Take a wild guess how many useful options come up when you Google “granny square projects for men.” I’ll give you a hint: It’s roughly zero. And not really a surprise.
Still, I thought my brother should have a little something from our grandmother’s granny square stash, and he agreed. Granny squares don’t exactly scream “twentysomething guy” to me, but I did my best to not be too girly and to make something that could live among his things without being too sore-thumb-like. A throw pillow seemed like a decent choice.
Project #3: Pillow Cover
For: My brother
Squares used: 9 (1 six-round four-color, 1 six-round two-color, 4 five-round three-color, 2 four-round two-color, 1 four-round one-color)
Step 1: Modify and/or supplement the squares
My sister and I selected these squares on his behalf, mostly picking out (
the ugly ones we didn’t want for ourselves) blues, blacks, and grays to go with his bedroom.
Once again, I had a pile of squares that were different sizes. I needed them all to have five rounds (except for the two at the top that already had six). The four on the right already had five, which meant there were only three squares that needed an extra round.
I used some black from Granny’s stash, and some grey from my own, and that gave me seven five-round squares ready to get their connecting rounds added, plus the two six-round squares that would be used as-is.
I arranged them in a 3×3 grid, and distributed the various colors as much as possible, and put the two six-round squares in corner spots. That would make it easier for the other squares to be joined into them.
Step 2: Join the squares
Joining the squares was just a simple matter of adding a sixth round to each of the five-round squares, connecting them into their neighbors as I went. I chose various shades of red, blue, white, and gray for the connecting rounds.
Step 3: Finish and enjoy
I wove in the ends and blocked the top to square it up to 16-inches. Ish. All that remained was to turn it into a pillow cover.
Around the house, I found a maroon throw pillow, which was a good color to use. You have to be careful about that – granny squares have holes in them and it’s possible to see the pillow inside. I picked up a gray fleece blanket at the thrift shop and cut two 17″ x 12″ pieces from it for the backing. The blanket already had a decorative stitch around the outside edge, which I thought would give the envelope opening a nicely-finished look, so I made sure one of the long sides of each rectangle included that edging.
I machine-stitched the granny square piece to the two fleece sections (with right sides together), turned it right-side out, inserted the pillow, and that was it! (The bottom photo shows the back of the pillow.)
Here it is in its native habitat.
Project #3, used nine of Granny’s squares (three of which were modified by me), and little bits of new yarn in various colors.
The original blocks were most likely made from worsted weight acrylic yarn, or some kind of acrylic/wool blend. All of the additional yarn I used was a washable worsted weight acrylic/wool/nylon blend (Berroco Vintage) a washable acrylic/wool blend (Ella Rae Amity) or a superwash merino/wool blend (Nashua Creative Focus).
I used a G (4mm) hook.
I’ve known the basics of envelope pillow construction for some time, and that’s what I did here, however I was definitely inspired by this tutorial for making a pillow cover with a granny square top and a sweater back. I just lost patience with the hand-sew method (it didn’t work as well with polyester fleece as it would have with a wool sweater) and did roughly the same thing by machine.
Before and after.
Next on the list? Just finished up my mother’s table runner…