Friday, June 27, 2014

Crazy Granny Stashghan

If you Google granny stripe afghan, you can find photos of beautiful, color-coordinated crocheted afghans, many in rainbow hues, and some with elaborate borders.  And then there's this:

What I call my crazy granny stashghan.  I admit, calling it "crazy granny" is a little bit politically incorrect.  After all, most grandmothers are not crazy.  My own grandmothers were both hardworking women.  

My paternal grandmother married a Pennsylvania coal miner and raised ten children.  They never had much money, and she never had much free time until she was older.  She was a talented lady though.  She designed and cut her own patterns and sewed clothes for her kids.  She could draw and paint; I'm told she drew beautiful horses. When she was older, she loved Avon and always colored her hair and painted her nails.

My maternal grandmother married a bit later in life.  She married a widower with six children, one of whom wasn't quite two yet, I believe.  She then had two children of her own.  She was a farm wife who cooked three hearty meals a day, every day because farm work was hard work with a mule to plow with and tobacco worms to pick off the plants by hand.  She killed the chickens herself, churned the butter, and made quilts out of flour sacks.  My father, her son-in-law, said she made the best biscuits he ever tasted.  In later years, she lived with her oldest daughter, my aunt, and was the quietest, calmest person I have ever known.

I look back now and wish I'd taken more time to talk to my grandmothers, to hear the stories of their lives.  There are so many things I'll never know.

Perfect for lounging on the hammock.

This is the second granny stripe afghan I have made, both using up excess, leftover yarn from my yarn stash.  Honest, the only yarn I bought was some extra pink and teal to finish the border.  This crazy afghan is a mix of acrylic, wool, and even some cotton.  I love making these because they are so easy to do.  The only pain is weaving in all the ends.  


  1. I love those stories about your hardworking and creative grandmas. So typical for women their age.

    Those granny stripe afghans are simply gorgeous. What a great way to use left-over yarn.

  2. I love your crazy granny afghans. Funny how you're busy using up your yarn oddments and I'm busy trying to use up my fabric scraps....By the way, I want a hammock like yours! Thanks for sharing the stories of your grandmothers. It was really interesting.

  3. I loved hearing about your grandmothers -- mine did the same things.. wringing the necks of chickens for dinner and feeding their hard working husbands and kids 3 tasty meals every single day. I think your thrifty grandmas are the reason for your thrifty and fun stash busting blankets.. I adore them! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. I love this post, I only knew one of my Grandmother's and oh she was something! I love the granny blanket, great colors and perfect design.

  5. I love reading about your grandmothers and your afghan is a real treasure. There is something very comforting about snuggling up in a hand made with love afghan.

  6. Oh! I'm so glad you stopped by as I lost touch with you. I've written your blog address down now so I can put you on/in my list. I love your stashghan! I went crazy with some bright colors when I first got back into crocheting but I've settled down a bit now and found I really prefer more muted colors especially colors that makes it look like it's been in the family for generations. Yours is lovely!
    and hats off to your grandmothers....they were strong, capable and amazing women!

  7. I love your crazy granny afghan and the stories of your grandmothers, too! My grandmother never had much in the way of money, and she didn't do any sewing or knitting, but she could whip up a delicious meal for any guest who happened to drop by.

    I've been getting back to knitting again, and I think I'd like to do something like this with all my leftover skeins. Weaving ends in after the project is complete is definitely the worst part! You've done a great job!

  8. Love love your crazy granny stashghan! I wish I knew how to knit...

  9. A great post. I also loved hearing about such wonderful women. Your granny afghan is so homely and really takes you back to the roots of crochet. Such a good place to visit x

  10. Your afghan is just beautiful! I love the way you used up scraps. And grandma had 10 children! Wow! I thought my two were a handful. Sometimes I wish I could pop over to those times, and those kinds of lives for just a day or two because it's hard to imagine. But only a day or two because I have to get back to my computer, smartphone, and digital cameras!

  11. I enjoyed this post so much. I too wish I would have taken more time to hear all my grandma's stories.
    Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Your grandmothers certainly were hard-working. I don't think we'll ever understand or appreciate how hard life was back then. They also had the depression and the world wars to endure. Like you I wish I'd spent more time getting to know my grandmothers. One of mine died when I was 11 so I wasn't given much of a chance to get to know her. My other grandmother sounds a lot like the first grandmother you mentioned. She raised five children, never had much money, was talented with knitting and crocheting and used to make these gorgeous afghan rugs. I see you have inherited your grandmother's talent xx

  13. I love this! May just have to do one myself, would make a great car blanket :)
    Visiting whilst blog-hopping :)
    Jill at

  14. Beautiful work and love your stories. We are trying to get my MIL to write down her tales for her great grand children so that they live on for the future

  15. I visited from Hotlyspiced because the name of your blog in the comments caught my eye and spotted the knitted baskets. And then your crazy afghans.

    The posts made me smile because I can just picture my mom doing the same sorts of thing ... just starting crocheting without a clear cut size of basket or afghan in mind but wanting to do SOMETHING with her extra yarn. Instead of afghans though, she made slip-on slippers and oval throw rugs for the bathrooms. I can still picture my dad shuffling around the house in his very colourful slippers and wish that I still had one that I could slip onto my cold feet right now. The slippers I buy in the store just aren't as warm. They weren't make with my mom's work worn hands and with love.


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