Polymer artists keep telling me how important play is to their art. In interviews for my book and video chats for StudioMojo, the topic surfaces repeatedly. I squirm a bit because I know I don’t often play in the studio. I fixed that today. No deadlines or pressure! Just fun with clay.

The granny squares that keep popping up online (see Lisa Clarke’s post) intrigued me. I bought this sweater to try to get over my new obsession. Rather than invest in yarn and crochet lessons, I decided to try making the squares in polymer.

An inexpensive online tutorial from Meg Newberg headed me in the right direction. My handy, dandy extruder set up made the process easy.

The patterns improved with each cane as I improvised and experimented. While this afghan bead won’t keep me warm at night, it warms my heart to have played today…and to have shared it with you.

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  • reply artybecca ,

    Genius idea! I had to zoom all the way into the photo to be sure it wasn’t yarn. The texture sells it!

    • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

      That trusty piece of air filter comes in handy for texturing. No sanding for this girl. Thanks

    • reply MOMENToCOMPLEMENTo ,

      magnific work, i am surprised!!! :)
      very nice

      • reply Christine Damm ,

        I LOVE that sweater! It looks great on you. When I saw that bead, I thought someone had crocheted those teeny squares. Nice work and isn’t it fun to play?

        • reply Iris Mishly ,

          I was certain that it is yarn until I read your post, you could have fooled me!
          :)
          Iris.

          • reply Sarahwww ,

            That is awesome!!

            • reply genevieve ,

              Had to click to enlarge the image too – that is so wonderful! (behold, the power of play!)

              • reply Bonnie Kreger ,

                That is magnificent. I was sure it was crocheting when I first looked at it and couldn’t understand why it it was on PCD. Thank you so much for this, my mind is racing about all the colors and things I can make with this. I’ve made over 100 afghans but this one is going to be more fun.

                • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                  Bonnie – 100 afghans…I’m so jealous. My left-handedness has kept me from learning to crochet and I remain fascinated by it. Polymer doesn’t care if you do things backwards!

                • reply Tigerquill ,

                  The extruder will be a godsend! Cynthia, I can’t thank you enough for giving me the opportunity to learn something new CONTINUALLY as I carry on my busy schedule. Hopefully there will be Polymer Clay items in my Etsy shop this year. Again, Thanks!

                  • reply Mags Bonham ,

                    This very cool Cynthia. I think you are on to something good.

                    • reply Alice Stroppel ,

                      Playing pays..this is wonderful Cynthia, no limits with polymer!

                      • reply Anita Brandon ,

                        From sweater to talented hands and eye……. to perfect PC Granny Square afghan bead. What a FUN playtime treasure!

                        • reply Wendy Koll ,

                          Your grandmothers would be very proud of you!

                          • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                            Wendy – Come to think of it, they would! Thanks

                          • reply Meg Newberg ,

                            Wow! What an amazing thing to wake up to this morning! This is the first time I’ve seen a creation from one of my tutorials posted… and exquisitely done I might add. I’m tickled pink to be featured on my favorite site! Thank you!!!

                            • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                              Meg – Your simple tutorial was brilliant. Both Lisa Clarke (see her comment) and I had thought about this and abandoned it as too hard. Your simple method is great. I jumped right into extruding the clay. Now I’m building a stockpile of patterns. Many thanks.

                            • reply jana ,

                              Wow, that _does_ fool the eye…I thought it was the real thing! Kudos to you, Cynthia.

                              Yes, play. Even when I’m under deadlines and am pressured, I squeeze in time to play (usually at the expense of sleep)…it’s that important.

                              • reply Polka Dot Cottage: Crochet: like portable polymer clay. sort of. ,

                                […] this morning, I saw that Cynthia mentioned me on Polymer Clay Daily. She’s been playing with the granny square cane idea after purchasing a tutorial that I can […]

                                • reply Lisa Clarke ,

                                  I love this! I tried to wrap my brain around granny square canes a while ago, and I just over-complicated the whole thing. This gives me new hope (and new inspiration). Thanks for linking to me. I feel a great connection between polymer and crochet that has surprised me!

                                  • reply Cynthia Tinapple ,

                                    Lisa – I was happy to find the tutorial. Like you, I had a much more complex scheme in mind. Thanks to Meg for setting us both straight.

                                  • reply Kit Lockwood ,

                                    Oh, Cynthia, it’s totally believable! I’m so intrigued by the cane’s appearing to have the texture of a crocheted square. What fun! I laughed with delight at your bead! Success! Hope it’s looks as good in person as it does on my screen. I’m completely smitten by it. I want to send the photo of it to my fiber loving friend.

                                    • reply Laura Lang ,

                                      I love this idea. I did not realize the squares were polymer until I looked at the tutorial. Amazing. I had a Grandmother who made an afghan like this some 50 years ago.

                                      • reply Carolyn Good ,

                                        Wow Cynthia! I’m so impressed. I really thought those were hand knit granny squares when I first saw the photo! It is so amazing what can be done with polymer clay I’m wondering what will be next?! And by the way, I’ve been having the same “struggle” myself with balancing my time in the studio with “play” and it is something I think we all need to bring out more of the creativity in us. Have a great day!

                                        • reply Lynn Lunger/UnaOdd ,

                                          Wonderfully fun technique!

                                          • reply Nevenka Sabo ,

                                            Wow it looks so real. Great job!

                                            • reply Sherri Kellberg ,

                                              Two of my favorite crafts combined, polymer clay & crochet! Love it Cynthia!

                                              • reply Wendy Moore ,

                                                I want the sweater. You look gorgeous and should be loving yourself sick.

                                                • reply Polka Dot Cottage: Granny Square Brain ,

                                                  […] Cynthia and Meg. Cynthia’s recent Polymer Clay Daily post gave me the idea of using an extruder, and  introduced me to Meg’s granny square tutorial. Meg’s instructions and clear chart helped me see that there was a simple way to do this, and it didn’t have to be as complicated as I was making it.  Thanks, Ladies, for providing the kick in the pants that I needed to get back to figuring this thing out! […]

                                                  • reply katherine.rs » Blog Archive » Kvadrati kao heklani ,

                                                    […] Setila sam se da sam prošle zime ?itala o tome na blogu Polymer clay daily. Potražila sam ?lanak, malo razmislila i naravno, pokušala da napravim imitaciju heklanog […]

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                                                    • I'm Cynthia Tinapple, an artist, curator, and leader in the polymer clay community for over 20 years.

                                                      On this blog I showcase the best polymer clay art online to inspire and encourage you. I also send out weekend extras in the premium newsletter, StudioMojo.

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