DIY granny square rug
Get your craft on with this simple granny square pattern from Kate Ulman of Foxslane.
Author, blogger and organic farmer Kate Ulman, is one crafty mother who admits she’s happiest when her hands are busy crocheting, knitting, cutting or stitching. “I have been crafty for as long as I can remember. Being a mother of three girls and working as a farmer doesn’t leave much spare time in my days though so I am careful to always have a project with me just in case I have a few moments to knit a couple of rows of a beanie or unpick a hem. School assemblies, sitting around bon-fires, waiting for appointments, listening to readers, waiting for the pasta to boil, any few moments will do.”
Kate and her partner Brendan run Daylesford Organics a mixed farm in Victoria’s lush spa country. “The fact that we are certified organic means that as well as farming without synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, we feel a great responsibility to the land we live on. Brendan often talks about being more of a soil farmer than a food farmer. And we try to give our animals a life as close to what they would live in the wild as we can while protecting them from predators.”
Kate’s popular blog foxslane is an inspiring, personal glimpse of her idyllic life on the farm, full of tips, recipes, projects and insightful commentary on growing, cooking and making – modern day homesteading.
“When you make something yourself from scratch you are involved from the design process all the way through to completion. You choose your pattern, find ingredients you love and believe in, and then you spend time with your project as it grows and evolves,” says Kate. “I feel that when things are made with love, they are used and cared for with love. It is so quick and easy to buy everything we need these days. We chuck stuff out when it breaks rather than try to fix it, we buy without long term thought and we support industries that perhaps aren’t always the kindest on the environment or their employees.”
A great yarn
Late last year Kate went to a garage sale around the corner from where she lives. “This guy’s mother had died not long before and he was selling all of her belongings,” she recalls. “There was a gypsy wagon, a puppet theatre, several weaving looms and spinning wheels, stationery, paints and all these other treasures.
“We were there for ages and just as we were about to tally up our loot and leave another guy came along and asked for a price on eight tubs of yarn scraps. Until that moment the last thing I wanted was a bunch of someone else’s musty scraps, but once he did, I did. So I begged one tub off him and brought it home with the promise to myself that I would make a blanket with her yarn before the next year was through.”
Eight months later, Kate dedicated her granny-square blanket to that granny. “I reckon from what I saw of her, that she’d really like it too.”
Kate’s granny square rug pattern*
For this project I am using AUS/UK terms. The crochet stitches are chain stitch (ch), slip stitch (ss) and treble stitch (tr). YouTube is a great resource if you are unfamiliar with these stitches or any of the terms I have used in the pattern. This square is worked in four colours (A,B,C,D).
- Using colour A ch 4 and join with a ss to the first ch to form a ring.
- Round one – Using colour A, 5ch, (3 tr into the ring, 2 ch) 3 times, 2tr into the ring, join with a ss to the 3rd of the 5ch. Fasten off colour A.
- Round two – Join colour B with a ss to a 2-ch corner space, 5ch, 3tr in same corner space, *1ch, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next 2-ch corner space.** Repeat from * to ** twice more, 1ch, 2tr in same corner space as 5-ch at the beginning of the round, join with a ss to 3rd of 5-ch. Fasten off colour B.
- Round three – Join colour C with a ss to a 2-ch corner space, 5ch, 3tr in same corner space, *1ch, 3tr in next 1ch space, 1ch, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next 2-ch corner space**. Repeat from * to ** twice more, 1ch, 3tr in next 1-ch space, 1ch, 2tr in same space as 5-ch at beginning of the round, join with a ss to 3rd of 5-ch. Fasten off colour C.
- Round four – Join colour D with a ss to a 2-ch corner space, 5 ch, 3tr in same corner space, *(1ch, 3tr in next 1-ch space)twice, 1ch, (3tr, 2ch, 3tr) in next 2-ch corner space.**Repeat from * to ** twice more, (1ch, 3tr in next 1-ch space) twice, 1ch, 2tr in same space as 5-ch at beginning of the round, join with a ss to the 3rd of 5ch. Fasten off colour D.
Hooray!! You’ve made your first granny square, now onto the next one.
*(this pattern assumes basic crochet knowledge)
Photos Kate Ulman
Interview Jacqueline Forster
This edited article first appeared in ABC Organic Gardener magazine.