Knitting a granny square is a classic technique that every knitter should have in their repertoire. Granny squares are versatile and can be used to create a wide variety of projects, from blankets and throws to scarves and cushions. If you’re new to knitting, learning how to make a granny square is a great way to practice basic stitches and get comfortable with the techniques involved in knitting.
In this step-by-step tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process of knitting a granny square from start to finish. You’ll learn how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off, as well as how to change colors and create the distinctive square shape. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a completed granny square that can be used as the building block for all sorts of knitting projects.
Before we get started, it’s important to gather your materials. You’ll need a pair of knitting needles, yarn in your chosen colors, and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends. It can be helpful to choose yarns that are a similar weight and texture, as this will ensure a more even finished square. You’ll also want to have a knitting gauge handy, so you can keep track of your progress and ensure your square is the correct size.
Ready to get started? Let’s begin by casting on. This is the first step in any knitting project and involves creating the foundation row of stitches. For a basic granny square, you’ll cast on a multiple of four stitches. Once you’ve cast on, you’ll begin knitting in a specific pattern of stitches, alternating between knits and purls. This pattern creates the distinctive texture of a granny square and adds visual interest to the finished piece.
As you continue knitting, you’ll also have the opportunity to change colors and create different sections within your granny square. This allows you to get creative and experiment with different color combinations. Once you’ve completed all the necessary sections, you’ll finish off your square by binding off. This involves securing the final stitches so that they don’t unravel, and it’s an essential step in completing any knitting project.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the process, it’s time to dive in and start knitting your first granny square! By following this step-by-step tutorial and practicing the techniques involved, you’ll soon be creating beautiful granny squares that can be used to make a wide variety of projects. So grab your knitting needles and yarn, and let’s get started!
Prepare your materials
Gather the following materials:
- Yarn: Choose any color or type of yarn you prefer. It’s recommended to use a medium weight yarn for this project.
- Knitting needles: Select a pair of knitting needles appropriate for your chosen yarn. The size of the needles will depend on the thickness of the yarn.
- Tape measure: This will be used to measure your gauge and square size.
- Scissors: You’ll need scissors to cut the yarn once you’ve finished knitting your square.
- Yarn needle: A yarn needle will be used to weave in any loose ends and finish off your square.
- Stitch markers: If you prefer to use stitch markers to keep track of your stitches, you can have them on hand.
- Blocking tools: If you want to block your granny square after it’s completed to help shape it, you may need blocking mats, pins, and a spray bottle.
Start with a magic loop
The magic loop is a technique that allows you to create a tight center for your granny square.
To start, take the end of your yarn and create a small loop by crossing it over itself.
Next, insert your crochet hook through the loop and pull the yarn through. This will create a slipknot.
Hold the slipknot with your non-dominant hand and insert your crochet hook into the loop.
With your dominant hand, grab the yarn and bring it under the hook, then over the top. This is called a yarn over.
Use your hook to grab the yarn and pull it through the loop on your hook. This completes the first chain stitch.
Continue to make additional chain stitches until you have the desired number for your granny square pattern.
To close the magic loop, gently tug on the tail end of the yarn until the loop becomes smaller and the center tightens.
Now you are ready to begin crocheting your granny square using the magic loop as the center.
Round 1: Double crochet stitches
To start your granny square, you will begin with a ring of double crochet stitches. Follow these steps to complete round 1:
- Start by making a slip knot and inserting your crochet hook into the loop.
- Make a chain stitch by yarn over and pulling the yarn through the loop on your hook.
- Next, make three more chain stitches. These will serve as the first double crochet stitch.
- Wrap the yarn over your hook and insert the hook into the ring.
- Yarn over again and pull the yarn through the ring, so you have three loops on your hook.
- Yarn over once more and pull the yarn through the first two loops on your hook. You will now have two loops left on your hook.
- Yarn over again and pull the yarn through the last two loops on your hook. This completes your first double crochet stitch.
- Continue making double crochet stitches into the ring until you have a total of four double crochet stitches. Make sure to work over the tail of yarn to secure it in place.
- Slip stitch into the top of the first chain stitch to join the round. This will create a seamless circle.
That’s it! You have completed round 1 of your granny square. The double crochet stitches will form the corners and sides of your square.
Round 2: Increasing the stitches
Now that you’ve completed the first round of your granny square, it’s time to increase the number of stitches to create a larger square. Follow these steps to increase the stitches in Round 2:
- Start with a new color of yarn. Attach the yarn to any chain-1 space from the previous round with a slip stitch. This will serve as your first stitch of Round 2.
- Chain 3 (counts as 1 double crochet stitch), then work 2 more double crochet stitches into the same chain-1 space. This creates your first corner of Round 2.
- Chain 1, then work 3 double crochet stitches into the next chain-1 space. Repeat this pattern (chain 1, 3 double crochet stitches) in each chain-1 space around the square.
- Once you reach the first corner again, work 3 double crochet stitches into the same chain-1 space as the beginning of Round 2. Chain 1 to complete the corner.
- Continue working the pattern (3 double crochet stitches, chain 1) in each chain-1 space around the square, finishing with a corner (3 double crochet stitches, chain 1).
- Join the round with a slip stitch to the top of the beginning chain 3.
Round 2 increases the number of stitches and creates the structure of your granny square. Each round from here on will follow a similar pattern of increasing stitches and working corners. By following these instructions, you’ll be well on your way to completing your very own granny square!
Rounds 3-6: Continuing the pattern
Once you have completed the first two rounds of your granny square, you can continue to add more rounds to create the desired size and pattern. In rounds 3-6, you will be following the same pattern as in the previous rounds, but with a few minor changes.
- Round 3: Start by joining a new color of yarn in any corner space. Chain 3 to count as your first double crochet. Then, work 2 double crochet stitches in the same corner space. Chain 2, and work 3 double crochet stitches in the next corner space. Repeat this pattern (3 double crochet stitches, chain 2, 3 double crochet stitches) in each corner space around. Slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 to join the round.
- Round 4: Join a new color of yarn in any corner space. Chain 3, and work 2 double crochet stitches in the same corner space. Chain 1, and work 3 double crochet stitches in the next corner space. Repeat this pattern (3 double crochet stitches, chain 1, 3 double crochet stitches) in each corner space around. Slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 to join the round.
- Round 5: Join a new color of yarn in any corner space. Chain 3, and work 2 double crochet stitches in the same corner space. Chain 1, and work 3 double crochet stitches in each chain 1 space from the previous round. In the corner spaces, work (3 double crochet stitches, chain 2, 3 double crochet stitches). Repeat this pattern around, and slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 to join the round.
- Round 6: Join a new color of yarn in any corner space. Chain 3, and work 2 double crochet stitches in the same corner space. Chain 1, and work 3 double crochet stitches in each chain 1 space from the previous round. In the corner spaces, work (3 double crochet stitches, chain 2, 3 double crochet stitches). Repeat this pattern around, and slip stitch to the top of the initial chain 3 to join the round.
Continue this pattern for as many rounds as you would like, adding new colors and changing the stitch counts as desired. Remember to fasten off each color securely and weave in the loose ends to finish your granny square.
Finishing off the square
Once you have completed the desired number of rounds for your granny square, it’s time to finish off the square. Here are the steps to follow:
- Fasten off: Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread the tail through the last stitch and pull tight to secure.
- Weave in ends: Take the yarn needle and weave in the loose ends on the back of the square. This will prevent them from unraveling.
- Block the square (optional): If you want your granny square to have a more polished look, you can block it. To do this, dampen the square with water and lay it flat on a towel or blocking mat. Use pins to stretch and shape the square to the desired size and let it dry completely.
- Repeat the process: If you want to make more granny squares, simply repeat the steps from the beginning. You can vary the colors or stitch patterns to create unique designs.
And that’s it! With these steps, you can finish off your granny square and add it to your collection. Whether you’re making a blanket, a pillow, or any other project, granny squares are a versatile and fun way to showcase your knitting skills.
Blocking and Weaving in Ends
Blocking and weaving in ends are two important steps in finishing your granny square. These steps help give your square a polished look and ensure that it stays in place.
Blocking is the process of shaping and stretching your granny square to its final dimensions. It helps to even out the stitches and improves the overall appearance of your square.
To block your granny square, follow these steps:
- Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
- Add a small amount of mild detergent to the water and mix well.
- Place your granny square into the water, making sure it is completely submerged.
- Gently swish the square around in the water to clean it.
- Let the square soak for about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the square from the water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Do not wring or twist the square.
- Lay the square flat on a clean towel or blocking mat.
- Shape the square to its desired dimensions by gently tugging on the edges and patting it into place. Use blocking pins or T-pins to hold the shape.
- Leave the square to dry completely. This can take 24-48 hours, depending on the thickness of your yarn.
- Once the square is dry, remove the blocking pins and your square is now ready to be used or joined with other squares.
Weaving in Ends
Weaving in ends is the process of securing the loose yarn tails from joining or changing colors. This step ensures that your granny square is neat and all loose ends are concealed.
To weave in ends, follow these steps:
- Thread the loose yarn tail onto a tapestry needle.
- Insert the needle into the back of a stitch, close to where the yarn tail emerges.
- Weave the needle in and out of the stitches, following the natural path of the yarn.
- Continue weaving in the yarn until you have gone back and forth for about an inch.
- Trim the excess yarn tail close to the fabric, leaving a small tail to prevent unraveling.
- Repeat this process for all loose yarn tails.
By taking the time to block your granny square and weave in all the loose ends, you will have a beautiful and professional-looking finished product.
Variations and additional tips
Once you have mastered the basic granny square pattern, you can get creative and try different variations to make your squares unique. Here are some ideas:
- Color combinations: Experiment with different color combinations to create interesting and visually appealing granny squares. You can stick to a single color or use multiple colors to make each row stand out.
- Change stitch patterns: Instead of using the traditional double crochet stitch, you can try other stitches like half double crochet, treble crochet, or even popcorn stitch to add texture and variety to your granny squares.
- Use different yarn weights: Depending on the type of yarn you use, you can create granny squares with different textures and thicknesses. Try using a bulky yarn for a cozy square or a lace weight yarn for a delicate square.
- Experiment with embellishments: Once you have completed your granny square, you can add embellishments like beads, buttons, or embroidery to make it even more special. These little details can make a big difference in the overall look of your final project.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind as you continue your granny square journey:
- Joining squares: Granny squares can be easily joined together to create larger projects like blankets or scarves. There are various methods to join squares, such as slip stitch joining or whipstitching, so explore different techniques to find the one that works best for you.
- Blocking: Blocking your granny squares can help to even out the stitches and give them a neater appearance. You can block your squares by gently wetting them and laying them flat to dry, or by using steam to shape them. Blocking can make a significant difference in the overall quality of your finished project.
- Keep practicing: Like any new skill, mastering the art of granny squares takes time and practice. Don’t get discouraged if your first few attempts don’t turn out perfectly. Keep practicing, and soon you’ll be creating beautiful and intricate granny squares with ease.
Remember, the key to successful granny square knitting is to have fun and enjoy the process. With each new square you make, you’ll gain more confidence and creativity.
What materials do I need to knit a granny square?
To knit a granny square, you will need yarn in your choice of colors, knitting needles or a crochet hook, and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends.
Can I use a different knitting technique instead of the granny square?
Absolutely! If you prefer a different knitting technique or pattern, there are numerous options for creating different types of squares or shapes. Some popular alternatives to the granny square include the mitered square, log cabin square, and garter stitch square. Feel free to explore and experiment with different patterns to find the one that suits your style and preferences.