The ubiquitous granny square is a crochet staple. Probably one of the first things that most people learn to crochet – and one of the most versatile. As soon as you’ve mastered this granny square tutorial, you can crochet a blanket (with lots of squares joined together or a single giant square), a potholder, a bag or a baby’s cube toy. In fact, anything with flat sides could be considered as, despite the name, granny squares don’t actually have to be square! You can turn them into most simple geometric shapes. Granny square triangles look lovely, strung together, as colourful bunting.
Note: In this granny square tutorial, treble refers to UK treble (tr) or US double crochet (dc).
Granny Square Tutorial Instructions
1. Start with a suitable size hook for your yarn; perhaps 4mm (US 6) for DK (US: light worsted) or 5mm (US 8) for Aran (US: worsted).
2. Make the usual slip knot and chain 4 or 5 stitches. Join the last stitch to the first stitch with a slip stitch, to form a circle.
3. Chain 3 stitches (counted as your first ‘treble’) and work 2 trebles into the chain space of the circle. (Try going over the tail, as well as the chain space; this is easier and neater than weaving in the tail later.) This is your first ‘side’, formed out of your first ‘shell’ (the 3 trebles).
Form a circle; ch3, 2tr into ch-sp.
4. Chain 3 stitches (which form your first ‘corner’) and work 3 trebles into the circle chain space. This is your second ‘side’.
5. Again, chain 3 and work 3 trebles into the circle chain space. Then, once more, chain 3 and work 3 trebles into the circle chain space.
6. At this point, trim the end of the tail; you might need to weave it in first, if you didn’t crochet over it. Chain 3 stitches for your last corner and join to the top of the first ‘treble’ of the round with a slip stitch. Work a further 2 slip stitches to move your working yarn to the start of the first corner. You now have a little square!
Join round with sl st, then sl st to corner and begin next round.
7. From this point, onwards, either use the same yarn or change colours for each new round. Chain 3 (for the first ‘treble’) and work 2 trebles into the corner chain space. Then chain 3 (for the corner) and work 3 trebles. This is how you’ll crochet the first corner of each round.
8. Chain 2 and work 3 trebles into the first available chain space. If the chain space is on the ‘side’, then keep going (chain 2, treble 3) until you reach the corner space. If you worked those trebles into the corner chain space, you then chain 3 (for the corner) and work 3 trebles. Keep repeating this until you’ve gone all the way around the square.
9. After your last 3 trebles, chain 2 and join to the top of the first ‘treble’ of the round with a slip stitch. Finish off your work or start a new round. You can keep going till you run out of yarn or patience!
Granny Square Variations
To make a larger granny square, simply use a larger hook and thicker yarn. Alternatively, instead of trebles, use a taller stitch. Try using double trebles (US: triple crochet) and doing 4 chains for the corners and 3 for the sides.
If you want to make different shapes, vary the ‘sides’ and number of shells (the groups of trebles). Instead of 4 shells for the first round, work 3 shells and turn it into a triangle! The principles are exactly the same – short chains for the sides and longer chains for the corners. Whatever you do, you always start with a joined circle, work the same number of tall stitches for each shell, and, typically, work (x) number of stitches to join the side shells and (x+1) number of stitches for the corners.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this granny square tutorial; I’d love to hear about your granny square shapes!