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.
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.