How to Crochet a Granny Square

The granny square is the most common motif in crochet. Almost everybody recognizes a granny square! Even beginning crocheters can learn to crochet a granny square.

Granny squares are useful and versatile. They can be crocheted in any yarn . They can be dressed up or down, and they can be combined in so many different ways.

Granny squares are relaxing to crochet because the concept is so easy. The hook goes into spaces, not stitches, so once you get the feel of it, you can almost crochet without looking.

Follow these steps,and watch the video tutorial to crochet a classic granny square. I’m using American crochet terminology in this post. This post contains affiliate links.

What is a Granny Square?

Although a lot of people use the term “granny square” to refer to any type of crocheted square, a true granny square is a specific type of crocheted motif.

A classic granny square is crocheted from the center out. It consists of groups of three double crochet stitches, separated by chain spaces. All of the stitches are worked into chain spaces, not into the tops of stitches.

How to Crochet Granny square with helpful labels

They can be crocheted in one color, but are most often seen in multiple colors. It’s a great way to use up small amounts of different colored yarns!

There are lots of granny square variations. What follows is a classic Granny Square with chain-1 spaces between the stitch groups, and a combination of chain-3 and chain-2 corner spaces.

Tips & Tricks

Many granny square instructions have you join new colors and start new rounds with a chain-3 build-up chain at the beginning of the round. I don’t like the way that looks, so in these instructions I’ve added the refinement of using a standing double crochet to start each new color.

If you understand the construction of a granny square, you can make them without a pattern. Basically, you are putting 3 double crochets into each chain-1 space, (3 double crochet, ch 2, 3 double crochet) into each corner space, and you are using a chain 1 to bridge the gap over each 3-double crochet group.

Don’t worry-that will make more sense once you’ve crocheted one! Be sure to watch the video below for more tips.

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Granny Square Instructions

Abbreviations

A, B, C: yarn colors
ch: chain
dc: double crochet
rep: repeat
rnd(s): round(s)
st(s): stitch(es)
standing dc (standing double crochet): beginning with a slip knot on the hook, work a double crochet into the space indicated

Materials

Any yarn and any hook appropriate for your yarn

This granny square uses three different colors but you can make your granny square with any number of colors.

Instructions

With A, ch 4, join with slip st to form a ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as dc), 2 dc in ring, ch 2, [3 dc in ring, ch 3] 3 times, join with slip st to top of beginning ch-3. Fasten off. You have 4 3-dc groups and 4 corner spaces.

Rnd 2: With B, standing dc in any corner space, [2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in same corner space, ch 1, *[3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in next ch-space, ch 1; rep from * around, join with slip st to top of first dc. Fasten off. You have 8 3-dc groups, 4 corner spaces, and 4 ch-1 spaces.

Rnd 3: With C, [standing dc, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in any corner space, *ch 1, 3 dc in next space, ch 1**, [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in next space; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with slip st to first dc. Fasten off. You have 12 3-dc groups, 4 corner spaces, and 8 ch-1 spaces.

Rnd 4: With A, [standing dc, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in any corner space, *ch 1, [3 dc in next space, ch 1] in each space to corner space**, [3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc] in corner space; rep from * around, ending last rep at **, join with slip st to first dc. Fasten off. You have 4 corner spaces, 4 additional 3-dc groups, and 4 additional ch-1 spaces.

To make the granny square larger, repeat Rnd 4, changing colors as desired.

If your granny square starts to look off-kilter, read Skewing Grannies. For a fun variation on the classic granny square, try a Tower Stitch Granny.

Watch the Video for More Information

In this video, I show you how to crochet the granny square I just described.

Note that on Round 3, I start the round in the middle of a side (in a chain-1 space), rather than in the corner as the written instructions show. This is just to demonstrate that you can start the round anywhere at all, as long as you understand granny construction!

5 Tips for Beautiful Crochet Borders

A crochet border provides a polished touch to your crocheted or knit project. No matter what type of crochet border design you choose, follow these 5 tips to set a solid foundation for beautiful crochet borders.

Tip #1: Start with a Base Row/Round

Tip #1 showing base row worked with main color and with constrasting color
The base row worked in the main color blends in, while the base row worked in a contrasting color highlights uneven stitches.

Start with a base row or round of single crochet in the same color as your main fabric. Using the same color makes the base row blend into the fabric and hides any uneven stitches. You can use a contrasting color on the next row, and the stitches will look nice and even.

Tip #2 Work Stitches Evenly Spaced

Tip #2 showing arrows evenly spaced

The base row stitches should be evenly spaced along each edge. This may be one stitch in every stitch across, or some other ratio, like 2 stitches out of every 3. Along a selvedge (side edge) the ratio may be one single crochet in each single crochet row-end, 2 single crochets in each double-crochet row-end, or some other ratio. You’ll have to play with those ratios to get them just right for your situation.

Tip #3 Put Your Hook Into Selvedge Stitches

Tip #3 showing stitches worked into selvedge correctly and incorrectly
Working the base row stitches around the post or chain creates a hole.

It’s tempting to put your hook into the nice chain space or post stitch along the vertical edges. Resist the temptation! Instead, put the hook into the “meat” of the stitch: the actual chain stitch or post of the stitch.

Tip #4 Increase at Corners

3 single crochets in each corner allows the edge to lie flat.

If you are working all the way around around a square or rectangle, you’ll need to increase at the corners to ensure the edging stays flat. Put 3 single crochet stitches into each corner stitch. On later rounds, you’ll need to increase in pattern to allow the border to lie flat.

Tip #5 Assess Your Work

Tip #5 showing too many stitches on a base row
On this swatch, there are slightly too many stitches for the base row, causing the edge to flare out slightly. This subtle excess will cause the edging to ripple and flare more as you work additional rows.

Stop from time to time and look critically at what you’ve done so far. Is it lying flat? Does it curve in or out, even a little bit? Does it ripple or draw in?


Tip #5 showing edges drawing inward.
Although it may not be noticeable at first, this row is drawing the fabric inward. See how the side edges curve in toward the top? They didn’t do that before the purple row was added.

If it’s not entirely flat, rip it out and adjust your stitches until it does lie absolutely flat. Taking the time to set up your first row or round perfectly will the the main ingredient in the success of your crocheted border.


More Tips for Beautiful Crochet Borders

Crocheted edgings are one of my favorite topics! I’ve developed lots of ideas on how to enhance your projects with edgings both plan and fancy.

Together, Around the Corner Crochet Borders and Every Which Way Crochet Borders offer more than 289 border patterns designed to flow around 90-degree corners. You can work them back-and-forth, as well. You are sure to find a border that is just right for your next project.

For more crochet tips, go to Crochet: Basics & Beyond.