What is a granny square?

Granny squares are versatile and timeless crochet motifs that have captivated crafters for generations. They are a staple in crochet work and have become a symbol of both tradition and creativity. In this article, we will explore the world of granny squares, learn how to make them, discover their various uses, and understand their cultural significance.


Granny squares are small, square-shaped crochet pieces made up of colorful motifs. They are typically worked in rounds, starting from the center and expanding outward. The name “granny square” is believed to have originated from its popularity among grandmothers who would often use this technique to create blankets and other items. The history of granny squares can be traced back to the early 1800s, and they have since evolved into a beloved crochet tradition.

How to Make a Granny Square

To make a granny square, you will need a few basic materials: yarn in your desired colors, a crochet hook, and a pair of scissors. The size of your hook will depend on the thickness of the yarn you choose. Once you have gathered your materials, follow these simple steps:

  1. Start with a slipknot on your hook.
  2. Create a foundation chain of four stitches and join it with a slip stitch to form a ring.
  3. Work the first round by chaining three, which serves as the first double crochet stitch. Then, make two double crochet stitches into the ring.
  4. Chain two stitches to create a corner space and make three double crochet stitches into the ring. Repeat this step three more times to complete the first round.
  5. For each subsequent round, chain three to create a corner space and make three double crochet stitches into the corner space of the previous round. Repeat this step until your granny square reaches the desired size.

You can experiment with different colors and stitch combinations to create unique variations of granny squares. Numerous patterns are available online, ranging from simple designs for beginners to intricate motifs for advanced crocheters.

Uses and Applications of Granny Squares

Granny squares have a wide range of uses and applications. Traditionally, they were predominantly used to make Afghans and blankets. Their modular nature allows for easy assembly and customization, making them a popular choice for crocheted bedspreads and cozy throws.

In addition to blankets, granny squares are also used to create various clothing and accessory items. They can be combined to form vests, scarves, shawls, hats, and even skirts. Their versatility allows crafters to express their personal style and create one-of-a-kind fashion pieces.

Beyond fashion and home decor, granny squares have found their way into popular culture. In the 1960s and 1970s, they became a symbol of the hippie and bohemian movements, representing freedom, individuality, and artistic expression. In recent years, granny squares have experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks to their retro charm and the growing interest in handmade and sustainable crafts.

Benefits of Making Granny Squares

Apart from their aesthetic appeal, making granny squares offers numerous benefits to crafters. Crocheting, in general, is known to promote relaxation and relieve stress. The repetitive motions of creating each stitch can have a calming effect on the mind and body, providing a meditative experience.

Working on granny squares also allows individuals to develop their creativity and crochet skills. By choosing different colors, stitch combinations, and patterns, crafters can exercise their artistic expression and expand their repertoire of techniques. Additionally, the modular nature of granny squares encourages experimentation and fosters a sense of accomplishment with each completed motif.

Furthermore, granny squares provide an opportunity for social interaction and community involvement. Many crochet enthusiasts gather in online forums, social media groups, and local knitting circles to share their projects, seek inspiration, and offer support. Engaging with like-minded individuals fosters a sense of belonging and creates a space for learning and growth within the crochet community.

Tips and Tricks for Granny Square Enthusiasts

As you embark on your granny square journey, here are some tips and tricks to enhance your crafting experience:

  1. Color selection and arrangement: Experiment with different color combinations to create unique visual effects. Consider using a color wheel or online resources for guidance in selecting complementary or contrasting colors.
  2. Joining methods: There are various techniques to join granny squares together. Explore options such as slip stitching, single crochet, or sewing to achieve the desired finish for your project.
  3. Blocking and finishing techniques: Blocking involves shaping and setting your granny squares to ensure they have a consistent size and shape. It can be done by wetting the squares and pinning them to a blocking board or by using steam. Additionally, pay attention to finishing details such as weaving in loose ends to give your project a polished look.


Granny squares hold a special place in the world of crochet, combining tradition, creativity, and versatility. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced crocheter, exploring the realm of granny squares offers a rewarding and enjoyable experience. From blankets and clothing to artistic expressions and relaxation, these timeless motifs continue to inspire and captivate crafters around the world.


Q: Can I use different types of yarn for making granny squares? A: Yes, you can use various types of yarn, including acrylic, cotton, wool, or blends, depending on the desired texture and drape of your finished project.

Q: Are granny squares suitable for beginners? A: Absolutely! Granny squares are a great starting point for beginners as they teach basic crochet stitches and allow for practice and experimentation.

Q: Can I incorporate granny squares into other crafts besides crochet? A: Certainly! Granny squares can be used in knitting, sewing, or even mixed-media projects, adding a touch of color and texture to various crafts.

**Q: How do I care for granny square items? A: It is best to follow the care instructions provided for the specific type of yarn used in your project. Most granny square items can be machine-washed on a gentle cycle or hand-washed and laid flat to dry.

Q: Where can I find inspiration for different granny square patterns? A: There are numerous resources available online, including crochet pattern websites, social media platforms, and video tutorials that offer a wide range of granny square designs and ideas.

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