How to Crochet Granny Square & Read Chart
Alright, one of my favorite shapes in crochet are the granny squares. I know it's super old school, but there's something so cool about a granny square. I've got a whole Pinterest board based, that's called gaga for granny square, based solely on things that are square. Made in this really cool traditional piece that, it's kind of kitschy, but I love it. And if you kick it up by using a thicker yarn, like I'm using this great Lorna's Laces yarn that's the Shepherd Bulky, it also makes it super soft, so it adds kind of a cool, more modern flair to it. And, once we learn how to make a granny square, you're gonna really be able to make anything that's modular. But, the bonus material gives you the pattern for this bag. Here, I'll put it over here so you can see it. So this is just a little tote bag you can use for whatever, but it's, really it's a fun recommendation. It's a fun project to just illustrate that you can kind of turn anything that's a square into a project. You continue makin...
g a bunch of these squares, you could sew them together to make a blanket, or you could just keep going and make it a blanket. You could make this a pillow. Anything that can be made up, like I said before, modularly, you can do with a granny square. So we're gonna start. I'm just gonna show you also the inside of this bag. Lined in felt, so that you don't have to worry about your things falling through. And then I added some leather straps that I sewed on, but you could also just single crochet some straps, or add some ribbon, or whatever it is that shows your bag style. Alright. Set that aside. Let's learn how to make a granny square. Alright, so we're gonna be making ... This is just the basic granny square, but you can build on it to make the bag. And again, you're gonna have the project for that in the bonus materials, but you're also, I've also given you this separate granny square chart, because I wanted to talk to you a little bit about crochet charts. I love working with charts with crochet because you really, you've got essentially a blueprint right in front of you for every single stitch that's going to be made while you're working on this square. So there's no second guessing. It's easy to follow along. And you can kind of match up your stitch to what the symbol on the chart makes. And there's also always going to be a key as a part of the chart. So this chart will be in the bonus materials, as I said. And you'll see that for every symbol, there is an explanation of what that stitch is. Alright, so we're gonna go ahead, and I'm just going to dive on in, and show you how ... Just so you know, the pattern that you're actually gonna get for the bag also has the instructions written out. So you'll get the chart as well, and the written instructions, so you can use either/or, or both together to create your granny squares. Alright, so I'm gonna set that aside. And we're gonna start. In theory. We'll grab some scissors really quickly. Let's set this aside. We're gonna start by just creating, this is where you start, at the very center. Granny squares are built from the center out. So often when we think of squares, we think of starting at the bottom, and just building up, and creating the height. That's not how it works with a square. You're actually starting with a circle, and then building it out, adding angles, and then row upon row, or round upon round upon round. So, you're gonna start with your chain. First you create your slipknot, as you would anytime you make a foundation chain. And then you're going to chain, you can see that this little symbol, this little kind of oval symbol, counts as one stitch. So, that's one, two, three, four, five, six. So we are going to chain six. One, two, three, four, five, six. Then we need to join it in the round with a slip stitch. You'll notice right here that that little dot is the symbol for slip stitch. So we wanna join, we're gonna insert our hook in that very first chain that you've made. You yarn over. You pull it through those two loops. And now you've created your circle. Now, you're ready to go. You'll be working in the round from now on. Alright, so that is actually this first circle completed. Alright. This is the beginning of the round. You'll see every time there's this little dot, that's the slip stitch. You join every round with a slip stitch. So if ever you're like, oh gosh, I don't remember where the beginning is, just remember, the dot is the beginning. Alright, so we've worked this. So now we need to move onto here. Well that's that symbol for chains, and there's three of them. So we know that we need to chain three. So we're gonna chain one, two, three. And then we wanna create two double crochets in the center of the ring. So that means we're gonna just dive on in through that center. It says make one. Make two. And that first chain three that we made is gonna count as the first double crochet, so you're making just a three double crochet cluster. So then we have to create what will be the corner, and we're gonna do that by crocheting three chains. And just to follow along, we're working around counter-clockwise. So, we created these. And now we're making this what will be the corner. This chain three. And then we're gonna do, make three double crochets again. Two. Three. Now you can see that you've got your first corner, right there already. Alright, so we need to repeat that twice. So we're gonna go one, two, three. And then we're gonna make our double crochet cluster again. One, two. Three. It's time to make another corner again. So we know that we need to chain three. But if we forget that, we just follow along. We're on this one, right here. We're gonna make our double crochet cluster. This will be the last one. And then we need to round that off by creating the last corner with three more double crochets. One, two, three. So this is where we need to join with the slip stitch. So we've come all the way around full circle. We know that's a dot, so we know that's where we need to join. We need to join in the top of the beginning chain three. So one, two, three. We're gonna go ahead and join with a slip stitch. And now you've got ... You kind of have to pull it at the beginning. But now you can see that you've got the center of your square. So you've gone from circle to square, just in a matter of a row. Alright, from here on, now that you've established your square, we're really just building upon that. So really, there's just gonna be, you're always gonna have the corners, but you're just gonna have more of those clusters. Slowly every progressive row, that's gonna create a bigger and bigger space by just adding more of those clusters. So, what we've done here for the chart is we've made each row a different color. We've alternated colors, so that it's easier to read. A special thanks to my friend Julia Madill, who actually created this for me in Illustrator. So now we need to chain again, but this time if you'll notice, you're chaining three, but really you're chaining four, because you need to get over to this other space. So, you're gonna chain four. Pick it up again. One, two, three, four. So the chain three counted as your double crochet. That last chain is gonna count as, and you'll see this later, the chain one space. And then you're gonna skip these two double crochet, and you're gonna work in the corner again. So, you can see, here's that last chain is counting as this chain one that's gonna sort of leap on over the two double crochets that you're skipping. And now I'm gonna show you how to make a corner. At the beginning we were making corners by only creating chains, but from now on, there's going to be two clusters that bookend that chain for every corner. And I'm gonna show you how to make that. So we're skipping over these double crochets right here, and we're gonna create one of our clusters of three double crochets. One, two, three. And that's all in that corner, in that chain three space. So then we wanna make another chain three space. One, two, three. And then we wanna do three more. One, two, three. And that rounds off our corner. From now on, throughout the process, this is how we'll be creating the corners, right there. Alright, so we have just worked this portion. And now the chart is telling us that we need to chain one, and we're gonna skip over that next cluster of DC's. So we chain one. We skip all the way over. And then you would go ahead and just create that whole corner again. I'm gonna go ahead and move onto a different swatch. Don't need this one. And you can see now, this is a piece that has the first and second rounds completed. Alright, so now we're ready for round three. So round three, we're back to a black round, this, the interesting thing about granny squares is because it needs to be staggered to stop, you're not always gonna begin every round the same way. Sometimes you have to kind of get over. You kind of have to fudge it a little bit, and get over to the space that you need to be, to keep the pattern going. And this is one of those situations. So on row three, we've already joined with a slip stitch at the top of the ... Let's see, one, two, three. At the top of the first chain three. But now, we need to get over to that chain one space before we start working our cluster. So, what we need to do is we just need to slip stitch over there. Anytime you need to have movement without height in crochet, you can just use the slip stitch, just to kind of get yourself over where you need to be. Oops, I just did a single crochet on accident, because I'm talking instead of just crocheting. There you go. So I've slip stitched over to that chain one space from the row below, or the round below. And now I can work on another cluster. However, we still have to get that height, right, so we still have to do our chain three. So I'm gonna chain three now that I'm in the right spot, and then I'm gonna do two more double crochets. One. Two. And that creates a cluster. From now on, you won't just have corner clusters. You're gonna have these little trios of happiness that are clusters that'll be all on their own. So then you're gonna chain one. And that just gives you enough length to kind of skip over the center of these next three stitches. If you're working with a finer weight yarn, you'd probably chain two. I've modified this pattern from one before that I was using with a lighter weight yarn to accommodate sort of this lush, chunky yarn. Alright, so now we're over in the next corner, and then we would just work the corner again. So I'm gonna show you this corner, this last corner, and then from here on, really what I just wanna show you is how to work the beginning of each round, since as I just mentioned, you kind of begin them a little bit differently from one another. Alright, so I created that cluster. The chain three for the corner. And then the second cluster of three stitches. There's that corner. And then you're just gonna continue as established, following the chart for round three. Alright, let me move that one out of the way. This is what it looks like when you've got all, oops, when you've got all three rounds, or the first three rounds worked. Alright so, we see this is our first round. This is our second round. This is our third round. I'm gonna go ahead and insert my hook. Get it back in place. Alright, so let's take a look at the chart again. Alright, we count, we know that we've worked one round, two rounds, three rounds. We're ready to go onto the fourth round. For this chart, it is blue. So, again, we're back in action, just as we were for round two, where we have to chain four. The three will be the height of the double crochet. The fourth chain counts as that chain one, to get you, it's sort of act as a bridge over that cluster. So one, two, three, four. We're gonna dive on in over. We see here that this is not a corner, so we're only gonna be doing our chain three ... I'm sorry, our three double crochets as a cluster. And then once again, chain one. Skip over that cluster. Work in the corner. And then work the corner. As you can see, there's really only a couple of stitches that you need to know. It's really, it's absolutely a pattern, so you get kind of in a groove. Which I think is one of the reasons that these are so fun to make, is that you can go as big or as small as you want to. There's really not any limitations, because it's pretty instinctual after you get going. You'll get to the point where you won't need the chart at all, because it'll be really obvious. Like oh, I just worked a corner, so I know that I'm always working in spaces for these, and I need to get over there. Alright, so I must have to chain one. I must need to go over and make another cluster. It'll become a little instinctual after you practice. Alright, so you'll continue going around. When you're finished with that row, you'll be ready for row five. Okay, so one, two, three, four. That's the fourth round. So on row five, or round five rather, this is another one of those where you need to slip stitch to get over into the position that you need to be. So, you've ended the round below by slip stitching in the top of the chain three, but now you need to slip stitch in that next chain, just to get over to that position. And then we do the whole gig again. We chain three. And then we're gonna do two more double crochet. That beginning chain counted as the beginning of our cluster. Chain one. Because it's slowly getting bigger, we're not at the corner yet. You're gonna chain one, go across. You're gonna work another three double crochet clusters. This yarn is so soft too, it's kind of a dream to work with. I really encourage, a lot of times crocheters just go for whatever they can find, but I really encourage you to go out and explore some of the really nice, beautiful yarns that are out there. Alright, so then you're gonna chain one. You're gonna skip. And then you're gonna continue making a corner, as we've done several times. Alright, so for the last round, we're gonna be creating a bit of a border. Now if I was just working on a swatch, I would probably do a half double crochet border, but because I wanted to go ahead and incorporate the actual chart that you're gonna be using for the bag, the bag actually has several rounds of double crochet around it just to create the body, that are not knit in granny rows. So, I'm gonna show you how to do that. So this is the last row. We're gonna chain three. Which you see. And then you're gonna look for the next double crochet. And sometimes it's confusing, because it's hard to know always what loops goes with what. So if you just kind of take your finger, and follow up, I can see that this loop is connected to this stitch, so this must be the next stitch. So I'm going to double crochet. And then I'm gonna go to the next one. Double crochet on the next one. And then it says for me to double crochet in that chain one space. So what we're doing is we're, excuse me, we're double crocheting evenly, all the way around the piece. So you're gonna work until you get to the corner. Let's see, there's a third one right there. And then there's that chain one space. I wanna work there. And then there's one. One there. You're basically double crocheting for every stitch. So every chain and every double crochet you see. Until, that is, you get to the corner. So you're at the corner. There's only three chains, so it would make sense to think, oh, I'm gonna just double crochet three times there. And that would work if you were using a shorter stitch, but with double crochet, it really let's, it rounds out the square, rounds out the square. It makes the square shaped a little bit flatter, and better, if you do five double crochets, or five DC's, in that corner stitch. So one, two, three, four, five. So all of those double crochets are right in that corner, but look how nicely that rounds out. So there's no puckering. Everything can lie super flat. I'm gonna pull on this other swatch that has all of the rows, rounds worked. And you can see that it ... It's not gonna be perfectly ... So granny squares are not, they're square, but they have rounded corners. They're not as angular as a square normally would be. So you wanna really nice rounded piece, that lays flat like this. And, you can always block it if you want it to be a little bit more open, but this is so squishy and lush, that I think you're probably gonna want to just let it lie as it is. Alright, you did it. You have learned a ton. We've gone over cables, and shaping, and awesome granny squares, and now you have three projects that you're gonna work on. And then you're gonna take pictures of them, while you're working on them, and when they're done, and you're gonna tag @VickieHowell, right? And @CreativeLive, because we love seeing all your works in progress. We're a community. One of the reasons that I am an instructor, and that it's so important to me to be an ambassador for this craft, is because I want us all across the world to share with each other what we're making, what we're putting out in the world. It's been a pleasure teaching with you, and I hope to see you on my other CreativeLive courses.