Learn how to crochet a granny square with this easy tutorial on crochet granny squares for beginners. Just exactly what is a Granny Square crochet, and how do I crochet one? A Granny Square crochet is a classic crochet design that is easy to learn. The name given to these lovely little motifs seems to come from the fact that the grannies have the time to sit and crochet! If one looks up the history of granny squares, it seems that this is not too far from the truth. Long ago, when a person could not just order yarn on the Internet, thrifty women unravel old sweaters, socks, and other yarn-based items. This resulted in small scraps of various colored yarns. They used this recycled yarn to crochet small squares, which they then sewed together to form larger items such as blankets. This is the perfect combination of crochet and patchwork!
How to Crochet a Granny Square - Supplies
- Crochet hook (Read about crochet hook sizes)
- Yarn a suitable thickness. I like making granny squares with either a worsted weight yarn or DK yarn with a size H (5mm) hook.
Here are some suggested yarn and size crochet hooks for making crochet granny squares for beginners.
Basic Granny Square Crochet Pattern - Abbreviations
When working on these granny square for beginners, we will be working with USA terminology.
- ch - crochet chain stitch
- dc – double crochet stitch
- sl st – slip stitch
- Granny cluster - is the name given to a group of 3 double crochet all worked into the same space. (Also called double crochet clusters)
Granny Squares for Beginners - How to Crochet a Granny Square Pattern
This tutorial will show you how to make classic crochet granny squares for beginners. Once you have mastered the basics, you can start on different shapes and variations.
Crochet 4 chain stitches. Join with a slip stitch in the 4th chain from the hook. You will now have a circle.
This is the easiest way to start a granny square for beginners, however, it is not the only way. Here are 2 more methods to start your granny square that result in a smaller center hole.
Alternative Start Method #1:
This is quick and simple and leaves a smaller central hole than the foundation ring. But it can be a really tight squeeze fitting all 4 clusters into one chain loop.
- Chain 3. Put the hook into the first chain.
- Follow the instructions for round 1 below. All of the granny clusters in your first round are worked into your first chain stitch.
Alternative Start Method #2:
The 3rd way to start a granny square is to use a magic ring. This creates an adjustable loop so you can make the hole in the middle invisible.
- Chain 3.
- Into the foundation ring, insert the hook and work 2 double crochet. Chain 3. (First granny cluster)
- *Work 3 double crochet. Chain 3. (Second granny cluster)
- Repeat from * twice more. You will be back to where you started and your piece will be starting to look square.
- Join with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of your starting chain. Your work should look like the one below.
- There are 4 clusters of double crochet, with 3 chains between each cluster.
We are now ready for the second round of stitches. In my photos, I have changed the color of the yarn so round 2 was easier to distinguish - see further down this article for instructions on how to change colors in crochet granny squares for beginners.
When working a granny square, you don’t turn your work around. The right side must always face you.
- Chain 3. (Counts as 1dc and 1ch)
- Into this same corner space, work another 2 double crochet.
- *1 chain stitch. (This creates a small gap.)
- 3 double crochet into the next corner space. 3 chain stitch. (This will be the next corner.)
- Another 3 double crochet into same space. (This forms the next corner.)
- Repeat from the * twice more.
- In the last corner space, work 3 double crochet and 3 chains.
- Join with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of your starting stitches. (This forms the last corner.)
- Round 2 is now complete.
Round 3 is done much the same as round 2 except the work is getting a little larger. To make the instructions a little shorter, I will start using abbreviations. Refer to the abbreviation section if you need to. Ch means chain stitch and dc means double crochet.
- Ch3 (Counts as 1 dc)
- Into same space, work 2dc and 1ch. (This makes the first cluster of round 3.)
- Into the next ch1 space, work 3dc.
- Into next 3ch space, work 3dc, 3ch 3dc. This forms a corner again.
- Repeat these steps all the way around to your starting ch. End with 3ch and join with a sl st into 3rd ch of the starting ch.
- Ch3. This acts as 1dc.
- Into same ch space, work 2dc. 1ch.
- Into next ch space work 3dc. 1ch
- Into next ch space work 3dc. 1ch
- Make a corner cluster of 3dc, 3ch, 3dc.
- Repeat these steps all the way around.
- In the last 1ch space, work 2dc.
- Join with a sl st into the 3rd chain.
Continue working around your square until you have reached the desired size for your granny square. Many crocheters like to complete their last round of every square in matching yarn. This forms a brightly contrasting frame for each square.
How to Make a Granny Square Crochet Bigger (The Formula)
As you work, you will see how the pattern forms and repeats.
- You have 1 granny cluster worked into each 1 chain space.
- The corners have 2 granny clusters in each corner, with 3 chains in between them. Those 3 chains used for the corner form a sharper, more defined corner than if you only worked 1 chain in between the clusters. Be certain that all your corners are lined up perfectly. If you work a corner too early or too late, your square will not be square!
How to Crochet a Granny Square - Finishing a Granny Square Crochet
Finishing the Tail of the Granny Square Crochet
When your granny square crochet is large enough, complete that round, finish with your slip stitch, then cut your yarn leaving a tail of about 3 “(8 cm). Pull the yarn through your last stitch to tie it off and prevent your square from unraveling.
How to Finish Loose Ends in a Granny Square Crochet
To cover up your loose ends when changing colors, you can enclose them with your next cluster of double crochet, or if you prefer, you can sew them into the crochet stitches with a yarn needle.
Whichever method you choose, it is better to finish off loose ends as you go. It is really tedious to have to sew them all in at the end of a whole blanket!
How to Join Granny Squares
There are 2 main ways to join crochet granny squares for beginners. Either with a visible contrasting color or by stitching the squares to create invisible seams.
If you like seams that can be seen, then a single crochet stitch is best to join the crochet granny squares for beginners.
- Put your 2 squares with wrong sides together.
- Insert the hook under the outside loops and single crochet into both layers. (yarn over, pull through, yarn over, pull through 2 stitches)
- Open up and you have a beautiful contrast seam.
For invisible seams, use a whip stitch or a crochet slip sitch with the squares right sides together. Read about another 6 methods of how to join granny squares.
How to Change Color in a Granny Square
How about trying a multicolored granny square this time? Work your foundation chain and round 1 in one color. It is best not to just tie a knot, as these knots have a way of working themselves to the front of your work and spoiling the final appearance of the granny square.
To join in your new color yarn:
- When finished with round 1, slip stitch along the work to the next ch space.
- Pull the yarn through the last loop, to finish it off and prevent unraveling.
- Add a new slip knot in your new color to the crochet hook.
- Insert the hook into that chain space where the previous color ended.
- Pull up a loop from behind and pull it through the slip knot on the hook. This is 1 chain.
- Ch 2 more, to make the 3 ch, which is equal to the first dc stitch.
- Continue making your rounds in the granny square sequence of stitches. You can change colors as often as you like, usually every one or two rounds.
How to Crochet a Granny Square Variations
Crochet granny squares for beginners don’t have to be square! Your shape just depends on how many 3 ch corners you create. You can make Granny Mandalas (work in circles, don’t make any corners); granny triangles, (3 corners); granny pentagons, hexagons, or octagons. You could even make a granny rectangle or a solid granny square. If you want to crochet granny clusters back and forth, read my article on the granny stripe.
What Can I Make With My Crochet Granny Squares for Beginners?
Now you have the building blocks to make whatever you fancy with these lovely little motifs.
If you look back to fashion in the ’70s, you will see that you can make absolutely anything with crochet granny squares for beginners. Back then they made vests (waistcoats), skirts, bell-bottom trousers, ponchos, bags, anything at all with even the crochet granny squares for beginners. Now they are more likely to be used for scarves, cowls, tea cozies, coasters, pot holders, tote bags, and of course the old favorite, square blankets.
- How to Crochet a Blanket
- How to Crochet a Coaster
- Crochet a Rectangle (includes a granny rectangle)
Patterns with Granny Squares
Get the guide to 15 of the best free crochet granny square patterns.
Granny Square Crochet History
Because it was usually the granny who was left indoors, because she was too old for manual labor, she was the one who made these reclaimed blankets. These blankets are also known as Afghan rugs because they are bright, colorful, and warm, named after the Pashtuns from Afghanistan. Nowadays, Afghan rugs are not always made of granny square crochet. Instead, they can be made in a wonderful array of different designs.
Granny squares are traditionally made by hand and are, in fact, a very coarse form of lacework. There is no hard and fast rule about the size of a granny square. You can keep crocheting in rounds until your blanket is large enough to cover a bed - but they are usually made of many small squares stitched together. Each of these squares is called a motif. These motifs also vary greatly in pattern, but we will make up a truly traditional granny square.
How to Crochet a Granny Square - Granny Square Tutorial Conclusion
I hope you found learning how to crochet a granny square with this granny square tutorial as much fun as I did writing it. If you continue making these crochet granny squares for beginners, whatever you choose to do with your granny squares, you are sure to find them easy, fun, and addictive to make. They are perfect to have as a take-a-long project when waiting for children, or for an appointment. They can be packed in a small bag, you don’t have to lug a huge craft bag along with you. Get creative with your colors, and get creative making your granny square crochet projects. You are sure to enjoy them!
More Basic Crochet Stitches After You Learn How to Crochet a Granny Square
- Slip Stitch Crochet
- How to Single Crochet
- Double Crochet
- Treble Crochet
- How to Crochet for Beginners
How to Crochet a Granny Square
- Crochet Hook
- Yarn in a Suitable Size for the Hook
- Chain 4 and join with a slip stitch.
- Chain 3. Into the ring, work 2dc (First granny cluster).
- Chain 3.
- *3 dc, ch3 (Second granny cluster).
- Repeat * 2 more times (Now have 4 granny clusters).
- Join with a slip stitch into the 3rd chain of the starting chain.
- Chain 4. Into the corder space work 2 dc.
- *Chain 1 (Creates a small gap).
- 3dc into the next corner space. 3 ch.
- 3dc into the same corner.
- Repeat from * 2 more times. (Now 8 clusters). Join with a slip stitch
Next Rounds Formula:
- You have 1 granny cluster worked into each 1 chain space. The corners have 2 granny clusters in each corner, with 3 chains in between them.
- ch = chain
- dc = double crochet
- sl st = slip stitch
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