Ah, the simple granny square. Love it or hate it, it’s a staple of crochet design, with countless variations.
It’s also a great introduction to the concept of crocheting “in the round” as opposed to in rows that you work back and forth, turning your work at the end of each row.
So, without further ado, let’s get to it!
What you’ll need to crochet a granny square
- Crochet hook – I recommend a 4mm or 5mm
- Yarn – anything you like, but to learn I recommend a solid colour in a DK / sport / 8ply sort of weight
- Yarn needle – for weaving in ends.
To start a granny square, or any crochet in-the-round project, you need to make a loop. There are 2 ways of doing this, a magic ring or chaining a few stitches then slip stitching into the first chain.
I highly recommend learning how to master the magic circle, and I highly recommend this video tutorial from PlanetJune which shows the technique very clearly for both right and left handed crocheters. Click the link just above to see the left handed version.
This can take a few goes to get the feel of it, but, trust me, it’s something you really should learn, and once you get the hang of it you’ll be doing them in 1.5 seconds flat!
The other method to create a ring is to chain 4, then slip stitch into the 1st chain you made. You then work your starting double crochet stitches into the middle of the circle. Here’s a video from monkeysee.com that shows you exactly how to do this
OK, so now that you’ve got your starting ring made, the next step is to crochet your first round. A traditional granny square is made using groupings of 3 double crochet stitches (dc), so to make your first round you will need to chain 3 (this will count as your first dc) and then make 2 more dc stitches into your starting circle. See images 1 and 2 below.
Then you chain 2, this leaves a space that will become the corner for this first round. See image 3.
Do 3 dc into the central ring, then chain 2, a total of 3 more times. You should then have 4 groupings of 3 dc stitches each separated by 2 chain stitches.
Now you’re going to finish off this round by slip stitching into the top chain of the chain 3 you started this round with. See image 4 for exact placement of this slip stitch.
From this point on you will only be working into the chain 2 spaces, so you need to get over to the first chain 2 space (the corner) to start, so I like to just slip stitch across. By this I mean you do a slip stitch into the first stitch after you finished the last round, then into the next, and then into the corner ch2 space.
As you are now in a corner, you need to create another corner. To do this you chain 3 as your first dc crochet 2 dc, chain 2, then 3 more dc all into that first corner space. Do this in each of the 3 remaining chain 2 corner spaces. Do NOT do any chains when moving from one corner to another. Some patterns do suggest to do a chain or 2 here, but I find that it leads to a sloppy, less square granny square.
You will end up with 8 groupings of 3dc, with a chain 2 space in each corner. See image 5 below.
Slip stitch into the top (3rd) stitch of the starting chain 3 to close off round 2.
Slip stitch across to the first corner and chain 3. This counts as your first dc. See image 6 below.
You are again in a corner, so, as you have done before, chain 3, 2dc, chain 2, 3dc in the corner space. Insert your hook into the next space and do 3dc. As this is not a corner this is all you do in this space. Your next space is another corner, so 3dc, ch2 and 3dc. I can SO tell you’re getting the hang of this, now, aren’t you??
Do this all the way around until you’ve completed the round, and finish off as usual, by slip stitching into the top of the starting chain. See image 7 below.
All you do from this point on is to repeat the previous round.
All middle of the row spaces get a grouping of 3dc, and all corners get 3dc, ch2, 3dc.
See image 8 below.
In this sample round I stopped at 4 rounds, but you can make a granny square as large as you like. I’m currently working on a giant one that is going to be a bed spread for my queen sized bed! It’s not difficult, you just keep doing the same thing around and around and around!
I will warn you that when you start getting to 15 rounds plus sometimes your square can start to look a bit wonky because you’re always going around in the same direction. One way to lessen this effect is to occasionally turn your entire project when starting a new round and start working in the opposite direction.
But, I digress.
As I said, I crocheted a total of 4 rounds in this sample. When you finish off your last slip stitch to close the final round, cut your yarn leaving a 10 – 15cm tail. Pull this tail through the loop and thread the tail onto a yarn needle. Using the needle, weave your tail in and out on the back side of the granny square. I am a bit of a hard-core weaver-inner, so I like to do this really firmly, and sew it in back and forth in a few directions. You’ll also want to pull the centre magic circle (and yes, I KNOW you started it this way, didn’t you?) nice and tight and sew in the tail end around and around and then snip the end off. See image 9 below.
And there you have it – just like in image 10, you have made a traditional crocheted granny square. TA DAH!! Well done, you!
Next time I’ll be showing you how to do a solid granny square, with out the gaps a traditional one has. I know, you can’t wait, can you?
Once you’ve tried out this tutorial I’d love it if you’d comment below if you still have any questions, or if you had any problems, or if you totally rocked it first time and are wanting to shout out loud at how proud you are!
As always, I’ll love ya forever if you’ll pin this 😀