You may have heard of granny squares as a crocheter – often, they are the first thing people think of when they think about crocheting.
Sometimes they’re considered old-fashioned, but lately, the square has made a bit of a comeback. As more folks have picked up crocheting as a hobby, granny squares have been refreshed and used in new and wonderful ways.
Even if a granny square is the only thing that you can crochet, there are tons of things that you can do with that one item.
In this post, we’ll cover a bit about how to make a crochet granny square, grab a few patterns from the web, and conclude with some granny square inspiration.
So grab your hook, pick some pretty yarn colors, and let’s get to it!
How to Create a Basic Granny Square
Granny squares are worked in the round and use many of the stitches that you learn as a beginning crocheter. That’s what makes them the perfect crochet project to practice your skills and get the hang of working in the round!
They’re also a great way to teach color changes and increases, so if you’re new to crocheting I highly recommend giving them a try.
I like to look at a crochet graph to help me visualize the way a basic granny square is set up:
Please excuse my less-than-perfect graphing skills! But I think I’ve conveyed the basics of how to make a granny square – they consist of “straights” and “corners”.
Corners are created by placing two stitches in the previous corner, chaining four stitches, then placing another two stitches in the same corner, like so:
Straights are created in the chain spaces between corners. Place two stitches in the chain two space of the previous row, then chain two like so:
All stitches are worked in the chain spaces that you create from the previous row, which gives them that open-work look. Each row you add increases the size of the square!
Another great thing about granny squares is the ability to customize them with various colors, stitch types, shapes, and sizes.
Here are two examples of the basic pattern I showed above – one where I created the whole square in one color, and another where I alternated the color from row to row:
Here’s a written copy of the graphed granny square pattern shown above:
R1: Start with a Magic Loop, then chain 3 (counts as your first double crochet). Double crochet once, then chain 4. *2dc, ch4, 2dc* repeat three times total to form your first row.
Slip stitch to the top of the first chain 3 you made, then slip stitch to the top of the next double crochet and in the chain 4 space from the previous row to close the first row.
R2: Chain 3 (counts as your first double crochet). Double crochet once, then chain 4. In the same chain 4 space from the previous row, place two more double crochets. This forms our first corner!
Chain 2, then we’ll need to make the next corner by placing 2dc, ch4, and 2dc in the chain 4 space of the previous row.
Repeat this pattern of chaining 2 and then making a corner until you finish your last corner. Then, chain 2 and slip stitch to the top of the chain 3 you created at the beginning of the row.
Just like R1 (and the end of every row), slip stitch to the top of the next double crochet and in the chain 4 space from the previous row to close the first row.
R3: Chain 3 (counts as your first double crochet). Double crochet once, then chain 4. In the same chain 4 space from the previous row, place two more double crochets. This forms our first corner!
Chain 2, and in the chain 2 space from the previous row, place 2 double crochet stitches. Chain 2, and then make a corner by placing 2dc, ch 4, and 2dc in the chain 4 space from the previous row.
We’ll repeat this pattern of chaining 2, placing 2 double crochets in the chain 2 space from the previous row, then creating a corner all the way around. End by chaining 2, slip stitching to the top of the chain 3 you created at the beginning of the row.
You can keep working this pattern around and around – you’ll just add more chain 2 spaces as your square gets bigger.
Other Granny Square Styles and Shapes
Now that we’ve learned your basic “square” granny square, you can experiment by trying different types of stitches and motifs in your basic square! Here are two that I personally love that you may want to try out:
- By Haafner has a lovely flower motif square that you can find here on their blog. It utilizes different colors and clusters of stitches to create the flower!
- Attic24 has this beautiful and colorful square and some very detailed instructions on how to create one here.
Ready to try some other shapes? Here are a few more unusually shaped granny “squares” you might like:
- We’ve got a beautiful tutorial here on how to make a triangular-shaped granny square. These look stunning when made in different colors and joined together!
- The Crochet Swirl has a beautiful hexagon-shaped granny square on its site here. They look pretty with different color combinations on each round, but they also look great made as one color each and then joined at the end!
- While the end product on this granny square by Just Be Crafty is square, the interior rows are circular and, with some simple color changes, really emphasize the circle motif. Check out the pattern here on their blog!
20 Things You Can Do With a Granny Square
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, and have a few shapes to work with, here are some fantastic ideas on how to use a granny square:
Large Granny Square Blanket
The most common item that people make with granny squares is a blanket made up of multiple squares.
However, some folks aren’t fond of joining all of the individual squares, so prefer to make large granny square blankets.
As I mentioned in the basic granny pattern above, you can keep working around and around until your finished project measures your desired size!
Granny Square Rugs
As with making a blanket, create some granny squares/ triangles/ hexagons to the desired size and join them.
Add a no-slip backing to the finished craft project and you’ve got a pretty hand-made rug!
Granny Square Ottoman Slipcover
This pattern is in Sarah London’s Granny Square Love crochet book.
Granny Squares Scarf
Join your squares to the desired width and height, and you can create colorful crochet scarves! Check out this scarf by Annie Design Crochet here for some inspiration.
Granny Square Coasters
Single granny squares make great coasters! Create sets of them and give them as gifts with wine glasses or mugs.
Granny Square Shawl
Using the same techniques as a granny square, you can create a comfy and pretty shawl for yourself – check out Make and Do’s Newsprint Crochet Granny Stitch Shawl here!
Granny Squares Cowl
The same technique used to make the granny square scarf can also make a cowl; just make it smaller and join the ends together.
Granny Square Stool Cover
I have seen a lot of people making granny square covers for stools lately, including vintage stools and IKEA stools. My Rose Valley has a crochet tutorial for the ones shown above.
You can make any granny square a seat cover for any chair as long as you make it the right size.
You can use ribbon ties to make sure that the seat cover doesn’t slip off the chair.
Rearview Mirror Charm
Hang a small granny square from your rearview mirror to celebrate your love of crochet (assuming you live in a state where you are allowed to have things hanging from the rearview mirror!).
Granny Square Pillows
You can make these by joining smaller-sized granny squares to make the desired size, or by creating two large granny squares and joining them together front and back.
Natikrall’s blog has a great tutorial for a pillow cover that joins the squares at an angle, which adds another element of visual interest.
Crochet Envelopes or Gift Bags
Crafternoon Treats has this easy granny square envelope/bag that you can create using a simple granny square. Check it out here!
Lion Brand has a very cute dog sweater pattern on their site which uses granny squares!
Granny Square Applique
The granny square can be used as an applique on any other item/project – you can use them to make pockets on bags, shirts, and cardigans, or simply affix them to the front of another piece for some visual interest.
Crochet Wall Clock
Why not use a granny square to create a stunning clock/piece of art? See 20 sensational crochet clocks here.
Granny Square Gloves
I think that these granny square gloves are surprisingly cute. They’re a pattern in the book Crochet in No Time by Melody Griffiths.
Granny Square Dishcloth
Any item that is naturally square is great for a granny square pattern!
Granny Square Purse
Two granny squares and a strap make a granny tote or purse. Here’s a pattern by Paula Nevison on Ravelry that makes a cute bag!
Granny Square Shirt
Pardon My Chaos has a free crochet pattern for this adorable granny square top.
Granny Square Art
I’m a huge fan of turning any crochet that you make into hanging art on canvas, framed art, or floor art. But even just a single granny square framed on an interesting paper background could make a great piece of art for the crocheter’s home!
I hope that this post has given you some cool ideas and inspiration for your crochet journey and that you will now give granny squares, triangles, circles, and hexagons a try!