One of the first things a beginner to crochet should learn how to make is the ever versatile crochet granny square. Variations of this pattern appear in just about any type of crocheted items – from sweaters and ponchos to bedspreads and tablecloths. It is an especially popular pattern for afghans and baby blankets.
The best thing about a granny square is that it will teach you three of the crochet stitches that you will use extremely often in your crochet projects. The stitches are the slip stitch, which is used most often to finish rounds of crochet; the chain stitch, which is the foundation row for nearly every crochet project; and the double crochet, which will give you the basic idea for how to do a number of other crochet stitches.
A crochet granny square can be worked to any size and with as many colors as you would like to see in your finished project. You can work from a pattern to create an item, or use your imagination to fashion your own individualized piece.
Crochet Granny Square 101
The basic pattern for a crochet granny square is very simple. Chain six stitches, and slip stitch together to form a ring. Make three chains that will act as your first double crochet on this round. Stitch two more double crochets into the original ring you made, and then make three more chain stitches. Next, stitch three double crochets into the ring and make three more chain stitches.
You will repeat this process two times more, and then finish off your first round with a slip stitch in the top of the chain three at the beginning of the round. Pat yourself on the back! You just completed the first round of your first crochet granny square. This process is repeated for as many rounds as you choose to add to your square. You can make many little squares and sew them together to make an item, or you can make a blanket or throw with one square that simply grows in rounds until it is the desired size.
Attaching Your Crochet Granny Square
If you choose to make a number of smaller squares for an item, you will need to sew them together to create your finished piece. Some crocheters prefer to do this as they complete squares, and some will wait until all the squares are finished to assemble the item all at once.
You can join your squares by sewing them together with a simple whip stitch, or you can actually crochet your outside rounds together by slip stitching through the back of each stitch on the last round. The second option will give you a ridge between squares along the back of your piece, and may be more durable on items like blankets that might go through the wash frequently.
A crocheted granny square is a great way for a beginner to try her hand at a crocheted creation. So grab a ball of yarn and a crochet hook, and start crocheting!