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How to Crochet a Granny Square
The One, The Only... The Granny Square!
There are many motifs that fall under the description of "Granny Square," but none are so classic, recognizable, or versatile as the original. The Granny Square motif is often one of the first crochet items a crocheter learns after mastering the chain stitch and double crochet stitch, the two main stitches this motif is comprised of.
Granny Squares can be used to make:
Afghans or Blankets
Scarves or Cowls
Purses or Bags
Embellishments to Quits, Scrapbooks, or whatever else your creative mind can think of!
Photo Credit: Cute Blankets
What level of crochet are you at?
Before you start...
These are the Stitches you need to know!
This article does assume you already know the basics on crocheting, like hand placement, how to yarn over, and where to insert your hook. The following is a description of the stitches we will be using to create the granny square, and should be used as a refresher or reference when using the pattern below.
Chain Stitch (ch): Chain stitches are often used in beginner projects to make foundation chains, or in our case, foundation circles. As you continue to advance in crochet, chain stitches are used to create delicate or Lacey motifs and fabrics.
To create a ch: yarn over, pull yarn thru loop on hook
Slip Stitch (sl st): Slip stitches are often used to join rows when working in the round, or to maneuver your crochet hook to a new space to continue work without tying off and starting again.
to create a sl st: insert hook into next stitch, pull up a loop and pull thru loop on hook
Double Crochet (dc): A basic crochet stitch used to create fabric; includes one yarn over and two pull throughs to complete. Twice the height of a single crochet.
to create a dc: yarn over, insert hook in next stitch and pull up a loop, yarn over and draw thru two loop on hook, yarn over again and pull thru two remaining loops on hook
Suggested Yarn and Hook
As a beginner, learning with medium weight yarn and hook helped my hands grasp and get used to a tension I was comfortable with. Everybody is different, so try testing a few different weight yarns and find out what is right for you. I suggest using a worsted weight (about a size 3 or 4 thickness) and use hooks I or J. Usually, the description on the yarn label will tell you what weight it is and what size hook to use. The only times I haven't been able to find this information on the label is with home spun or designer yarn.
All of the following can be found at chain craft stores and often cheaper online. If you have a local yarn store, you might want to stop in and support your local businesses! You can click the links below to check out the different colors available and see what works for you.
This set is perfect for worsted weight yarns and beginner projects. These hook sizes work well for learning tension and hand movements before you jump into small projects like lace work, or bigger projects using speed hooks.
Don't be intimated by huge skeins of yarn! These tiny balls of yarn come in various color schemes, and are perfect for testing the granny square waters. 8 skeins at 28 yards each.
Crochet Shorthand and Diagram Symbols
beg = beginning
beg ch = beginning chain
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
nxt = next
nxt sp = next space
sl st = slip stitch
sp = space
st = stitch
This is a diagram of common stitches you will run into. I suggest saving this image for future use. Remember, the only three stitches we are using now include the chain stitch, double crochet, and slip stitch.
This diagram is from The Craft Yarn Council
Here it is: The Pattern! - Let's get started, Ladies and Gents!
The following pattern is written with abbreviations. If you need help with the crochet shorthand, see the abbreviation guide below. The picture above is a pattern diagram to help you. The symbols and the stitches they represent can also be found below.
Ch 4, sl st with 1st ch to form a ring (foundation)
row 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc) 2 dc in ring, *ch 2, 3 dc in ring** repeat from * to ** 3 times, ch 2, sl st into top of beg ch
row 2: sl st to nxt sp, ch 3 (counts as first dc) (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, *ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in nxt sp** repeat from * to ** 3 times, ch 1, sl st into top of beg ch
row 3: sl st to nxt sp, ch 2 (counts as first dc) (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, * ch 1, 3 dc in nxt sp, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in nxt space** repeat from * to ** 3 times, ch 1, sl st into top of beg ch
row 4: sl st to nxt sp, ch 2 (counts as first dc) (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in same sp, *ch 1, 3 dc in nxt sp** repeat from * to ** twice, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in nxt sp*** repeat from * to *** 3 times
To continue, repeat * to ** from the previous row three times, then in the next row four times, etc etc until you have the size you desire. (Continue with [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in same sp with corner.) It's okay to start small, but you might find that you're enjoying yourself... and before you know it, you'll have a whole blanket done!
Diagram created by: I'd Rather be Crocheting
How did it go?
Was it easier using the pattern or the diagram?
Don't Stop Now! - Keep Creating with More Granny Square Tips and Styles
This book is great for the visual learner. With the clear stitch images on where to insert your hook, how to yarn over, and learn basic stitches, this book is perfect for beginners discovering their inner crochet skills.
For all levels of learning, this encyclopedia of crochet includes everything you need to know for one stop answers.
Continue honing your granny square skills while creating projects like pillows, blankets, scarves, a mug cozy, and dog coat! Learn how versatile this square really is!
Mastered the Granny? Try out these dozens of other motifs to continue creating what you desire! There is also a kindle edition available.
Okay, now that we've finished... - let's have some more fun!
The long asked question crocheters and knitters either love to debate, or fear to get involved: What's better, knitting or crocheting?
Personally, I think knitting is easier to learn, but once you have the hang of crochet, you can do anything!
So What do you think? (Remember to be a little nice between all that ferocious!)
What's better, knitting or crocheting?
Have you used the Granny Square before?
What's you're favorite Granny Square project?
Do have any other tips or suggestions for other crochet lovers reading?