Thursday, 12 September 2013

Beginners Guide to Granny Squares

Good Morning all - Well the weather certainly is changing and soon the nights will be drawing in

How about making use of all the oddments of wool that you have been stashing and meaning to crochet, and turn it in a beautiful warm blanket ready for you to snuggle under in the Winter months

This blanket is made up with basic granny squares and then joined with a dc stitch. I have finished it off with an easy edging of trebles.



Once you have mastered the basic stitches in crochet, you can create a granny square.

These can be used in a variety of projects - one on its own could be a coaster, you can make several and join them together to make a scarf, or lots and lots together can make a gorgeous blanket

Below is the instructions for a basic granny square

The first thing you need to do is create the centre of your square - I have used the chain method below but in my blanket above I have used the magic ring method - this simply means that you have control on how small you make the centre hole - I have pulled the wool tight so there is no hole in the middle - but this is purely down to personal choice

Top tip - when practising making granny squares use a bigger hook than needed - this will allow you to see your stitches more easily. Once you are confident that you know what you are doing you can then use the correct size hook for the weight of yarn you are using, so for example, if I was working with DK (usually a 4mm hook), I would work with a 5mm or even a 6mm hook

Make a chain of 5 or 6 - The more you do the bigger the centre hole will be, and join with a slip stitch in the first chain (the one furthest away from the hook)

Top tip - make the chain slightly longer if you are practising, as it will be easier to work the trebles into a larger hole - a 10 chain would give you a large enough hole to do this




We now need to create our first row, which will consist of four sides and four corners that we will make as below







Work a 3ch - when working with rows or rounds of trebles you always need to do a 3 chain first - this will give the height to your round so that the first stitch doesn't look all bunched up - no-one will know that it is a chain and not a treble as once the first set of trebles are done, it simply blends in.
You do count it as your first treble though
Right as this is a square, we now need to create our four corners, the sides on this row will create themselves by the 3 trebles that we will work and the corners will be created by a 3 chain

So, as you have just made a 3 chain (as we mentioned, this will count as our 1st treble), work a further 2 more trebles into the centre hole
That's the first side completed
Now work a 3 chain - that's the first corner and then work 3 more trebles into the ring
As below, you will see that you now have 2 sides and 1 corner of your square



Next comes a 3 chain (2nd corner) 3 trebles into the ring (3rd side) a 3 chain (3rd corner), 3 trebles into ring (4th side) and a 3 chain. To make the 4th corner simply join this chain to the 3rd (top) chain in the first 3 chain that we made in this row
Below I am joining them into this stitch




 You should now have a square as below






We now want to make the next row and you will see that this is when our sides lengthen - this is because we are going to be working 2 sets of trebles into each corner and this will create another space down each side - this is how granny squares grow



Top tip - I personaly like to do a stitch into the corner first so I put my hook through the corner, yarn over and pull the loops over - it just makes it neater when you do your first 3 chain, but again this is my preference and not essential

Work a 3 chain - it is the same principal as before (this will be your 1st treble) and work a further 2 trebles into the same space
We now have to make this row bigger than the previous one, otherwise it would just grow into a cylinder shape and we want it to lay flat - This is done in the corners of each row so we need to work a 3 chain and then 3 more trebles into the same space as the first 3 trebles we worked
So you will see below we we now have the first corner


Now work a 1 chain - we do this so that when we do the next row we will have room for our 3 trebles to lay nice and even in. This 1chain is creating a space down the side of our square
We finish the other sides by working 3 trebles, 3 chain and 3 trebles into same space (2nd corner completed) then a 1chain (to make our side space) 3 trebles, 3 chain and 3 trebles into same space  (3rd corner completed) then a 1chain (to make our side space) 3 trebles, 3 chain and 3 trebles into same space (4th corner completed) then a 1 chain and as before we join this row by a slip stitch into the top of the 3rd chain of the first one worked in the row
You can now see, that by working into the corner twice we create a space and our sides grow



As you will see by the picture above, the last stitch worked is awkwardly placed just to the left of the space, to get a nice smooth transition from one row to the next work a slip stitch in each of the trebles to the left and then work a single stitch in the corner by inserting hook, yarn over and pull through loops



So above I have worked a slip stitch in the top of the three trebles and worked a stitch in the corner, I can now carry on as per previous round starting the row as always with a 3 chain


On the row just worked you now have the four corners and this time two spaces along each side, each row that you complete will create another space down each side - this is one way that you can count to make sure that each square you do has the same number of rows in it

And that's about it really for creating a Granny square - the rest is up to you - you can make them as big or as small as you like

Top tip - if you want to create a big blanket, but like me, don't relish the thought of joining lots and lots and lots of squares, make each square bigger, that way you won't have so many to join


You can also change the look of your squares too
In the picture below, all the squares have the same amount of rows in, but if you change the number of chains you do in the round then you can create a different effect

The purple square was made using the method I have just shown above

With the blue square, instead of 3 chains to create the corners, I only did a 1 chain and I didn't do a 1 chain to create the space, I simply worked the 3 trebles into each space - This gives a much closer weave to the square

With the yellow square, I still did the 3 chains into each corner, but I also did 3 chains in between to create a larger space and the weave is much more open and it grows quicker too

Top tip
When you first start out making granny squares, you may find that you struggle with your tension - this will come with lots and lots of practise, but if you find that your tension is really tight, try doing an extra chain, or if the opposite is happening and your work is all baggy and mis-shapen, try doing fewer chains - at first it really is all about tension but I promise that it will come with practise

Happy Crocheting and as ever if you need any help just let me know

XXX