granny square necklaceI’m a huge fan of granny squares. In fact, I might be slightly obsessed with them: I have a huge box of black and white granny squares that I have personally crocheted (they are waiting to be assembled into… something!). Awhile back, I started crocheting tiny little things with embroidery floss and a small steel crochet hook. I love crocheting with embroidery floss because it’s so inexpensive and comes in so many colors. You can get a handful of fun colored “yarn” for just a dollar or two. These tiny granny squares are about an inch and a half, and perfect for a fun little necklace that would make a great homemade gift!

Project Materials:

  • 3 skeins of embroidery floss, on hand or about $1
  • Size 12 (US) crochet hook, on hand or about $1
  • Chain or thread to string, on hand
  • (optional) Jump rings and hardware, if you are using a chain, on hand

Total: FREE and upmini granny squaresIf you are a beginning crocheter, I recommend making a couple granny squares with regular yarn and hooks just to get the hang of it. After you make a few, you will memorize the pattern, and it will be the perfect thing to crochet on auto-pilot (and a great way to use up your small leftover balls of yarn.

Crocheting with embroidery floss is a little bit challenging. One, it’s small, so it’s a bit harder to work with, and to get a comfortable hand position and work flow. The good news is that it doesn’t take too long to adjust to the reduced scale. Two, the six strands of floss aren’t twisted together like yarn, so the individual strands can get caught in your work a lot more. You can combat this by slightly twisting the floss with your index finger and thumb as you go. You can also pull out the offending stitches as you go and redo them, or pull the loops through your work to hide them.

Hook: My crochet hook was a steel hook, size 12 US (.70mm/size 5 UK). A hook a couple sizes larger would probably be fine!

Pattern:I just used a classic granny square pattern. I don’t need to re-write it for you! If you want to learn how to crochet a granny square, here is an excellent visual tutorial at The Purl Bee: [how to crochet a granny square]

Homemade Simple Gifts

I have always been a huge fan of handmade gifts. As a crafter, it’s only natural, right? I am lucky to be part of a family that also appreciates handmade gifts and makes it a practice to exchange gifts that aren’t store-bought. I know, I’m so spoiled!

While not all handmade gifts exchanged in our family are smash hits, they are all appreciated and they somehow seem more meaningful than something purchased in the $10 or less aisle of a big box store.

The best handmade gifts I’ve given or received have been: duct tape wallets (for the guys), hand-roasted coffee (yum!), quilts, and special items decorated by my three boys (always a win for the mommies, right?).