Yesterday I got an email from one of my lovely blog readers thanking me for doing these Spotted on TV posts. She mentioned the afghan / blanket that appeared on the couch in almost all the Roseanne show episodes. Initially I had no idea what she was talking about, but a quick Google search later I was in crochet-on-TV heaven!
I had actually forgotten about that beautiful granny square blanket – guess I watched Roseanne in the days when I was not eagerly searching for anything crocheted on TV. (I hear that’s the way most normal people watch TV. Normal has obviously gone out the window once the hooky bug bit me. )
Just like the afghan on Amy’s couch in Big Bang Theory which I blogged about here, this is also a traditional granny square blanket. Amy’s blanket is made up of 4 rounds (the 4th round being black), but Roseanne’s blanket has 120 squares of 5 rounds each (the 5th round being black). If you want to make one yourself, you can learn how to crochet a traditional granny square here.
I like the colour arrangements of the Roseanne blanket more than the Big Bang Theory blanket because the colours of the first 4 rounds, and the placement of the squares, are more random which makes it more interesting I think.
Diane, who emailed me about the blanket, said that she read somewhere that the blanket use to get stolen a lot off set. I just had to investigate (the rumour, not the theft).
Vintage Spinster says on her blog:
True story: that particular afghan was stolen off the set a couple times and eventually had to keep being remade and stitched to the couch. Version #3 now lives on the prop couch in the Smithsonian.
I tried to find references to the Roseanne show couch and/or blanket on the Smithsonian website but without success. I also emailed them to ask if this is true – haven’t heard back from them yet, but if I do, I’ll let you know.* I can however totally see why someone would steal the blanket twice – it’s such an iconic part of the show and let’s face it, it’s beautiful!
Episode 10 of the last season of the show is called Home is Where the Afghan is. Yes, that’s right! …where the afghan is!!! The writers of the show obviously also realised what an important part the afghan has played on The Roseanne Show. Considering the show started in 1988 and the last season was aired in 1996, that afghan must have been seen by millions of people and become just as iconic as Roseanne herself.
Imagine that: a crocheted afghan being the star of a TV show episode! And not only that, it proves what we hookers have known all along: a crocheted afghan will turn a house into a home.
*I got a reply from the Smithsonian:
We do not have the couch from the Roseanne tv show in the collections at the Museum of American History. Dwight Bowers Curator, Entertainment Collections, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
**A comment by John Lamantia on 15 February 2014 on the Facebookpage Where is the “Roseanne Couch” sheds more light on the couch and the crochet blanket sewn onto it:
About 9 years ago, I almost bought the couch and afghan (now sewn on to it). Garvin Eddy, the shows set designer had ownership of the couch and some other pieces from the show. He posted it on Ebay for $10,000. I wanted to purchase, but really had no room. We talked and he was going to drop the price to $4,500, again having no room, I had to decline, but offered money for the afghan. He said that he didn’t want to separate the two and that it had been sewn on near the end of filming since he thought people were trying to take it. Its probably best they stay a pair since they are so recognizable together. No idea where it is today. Dan’s matching chair and dogs playing poker pictures were also up for auction at different times.
And what a lovely one at that! I really love the look of granny square blankets with a dark black or navy background – it gives them a real prairie caravan feel
THIS IS AWESOME!!! I love this post because I LOVE ROSEANNE. (my husband too) and of course-I LOVE TO CROCHET!!! This brightened up my morning-Thank You!
That’s great 🙂
Natasha, ek is ook heeltemal verslaaf aan die Granny squars. Help gou asb. As ek van een kleur na ‘n ander oorgaan, hoe doen ek dit sonder om ‘n vreeslike klomp drade aan die einde te hê wat weggewerk moet word? Ek het al probeer om die drade te knoop en dan die punte saam te hekel, maar dis vreeslik dik en lyk partymaal nie mooi nie. Ek sal dit so waardeer as jy my kan raad gee.
Ek stuur vir jou ‘n email.
That’s Darlene played by Sara Gilbert (not Becky)… Who was also in The Big Bang Theory
Thanks for the correction, I’ve changed the blogpost.
The Little Room of Rachell said:
I watched that episode at the time, so good to see it again. Never noticed the blanket before either only that we didn’t have them on our sofa back then….
I had no idea they did a whole episode about the afghan! I too love the classic look of grannys with a black border. In fact it’s been on my to do list for some time! Great post – thanks for sharing!
I remember that afghan!
Did you also see the afghan in Two and a Half Men (the recent-ish episode with Kathy Bates playing Charlie’s ghost)? Not quite as pretty as the Roseanne one, but I got a kick out of seeing it 🙂
No I haven’t seen it. Im always up for a kick so I will have to do a 2.5Men marathon to find it. Thanks for the heads-up!
I watched it again so I could add a screenie for you 🙂
Aaah, thanks so much! Can you remember which episode and season this is from?
An identical afghan was practically a recurring character on the old Gothic daytime serial Dark Shadows. It showed up in the houses of three or four families, in a parallel universe, and in flashbacks to 1795 and 1897. It was used as a couch throw, and bedspread, and even a piano scarf.
Regarding square placement and color, I have a pattern from 1938 that has you making 20 color combinations of 4 colors each plus black in round 5. You border it with one combination and do diagonal stripes with the others, so there is a method to the color madness, but it may take a minute to see what it is. Any idea how far back this style of afghan goes?
Your pattern sounds very interesting indeed. I love it when there are sooooo many colour combinations at first it looks messy, but the longer you look at it, the more you see the pattern forming. Sorry, but I have no idea how old that style of afghan would be. It would be great though if it came out of the 1800 or something, don’t you think? 🙂
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Loma Johnson said:
I do not own the specific couch from the Roseanne set. However, in watching a Roseanne rerun a while back, I was dumbstruck to realize that our living room couch is different color duplicate of the one from the set. Same style, same plaid, same (faux??) wood accents on the ends of the arms and each edge on both ends of the couch. And our couch is a full sleeper couch, After I realized we had virtually the same couch, I now wonder if Roseanne couch was a sleeper sofa couch. I would tweet Roseanne, but I get the feeling that she likely wouldn’t answer back re it. She does mark that she likes certain things tweeted to her, if something really catches her attention she will respond, and the same is true of her daughter. I got to thinking about the couch tonight (I’ve sofa on the brain right now, due to searching for a mid century modern styled replacement). My mother chose this couch in the 1980’s period when country blue and rose were such popular colors. I’m sure it will cycle back to popularity, it’s just that i’m weary of it, despite my associating it with the set couch. And yes, my mom did crochet, but she crocheted the kit afghans, never worked on a granny square. In the last few years of her life, I was her sole caregiver here at her…..now my, home. She passed away in March of this year, 16 yrs to the date that my dad passed.