At the moment I'm occasionally making some little Granny Square crochet blankets in between making crochet shawls. Making a blanket out of squares takes time and patience, and I used to make these one square at a time, tying off and weaving in the ends as I went and then slowly sewing them together.
This was a very laborious way of doing things, and I quickly realised from other crocheters I saw online that there was a much more productive way of making a crochet blanket. Obviously, a detailed squared blanket is never going to be a fast paced affair, and nor should it be as care needs to be taken to make sure it is securely made and that the colour placement works well. Also, it's a joy to take the time to notice how the colours work together and to see it take shape. However there are ways to make your work flow more quickly.
How can I make a Crochet Granny Square Blanket More Quickly?
A good place to start is to plan ahead - work out how large you want to make your blanket and determine how many squares you will need overall. Simply make up a square, measure it and work out how many you will need for your blanket size.
You may wish to draw out a simple plan on graph paper to decide on your colour placement and how many of each square you'll need.
Now begin by making all the centres at once. Your fingers will quickly work the pattern from muscle memory, repeating the simple pattern with ease and in no time you'll have all the centres done, inspiring you to get on to the next stage.
At the end of this stage, tie off and weave in the ends neatly ready for all the second rows. If you don't those long ends can slow you down as you work on the small centres.
Now make all the second rows. You can see mine in the bottom of this photo.
Sort your circles into piles, so you know which ones need which colours for your third rows. This makes things much faster as you don't have to think as you make them. At this stage don't tie off or weave in any ends, this keeps the pattern in your mind and keeps things flowing. Now lay the Granny Squares out to make sure you have the correct amount.
The next job is to tie off and weave in the ends all at once. This makes the process much faster and less fiddly. Pop your squares on a blocking board as the ends are sewn in to neaten them before joining. I use a Millward blocking board for this purpose. A neat square is much easier to join than a wobbly one!
Now you are ready for joining...I now mainly use the join-as-you-go method where you crochet your final round on each square, joining them to previous squares as you work. (There are a lot of crocheters who can show you how on YouTube, Bella Coco and the Patchwork Heart are just two.) Here is my current work in progress. This will be washed and blocked when complete to make sure it lies flat. Keep an eye out for the final blanket photo on this post when it's done! Check out my crochet blankets for sale here.