How to Crochet a Classic Granny Square
The granny square is the classic crochet motif, and it is often one of the first things that a person masters when first learning how to crochet. But there are plenty of people who start with crochet rows and don't yet know how to crochet the granny square. Wherever you are in your crochet journey, these instructions will help you learn how to crochet the classic granny square. Then it points you to all of the resources that you might need to expand upon the classic crochet granny square and take it to the next level.
Understanding the Crochet Granny Square
Before we get started, let's talk about what "granny square" means. Many people use the term to refer to any type of crocheted square. However, the strict definition of the granny square refers to the crochet pattern that you'll learn in this tutorial. You can then go on to learn many different varieties but this is your building block for the motif. This classic crochet granny square is made up of double crochet stitches that are crocheted in clusters of 3 and each cluster is separated by a chain of 2. The crochet granny square is worked in the round.
The Materials That You Need
It's really easy to crochet a granny square. All that you need is yarn and a crochet hook. You can crochet a granny square using any type of yarn at all and use any size crochet hook (although it always works best if you use the crochet hook that is recommended for the weight of your yarn, which is information that you can locate on your yarn label).
Start with a Slip Knot
The crochet granny square begins, as do all crochet projects, by making a slip knot on your crochet hook.
Chain Three to Begin Your Crochet Granny Square
You will discover that there are different options for starting a crochet granny square. However, the method that we use tends to be the most common method. You will begin with a chain 3.
As mentioned before, crochet granny squares are made up of dc clusters. Each cluster consists of three side-by-side double crochet stitches. The "chain 3" that you completed in Step 4 above counts as your first double crochet stitch, so now you need to crochet two double crochet stitches right next to it.
Well, how do you do that? You simply crochet two dc stitches into the base chain of the chain three. So, yarn over, insert your hook into the first chain closest to the hook, yarn over again, and complete the double crochet. Then do that one more time. You should now have what looks like three dc stitches next to each other in your first cluster.
Each cluster of three double crochet stitches will be separated by a chain of two. So now you chain two.
It's time to make your next cluster of three double crochet stitches. So you're going to crochet 3 dc stitches into the base of the first chain three, in the same spot where you already made the other double crochet stitches from the previous cluster.
Remember that your crochet clusters are always separated by a chain two, and since you just finished a cluster, you have to chain two. Every time you finish a cluster, you will chain two.
It's time to make your third cluster. So you're just going to repeat step 7 above. (When you have done that, you should have three clusters, as shown in the image here.)
Then go ahead and repeat step 8 because of course you always chain two after your cluster.
Final Cluster of Round One
To get that square shape you need to crochet four clusters and four corners (the chain 2 stitches are your corners). So go ahead and make your final cluster by repeating step 9.
Slip Stitch to Close
After you've finished Step 9, you're going to have chain 2 hanging loose. To close the round and create your square shape, you're going to slip stitch into the top of the first ch 3.
What does this mean? When you started the clusters, your first dc of the first cluster was a chain three. Slip stitch into the third chain, which is the chain at the top. In other words, slip stitch into the top of the first double crochet that you see closest to you as you're working around.
You have now completed the first round of your crochet granny square. It should have four clusters of 3 dc stitches each, four corners of 2 ch each and it should be a square shape.
Chain 3 to Begin Next Round
You can grow your granny square as large as you want. This is where you learn how to start growing it. It always begins with a "chain three". As with the first round, this serves as the first double crochet of the very first cluster. So, chain three to begin this round.
Double Crochet Twice
Now it's time to finish that cluster, which means that you have to put two double crochet stitches right next to the one that you've just made. So double crochet into the chain space; you will work into the open corner that is immediately below where you started your chain three, inserting the double crochet stitches immediately to the left (if you're right-handed) of the stitch in basically the same spot where that chain three is. You will now have a cluster of 3 dc in the first corner, although the first one will look slightly different because it was created as a chain three.
Crochet The Next Corner
Now it's time to crochet the next corner of your granny square. First, you need to Chain 2, because, as you've already learned, you always chain 2 after your cluster. You just made a cluster so you chain two.
Now you're going to work in the chain 2 space of the next corner. In that space, you will make 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc. So crochet three double crochet stitches, chain two in between them and then crochet another 3 double crochet stitches, all in the same spot in the corner. This is ALWAYS how you are going to crochet every corner of your granny square from here on out, with the exception of the starting corner, which we'll get to in a moment.
Repeat For Next Corner
So you're going to repeat step 14 in the next corner and you'll now have your starting corner and two completed corners.
Repeat step 14 again. So now you've got your starting corner and three finished corners. That means that you just need to complete the starting corner, which as you can now see, is also the corner that you finish in.
Remember to finish this step with a chain 2 because you always chain 2 after any cluster, right?
Cluster of 3 Double Crochet
If you pause for a moment and think about it, what you've been doing in each corner is 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc. What you did in the first starting corner, however, is to create three dc stitches, so the first half of that is already done. What you need to do to finish the granny square is add the ch 2 and the other cluster of double crochet stitches.
So, in this step, make 3 dc stitches into the same corner that the first set of clusters is already in. Then chain two, because you always chain two after a cluster of double crochet stitches.
Slip Stitch to Close
Now you slip stitch to close the granny square, completing the final corner (which also happened to be the starting corner since you are crocheting in the round). Slip stitch into the top stitch of the first chain three, which is also the first dc of the cluster. You have now completed the second round of your crochet granny square.
Begin a New Round
You are going to begin a new round, in the same way, every single time. So just repeat steps 12 and 13 here.
Crochet Cluster On to Granny Square Edge
You will notice that as the granny square grows, there aren't just corners to work into. There are also edges.
Remember how you crochet 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc into every corner? Well, you only do the first part of it on every edge. So you'll just crochet 3 dc stitches into the edge. And of course, you'll then ch 2 because you always chain two after your cluster.
So, assuming that you're right handed, you'll see an open space where there's a chain two from the previous row, along with the edge counterclockwise from your starting corner. That's where you crochet the 3 dc for this step.
Continuing on counterclockwise (or clockwise if you're left handed), you'll notice that next up is a corner Put 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in the corners.
And Continue On With Your Crochet Granny Square
Now you know everything that you need to know about how to crochet a granny square. Continue to work your corners (3dc, ch 2 2dc) and your edges (3 dc) all the way around. When you reach the last corner, which was also the starting corner, repeat steps 17 and 18 to finish that round. As you grow the granny square larger, there will be more clusters along each edge before you reach each corner but you already know how to make them and can grow the granny as big as you want now!
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