Granny rectangles are an interesting variation of the standard granny square pattern. They are just as simple to make, and can be used to make anything that you wish to be rectangular in shape, including blankets! This tutorial will show you how to make a granny rectangle in the traditional way as well as a couple of variations.
Granny Rectangles Tutorial for Beginners
The most difficult part of learning how to make a rectangle granny square is just getting started, and even that is pretty easy! To make the granny rectangle, instead of starting with a magic circle or a chain ring, you will start with a straight foundation chain. But more about that later!
Supplies to Make a Rectangle Granny Square
You will need to decide on the final look you want to achieve before you decide which yarn to use.
Do you want to go for that traditional granny square rectangle look, changing colors every round? Or do you want a more sedate, single-colored crochet rectangle? The compromise is to choose one of those large ‘cakes’ of yarn, where the color changes gradually from light to dark and back again. This gives a pleasing ombre effect.
So, decide on your yarn type. Then choose a crochet hook that will work well with that yarn. The yarn wrapper will give you the most suitable size hook for that particular yarn.
- Yarn - For a sample use worsted yarn weight or DK yarn.
- Crochet Hook - 5 mm crochet hook for worsted weight yarn or 4mm hook for DK.
- Yarn or Tapestry Needle
Abbreviations Used in Making a Granny Rectangle
For this free crochet pattern, I will be using US terms.
- ch = chain stitch crochet
- dc = double crochet stitch
- sc = single crochet
- sk = skip
- sl st = slip stitch crochet
- sp = space
If you are making a blanket, you do not need to worry about crochet gauge. For clothing items, it is important to get your sizing correct and do a test swatch first.
How to Make A Granny Rectangle Step by Step
The size of your foundation chain will depend on what size and shape of the rectangle you are wanting to make. You may want to make many small rectangles to join together to make a big blanket, or you may want to just keep going around and around in one piece until your rectangle is a lap blanket size.
Here is your basic granny rectangle pattern and photo tutorial for this crochet technique:
Foundation Rectangle Granny Square:
Whatever you choose, your foundation chain must always be a multiple of 3,+2. For demonstration, I am going for a starting chain of 12 +2 =14 stitches, and multiple colors.
If you are wanting to make a large rectangle, you will need to start with a longer foundation chain. However many chains you start with, the method is the same!
- Chain 14. (for a sample rectangle)
- Work into the 4th chain from the hook. (This is a turning chain)
- Into this chain, work 2 double crochets.
- *Chain 1, Skip 2 chains.
- Work 3 double crochets into the next chain. (this is a granny stitch)
- Repeat from * to the end of the foundation chain row.
- You will have worked 3 double crochets into your last chain.
Now you need to create the corners of the rectangle.
- Work 2 chains.
- Work another 3 double crochet into the same chain as the last cluster.
- Chain 2.
- Work another 3 double crochet into that same chain again.
You will have worked 3 clusters all into the same chain, which is stretching things a bit, (literally!), but this only happens in the first round.
- So far, you have formed your first 2 corners. Now continue with the sequence of (ch1, sk2, 3 dc) into the next chain around the other side of the foundation chain.
Your clusters should be mirrored exactly, so each 3 dc cluster will be worked into the same chain of the first side.
When you work to the end of the chain again, you will need to create the next 2 corners.
- (2 ch, 3 dc) into the same stitch again for the corner.
- Chain 2, slip stitch into the top of your first turning chain.
- If working in a single color, slip stitch into the first 2dc of the first cluster. This moves your yarn along to the next space.
- Change to a new color if desired. Join the new color to the corner space.
- Chain 3. (turning ch, counts as 1 dc)
- Work 2 dc into this same corner space.
- Keep working (3dc, ch1) into each chain space along the first side.
- When you get to the first corner: (3dc, 2ch, 3dc), all into the corner space.
- Chain 1, then work the second corner in exactly the same way.
- Work along the other long side of your rectangle, working (1ch, 3dc) into each space.
- 3rd corner: (1ch, 3dc, ch2, 3dc) into the corner space.
- 4th corner: You should already have half of your corner made at the start of this round. So just work (1ch, 3dc, 2ch) into that space from the previous round, then join to the top of the turning chain with a slip stitch.
Continue working in the same way around all subsequent rounds. Make the corners, in the same way, each time. You will have more spaces and clusters in each round.
Lots of ends still to be woven in here! Keep working as long as you like, until the rectangle is the size you want it to be.
You can use your practice rounds as a neat little bookmark!
Alternate Granny Square Rectangle
The method given above is the simplest version of a granny rectangle. However, some crocheters don’t like working so many stitches into the foundation chain!
If this is you, here is the written pattern for how to work the rectangle with a more substantial middle.
- You will still start with a foundation chain of a multiple of 3 +2.
- Turn your work, work into 3rd chain from hook, and crochet a row of one sc into each chain, all the way along. This gives you a firmer central foundation.
- Chain 3 (equal to 1st dc),
- 2 double crochet into the first single crochet stitch below.
- * Skip 2, chain 1, 3 dc into next stitch.*
- Repeat from * to * until the end of the row.
- 3 dc into the space formed by the 2 chains at the start.
- (Ch2, 3 dc, ch2, 3dc) all into the same space. (Corners formed.)
- Work back along the foundation row of sc, working clusters into the same stitches as before to create a perfect mirror image.
- 3 dc into the last stitch.
- (Ch 2, 3 dc) into the same space as 1st cluster.
- Chain 2, slip stitch into the top of the 3 chains you worked at the start of this round.
- Change colors if desired, and continue in rounds, in the same way, working 3 dc, 1 ch into each space all the way, then 3 dc, 2 ch, 3 dc into each corner space.
Solid Granny Rectangle Crochet Pattern
For those of you who are not fans of that distinctive granny cluster look, it is possible to make more solid granny square rectangles, with spaces only in the corners.
- Start, with a foundation chain.
- Ch3, (turning ch= 1 dc), then 1 dc into each chain to the end.
- To turn and create a corner, work *(2 dc, ch2, 2dc) into the last chain.
- Ch2, 2dc, still working into the same chain.
- Then dc into each chain along the other side of the foundation chain, keeping stitches symmetrical.
- Create a corner by working (2dc, 2ch) twice. Then close the round by working a slip stitch into the top of your turning chain.
- Continue in rounds like this until your rectangle is the required size.
It will be stiffer and firmer than a traditional granny rectangle because it has fewer spaces in between stitches. You will still have corner gaps, though, as you need those to turn corners and still let the fabric lie flat,
Troubleshooting Granny Rectangles
Because these are so simple, not very much can go wrong! But here are some problems you may encounter:
Why is my crochet rectangle not lying flat?
If the granny rectangle is curling, there are 3 possibilities - tension, hook size, or corners.
- Your tension may be too tight, in which case, try a larger hook size.
- Check that your corners have the correct number of stitches in them. There are a lot of stitches in each corner, and they must also be separated by 2 chains, not just 1, like the rest of the clusters. If you leave out any of those corner stitches, your rectangle will not lie flat.
Why is my crochet granny rectangle, not a neat rectangular shape?
This could also be a tension problem. If you work loosely, it may cause a lopsided shape. In this case, try a smaller crochet hook.
Check your stitch count and symmetry. Each opposite side of the rectangle must have the same number of clusters - so the long sides may have 6 clusters each and the short sides 3 clusters each. If they are not the same, your rectangle will not be neat. The number of clusters will increase each round, but the opposite sides must be the same after each round. Keep counting and checking!
What Can I Make With Granny Rectangles?
With granny square rectangles, you can make absolutely anything which is based on a rectangle shape!
- Crochet shawl patterns
- Crochet blanket patterns, and Afghan patterns
- Crochet bag patterns
- Crochet scarf patterns
- Crochet headband patterns
- Crochet baby blanket pattern
Even crochet top patterns! Use a rectangle each for front and back, for a sleeveless top, or crochet another 2 rectangles to form sleeves.
Granny Rectangle Blankets
Many of you will be asking how long should my chain be for a granny rectangle blanket. You subtract the blanket width from the blanket length and this will be the chain length.
How many chains for a granny rectangle blanket?
This formula works for yarn in any weight.
FORMULA: Blanket length - width = chain length*
*IMPORTANT: You will need to round the number of chains to a multiple of 3 plus 2 for turning.
EXAMPLE: A blanket 60x40" would be a 20" starting chain length. So if that 20" starting chain length had 58 chains, you would round it to 60 chains (multiple of 3) and add 2 turning chains to make it 62.
Granny Rectangles - In Conclusion
Granny rectangles are not only easy to make, but you can also work numerous variations on the theme, and they can be used for so many different purposes! Have fun playing around with different types and color variations, and see what else you can come up with! Let your creativity loose!
Crochet Granny Rectangle Pattern
- Crochet Hook
- First Row: Chain 14. Insert hook into the 4th chain, 2 double crochet. *Chain 1, skip 2, 3 double crochets. Repeat from * across the row. 3dc into the last chain.
- First End: Chain 2, 3dc into the same chain, chain 2, 3dc into the same chain.
- Next Side: Continue sequence of (ch1, sk1, 3dc).
- Second End: Chain 1, 3dc into the first chain, (2ch, 3dc) into same stitch, 2 ch, slip stitch into first turning chain.
- Second Row: Change colors at the corner, (ch3, 2dc )into the corner space. (3dc, ch1) into spaces on first side. For first corner, (3dc, 2ch, 3dc). Repeat for second corner.
- Third Row: Repeat pattern.
Hi Mary, great question. I added a section near the end to answer this. FORMULA: Blanket length - width = chain length* (*IMPORTANT: You will need to round the number of chains to a multiple of 3 plus 2 for turning.)
How do I determine how long the chain should be for a granny square rectangle blanket?