Do you want to learn how to crochet a granny square? Even though granny squares look complicated, they’re actually quite easy to make!
In this tutorial, I’ll share my easy-to-learn (and easy-to-memorize!) granny square pattern that’s perfect for the confident beginner. I’ve included lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions so that you can learn how to crochet a classic granny square.
Granny squares are easy and fun to crochet. In fact, the classic granny square is a great beginner crochet pattern to try – even if you are new to crochet.
I’ve written the following granny square tutorial with beginners in mind. The pattern is easy to follow (and easy to memorize!) and will get you started on your first granny square project in no time!
Once you master the basic granny square technique, you’ll be able to make all kinds of cozy creations: granny square blankets, sweaters, bags, or more!
Grab your favorite hook, and let’s get starting crocheting! Keep reading for the full tutorial. And make sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for a free, printable written pattern.
What is a granny square?
A granny square is a classic crochet motif. It’s made from basic crochet stitches, like the chain stitch and the double crochet stitch. It’s easy to recognize a granny square by its square shape and lace-like appearance.
Granny squares are usually small in size, so they are a great way to use up small scraps of leftover yarn. You can make granny squares in one solid color or use a different color of yarn for each round.
Once you’ve made a handful of grannies, you can seam them together to make larger items like crochet blankets, afghans, scarves, sweaters, and other easy crochet patterns.
The basic granny square motif is worked from the center out in joined rounds. Each round of the granny square is made from a repeating pattern of granny clusters and chains.
The term granny cluster refers to a set of three double crochet (dc) stitches worked into the same space.
The granny clusters are separated by chain spaces: chain-1 spaces along the sides and chain-3 spaces at the four corners of the square.
Granny Square Variations
There are, quite literally, hundreds of granny square variations. You can make classic granny squares, solid granny squares, solid granny squares with no gaps, flower granny squares – even granny hexagons!
But in this tutorial, I’ll show you the classic version made from 4 rounds of double crochet clusters worked into chain spaces.
How to Crochet a Classic Granny Square
In this tutorial, I’ll show you my favorite way to make a traditional granny square.
I like this particular pattern because it makes granny squares that lay nice and flat. I use chain-3 spaces at the corners so that they stay square, not rounded. (This way, the grannies will be easier to seam together later.)
To make a granny square, you’ll need a small amount of yarn and the appropriate size crochet hook.
- Yarn – I’m using worsted weight.
- Crochet hook – I’m using a size H or 5.0mm.
- A few stitch markers to help mark the start of each round.
You don’t need a specific type of yarn for this project – a small amount of yarn from your stash will do just fine. That said, I always encourage beginners to choose a light color worsted weight yarn with a smooth texture. (It will be easier to see your stitches that way.) Then, choose a hook size according to the yarn label.
I’ll be crocheting this basic granny square in a solid color. You can do the same or use a different yarn color for each round.
- This crochet pattern is written in US terms.
- The granny square is worked “in the round” in joined rounds.
- This project is worked with the right-side facing for every round
- You won’t be working into the stitches of the previous round; rather, you will be working into the chain spaces from the previous round.
The granny square is made from basic crochet stitches. Here are the abbreviations used in this pattern.
- ch – chain stitch
- ch-sp – chain space
- dc – double crochet
- sl st – slip stitch (Insert hook, yarn over, pull through stitch, and loop on hook)
- st(s) – stitch(es)
The rounds of the granny square are made from granny clusters separated by chain spaces.
Granny cluster (3 dc cluster): A granny cluster a set of 3 double crochet stitches, all worked into one stitch or space. In this pattern, the granny clusters are separated from one another with chain stitches.
3 Ways to Start a Granny Square
There are three different ways to start a granny square. You can start in a single chain stitch, in a center ring of chain stitches, or with the magic ring technique.
Option 1: Start in a single chain.
This technique is simple and fast – but it can be tricky to fit all of the stitches into one chain stitch.
To start in a single chain stitch: Chain 3, and make the next stitches into the first chain stitch. All of the clusters in the first round will be made into the first chain stitch.
Option 2: Chain Stitch Center Ring
This method is quick and easy, but it will give you a more pronounced hole in the center of your square.
To start with a chain stitch center ring: Chain 4 stitches, and use a slip stitch to join your chain into a circle. Then work your first round into the circle.
Option 3: Magic Ring (aka Magic Circle)
The third option is called the magic ring, also known as the magic circle technique. This method will give you a tight center with no holes or gaps.
To learn how to start your granny square with a magic ring, read this magic ring tutorial.
We’ll be using the chain stitch center ring for this tutorial, but feel free to use your favorite option!
Classic Granny Square Pattern
Here is the written pattern for how to crochet a granny square.
Start the granny square with a center ring.
Chain 4. Insert your hook into the first chain stitch. Next, make a slip stitch to join the chain stitches into a circle.
Here is a detailed written instruction for the first round of the granny square. The abbreviated version of the instructions follows.
- Chain (ch) 3. This counts as the first double crochet (dc) stitch of the first granny cluster.
- Into the center ring, work 2 dc. You should now have what looks like 3 dc next to each other. This is the first granny cluster. Ch 3.
- Now, make the second granny cluster. Into the center ring, work 3 dc. Ch 3.
- Next, make the third cluster: Into the center ring, work 3 dc. Ch 3.
- Then, make the fourth cluster. Into the center ring, work 3 dc. Ch 3.
- At this point, you should have 4 granny clusters separated by ch-3 spaces at the corners and the last ch-3 space at the end. To join the round and create the square shape, slip stitch (sl st) into the top of the first ch-3. This completes the first round.
And, if you prefer the standard abbreviated version, here are the same Round 1 instruction one more time:
Round 1: Ch 3. Into the center ring, make 2 dc, ch 3, (3 dc, ch 3) three times. Join with a sl st to the top of first ch-3.
- Chain 4. (This counts as the first dc and ch-1 space.)
- In the next ch-3 space (aka the first corner space), work: 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1.
- Repeat Step 2 twice more for a total of three times.
- In the last ch-3 space, work: 3 dc, 3 ch, 2 dc.
- Join with a sl st to the 3rd chain of the beginning chain stitches.
This completes the second round.
- Chain 3. (This counts as 1 dc.)
- Then, into the ch-1 space just below in the previous round, work 2 dc, ch 1. (This makes the first granny cluster of this round.)
- Into the next ch-3 corner space, work: 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1.
- Into the next ch-1 space, work: 3 dc, ch 1.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 around to the beginning chain. Finally, join with a sl st to the top of the starting ch-3.
- Chain 4. (This counts as 1 dc and the ch-1 space.)
- Into the next ch-1 space, work: 3 dc, ch-1.
- Into the next ch-3 corner space, work 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 in each of the remaining ch-1 and ch-3 spaces.
- In the last ch-1 space, work 2 dc.
- Join with a sl st to the top of the starting ch-3.
This completes Round 4.
Making Larger Granny Squares
You can add more rounds to make the granny square are big as you like. To make bigger squares, repeat rounds 3 and 4 until you reach the desired size.
Finishing the Granny Square
Once you have completed your last round, cut your working yarn, leaving a six-inch tail. Pull the yarn through the last stitch. Use a blunt yarn needle to weave in the loose ends.
And there you go! You’ve just finished a classic crochet granny square!
Changing Colors in Granny Squares
Once you’ve mastered making granny squares in a single color, you can experiment with multi-color granny squares.
To change to a new color of yarn, make the slip stitch join at the end of the round with the new color. (If you remember, each round is joined with a slip stitch to the top of the starting ch-3.)
More Granny Square Variations
Now that you know how to make a simple granny square, you’re reading to try some of the more complex granny square patterns out there.
Here are a few of the unusual granny square patterns to try:
- Solid granny square
- Sunburst granny square
- Rosie Posie Grannie Square
- Granny square with puff stitches
- Granny hexagon
- “Circle in a square” granny square
Patterns Using Granny Squares
Now then, are you wondering what to make with all of these granny squares? All sorts of projects! You can use the squares by themselves or combine them to make pillows, afghans, and more.
Here are some ideas for what to make with granny squares:
- Patchwork Granny Square Blanket
- Granny Square Pillow
- Granny Square Potholder
- Half Granny Square Shawl
- Granny Square Jacket
- Granny Square Bag
Explore More Crochet Patterns
If you’ve enjoyed this granny square pattern, you may be interested in these other free patterns:
- Solid Granny Square Crochet Pattern for Beginners
- How to Crochet a Solid Granny Square with No Gaps
- Classic Crochet Baby Booties with Folded Cuff – Free Pattern
- Easy Crochet Hat Pattern – Chunky Ribbed Beanie
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- Center ring: Make a slip knot and chain 4. Join into a circle with a slip stitch.
- Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc.) Into the foundation ring, work 2 dc, ch 3. Work (3 dc, ch 3) three times. Join with sl st.
- Round 2: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc + ch-1.) In the next ch-3-sp, work: 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1. Repeat two more times. In last ch-3-sp, work: 3 dc, ch 3, 2 dc. Join with a sl st.
- Round 3: Ch 3 (counts as 1 dc.) In same sp, work 2 dc, 1 ch. *In next ch-3-sp, work: 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1. In next ch-1-sp, work 2 dc, ch 1. Repeat from * three times. In last ch-3-sp, work 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1. Join with a sl st.
- Round 4: Ch 4 (counts as 1 dc + ch-1.) In the next ch-1-sp, work 3 dc, ch-1. *In the next ch-3-sp, work 3 dc, ch 3, 3 dc, ch 1. In each of the next two ch-1-sp, work 3 dc, ch 1. Repeat from * two more times. In last ch-3s-p, work 3 dc, ch 3, 2 dc. In last ch-1-sp, work 2 dc. Join with a sl st.
- Add more rounds as desired. Cut yarn, and weave in ends.
Sarah Stearns is an artist, maker, and blogger at sarahmaker.com
Her work has been featured in Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and more.
Sarah lives and works in North Carolina with her husband and young kids.