I’m pretty sure that many of us have a spot like this in our homes–a table or counter where the everyday stuff of living accumulates. In my case, it’s our dining room table, which, to be honest, is not usually used for dining. We eat dinner watching the news in our TV room/library, though given the tenor of the news lately, it’s probably not good for the digestion to do so, but it’s cozy. I blog at our dining room table, and sometimes do crafts, and meanwhile, stuff drifts down on the table like really big, heavy snow–mail, library books, more library books, DVDs, winter hats, medical folders–all forming toppling drifts of stuff. It doesn’t help that cats accumulate on the table as well–Rocket likes to perch on Jim’s hats, gathering himself into a little turkey-shaped ball. At any rate, the other day I surveyed the wreckage–the piles of stuff, the folders, the cats, and declared war. This must stop! I wanted a clean, neat serene center to our home. I set to work. It took a while because I had to face that the worst enemy of our dining room table is me! I had been using it as a craft table, and craft-related stuff had gathered there. So I sorted, neatened, straightened, and threw away, and soon the table looked great. I polished it, using a homemade beeswax furniture polish (see Oct. 6, 2011 post). As one last touch, I crocheted a simple table mat, using indigo-colored cotton string. I placed the mat at the center of the table, and a cat sat on it immediately, looking pleased. This must stop!
The table mat is just a big granny square, but it looks quite handsome crocheted with the indigo-colored cotton string. Granny squares may seem “countrified,” but I think it all depends on what you crochet with. I could definitely see a summer-weight afghan made with cream-colored cotton string. Just crochet big squares and join them together to the desired size. If price were no object, an afghan of squares crocheted with Lopi wool yarn would be so soft and warm.
Granny Square Table Mat
Materials: One ball of Lily Sugar’n Cream cotton yarn, 2-1/2 oz. in Indigo, or shade desired, and crochet hook size H/8.
How to: Ch 4, join with sl st to first ch to form ring.
Rnd 1: 5 ch (count as 1 dc and 2 ch), [3 dc in ring, 2 ch] 3 times, 2dc into ring, sl st to 3rd of 5 ch.
Rnd 2: Sl st into next ch, 5 ch (count as 1 dc and 2 ch), 3 dc into same sp, *1 ch, skip 3 dc, [3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc] into next sp; rep from * twice, 1 ch, skip 3 sts, 2 dc into the same sp as 5 ch at beg of round, sl st to 3rd ch of 5 ch.
Rnd 3: Sl st into next ch, 5 ch (count as 1 dc and 2 ch), 3 dc into same sp, *1 ch, skip 3 dc, 3 dc into next sp, 1 ch, skip 3 dc**, [3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc] into next sp; rep from *twice and from * to ** again, 2 dc into same sp as 5 ch, sl st to 3rd of 5 ch.
Rnd 4: Sl st into next ch, 5 ch (count as 1 dc and 2 ch), 3 dc into same sp, *[1 ch, skip 3 dc, 3 dc into next sp] twice, 1 ch, skip 3 dc** , [3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc] into next sp; rep from *twice and from * to ** again, 2 dc into same sp as 5 ch, sl st to 3rd of 5 ch.
Continue until you use up the yarn. Fasten off. My square measures 13-1/2 x 13-1/2″ and has 14 rows.
Note: There a a number of different versions of granny squares, differing mainly in how to jump from one row to the next. If you have a version you are familiar with, please use it, as the result will look the same
Granny square afghans can be really beautiful, and I include an afghan here I purchased at a garage sale. I will never know who made it, but I appreciate her artistry every day. In real life, the joining yarn is more blue, not grey as it looks here.