Classic granny squares are back in fashion! Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and many fashion industry bigwigs have included granny square designs in their recent collections. Grandma’s square now comes in the form of dresses, tops, hats, pants, bags - you name it. And the best news is Granny squares are easy to make with any crochet hooks and yarn (even leftovers from other projects). They are the perfect crochet project: quick and creative. So, let yourself get “hooked” on the classic square and start making them.
First, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of making a very elementary granny square with basic crochet stitches. If you know how to make a slip knot, chain and double crochet stitches, you are good to go. Since you must maneuver around a bit, especially when starting your square, go for smooth crochet hooks.
Step 1- Foundation Ring
At the heart of each granny square is the foundation ring. The ring is formed by a crochet chain of between five or six chain stitches that you join with a slip stitch. The little hole formed by your chain will later be the center around which you place the stitches of your first round.
After closing the ring, go up to the next level for your first round of double stitches. For this, simply chain two chains as your first double crochet stitch. Then, insert your crochet hook into the ring, yarn over, pull through, yarn over again and hence create a real double crochet stitch (DC).
Repeat with as many double crochets as you need to fill the ring, but make sure you have an even number of stitches, e.g., 12 stitches. Consider the more stitches you create in your first round, the bigger your square will become.
After finishing your first round of double crochets, do NOT yarn over, but simply insert your hook through the last loop of your first crochet in the round (the two chain stitches) and make a slip stitch. Do this after every round, then start another color and round by going up another two chain stitches.
Step 2 – Square it up
The item you now hold in your hands is naturally still a ring. So, how do you transform it into a square? Somehow, four edges need to be created. And you do this two ways: First, add more stitches in each round, and second, rearrange all your stitches by adding chains.
You start by forming your first square corner right after you have made your two chain stitches with the chain stitches, again, counting as your first double crochet of this round. Then craft two more double crochets into the same stitch. Make a chain stitch and another three double crochets plus one chain loop into that very same stitch. You now have a total of six double crochets plus two chain loops created out of one stitch. These will construct your first edge.
But in order to prevent your granny square from curling, you now must jump two double crochet stitches and insert your hook into the third stitch after your edge. Again, make three double crochets plus a chain stitch, then jump another two stitches and create your second edge like your first.
Repeat until you have positioned your corners symmetrically around the circle, then join with a slip stitch, and start the next round.
Step 3 – Weaving in the ends
Once you have crocheted your first granny square, you will need to weave in the end yarn. Use a finishing needle to make it easy and trail the loose end through a few previous stitches to “bury” it. If you have chosen many yarns from your stash or any other yarn rather than getting new material. If you are unsure, refer to our previous blog on how to choose wool for crochet.
If you are not fond of weaving in your yarn ends, the simplest method is to simply yarn over them as you crochet your round. This technique works fine if you are just crafting double or single crochets as these create a tight enough fabric. Should you later opt for lacy granny square patterns and use lots of treble stitches, it is recommended to either weave in loose ends with a finishing needle or join your crochet squares with the chain stitches.
So why not get with it right away, and design your own granny square garment or accessory? With measuring tapes and a crochet hook set (a Tunisian crochet hook complete with cords), you can take up any project!