How to Crochet a granny square by itchinforsomestitchin.com

The Ultimate Granny Square Tutorial

Date
Apr, 18, 2018

Granny squares are a classic crochet motif.  There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of different crochet granny square patterns.

However, like most new crocheters, I first learned to crochet in rows. I created flat pieces such as shawls, scarves, and afghans.

Then, one day, I was crocheting with my grandmother when she suggested I try making a granny square.

How to Crochet a Classic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

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“What the heck is a granny square?”, I asked.

She pulled out an afghan she had crocheted long ago.  It was made up of tons of small colorful squares.

I loved it!

This was my first introduction to crochet in the round and it opened a whole new world of crochet for me.

A few weeks ago, there was a discussion on my Facebook page about crocheting in the round when two new followers joined in.

They shared how they were struggling with granny squares because they couldn’t master crocheting in the round.

So, I created the How to Crochet in the Round tutorial.  And today I am following it up with a tutorial on how to crochet the classic granny square.

What is a Granny Square?

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Before I start the tutorial, let’s go over exactly what a “granny square” is.

Although many people use this term to describe any type of crochet squares,  it actually refers to the specific crochet motif you will learn in this tutorial.

The classic crochet granny square pattern is worked in the round.  It is made up of double crochet (dc) stitches that are crocheted in clusters of 3 and each cluster is separated by a chain of 2.

This basic motif is the building block of the more complex granny square variations.

Granny squares have been around for decades or longer.  In fact, I learned how to crochet granny squares nearly ten years ago now and my grandmother had already been making them for decades!

Despite how long they have been around, there seems to be very little information about their history.

I’ve heard one story stating that granny squares were created by early American women who would collect the yarn scraps that had unraveled from old sweaters and socks.  They would then crochet them into small squares, which were then sewn together by older retired “grandmas”.  The result was a colorful and functional blanket and the name “granny squares” was born!

Now, whether this story is true or not, I have no idea.  I don’t even remember where I heard or possibly read it, but I have to say that I quite enjoy the tale.  🙂

Granny Squares are not only made into functional afghans and blankets but can actually be used to create booties, skirts, purses, etc.  They are so fashionable and versatile!

How to Crochet the Basic Granny Square

Classic Granny Squares Pattern by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

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Granny Square Instructions

Skill Level:  Easy

Gauge:   8 rows and 14 stitches = 4″ in double crochet (dc)

Materials:

Yarn of your choice

  • I like a medium-worsted weight yarn, Caron Simply Soft is one of my favorites because it makes soft & shiny squares.

Crochet hook of your choice

  • I used a J/6.00 mm specialty hook by Nelswood for this tutorial

Total yardage = 25 to 50 yards

Abbreviations:

Slip-knot

Chain stitch (ch)

Slip stitch (slp st)

Double crochet (dc)

Step 1.

Make a slip-knot

Granny squares, like all crochet projects, require making a slip-knot on your crochet hook to begin.  Learn How to Make a Slip-knot here.

How to Crochet Granny Squares_Make a slip-knot by www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 2.

Make a loop.

There is more than one way to make the starting loop for a crochet granny square.

The most common method starts by chaining 4. Learn how to chain stitch here.  You then make a slip-stitch (slp st) into the first chain.  This creates a loop.  Review this technique here.

You can also use the magic ring, also called the magic circle, to make the starting loop.  This is hands down, my favorite method.

I use it exclusively unless I am using a pattern that states that you must use the chaining technique.   Learn how to make the magic circle here.

Step 3.

Make a Cluster of Three. 

Granny squares are made up of three side-by-side double crochet (dc) stitches which form a cluster.  Learn how to double crochet here.

Once you’ve created the starting loop, by whatever method you prefer, chain 2. This chain 2 counts as your first double crochet (dc).

How to Crochet Granny Squares_first chain 2 by www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Then work two more double crochets (dc) into the loop. These two double crochets, plus the chain 2, make one cluster of double crochet (dc) stitches.

How to crochet granny squares_first cluster by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 4.

Chain 2.

To make the classic granny square motif, each cluster of three double crochet stitches will be followed by a chain of two.  These chain twos form a space that separates each cluster and are thus commonly called a chain two space.

This will often be seen in a written pattern as “make a ch2-space” and I may refer to it as such in the rest of the tutorial.

Granny Squares_1st ch2 space by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Sometimes people will chain only one after a cluster and I too, have done this.

This will make your squares slightly smaller.  I usually do this when I need to tighten up a particular area.  I will also chain more than two if I need to loosen up an area.

However,  I generally only do this when I am making a granny square variation, like a crochet heart granny square, but not when working the classic granny square pattern.

So, remember, in the classic granny square method, you should always chain (ch) two after each cluster of double crochets (dc).

Step 5.

Make Another Cluster of Three. 

Make another cluster by crocheting three more double crochets (dc) into the loop.

Step 6.

Repeat. 

Repeat steps 4-5 two more times. When finished, you should have a total of four clusters of three double crochets and each cluster should be separated by a chain two.

These chain two spaces (ch-2 space) form the corners of the granny square.  There should be four corners.

How to Crochet a Granny Square_Making the four corners by www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 7.

Close the First Round.

Regardless of the method you used to make the starting loop, you should have a hole in the center of your project at this point.

If you used the magic circle to make your starting loop then pull the tail tight to close up the center hole.

This is one of the reasons I love the magic ring!

Closing the hole in the Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Closing the hole in the Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

How to Crochet a Granny Square_round one by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

When you use the magic ring method, you can make the hole as large or as small as you would like.

I generally do not like a big hole in the center of my granny squares and if you use the chaining method to make your loop, there is nothing you can do about that hole.  It will stay in the center of your granny square.

To finish the round, slip stitch (slp st) into the top of the beginning chain 2 of step 4.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Granny squares can be as small or as large as you would like.  The size of your crochet square is entirely up to you.

You can actually stop after the first round!

If that’s what you choose, that’s it, you’re done.  You don’t even need to look at the rest of the tutorial.

However, you can also grow your granny square from this point and make it as large as you want, even large enough to cover a king-sized bed!  True story.

 

Step 8.

Chain 5 to Begin the Second Round.

Start the second round by chaining five.  The first three chains will count as the last double crochet of the very last cluster.  The last two chains count as your first chain two space.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 9.

Form the Next Cluster.  

Form your first three-double-crochet-cluster (3dc-cluster) by working three double crochets (3dc) into the chain two space (ch2-space) from the previous round.  This should be the first corner of the first round.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 10.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to create the corner space.

Step 11.

Form the Next Cluster.

Work 3 double crochets in the same ch2-space.  Steps 9-11 create the first corner of the second round.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 12.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to create the left side of the square.

Step 13.

Form the Next Cluster.

Work 3 double crochets into the next chain 2 space (the second corner of round one).

Step 14.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to create the corner space.

Step 15.

Form the Next Cluster.

Work 3 double crochets in the same ch2-space.  Steps 13-15 form the second corner of round two.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 16.

Repeat. 

Repeat steps 12-15.  This should form the bottom of the square and the third corner of the second round.

Step 17.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to form the right side of the square.

Step 18.

Make the Next Cluster.

Work 3 double crochets in the last chain 2-space (the fourth corner of the first round).

Step 19.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to form the corner space.

Step 20.

Make the Last Cluster. 

Work two double crochets (2dc) in the last chain two space (ch2-space).

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 21.

Close the Round.

After you’ve worked the 2 double crochets in the last corner, slip-stitch into the 3rd chain of the chain 5 from step 8.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

The 2 double crochets plus the 3 chains of the chain 5 from step 8 create the fourth corner of the second round.

This completes round two.

Step 22.

Chain 3 to Begin Round Three.

If you want to keep growing your granny square you will start round three and any additional rounds by chaining three.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 23.

Form the First Cluster.

Work two double crochets into the first chain two space.  This located directly to the left of the chain three created in step 22.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 24.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to create the corner space.

Step 25.

Form the Corner.

Work a 3dc-cluster into the next ch2-space (the first corner of round two).

Step 26.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to create the corner space.

Step 27.

3dc cluster in the same ch2-space.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 28.

Chain 2.

Chain 2 to create a new ch2-space.

Step 29.

Repeat.

Repeat steps 23-28 three more times.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Step 30.

Close the round.

Slip-stitch into the top chain of the chain 3 from step 23.

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

How to Crochet a Basic Granny Square by https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

This completes the third round.


If you want to continue to grow your granny square from this point on, you essentially  repeat steps 22-28 as many times as you want — with some minor changes in detail.

Step 22 says to chain 3 to start the round and this is true — IF your round starts to the RIGHT of a ch-2 space (see the 1st photo of step 23).  And, then continue with step 23.

However, IF your round starts to the LEFT of ch-2 space (as in the final photo above for step 30)  you will start the next round by chaining 5.  This chain 5 counts as a chain 3 and a chain 2 (that will become a ch-2 space for the next round).  You then work 3 dc stitches into the first ch-2 space instead of  2 dc stitches.  Then carry on with steps 24-28.

Also, as your square gets larger you will notice that there will be more and dc clusters between the corners — this means that the step numbers themselves will become invalid — but the actual process of creating dc clusters and corners remains the same.


If you continue in this manner you can create one large crochet square afghan. Alternatively, you can make smaller squares and then sew them together to make an afghan.

You can even sew granny squares together to make slippers.  Here is a great pattern by Naztazia for granny square slippers.  They are so cute!

The possibilities are truly limitless! And now that you know how to crochet granny squares, I simply must ask…

What will you make with your granny squares?

Comment Below!

Until next time… Happy Crocheting!

https://www.itchinforsomestitchin.com

Itchin4Stitchin

I'm a full time homemaker who loves to crochet, knit, quilt, and sew. I have the best fiancé in the world, four beautiful step-daughters-to-be, an amazing new little baby boy, and six wonderful dogs, who love to keep me on my toes. Life is sweet!

6 Comments

  1. Reply

    Stella

    August 19, 2019

    Your instructions are not correct. After the last pic, you say to repeat steps 23-29 again, but this is not correct. In your comment reply to another confused reader you say to chain 5. Well, which is it? Step 23 says to chain 3.

    • Reply

      Itchin4Stitchin

      August 25, 2019

      Hi Stella,

      Thank you for calling this to my attention. Due to some unforeseeable family issues, I had not yet had the time to make the necessary corrections after receiving the previous comment. However, I have now updated the post with the appropriate changes.

      Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.

      Best wishes,

      RaeLynn

  2. Reply

    Daniella

    August 18, 2019

    Hi, so I completed the first full square ( Step 30), but can’t seem to figure out where to place my first dc cluster after closing the round and chaining 3 to start the next round–does the first cluster for the next round begin in the same ch2 space as the slip stitch from the previous round? Hope this question makes sense. Thanks in advance!

    • Reply

      Itchin4Stitchin

      August 18, 2019

      Hi Daniella,

      I believe after completing step 30 you would chain 5 – counts as a chain 3 and chain 2 – work 3 dc’s into the first ch-2 space. Then do the regular pattern all the way around.

      Does this make sense? If you are still unclear please email at [email protected] and I will be happy to send you a photo.

      Thanks so much for such a great question!

      Sincerely,

      RaeLynn

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About Me

I'm RaeLynn - wife to an amazing man, step-mom to 4 beautiful daughters, & mommy to one rambunctious little boy. I am a self-taught crocheter who has a passion for teaching others this wonderful skill. Join me on this crochet journey and let's create something beautiful!

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