For everyone who likes to crochet, granny squares provide a good way to use odd
pieces of yarn left over from other projects. A granny square is a crocheted shape
that starts with chain stitches slip-stitched into a ring. The first round is worked
into the ring, the second round into the first round; five such rounds make the
traditional granny square. Each round is made of groups of double crochet stitches
separated by chain stitches. (Directions for making these basic stitches may be
found in a tutorial for adults – here)
The traditional square was usually made with 4-ply knitting worsted, and its
dimensions varied slightly according to the size of the hook used.
Today’s granny squares may differ in several ways from the ones our grandmothers
made. They now can include any stitch or combination of stitches used in
crocheting. And squares are no longer used only for afghans. They can be made into
clothing or accessories. Knitting worsted is still the yarn most often used, but any weight
yarn, jute, or even string can be made into a granny square.
You can crochet granny squares in the specific color combinations suggested in
the directions for each project, or you can arrange leftover yarn to create your own
designs. The number of colors used and the way they are arranged make the work
interesting. Since you crochet only one square at a time, you can carry the work
with you wherever you go.
Make A Tradtional Granny Square Afghan
The three afghans pictured above show the diversity possible with granny squares. The traditional grannysquare afghan (far left) has a muted, harmonious color scheme. The afghan in shades of blue (center left) uses a pattern with a floral center. The bright red-and-white afghan (near left) is made with a raised stitch called the popcorn stitch.
Sixty-three granny squares in two harmonious color combinations are used in the
traditional afghan (far left in the photograph above and in the instructions below).
The squares are simple to make because you use only the chain stitch, slip stitch, and double crochet stitch. To adapt the directions to your scrap yarn, vary the colors for Rounds 1 through 4, but use only one color for Round 5 on all the squares.
Size: About 36 by 46 inches.
Materials: 4-ply knitting worsted
(4-ounce skein), 1 each of dark turquoise,
peach, light blue, aqua, dark
rose, 2 each of violet and green.
Crochet hook size G or size needed to obtain
No. 18 tapestry needle.
Gauge: Each square is 5 by 5 inches.
Main square: With dark turquoise, ch 5 and join with sl st to form ring.
Round 1: Ch 3,2 dc in ring, *ch 1, 3 dc in ring. Repeat from * twice more.
Ch 1 and join with sl st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.
Round 2: Join peach in any ch-1 space. Ch 3, 2 dc in same sp. *Ch 1, in
next sp 3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc. Repeat from * twice more, ch 1, 3 dc in same sp as first ch-3, ch 1, and join with sl st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.
Round 3: Join violet in any ch-1 corner sp, ch 3,2 dc in same sp.
*Ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1; in corner sp work (3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc). Repeat from *
twice more; ch 1, 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, 3 dc in same corner sp as ch-3, ch 1 and join with sl st to top of ch-3. Fasten off.
Round 4: Join light blue and work as rnd 3 except there will be 2 groups of 3 dc alternating with 1 ch between each corner. Fasten off.
Round 5: Join green and work as for rnd 3 except there will be 3 groups of 3 dc alternating with 1 ch
between each corner. Fasten off.
Make 49 squares.
Contrasting square: Follow directions for main square using peach for ring and rnd 1, aqua for rnd 2, violet for rnd 3, dark rose for rnd 4, and green for rnd 5. Make 14 squares.
Joining: Join main squares together so afghan is 7 squares by 7 squares.
Join contrasting squares into 2 strips of 7 squares each; sew strips to each end of afghan.
Border: Join dark turquoise in any dc and ch 3, * 1 dc in each st and 1 dc in each
seam until the corner. Work 2 dc in the corner ch and 2 dc in the next dc. Repeat
from * around entire afghan. Join with sl st to top of ch-3 and fasten off.