The Granny Square
A Granny Square in "Bruins" Colors
The humble granny square, probably the most recognizable crochet motif there is. It rarely gets mistaken for knitting or tatting (the way ripples or lace crochet sometimes does), and who can forget the granny square afghans so popular in the 60s and 70s? Well, the good news is that granny square has never gone out of fashion. It’s still as useful today as it was back in the “olden days,” and it’s still a great way to learn to crochet if you’ve never tried the craft before.
When I was 9 years old, my mother taught me to crochet and the granny square was the first “pattern” I learned. Looking back I can see why it was such a good choice. It gives you an introduction to four basic stitches (chain, slip, single crochet and double crochet) and the repetitiveness of the pattern allows you to develop a rhythm as you work. You don’t need to constantly read directions to make a granny square. After you make the first two rounds, you can memorize the pattern and made a hundred rounds after that without looking at anything but the yarn and hook in your hands.
The granny square is also a very versatile motif that allows you to make a variety of practical household items such as blankets, either as a single granny square or little ones stitches together, potholders, placemats, pillows, scarves, and vests. With a little shaping you can even make hats, mittens, and sweaters. And they all begin with the same basic motif.
If you’re looking for a little modern day granny square inspiration, I highly recommend Granny Square Love: A New Twist on a Crochet Classic for Your Home by Sarah London. Inside you’ll find over 20 different projects that all involve the humble granny square. I’ve flagged five projects right off the bat that I want to make this year. Another useful book is The Granny Square Book: Timeless Techniques and Fresh Ideas for Crocheting Square by Squareby Margaret Hubert.
Want to get started now? Try one of these online Granny Square tutorials at The Purl Bee or Crochet Cabana.