A crochet granny square ‘Elmer’ sweater

Hello! Well, Mother Nature has decided to keep us chilled a bit longer with another cold snap. The timing is perfect for me, as I just finished crocheting what I am calling an ‘Elmer’ sweater. Elmer is a colorful elephant from a children’s story, by David McKee, who teaches that being yourself is the best way to be. I made an Elmer blanket for my daughter a few years ago (you can see it here). The difference this time is that I added black while connecting all of the colorful squares, and Elmer the elephant doesn’t have that. I’ve been told by friends that this gives it a stained glass look. 🙂

Making this sweater was a huge challenge for me because I did not have a pattern, and I have not made many sweaters. All I had was an idea in my head. It was definitely a learning process, but in the end I was happy with how it came out. I made tiny granny squares, just two rows each. It took me about two months to make, and required way more squares than I’d originally thought! But I loved working with all of the different colors (29 Caron Simply Soft colors in all). A few years ago I switched to Amour Crochet Hooks by Clover. They have made a huge difference with comfort.

colorful granny squares

The colors should be random, but I did try – really hard – to make sure they were spaced out. This picture is of the back after I took apart my first block of sewing them together. I realized I needed more rows in both directions, so it was easier to unravel the joined up squares and start again. I had a tough time deciding which color to fill in that space with!

colorful granny squares

This image shows the original block, mentioned above and that was too small, on the right. On the left is the draft of the front of the sweater – including the ‘v’ neck, but without the ‘half squares’. I ended up going with 10 squares across and 8 squares down. The half squares took some fiddling with to get the stitches right – I needed to have 10 stitches on each side. I eventually figured it out! 🙂

in the process of putting together a patchwork granny square crochet sweater

My patience were very low with this project as my excitement was very high! Also, since I wasn’t sure what would have to be re-done or re-worked, I kind of rushed through parts to see if they would work. This picture shows the front, back and one sleeve pinned together to see if the sizing worked (it did!).

neckline of finished crochet granny square crochet sweater

I knew I wanted a ‘v’ neck, but I wasn’t sure what that would look like. I decided that I would keep the border for all three edges (neck, sleeves and bottom) a simple three layers of black. It just felt right.

colorful granny square sweater

So many colors!

the back of the Elmer sweater
Dana with finished crochet granny square crochet sweater
Dana with finished crochet granny square crochet sweater

Ta-da! That was a fun project. I’m glad I did it, despite not being sure if I could figure it out. And it is a very warm sweater! 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

In Peace,
Dana

15 thoughts on “A crochet granny square ‘Elmer’ sweater

  1. Yikes, that’s a lot of work! But, worth it! I remember my cousins used crochet but it is something I never took to.

    • It was more work than I had anticipated! lol! But yes, it was worth it. I do enjoy crocheting, although having just finished a non-granny square blanket, I found that project to be more relaxing than making all of the tiny squares.

  2. That is WONDERFUL! Such a lot of tiny granny squares – it must have really tried your patience, but it was definitely worth it. I hope you enjoy wearing it for years to come.

      • It’s a work of art. My mother-in-law was great at crocheting. It’s a dying art. On another topic, I’m trying to set up a blog site using WordPress, but find it very difficult since they brought in all those blocks. Do you do your own web page? The site is in connection with a book I published recently about my father, who was born in Tallanstown. I came across your web page while doing research on that lovely little village. You had done a blog on a visit you made there. Hope the rain relents, and enjoy the spring when it comes. Derek

      • Yes, I do my own blog page on WordPress, but I’m not sure I’d be any good to help (unfortunately). I wish you luck with getting that set up – send me the link when you do! 🙂

  3. Being yourself is the best way to be. I love that! I must have missed out on the Elmer childhood lesson!
    Thank goodness for an occasional cold snap! You look great in that. It looks great too, but inanimate objects cannot know such things! 😜

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