Learn how to crochet a granny square with this detailed tutorial. Granny squares are one of the most traditional crochet techniques. They are square motifs made of crochet. They are worked in rounds, starting from the center outward. If you are a beginner, chances are granny squares are one of the first projects you will learn how to make. They are very easy to make. The construction of it relies upon very beginner stitches and they are not very elaborated. In fact, you will be using only chains and double crochets for granny squares.
The double crochets will be used to form a “cluster”. A cluster is what we call every block of three double crochets in the pattern. The chains are used to do the transition spaces between the clusters and to create the corners.
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This tutorial was created using the classic technique. The classic granny square is built with chain 1 spaces, clusters and ch 2 spaces in the corners. A cluster consists of a group of three double crochet stitches. So, the math concept in a classic granny square round is very simple:
- a cluster for every ch 1 space, a ch 1 space for every cluster, corners with 1 cluster + chain 2 + 1 cluster.
In fact, making two double crochets plus 2 chains in the corners is what makes the increases work. Every round will have 4 extra clusters per round.
What are granny squares used for?
They are used for a lot of different projects. If you type “granny square projects” on Pinterest or google, you will see. There are garments, purses, pillows, blankets (of course) and even lampshades and stuffed animals. The beautiful thing about crochet is that you can let your creativity flow. You can create anything. And with granny squares it no different. What’s something odd you have seen someone make with granny squares?
Here is a granny blanket free pattern right here on the blog. This one was made with bulky yarn.
How big should a granny square be?
There are a lot of factors that will determine a size of a granny square. With this pattern right here, you could make a variation of different sizes, depending on the yarn weight and the hood size you choose. Truth is, there is no rules for how big it should be. But for a classic granny square blanket, I would recommend squares of about 8” x 8” (20 x 20 cm) to 12” x 12” (30 x 30 cm). To achieve that size with this pattern, follow the instructions below and add as many rounds as needed.
What’s the best yarn for granny squares?
Any type of yarn is fine. But if you are a beginner, my advice is that you choose a non-splitting yarn. This doesn’t apply only to granny squares, but to any other crochet project. Now you may be asking yourself “what is a non-splitting yarn?”. Well, the most popular yarns are spun with a method called “ring-span”. Ring-spun yarns have multiple smaller strands twisted around each other to make the yarn strong.
Another thing that’s very common is that acrylic and cotton are the most used fibers for ring-spun yarns. A yarn label won’t tell you what method was used to spin it. However, if you look closely at a skein of yarn next time you go to the craft store, you will be able to tell how twisted it is. The tighter the twist is, the easier it will be if you are crocheting a granny square for the first time.
Best size crochet hook to learn how to crochet granny squares?
Yet another irrelevant factor depending on the kind of project, yarn and even your tension. Most classic granny square blankets are made with worsted weight (4). In fact, that’s the yarn weight I recommend if you are a beginner. For worsted weight yarn I like to use a hoo size 5.5 mm (US I).
If you are confident enough to use a bulky yarn, go ahead and follow the yarn label instructions for the hook size. But remember, the yarn label should be only a guide, you can use the size you feel most comfortable with. Or use the one you need to achieve a certain project size, if gauge is an important factor.
How many granny squares does it take to make a blanket?
If you do a quick search online, you will find tons of blanket size charts for reference. But with granny squares it’s hard to make exactly the size the charts ask for. My advice is that you divide the size of the blanket (first, the length and then, the width) by 8. That is, if you are making the 8”x 8” (20 x 20 cm) squares, of course.
Round up or down both the result numbers, as needed. Then multiply one result by the other to find how many squares you need. That’s the way you can roughly get close to the size you want to make.
That’s a way to find out the number of squares you need for a blanket. Remember to consider the edging too. For some of the sizes, you may add a wider edging to make it bigger or just make a simple one if you don’t want it to be a lot larger.
Here are a few suggestions for the most popular blanket sizes:
- Security/Cuddle: 2 by 2 = 4 8″ x 8″ square blocks.
- Baby: 3 by 4 = 12 8″ x 8″ square blocks
- Crib: 5 by 6 = 30 8″ x 8″ square blocks
- Throw: 6 by 7 = 42 8″ x 8″ square blocks
- Level of difficulty for this pattern is easy. As long as you are familiar with these stitches and techniques you are good: magic circle, chain, double crochet, and slip stitch.
- This tutorial was written using US crochet terminology.
- First, follow the written instructions with step by step photos and then check out the abbreviated pattern at the end of this post.
- The yarn weight and hook size informed above, are suggestions only. You may use any other kind of yarn and hook size you feel comfortable with.
Stitches & abbreviations:
dc: double crochet
mc: magic circle
sl st: slip stitch
dc cluster: a group of three double crochets in the same chain space
*: repeat instructions after the asterisk as indicated
( ): crochet instructions between parenthesis as instructed
Materials and tools to learn how to crochet a granny square
- Yarn: worsted weight (4) non-splitting yarn works better for beginners
- Crochet Hook: check the label as a guideline for the size of the hook
- Tapestry needle: to weave in ends
Here is how to crochet a granny square
Crochet granny squares never get old. Here is the step by step on how to crochet a granny square and create your first project using this classic motif.
Total Time: 15 minutes
Step 1: Create a magic circle
Create a magic circleBegin with the magic circle. Then chain 3. The initial 3 chains count as the first double crochet for the first cluster.
There are a few ways to start a granny square, or any other round crochet project. My preferred one is creating a magic circle. Check this tutorial out and learn how to make a magic circle.
Step 2: Make the first dc cluster
Crochet two double crochets in the magic circle. Chain 2.
The chain spaces in first round are what establishes the corners of the granny square. To begin, you will crochet one block (cluster) of three double crochet stitches. Remember, the first three chains count as a double crochet.
Step 3: Crochet the second double crochet cluster
Make the second cluster, then chain 2. At this point, with the first and second cluster and 2 chains between them, you have one corner started. This is all done inside the magic circle.
Step 4: Complete the first round of the granny square
Repeat previous step to complete first round: (3 dc, ch 2) 2 more times.
Each set of chain 2 in first row will be for the corners. You will notice a tiny square is already forming as soon as you finish this first round.
At the end of this round, join with a slip stitch to initial ch 3. Pull the tail of the magic circle to tighten up the circle. You may come back later with a darning needle to secure that tail at the back of the work.
Step 5: Chain 4 and make round two
In this round, you will start making ch spaces for clusters on the sides of the granny squares, not only in the corners.
Now, if you look closely, you will see that you need to skip a cluster right away to start round two. So, let’s follow the math logic we mentioned earlier in this article.
From here on, you will need 1 chain for every cluster of three double crochet. And remember, every time you start a new round, you will need a chain 3. The chain 3 will count as a double crochet.
That being said, if you need one chain space for every cluster and three chains to start a round, you will then need to chain 4 to start the second round. From those four chains, 3 of them will count as a double crochet for the last cluster when you complete this round. And the remaining chain will be the first chain 1 space in this round.
Does it sound confusing? It will make more sense once you complete this round.
Step 6: Crochet the first corner in round two
(3 double crochet stitches, 2 chains, 3 double crochet stitches) in next chain 2 space. Chain 1.
The corners of a crochet granny square, like mentioned earlier, are the spots where you place the increases. That’s the reason why you will place two clusters in the corners. To separate those two clusters, you will crochet 2 chains, like you did in first round. Two chains + two clusters are the equivalent of one chain for each cluster and one cluster for each chain, got it?
Step 7: Complete round two of the granny square
To complete round 2, you will repeat the previous step 2 more times. Then (3 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in last ch 2 space. You will then join with a slip stitch to initial ch 3.
As I mentioned in step five, it would make more sense once you completed this round. Look at it now and you can tell: the last two double crochet stitches, plus the “chain 3” you used to join this round, completed the last cluster.
Step 8: Crochet the third round
(ch 3, 2 dc) in next ch sp, ch 1, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch sp, ch 1, repeat from * 2 more times, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch sp, ch 1, join with a sl st to initial ch 3.
Your tiny project is starting to look a lot more like a granny square. Continue following the logic:
one cluster for every chain 1 space
one chain 1 space for every cluster
two clusters and a chain 2 space between them in the corners.
You started last round with a ch 1 space. Now you will start round 3 with a 3 double crochet stitch cluster.
It will be like this for the rest of the pattern: every even round you start with a chain 1 space and every odd round you will start with a cluster.
At this and any further rounds, you will be making clusters on the sides of the granny square too.
Step 9: Add more rounds to the granny square
To add more rounds, you will be repeating all you have done in round 3. Continue with the “one cluster for every chain 1 space and one chain 1 space for every cluster” logic. Add two clusters and a chain 2 space in the middle of the two to make the corners and keep going. Add as many rounds as needed to achieve the square block size you want.
Estimated Cost: 3 USD
- Yarn of your preference (see notes above)
- Crochet hook (see notes above)
Materials: Scissors to cut ends
Let’s put it all together
Rnd1: ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, (3 dc, ch 2) 3 more times, join with a slip st to initial ch 3.
Now you will start with ch 4 (ch 3 for a dc and another ch for the ch space).
Rnd2: ch 4, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch sp, ch 1, repeat from * 2 more times, (3 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in last ch sp, join with a sl st to initial ch 3.
Rnd3: ch 3, 2 dc in next ch sp, ch 1, *(3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch sp, ch 1, repeat from * 2 more times, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch sp, ch 1, join with a sl st to initial ch 3.
Fasten Off. Cut the yarn. Or continue to add rows.
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I hope you enjoy this crochet granny square tutorial. Please leave a comment below if you have questions or if you just would like to say “hi”. If you share it on Instagram, I would love to see it, please tag @zamiguz or use the hashtag #zamiguzmakers