Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Granny squares and variations

Recently I had a visit from a young family member who asked about crocheting, so we sat down and I tried to show them how to make a granny square.  It was quite an adventure for us both!  She did end up with a sort of granny square - finished by me so that she had something to take away with her - she sort of got the gist of it, so I hope that she will have another go.

I learned a lot about trying to teach someone else how to do something that I can do fairly easily.  It occurred to me that perhaps it isn't as straightforward as I think it is.  I have plans to share some crochet basics and then more advanced things as time goes on, and having granny squares on my mind after this recent experience I though that today we could look at the basic granny square and next week I will show you a couple of variations.

Before I go any further, please can I ask that you don't pin any of these pictures to Pinterest - or any other pictures from my blog.  Thank you.

A couple of notes.  In my sidebar under the heading Crochet patterns and tutorials you can find a chart which explains the UK versus US terminology for different crochet stitches and another chart which allows you to convert your hook sizes.  I will therefore explain this in UK terms, but you can refer to the charts to make the conversion if you need or want to do that.

I will also assume that you know the basics of the stitches, but if not, I will be explaining this in more detail in the future, so when I have done that, come back to this post.  It will be linked to in the sidebar where those charts are.  In case you just need a quick reminder though, CH is worked by putting yarn round hook, pull through the loop on the hook.  TR is worked by putting yarn round hook, hook into the stitch or ring that you are working into, yarn round hook, pull through two loops on hook, yarn round hook, pull through two loops on hook.  SS is worked by hook into stitch, yarn round hook, pull through loop on hook.


I think that a basic granny square is the easiest thing to start to crochet.  You don't have to work "into" any stitches, you work into the spaces between stitches so that makes it a bit easier.  Also you only need to know three things, how to chain, how to make a treble and how to slip stitch.

This is what the finished square looks like.


SS into first CH (where the pin is) to form a ring

CH2 - this will count as the first TR

TR into ring twice

You now have the first group of three TR's.  You will be making groups of three TR's all the way around the square.

CH 2 - this will form the corner of the square
TR into ring three times to give your second group of three TR's

TR into ring three times to give your third group of three TR's

TR into ring three times to give your fourth group of three TR's


SS into the top of the CH that is counting as your first TR (where the pin is).  The first round is now complete.

To make the square bigger CH2 which will count as your first TR

TR into the space between the CH that you have just made and the group of TR's in the previous round (where the pin is).

This is different to the way that most patterns will tell you to work a granny square, but I find that it gives a much better result.

TR again in the same position.  This now completes the first group of three TR's in the second round. 

You will now work three TR's into the next corner of your square - where you had CH2 in the previous round.

CH2 to make the corner and work another three TR's into the corner.

Continue repeating this all around the square.  When you reach the start again - where you did the CH2 and the two TR's - SS into the CH that is counting as the first TR and the second round is complete.

To make a third round of the square CH2 and work two TR's as you did to start the previous round.  Instead of then working the next group of three TR's into the corner you work them into the space between the TR groups of the previous round.  Then you work a group of three TR's into the corner and proceed all the way around as you did in the previous round.

You can them carry on working round and round until the piece is as big as you want it to be.  The first granny square that I made ended up being a big blanket!

Here is a chart for you to follow.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on!



  1. Marvellous, Thank you so much Amy. I have crocheted on and off for years but have never been able to read a chart. This is a very good beginning, just the 3 stitches, and now I will drag my books out and have another go at reading the simpler patterns.

  2. I think a granny square is a great first project when learning to crochet and the great thing is that you can just keep going with it if you want to, making a big enough square to act as a blanket.

  3. I taught my daughter the basics a few years back. She got started, then quit, forgot and wanted to pick it up again, but this time she wanted to learn from a book. The book did a much better than I did. I found it quite difficult to teach. This is an excellent, detailed tutorial.

  4. Excellent tutorial Amy. Crochet granny squares seems to be the in thing at the moment, with so many pretty yarns and fabulous colours available it no wonder they are so popular. X

  5. Woops, Amy. I pinned your leafy instructions last week. Do you want me to un-pin them? Also, there's a way to stop people pinning things from your blog - see here:

  6. Me again - you might want to take off the "pin it" thing that shows up when we hover over your photos. :o)

  7. Nice tutorial and great photos to accompany it! I'll have to drag out my dusty crochet hooks and yarn and see if I can still do that. Thanks for the pattern, Amy.

  8. Lovely tutorial, Amy. I'm working on hats and blankets to send overseas.

  9. Good tutorial, I'm working on a Granny Square project right now, and it's been years since I did one.

  10. Oh I just love a Granny Square - currently have 2 crocheted blankets all but finished and then need to make another one by joining lots of granny squares together which will then be given to my mother-in-law who taught me how to crochet many years ago! Amy - I really love your posts and photos! Ellen x

  11. Thank you Amy a very helpful post for those of us that are less accomplished at crocheting.

    Angela - Garden Tea Cakes and Me

  12. I know how difficult it is to teach someone to crochet so well done! I also know how hard it is to write up patterns and how long it takes.

  13. An excellent tutorial - your placing of the pin is a very good help!!

  14. A very good tutorial. The first thing I learnt to crochet was a granny square when I was 8 by my great grandmother. Back then they always had a black last row ready for joining and I'm sure she'd just love what we do with them these days. Take care.

  15. Very clear instructions and the photos are very helpful. You've done a great job here, Amy!

  16. Thank you Amy, a great tutorial just when I needed it. We had a new member at our handicraft group this week who wanted assistance understanding a chart she had. Although I had crocheted a granny blanket many years ago I couldn't quite be sure that I knew the stitches but, you have confirmed them for me. So useful to see your chart and key.
    Barbara xx

  17. Thanks for this very helpful post! I've only crocheted a scarf and may have to try this.
    I hope you don't mind me asking, because it's totally your decision, but I wonder why you don't want this on Pinterest. I know some people don't but I'm just curious as to why. If you don't want to get into it, just ignore this. :)

  18. Oh, love granny squares... And the one you showed here is very pretty... I do so want to learn to crochet, and will stop by again when I want a little something to practice with! Thank you, dear Amy!
    And teaching is not as simple as I thought - one has to be very patient! Hee!
    Have a wonderful, blessed day!

  19. Being a novice these pics and instructions are fab..thank you for sharing xx

  20. what fun. i remember my Great Aunt trying to teach me ... i just was not patient enough. i was always on the go. i find that am slowing down but i wonder if would have the patient moments now? ( :

  21. Hi Amy - Great tutorial. It took me ages to learn to crochet. I eventually learned from watching YouTube videos. Joan Jepson

  22. It isn't near as easy to teach crochet as it seems, I love your tutorial.

  23. Hi Amy, I've just discovered your blog through Penny at The Homemade Heart, love the crochet tutorial. I did a similar one in March called 'Turning Corners with Granny Squares' on my blog (only started recently). I was only concentrating on the corners really as like you I prefer this method, it's less bulky than slip stitching to the corner. It's not as easy as it looks doing tutorials. Well done, I love how light yours looks. The photography is the bit I'm struggling with at the moment. Getting true colours, light and clear to see etc. Look forward to reading more. Cathy x

    1. Hello Cathy, what a lovely thing to say, thank you so much! I will pop by your blog and say hello. Thank you again and hope to see you in the future. Amy xx


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