How to Crochet a Granny Square for Beginners

The granny square is one of the basic, classic patterns any crocheter should know. It is a great basis for many projects and opens up doors for a wide variety of items you can make. If you still don’t know how to crochet a granny square, you’ve come to the right place! But before we dive into the step-by-step tutorial, let’s learn more about granny squares.

What Is a Granny Square?

A granny square is a basic, square-shaped crochet pattern. While the first documented mentions of granny squares date back to the late 19th century, it is believed that this pattern is even older than that. It has remained an essential crochet skill for centuries and is still widely used today in a variety of projects.

Granny Square Variations

Throughout the history of granny squares, new variations have come and gone. While the classic granny square still remains popular (and one of the first patterns beginner crocheters learn), there are many varieties in use today. These include:

- Solid Granny Square — As the name suggests, the solid granny square is, well, solid. It doesn’t have the holes that the classic variation does. However, there are still gaps in the corners.

- Solid Granny Square With No Gaps — A completely hole-free variation, this granny square doesn’t even have corner gaps.

- Sunburst Granny Square — Much like the classic granny square, the sunburst variety also has holes, but the stitches used are different, producing a flower-like shape.

There are many more varieties we could list, but this article will focus on the basics — that is, the classic granny square.

What You Will Need for a Classic Granny Square

Before we jump into crocheting a granny square, you should make sure you have all the necessary supplies. Luckily, the list isn’t too long:

- Yarn — Depending on your skill level, you could make a granny square with pretty much any yarn. However, our recommendation is to start with worsted-weight yarn (also known as medium or #4), such as Lily Sugar’n Cream Yarn or Mary Maxim Maximum Value Yarn.

- Hook — The size of the hook you should use will depend on the weight of the yarn. If you follow our advice and go with worsted-weight yarn, you will need an I-size (5.5mm) to K-size (6.5mm) hook. The best way to ensure you’re using the right hook is to check the recommendation on the yarn label.

- Optional: Stitch Markers — Stitch markers are helpful tools for keeping track of your stitches. While they aren’t necessary for a classic granny square, you can make sure you have a few of them handy just in case.

Crochet Stitch Abbreviations

Aside from the supplies listed above, you should also familiarize yourself with the commonly used abbreviations in crochet patterns:

- ch - chain

- ch sp - chain space

- dc - double crochet

- st - stitch

- sts - stitches

- sl st - slip stitch

To make things easier, we will not be using abbreviations in our step-by-step granny square guide, but you should know them for your future projects nonetheless.

How to Crochet a Classic Granny Square

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get down to business. Follow this quick and easy guide to make a classic granny square!

Start a Granny Square With a Slip Knot

There are multiple ways you can start your granny square crochet project, but the most common and beginner-friendly way is by creating a slip knot. Follow this with four chains. 

Make a Slip Stitch
The next step is to turn the chain you just made into a circle. You will do this by pulling your hook through the first chain you made and creating a slip stitch. Follow this with a chain 3. 

Make a Double Crochet Stitch
Using the chain three you made in the previous step, you will now create a DC stitch. Simply wrap the yarn around the hook once and insert it into the very center of the circle. Yarn over again and pull it through.  

You should now have three loops going around your hook. Yarn over and pull through the first two loops. With two loops remaining, yarn over and pull through both of the loops.

Make the Second Double Crochet Stitch

Repeat the process from the previous step to create another DC stitch. 

Create a Corner

To create the first corner of your granny square, begin with a chain 3. Then, follow the steps to create three more double crochet stitches. You should now clearly see the corner.

Create the Rest of the Corner
To move on to the next corner, you should simply repeat the steps for making the first corner. So, start with another chain 3, and then make three double crochet stitches. Repeat the steps for creating the corners until you have three complete corners. 

Close the Square
To close the square, you will need to connect the last corner to the first stitch. Start with chain 3, as you did with the rest of the corners. Insert the hook into the third stitch from the center on the first chain. 

Now, simply yarn over and pull through. With that, the first round of your granny square is complete.

Start Round Two of the Granny Square
Start the second round by creating a chain 4. Next, create a cluster of three DC stitches by looping them into the next corner. 

Finish the Second Round of the Granny Square
Continue working the second round by creating two clusters of three DC stitches for every corner. Separate the clusters with a chain 3.

To close the second round of the square, do two DC stitches instead of three for the last cluster. The first chain you created in the second round will count as the third DC stitch for this cluster. Much like you did in the first round, you will connect the stitch with the third chain from the bottom. 

Make Round Three of Your Granny Square
The process of working the round three is quite similar to the second round. The difference is that you will now start with chain 3 and work your DC clusters into both the corner gaps of round two, as well as the middle gaps on all sides of round two. 

Finish the Granny Square or Make It Larger
With three rounds in your granny square, you can either stop here or keep going and make your square larger. If you decide to add more rows, keep in mind that the chain you begin will alternate. You already started your second round with a chain 4, and your third round with a chain 3. If you keep going, your fourth round will start with chain 4, the fifth will need a chain 3, and so on.

If you decide to finish your granny square here, you will need to tie off your yarn. To do this, yarn over and pull through. Cut off the rest of the yarn a few inches away from the square while keeping the hook in. Pull through the cut-off yarn carefully using the hook. This will create a knot. Tighten it and cut off the extra yarn.

Change Color in a Crochet Granny Square
As you grow more comfortable crocheting granny squares, you might decide to make a multi-colour one. This requires a little bit of skill, but it is quite easy to learn. When you finish the second to last stitch in your first colour, hook the yarn of the second colour in. Keep crocheting as you would if you were working with a single yarn, but make sure to hold the loose end of your first yarn to keep it in place. Cut off the extra yarn if you’re not planning on switching back in the next few stitches.

How to Crochet Granny Squares Together
Let’s say you’re working on a piece that requires you to join together two or more granny squares. There are several methods of doing this, depending on the project. For instance, you can do so using a slip stitch and the same hook you used for the squares themselves. If you don’t need the seam to be completely flat, you can also use a simple single crochet stitch.

How Long Does It Take a Beginner to Crochet a Granny Square?
The amount of time you need to crochet a granny square will depend on a number of factors, such as the size of the square you’re making and your skill level. Overall, it takes around 20-30 minutes to crochet a classic granny square. However, if you need more time, don’t worry. You’ll get quicker and more fluent with practice.

Free Patterns Using Granny Squares
Now that you know how to make a granny square, you will be able to create beautiful garments, decorative pieces, and other items that call for this motif. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these free granny square-based patterns.

Free Granny Afghan Pattern
For this free Granny Afghan pattern, you will need to make multi-colour squares in various sizes. In other words, this isn’t the easiest of patterns, so arm yourself with lots of patience and free time.

Free Granny Square Sweater Pattern
If you want to make a granny square-based clothing garment, this Granny Square Sweater is an excellent option. You will need around 9 balls of Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn and I-size and K-size hooks. 

Free Granny Square Dishcloth Pattern
Dishcloths are a great project for granny square beginners, as they also tend to be square-shaped. Check out this free Granny Square Dishcloth pattern for a beginner-friendly project. You will need Lily Sugar’n Cream yarn in two colours (or more, if you’re ambitious), as well as a J-size hook.

Free Granny Square Blanket Crochet Pattern
If dishcloths are too easy, and you’re looking for something that will keep you working longer, you can always go for a blanket. This free Granny Square Blanket Crochet pattern calls for Bernat Soft Boucle yarn and an L-size hook.

Free Granny Square Crochet Top Pattern
Who says granny squares are out of style? Create a fashionable garment using this free Granny Square Crochet Top pattern. You’ll need four balls of Bernat Softee Cotton yarn in different colours, along with a G-size hook. We recommend the H. A. Kidd 6” hook.

Ready to Make Your First Granny Square?
Now that you know all the ins and outs of making a granny square, it’s time to start crocheting. Remember to take it slow and allow yourself to make mistakes. Granny squares are perfect for practicing, as they require a lot of repetition. By the time you’re done, you will be a DC stitch expert! Good luck and have fun!