Granny Square Tutorial
Before making a granny square afghan, or anything with yarn, scour the web for free designs–there’s loads of them. My favorite website is by Lucy, at Attic 24. She’s amazing! Her colors and vibrant designs are enough to cheer the dullest of days–the perfect fix for my long Stockholm winter. I love her Ripple Blanket and of course, the Granny Afghan Squares I made here.
To begin, you’re going to need yarn and lots of it. I made the mistake of not buying enough to start with and had to stop working on my project to order more (annoying), so buy more than you think you’re going to need (that’s my sister’s advise.)
Here I use Martha Stewart’s cotton hemp from Lion Yarns. The colors are that vintage look I wanted (aren’t they delicious?) and the feel is soft enough without losing any sturdiness. You need hardy threads to work with, especially when you’re first hooking on those tight, tight loops.
Read the label to know the correct size needle to use. As you can see, I used the number 5 crochet hook for this project.To begin, chain 6. If you just said, “Huh?” then you need to go to UTube and search “how to crochet.” There are thousands of helpful (and some not so helpful) videos on the basics of crochet that can guide you.After you make your chain, insert the hook into the first little chain you made, creating a loop. See here…Wasn’t that easy? Now, chain three more. It’ll look like you have a loop with a tail. For this next step, you’re going to insert the hook through the big loop and make another chain of three, (just like you already did). What you’re creating is a little cluster of chains in groupings of two (I’ll refer to them as spokes on our wheel). Now this is important: chain one single chain before reinserting the hook through the loop for your next “spoke”. This is to create a space so when you make your next round you’ll have a place to insert the hook to build more spokes. (I promise this will make sense.) Keep going. Insert the hook through the loop and pull the yarn through making another “spoke” and then don’t forget your space chain and then continue with another spoke. You need a total of 8 spokes with spaces in between each. It’s going to get really tight to fit them all on the loop but squeeze them in as best you can. When you get to the end, finish off with your last chain. Leave a 2 or 3 inch tail to tie on the next color. Later you will weave in the ends.Tie on your next color using a square knot.Start your chaining again, only this time your “spokes” are going to be clusters of three (3-chain) columns instead of two. You’re going to insert the needle in the places where you left space. As you go around, be sure to again, chain one between each spoke so as to leave space for the spokes of your next round.See how it’s working? You have two rounds finished, now start your third by chaining FOUR. There is a reason for this and it will become apparent at the end when you form your last corner. So chain four then create your three spokes just like you did before. Before making your next spoke be sure and chain one (for your space) then continue. When you get to your third spoke, you’re going to form a corner. See the picture? Make your spoke, but this time chain 2 singles then in the same corner hole, make another spoke. The picture explains it best. After the corner, chain 1 (for your next space) and make your spoke in the hole then chain one again for your space and in the next slot make your next corner.Easy, right? Nothing to it. The hardest part is over. You now know how to make rounds and how to form the corners. The next square is going to be the same, but let’s not jump ahead, we’ve got to finish up this square first. Remember that extra little chain you created at the start of this section? That is part of your last spoke, so when you finish up this corner you just need to make 2 chains of three and then end by attaching it onto the extra little loopy part you already formed. Let me say that again in other words…insert the hook into the corner, make your two chains of 3 and then end by inserting the hook into that loopy spoke you see in the picture below, that is your third chain to your cluster. See how that worked?Last square row. Think about your color choice because remember, these little squares are going to be hooked together with an additional color between all of them. What’s that color going to be and how does that factor into your pattern? Something to consider. Okay, begin like last time, chain FOUR and then make your spoke.You’re going to have a lot of loose ends, but don’t worry about that at this point. Keep going with your squares and when you’re finished weave in the loose threads while you’re watching Downton Abbey reruns.One last word…these little squares are addictive. I’m already thinking of other projects and patterns and colors. Just get started with a few and you’ll see what I mean. Happy crocheting!!!
P.S. If you’re looking for great colors, my friend Joanne told me about Cascade 220 Yarns. I plan to order some for my next project.