How to repair a broken granny square blanket

I was recently asked by the owner of the Artisan Boutique, where I sometimes do some crochet workshops, if it would be possible to mend a customers granny square blanket for her.

The blanket had been so well loved, and passed through a variety of different children in the family, that some of the squares had unravelled or almost disintegrated entirely!

The blanket was in a very sorry state with nine squares in total needing repair but I thought it could be fixed successfully – and I thought you guys might find it useful to know how to repair a granny square blanket too, just in case you are ever faced with a broken granny situation.

Repairing a granny square does take a bit of time! Depending on the severity of hole and the size of the square you’ll need to fix you’ll firstly want to choose a time where you can concentrate and be uninterrupted, as once you are in the process of repairing you really don’t want to be having to get up and run around somewhere.

To give you an example of time to set aside most of the squares I had to fix were of four rounds – and it took me at least an hour to make the new piece and fix that into place (and I’ve been told I’m not a slow crocheter). You could make a fair few brand new granny squares in that time. But for those blankets steeped in family stories and history that NEED to be kept as a keepsake, this method can be a perfect lifesaver!

This method is for any blanket that has a granny square that has unravelled from the centre but that has salvageable sections on the outer edges of the square.

What you will need:

  • Scrap bits of yarn roughly matching the yarn weight, fibre content (e.g. acrylic) and colours of the square you are going to replace,
  • A crochet hook to match the previous gauge, I do this by eye but roughly you’d probably use a 4mm (US size G) for DK (Light Worsted) or 5mm (US size H) for Aran (Worsted). If you are not sure make up a square with a hook first and see if it will fit the gap. A bit smaller is better, then it won’t be prone to sagging when it’s washed at a later date.
  • Sharp pair of scissors,
  • Lots of stitch markers with enough space on them to hold a cluster of three stitches,
  • A large wool / tapestry needle,
  • Optional: A small crochet hook (such as a 2.75 / US size C) to help pass the loop through stitches.
  • Optional: A table. Whilst you can make repairs with your crochet on your knee you’ll find it infinitely easier to fix broken squares working on a flat surface with you sitting comfortably!

Step 1:

Carefully snip away the damaged square to the point where the original stitches / yarn is strong enough. It’s important to not snip or untwist any of the original crochet stitches that are to be kept and worked on.

Sometimes you can save the centre of a square, you have cut away, to use again on a new square, just unravel where possible and use the yarn to remake your new granny square.

Step 2:

Making sure that your granny square blanket is right side facing add your stitch markers to each of the stitches you have saved; to stop them twisting and unravelling whilst you make your repair.

Step 3:

Make a new granny square to fit the space you have cut away. Snip yarn leaving a 10cm (4 inches) yarn tail. Weave in all ends EXCEPT the yarn tail have just crocheted with.

Step 4:

Unravel the last round you have just made to your first 3ch of the round, this will be exactly the amount of yarn you need to fix your new granny square replacement into the relevant gap. Thread your needle onto the yarn tail.

Step 5:

Line up your granny square in the gap so corners correspond and then thread the yarn tail end through the next bottom set of granny stitches.

Then using the small crochet hook pull through the loop of the top of the three chain through the bottom of the first cluster of granny stitches.

Step 6:

With your gauge sized hook; crochet in the next space as you would crochet a usual set of trebles (US double crochet) to make a granny square cluster.

Remove the stitch marker from the end of the cluster you have just passed your yarn / loop through. Double check that your square is still in the right place – it’s very easy to misalign your squares as you work!

To complete a corner, work the first granny square stitches next to the corner as usual, then thread the yarn / loop, through the bottom of TWO cluster of granny stitches (that form the corner), ch2, and then work the next granny square stitches as normal. Adjust the ch2 so that it fits through the bottom of the two clusters of granny stitches.

Step 7:

Continue to work your way around the square repeating the process from step 5 onwards; paying careful attention when you get to a corner.

And that’s it!

I hope that this tutorial helps your old blankets live on for many more years to come! Let me know if you find this tutorial useful, I’d love to hear the tales of blankets that have been saved!

Until next time folks! Happy hooking and keep calm and crochet on my friends xx

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