in each square. The design is so dramatic, with each flower set off by an intricate, colorful frame.


But I imagine the real reason I love it so much is because it reminds me of my grandmother. She was a prolific crocheter and made many afghans. I’m fortunate to own three of them, including the one she made for me in blue and white as a graduation present. None of them are granny squares, but they are all beautiful to me.

They are made of heavy acrylic yarns that never fade. I don’t like working with that sort of yarn myself, but the touch of them is so familiar and so strongly associated with my grandmother that I find them comforting. I love wrapping up on the sofa with one of grandma’s afghans and reading a book. The warmth doesn’t come just from the blanket, but from the love she put into every stitch.


I rescued this piece because I admire the work that went into and the beauty of it. I would love to fill in that hole, to honor whoever started but didn’t get to finish this lovely piece.

However, the more I look at it, the more I realize the best thing to do is to make an additional square, rather than trying to take the end apart. That seems like a big challenge. I’m not much of a crocheter. Finding this pattern might be tough, let alone yarns that will go with what has already been done. I have to get my work to come out the same size, which I know from past needlework collaborations is no mean feat.

If nothing else, I will display it folded over a chair back, so the fact that a square is missing doesn’t show. That way I can still admire the beautiful work and share it with my friends.


Published by

Kit Dunsmore

Kit Dunsmore has believed in the magic underlying the muggle world since she was a child searching for the Shetland pony pooka she was sure was hiding in her back yard. She learned early on that books were magic doors into other worlds, and that she could revisit a beloved character or place by opening the right book. As she grew, she decided she wanted to make magic with words, too. Today Kit writes about things she loves: poodles and dragons, witches and artists, quirky underdogs and loyal friends. Whether her setting is 6th-century England, the imaginary Twelve Kingdoms, or an art-obsessed version of modern America, magic always finds its way into her story. She enjoys turning fairy tales inside out and watching characters sacrifice everything to reach their goal, but she also believes in happy endings. When she isn't writing, Kit experiences magic by making things with her hands. Over the years, she's made quilts, fabric sculptures, collages, sweaters, and blank books. Her newest interest is learning how to spin her own yarn, a skill guaranteed to strengthen one of her many delusions: that she is a self-sufficient pioneer woman. She also thinks she is a hobbit, a witch, an artist, and a good cook. Living in the foothills of Colorado, Kit enjoys the giant skies and prairie landscapes which suit her need for wide open spaces. In addition to hiking through glorious scenery with her husband or imagining herself living in the Middle Ages, Kit works as a pillow for her miniature poodle and polishes the next small piece of her handmade life.

6 thoughts on “Why I Love This Unfinished Granny Square Afghan”

    1. That’s a great idea! My sister suggested making a square that is definitely a different pattern for the hole. If I actually find the pattern for the square, I may be inspired to make the whole thing bigger…. or not. 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a weird place for a hole, but I’ve never put one together, so I’m not sure how it’s done. I’m guessing a miscount on number of blocks, but that still doesn’t explain why the hole is on the side.

      If I finish it, there will be more pictures. 🙂


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