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.

A printable ad-free copy of this pattern is available to subscribers to my newsletter. Click on the button to subscribe and get the pattern.

Get the Pattern button

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!

My First Scarf: A Story and Free Knitting Pattern

The beginning of the first scarf I knit

This is the story of my first knitting project. It’s a story that spans 50 years. It’s about yarn and memories and connections that come full circle. And it includes a free beginner pattern.
This striped garter-stitch scarf is a good beginner project for novices who have the patience to knit a whole scarf. Don’t want to knit so much? Make it a coaster or cowl instead.

This post contains affiliate links.

In the Beginning

When I was about six, one of my favorite books was A Gift from the Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. In the story, The Lonely Doll —whose name is Edith—knits a scarf for her dad, Mr. Bear.  She knits diligently at every possible opportunity and (spoiler alert) the scarf ends up too long. It’s worth reading the book for all the adorable details.

A Gift from the Lonely Doll cover image

Like my doll heroine, I wanted to knit a striped scarf for my father’s Christmas present. The scarf must be red and black, the team colors of his beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs.

My First Knitting Project

My maternal grandmother lived with us and was happy to teach me to knit. We started with a skein of black Germantown worsted wool, some leftover bits of red Germantown, and a pair of straight needles. She showed me how to cast on—the German twisted cast on, no less!—and how to do the knit stitch.

I knit and knit. The stitch count changed from row to row, but that didn’t matter to me.

The subtle shaping was due to inadvertently added stitches. Surely a design element, right?

I knit and knit and knit. I learned to change colors, although not always on the correct side.

I clearly didn’t have an idea of “right side” and “wrong side”.

I knit and knit and knit. The scarf grew slowly. Yarnover holes and incomplete stitches magically disappeared overnight. It’s the only time in my life that the Knitting Fairy has corrected my knitting.

 I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit. Now it was starting to look like a scarf. I tried it on frequently to see if it was long enough.

Is it long enough yet?

I knit and knit and knit and knit and knit and knit . Nana kept urging me to knit a few more rows, but I was on deadline and anxious to finish on time. (Sound familiar?)

Just in time for Christmas, the scarf was long enough. Because the edges were so wobbly, Nana single crocheted around the whole thing to tidy it up. We wrapped it up in anticipation of the big reveal the next day.

On Christmas morning, Daddy opened the package. He made all the appropriate noises about how beautiful the scarf was, and how hard I must have worked to make such a special gift. Apparently it was the best gift ever!

I never saw him wear it, and I eventually forgot about it.

About 25 Years Later

Visiting my parents’ house, I caught a glance of red and black rolled up in the back of a drawer. It was my first scarf! Daddy had saved it all those years!

But that photo doesn’t really do it justice. Let me help you understand the scale of this scarf.

It is 4″ wide x 22.5″ long. Despite all my efforts, and even trying it on my skinny six-year-old neck, it was way too small to be worn by an adult male! Furthermore, we lived in Georgia where scarves aren’t even needed. The scarf came home with me, to remind me how much my technique had improved.

About 25 Years Later

As I wandered the aisles of a trade show, my eye caught a familiar sight: Germantown yarn from Kelbourne Woolens.  I’m pretty sure I squeed out loud. I may have jumped up and down a little bit.

Germantown Yarn colorful skeins

About Germantown Yarn

For that first scarf, and for many projects after that, Brunswick Germantown Worsted was my go-to yarn. 

Knitters who have been around for a long while will remember this ubiquitous yarn. There weren’t nearly as many yarns available as there are now, but Germantown was a classic worsted weight standby that came in many colors.

Germantown Yarn in black and red

Read Germantown: Redesigning a History for the story of how Kelbourne Woolens revived the brand, then read A Brief History of Germantown Yarns for a fascinating look at this American yarn. Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do that.

When Kelbourne Woolens owner Courtney Kelly heard the story of my first scarf and what Germantown meant to me, she immediately suggested that I make another scarf, and provided the yarn for me to knit it.

My First Scarf Knitting Pattern

So here, fifty years after the original scarf, is the pattern for My First Scarf. This version is meant to be easy enough for new knitters to knit, and long enough and warm enough to actually be worn by an adult.  

Presented in Georgia Bulldog red and black, of course. Note that black is not the best choice for beginners; feel free to use different, lighter colors for easier visibility.

My First Scarf

The free pattern is below; you also can purchase a printer-friendly pdf.

Buy the Printed Pattern Button

Want to knit it in Germantown yarn? You’ll get 10% off the price if you use code EDIEECKMAN at checkout here.

Materials

Craft Yarn Council Icon for 4 Medium Weight Yarn

Kelbourne Woolens Germantown (100% North American wool, 220 yds/201 m, 100 g), 1 skein each #005 Black (A) and #625 Scarlet (B), or colors of your choice.

US size 8 (5 mm) knitting needles or size to obtain correct gauge

Stitch marker or safety pin

Finished Dimensions

3.75″ (9.5 cm) wide x 61″ (155 cm) long

Gauge

20 sts and 39 rows = 4” (10 cm) in garter stitch (knit every row)
Gauge is not crucial in this pattern, but for best results match the gauge of the pattern. Watch How to Measure Gauge in Knitted Garter Stitch.

Pattern Note

Leave a 4-5″ [10-13 cm] tail of yarn each time you change yarns so that you’ll have enough yarn to securely weave in the tails. Each time you change yarn colors, the yarn tails should be on the rightmost edge of the scarf.

Instructions

With A, long tail cast on 19 sts.

Row 1 (Wrong Side): Knit.

Turn the work and place a marker on the right side to help you keep track of the right and wrong sides.

Rows 2-15: Knit.

At this point you have a total of 8 garter ridges and you have ended by knitting a wrong side row.

Cut A.

Rows 16-27: With B, knit. End by knitting a wrong side row. You have 6 garter ridges of B.

Continue working alternate stripes of 8 garter ridges (16 rows) in A and 6 garter ridges (12 rows) in B, until you have 20 stripes in color B. End by knitting a wrong side row.

Last stripe: With A, knit 8 garter ridges (16 rows). End by knitting a wrong side row. Bind off on a right side row.

Weave in all ends. Block.

Crochet Pattern Round-Up: Unusual Techniques

Break out of your crochet rut and try a new technique! Skip the rows of double crochet and rounds of granny squares.

Find a technique that’s new to you with this collection of crochet projects that use unusual techniques.

10 Ways to Celebrate National Crochet Month

March is National Crochet Month

It’s March, and that means it’s National Crochet Month. Of course, you can celebrate crochet all year, but here are some ideas for things you can do to recognize #NatCroMo.

This post contains affiliate links.

#1 Crochet in Public

Don’t hide! Let others see what you are doing!

Hands crocheting
Image by Lola Reyes from Pixabay

Crochet while you are waiting for appointments, waiting in line, waiting for your kids, or simply spending time outside. Why fiddle with your phone when you could be crocheting?

#2 Teach Someone to Crochet

Teach someone to crochet. Share your passion. If you can crochet, you can teach someone else.

Nervous about teaching? Don’t be! Check out the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructors Program, a program that gives you the tools and knowledge you need to be an effective teacher.

Onsite Certified Instructors Program Craft Yarn Council

Note for 2020: In July I’ll be teaching the on-site Craft Yarn Council Certification Program in Crochet. It’s 2.5 days of intensive instruction, and you’ll get certified in both Levels 1 and 2. Look for more details on the blog later this week.

#3 Learn a New Technique

Learn a new technique. Stretch your wings!

Do you know foundation single crochet? Join-as-you-go? How to avoid gaps at the beginning of rows? How to block your projects?

You can never know everything there is to know about crochet, but take this month to learn more. The more you know, the better (and happier) crocheter you will be.

#4 Learn a New Stitch Pattern

Don’t get stuck in a rut. Let this be the month you try a new stitch pattern. There are thousands of ways you can combine basic crochet stitches to make fabulous fabrics.

Check out online sources for individual stitch patterns, or look at some of the following stitch dictionaries, which offer many stitch patterns in one place.

#5 Get Comfortable with Symbol Charts

Get comfortable with symbol charts. If you’ve shied away from crochet symbol diagrams, take some time now to understand them. Symbol diagrams are a visual representation of crochet stitches. They can be a huge help in understanding the sometimes confusing language in crochet patterns.

See It Crochet It Reading Diagrams with Charles Voth

To learn about creating crochet charts, read In Search of Crochet Charting Software and watch How to Read a Crochet Pattern, which includes reading a crochet diagram. My colleague Charles Voth has a Bluprint class called See It, Crochet It, which covers reading crochet charts in some detail. The very best way to learn about charts is to use them! All of my books, and most of my self-published patterns, include charts as well as text.

#6 Splurge on a New Tool

Splurge on a new tool. Whether it’s that special crochet hook you’ve been wondering about or a special ball of yarn you’ve been coveting, treat yourself to something special.

Clover Amour Crochet Hook Set
#7 Make a Quick Crocheted Gift

Make a quick crocheted gift. Everyone loves to get a handmade gift. Celebrate the month by crocheting a quick gift and give it to someone you love—or to a complete stranger!

Quick Crochet Home Decor Book coer
Quick Crochet Home Decor

For bonus points, wrap your gift in “crocheted” gift wrap paper.

#8 Put Crochet in an Unexpected Place

Put crochet in an unexpected place. Crochet a border on a picture frame or basket. Or go big and yarn bomb something! It’s always fun to see crochet in a surprising place.

Building covered with granny squares
Image by M W from Pixabay
#9 Join a Crochet Along

Join a Crochet Along (CAL). Crochet Alongs happen all the time, so you should be able to find one at any time you happen to read this post. This month, I’m finishing up a 5-Panel Blanket Crochet Along with Plymouth Yarn, but you can still join in and catch up in your own time.

5-Panel Blanket Crochet Along

Previously I did a Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket CAL, but it’s still available for you to join at any time. Check Ravelry for other CALs.

#10 Find Other Crocheters

It’s fun to crochet with others. If you’ve crocheted in public, you’ve probably run into like-minded souls there. Collect their contact information and meet up at a local coffee shop.  

Young hands crocheting
Image by Lola Reyes from Pixabay

Find a local crochet guild, form a lunchtime crochet group at work or school, or see if your local yarn shop has a “open table” for yarn crafts.

Consider going to a crochet conference, where you’ll find oh-so-many passionate crocheters. The Crochet Guild of America hosts the annual Chain Link conference. It includes a market and crochet classes for all skill levels. There’s plenty of opportunity for sharing laughter and knowledge with other crocheters.

What you are going to do to celebrate National Crochet Month?

Crochet Along with Me: 5-Panel Blanket

5-Panel Crochet Blanket

For the next several weeks, over on the Plymouth Yarn Magazine blog, I’m going to be hosting a free Crochet Along (CAL). I’d love to have you join us.

5-Panel Crochet Blanket Crochet Along

We’ll be crocheting a 5-Panel Blanket. Each panel is made with a different stitch pattern, and along the way I’ll show you not only the stitch pattern, but tips and tricks for making your crocheting easier.

Don’t love the colors? Not a problem! Choose colors that suit your decor.
Find all the details here.

Gather up your yarn, and join me and Plymouth Yarn as we crochet along together.

Past Crochet Alongs

Last year I hosted a crochet along here on the blog and on Ravelry. You can buy the completed pattern for the Skill-Builder Blanket Crochet Blanket CAL.

Skill-Builder Crochet Blanket

How to Work Reverse Single Crochet (Crab Stitch)

Completed reverse single crochet/crab stitch

Reverse single crochet, also known as crab stitch, creates a decorative cord-like effect. But if you’ve never done it, it can be tricky to understand exactly what the instructions are asking you to do.

The most important thing to understand is that you are going to be working in the opposite direction from ordinary crochet. If you are right-handed, you normally crochet from the right to the left.

Direction of normal crochet for right-handers
Right-handed crocheters usually work in this direction.

If you are left-handed, you normally crochet from the left to the right.

Direction of normal crochet for left-handers
Left-handed crocheters usually work in this direction.

But in reverse single crochet, you are going the other way!

Follow the instructions below, referring to the right-handed or left-handed images to for additional help. I’ve also included a helpful video which you’ll find at the bottom of the post.

Step-by-Step Instructions

At the end of the last row, chain 1, but do not turn the work.

As you crochet this row, keep your hook headed in the same direction that you have been working. (Pointed to the left for right-handers and to the right for left-handers.)

Keep your index finger on the stitch on the hook so that it doesn’t jump off the hook. Insert the hook into the first stitch.

Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into first stitch; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into first stitch; left-handed
Left-handed

Yarn over and pull up a loop. Remember to keep the hook pointing to the left or right as described above.

Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull up a loop; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull up a loop; left-handed
Left-handed

Now yarn over and pull through both loops on the hook to complete the first single crochet.

Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull through two loops; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Yarn over and pull through two loops; left-handed
Left-handed

Holding the loop on the hook, insert the hook into the next stitch and complete a single crochet.

Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into next stitch and complete the next single crochet; right-handed
Right-handed
Reverse single crochet: Insert hook into next stitch and complete the next single crochet; left-handed
Left-handed

Continue working all the way across the row. Remember to keep your hook pointing to the left if it’s in your right hand, or to the right if it’s in your left hand. Use your index finger to keep the loops on the hook when they want to jump off.

And relax! Breathe! You’ve got this!

Completed reverse single crochet/crab stitch edging
A completed crab stitch edging

Watch Crab Stitch in Action

The following may contain affiliate links. If you buy something when you use one of those links, I may get a small income, but it won’t cost you anything extra.

You’ll find edgings that incorporate crab stitch/reverse single crochet in Around the Corner Crochet Borders and Every Which Way Crochet Borders. For more crochet tips and techniques, subscribe to my YouTube channel.

I’ve got more links to crochet resources at Crochet: Basics & Beyond.

The yarn I used in the photos and videos is Red Heart Chic Sheep. The crochet hook is Clover Amour, size 5 mm.