Is it any surprise given my Off the Shelf pick this Monday what the stitch of the week was going to be?
I’m cheating this week because I do know how to make a granny square, so I’m not learning anything new, but I can’t tell you the last time I actually made a granny square (it’s been that long). So I was due for a refresher.
I’ll tell you a story.
I overdosed on granny squares when I tried making one of the little toys from “The Great Granny Crochet Book.” All of the toys in that book are made from tiny little granny squares sewn together. I attempted this turtle pattern because the shell looked like this awesome mosaic of yellow and green and brown squares and half squares (triangles). I can’t remember how many of those granny squares I crocheted before I went into a coma. I kept them in a Ziploc bag, and they are probably still there in one of the large bins where I keep frogged projects. I cannot tell you how done with granny squares I was. I never wanted to crochet a granny square again — and I never even finished the turtle. That’s when I realized I didn’t want to crochet anything that wasn’t going to give me immediate gratification. And the only thing to do was turn to amigurumi.
That’s my close encounter with granny squares.
Don’t get me wrong. I love granny squares. Plenty of people have found ways to make awesome things out them. This post is my attempt to make peace with them.
So, here we go, the most traditional of all traditional granny squares:
Your Grandma’s Granny Square
Ch 4 and sl st in first ch to make a ring.
Rnd 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc). Make 2 dc in ring. (Ch 2, make 3 dc in ring) repeat three times. Ch 2 and sl st in first ch-2 to join. Here’s what you have:
GRANNY’S SURVIVAL TIP: Crochet around your tail yarn as you go. When you’re making that first row, hold the tail yarn against the ring, and crochet around it as well as the ring. That way, you don’t have to weave it in later. I despise weaving in ends.
Rnd 2: Join new color of yarn to any ch-2 sp. If you’re not switching colors, then sl st across the work till you get to the next ch-2 sp. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp. (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in the rem 3 ch-2 spaces. Join with sl st.
Rnd 3: Join new color into any ch-2 sp (or sl st till you get to nxt ch-2 sp). Ch 3 (counts as first dc), make (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp. Make 3 dc in the space between the two 3-dc clusters in prev row (you’re working on the side of the granny square rather than in the corner). *In ch-2 sp, make (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc), and make 3 dc in side of square between the two 3-dc clusters from prev row* Repeat * to * around. Join with sl st.
Rnd 4: Join new color in any ch-2 sp (or just sl st over). Ch 3 (counts as first dc), make (2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in ch-2 sp. Make 3 dc in each of the two spaces created between the 3-dc clusters in prev row (working on the side of the granny square). *In ch-2 sp, make (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc), and make two 3-dc clusters in side of square between the 3-dc clusters from prev row* Repeat * to * around. Join with sl st.
Keep repeating the pattern to make your granny square as big as you like.
GRANNY’S SURVIVAL TIP: If your granny square project will only be seen from one side, don’t cut your yarn every time you change colors. Just drop the color you don’t want and pick up the one you do. It’ll save you from weaving in all those ends — and weeping like a child. I didn’t cut my yarn, and you can’t tell at all from the front (and you really can’t tell that much from the back, either).
And that’s the granny square in its most unicorn-pure form. Enjoy!