Learn how to crochet a granny square with this detailed photo tutorial. Granny squares are one of the most traditional crochet motifs and consist of double crochet and chain stitches only.
They are worked in rounds, starting from the center outward. If you are a beginner, chances are granny squares are one of the first crochet projects you will learn.
The construction of a granny square is very easy. It relies upon very beginner friendly stitches that are not very elaborated. As I mentioned above, 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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Common questions on how to crochet a granny square
Before we dive into the tutorial, here is some useful information about granny squares that’s good to know.
What are granny squares used for?
They can be used for many different crochet projects, but the most common ones are these.
- Garments, such as cardigans, tops, pants, and even dresses.
- Purses, bags and totes.
- Home decoration accessories, such s pillows, blankets (of course) and even lampshades.
- You can even make stuffed animals. If you type “granny square projects” on Pinterest or google, you will see.
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?
How big should a granny square be?
A classic granny square usually measures approximately 8” x 8” (20 x 20 cm) to 12” x 12” (30 x 30 cm). However, there are some factors that will determine a size of a granny square. Such as yarn weight, hook size, tension and how many rows your granny square will have.
Truth is, there is no rules for how big it should be. 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?
Acrylic or Acrylic blend yarn is usually a good choice because it’s durable and affordable. But keep in mind that there are no rules about what kind of yarn is best.
Go ahead and use the yarn that fits your taste (and pocket) better. Here are a few yarns I have used before, and approved.
- Vana’s Choice by Lion Brand is premium 100% acrylic and comes in a range of beautiful shades.
- Red Heart Super Saver is also 100% acrylic, easy to work with and affordable.
- Hue and Me by Lion Brand, I used it for my Rusty Cottage Classic Granny Square Blanket. It’s wool and acrylic blend and is amazingly soft.
How many granny squares does it take to make a blanket?
This is also dependable on a few factors, such as what kind of blanket you are making and who it is for. But here are some ideas.
- You will need 4 granny squares (8″ x 8″) to make Stroller/Baby blankets, which makes a 2 by 2 squares blanket, when assembled.
- It takes 25 squares (8″ x 8″) to make a Receiving blanket, which is 5 by 5 squares, when assembled.
- For a crib blanket, you will need 37 squares (8″ x 8″), 5 by 7, when assembled.
- As for throw blankets, you will need 42 squares (8″ x 8″ ), which is 6 by 7, when assembled.
Below is a chart with a blanket size guide. As a side note, the size recommendations here do not include edging.
Calculating how many squares it takes to make a blanket
- Considering that you are using 8”x 8” (20 cm x 20 cm) squares, divide the size of the blanket (first, the length and then, the width) by 8 (or 20 cm).
- 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.
- Let’s say you will make a 40″ x 40″ blanket. Then you will divide 40 by 8, twice. The result, 5 in this case, is how many you need for the length and for the width.
- Then you multiply 5 x 5. You will need 25 squares to make your 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 is my granny blanket free pattern that’s free here on the blog. This one was made with bulky yarn.
- 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 construction of the stitch
- 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.
- Making (three double crochets + 2 chains + three double crochets ) in the corners is what makes the increases work. Every round will have 4 extra clusters per round.
- ch(s): chain(s)
- dc: double crochet
- mc: magic circle
- sl st: slip stitch
- st(s): stitch(s)
- 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
Supplies needed 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
How to crochet a granny square step-by-step
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
Create a magic circle
Begin 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 how to crochet a granny square
- 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.
- Pin it now to learn how to crochet a granny square later.
I hope you enjoy this crochet granny square tutorial.
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