I love rag quilts; don't you? When I put together my list of crochet quilt patterns, I didn't come across any patterns that resemble the raggy, scrappy quilts I love most. I didn't find anybody else doing this, so I started to wonder if there is any way to mimic the look of a rag quilt in crochet.
This technique is one idea I came up with, and I just gave it a try by practicing on four small, easy granny squares. I thought I would share the results with you.
Pros and Cons to This Method of Joining Granny Squares:
Pros: I think this look has quite a bit of interesting design potential! Also, it would be a fantastic way to use up lots of short bits and pieces of scrap yarn that would otherwise be wasted. The pieces I used to make this were not even long enough to crochet a flower.
Cons: I have not yet tested this to see how secure the join is, but at this point I am not convinced it's a sturdy join. Depending on how susceptible your fringe yarn is to coming apart, I'm thinking it probably also needs to be hand washed. With that in mind, I think it's best used for projects that will not be subjected to heavy wear and tear -- perhaps decorative throw pillows on a bed, or some such.
I am sure the method could be improved on, and if it interests you to do so, I invite you to innovate improvements.
Also, this method is a bit tedious. It reminds me of working latch hook as a child. (Anybody remember those?)
How to Do the Rag Quilt Style Join, AKA the Fringed Join:
- Prepare the Yarn: Cut a zillion little pieces of yarn to be used for joining the squares. I haven't yet determined if there's an ideal size for this, so feel free to experiment. I used longish pieces to start with and trimmed them a bit when I was finished. I think it's best to err a bit on the long side.
- Position Your Squares: You could hold the squares together, right sides out and wrong sides facing each other; or alternately you could set your squares side by side with the edges touching, on a table or flat surface, right side up.
- Begin the Joining Process: Insert your crochet hook into the inner loops -- meaning the back loop of the square closest to you, and the front loop of the square furthest from you.
- Grab a small piece of yarn on your hook; you'll want to grab it right in the middle. Pull it part way through so that you've pulled up a loop but haven't pulled it all the way through. Wrap your hook back around the loose tails of yarn and pull both the loose tails through your loop. Give the ends a tug to tighten.
- Repeat all the way across.
- To make my join fluffier, I went back in and added two more rows of fringe working through the remaining free loops -- one on each side of the join.
- When I was finished, I went back in with scissors and cut all the raggedy uneven edges down a bit so they were closer in length. They are still not all exactly the same length, which I think makes for a visually interesting design. Before I cut them the pieces of yarn were drastically different lengths and it didn't look good at all.
Materials Used for This Project:
To make my sample piece, I used the easy beginner's granny square pattern, which is available for free on our website.
I used white baby yarn (Bernat Softee baby yarn) to crochet the squares; I used a random assortment of "baby girl" colors to do the join -- prettiest pink, soft peach, pink, and pale lilac. I used the colors at random, without giving it a lot of thought. I am sure this colorway could be improved on.
So there you have it -- the rag-quilt inspired join, AKA the fringed join for granny squares. I hope this technique inspires you!