How to Crochet a Granny Square – Step-by-Step & Video Tutorial

several granny squares in assorted colors and sizes laying on a white table

This tutorial has been a long time coming! For a while now I’ve wanted to write out a companion granny square tutorial for my Agnes Sweater Vest showing the exact way I crochet my granny squares – so here it is! This is a step-by-step tutorial for how to crochet a basic granny square that also includes abbreviated instructions and a video tutorial.

Agnes sweater vest front closeup

Granny squares are a classic, timeless and a great way to use up scrap yarn. They are my favorite thing to make when I have bits of yarn leftover and want to turn it into something new, like a sweater vest, zipper pouch or tote bag.

examples of projects made using granny squares including a zipper pouch and bag

Granny squares are also a great beginner crochet pattern and throughout this tutorial I explain some of the basic crochet stitches like chain stitches, the double crochet stitch and how to make a slip knot.

After you’ve learned how to crochet a granny square head over to my tutorial How To Join Granny Squares to learn how to seam them together!

Since this is a fairly long article with a lot of information, I’ve created a Table of Contents so you can skip around to specific parts as needed!

Supplies Needed

a variety of yarns in different colors laying on a white table next to two crochet hooks

This page contains some affiliate links to products and I may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links (at no extra cost to you).

You can, of course, use whatever yarn weight you have on hand and/or a different size crochet hook. Most yarns will give a suggested needle and hook size on the packaging if you need help deciding which size hook to use.

Crochet Stitch Definitions

Slip knot – Make a loop by crossing the tail yarn and working yarn over one another, reach through the loop and pull the tail yarn through to make a new adjustable loop.

Tail yarn – The yarn leftover at the beginning and after each round

Working yarn – The yarn coming from the ball or skein of yarn.

Yarn over – Bringing the yarn over the crochet hook from back to front.

Slip stitch – Yarn over, pull yarn through both loops on hook.

Chain stitch – Yarn over and pull the yarn through the loop on the hook.

Double crochet – Yarn over, insert hook into stitch and bring up a loop, yarn over and pull through two loops,

Bind off – When a round is complete and the yarn is cut and pulled through the last loop on the hook.

a finished granny square with hand holding it next to 4 skeins of yarn of different colors on a white table

Short Instructions

These are the short, abbreviated instructions to make a granny square.

Abbreviations:
rnd – round
sl st – slip stitch
ch – chain
dc – double crochet
sp – space
beg – beginning

Make a slip knot, ch 4, sl st in the first ch to form a loop.

Round 1: Work into the loop just created – ch 3 (counts as first dc) 2 dc, ch 1 – [3 dc, ch 1] x 3 – sl st into first stitch of rnd, cut tail, and pull yarn through.

Round 2: Join new color through previous bind off stitch, ch 3 – 2 dc into ch 1 sp below, ch 1 – Into next ch 1 sp [3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc] x 3 – Into beg ch 1 sp, 3 dc, ch 1 – sl st into first stitch of rnd, cut tail, and pull yarn through.

Round 3: Join new color through previous bind off stitch, ch 3 – 2 dc into ch 1 sp below, ch 1 – [Into next ch 1 sp: 3 dc, ch 1, Into next ch 1 corner sp: 3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc] x 3 – Into next ch 1 sp, 3 dc, ch 1 – Into beg ch 1 sp, 3 dc, ch 1 – sl st into first stitch of rnd, cut tail, and pull yarn through.

Round 4: Join new color through previous bind off stitch, ch 3 – 2 dc into ch 1 sp below, ch 1 – [Into next two ch 1 sp: 3 dc, ch 1, Into next ch 1 corner sp: 3 dc, ch 1, 3 dc] x 3 – Into next two ch 1 sp, 3 dc, ch 1 – Into beg ch 1 sp, 3 dc, ch 1 – sl st into first stitch of rnd, cut tail, and pull yarn through.

Video Tutorial

Step-by-Step Tutorial

If you need a slower paced tutorial with plenty of pictures, keep reading to follow the step-by-step written instructions.

Step 1: Slip Knot

Start by making a loop with the yarn by crossing the working yarn (the yarn coming from the skein) over the tail yarn. Hold on to the tail end of the yarn and reach through the loop with your fingers.

Grab the tail end of the yarn and bring it through the loop and pull it up to make a loop. The knot will tighten as you keep pulling on the loop – make sure that the tail doesn’t get pulled all the way through.

And there you have a slip knot! It should be adjustable and if you pull on the loop threads it will make the loop bigger and if you pull on the tail end, it will make the loop smaller (or release the knot if you need to).

holding the finished slip knot in one hand

Place the crochet hook through the slip knot loop and pull on the tail end of the yarn to tighten. Make sure to not tighten it too much because on the next step you will need a little slack in the loop.

Tip: Holding The Yarn / Tension

One of the things that comes with practice in crochet, is getting the tension right and figuring out how to hold the yarn comfortably. Everyone has their own way of holding the yarn and keeping tension, but I will show you how I hold it.

Note: I am right handed so hold my crochet hook in my right and the working yarn in my left. If you’re left handed this may be reversed or whatever way is comfortable for you!

With the working yarn in my left hand, I “thread” the yarn over my first finger, under the next two, and over my pinky. Then with the palm of my left hand facing me, I hold the tail yarn, or the project as it grows, with my thumb and my last three fingers. My pointer finger is typically pointing straight out and helps control the yarn tension.

Step 2: Foundation Chain / Starting Chain

Next, you will make a foundation chain that will help to form a circle and the center of the granny square.

Once you have the yarn set up in your hands, hook the working yarn with the crochet hook – this is called a yarn over. Pull the yarn through the slip knot and form a loop. This counts at the first chain, or chain 1.

Repeat those steps until you have 4 chain stitches – the finished foundation chain! You will notice the chain looks like a series of v’s and to count the chains, you count the “bumps” along the edge.

the finished foundation chain of 4 chain stitches

Step 3: Form Center Circle

Insert the crochet hook into the first chain stitch (through the first “bump” on the foundation chain) – there will be two loops on the hook. Yarn over and bring yarn through booth loops – this is called a slip stitch.

You now have the starting circle and on the next steps you will be working into the middle of the circle.

Step 4: Round 1

Each time you go around in a circle, this is called a round – so next up is Round 1 where you will start the granny square pattern!

Start with 3 chain stitches – this will count as the first double crochet stitch. Then you will crochet two double crochet stitches into the center hole.

the first foundation chain after forming the starting circle

How To Double Crochet

To make a double crochet stitch: Yarn over, insert hook into the center and bring up a loop. You will have 3 loops on the hook (see photos below).

Yarn over, pull through 2 loops, yarn over, pull through the next two loops (see photos below).

And that’s the first double crochet stitch!

showing final step of first double crochet stitch

Continue with pattern:

Make one more double crochet for a total of 3 double crochets (remember the first chain 3 counted as the first double crochet).

the first three double crochet stitches to start the first round of the granny square

Next make a chain 1 stitch. Throughout the pattern, you will make a chain 1 stitch after every set of 3 double crochet clusters.

chain 1 stitch after the first 3 double crochet stitches before working the next cluster

Then continue around with this pattern: [3 double crochet into center, chain 1] 3 more times. There should be a total of 4 clusters of 3 double crochets separated with a chain 1 stitch.

To close up the round: Insert hook into the top of first chain 3, pull yarn through 2 loops. Cut yarn, leaving a tail and bring yarn all the way through loop.

Note: If you don’t want to switch colors, then don’t cut the yarn and just continue on with the next round.

Gently pull on the yarn tail to tighten (not too tight) and that’s the end of Round 1!

Step 5: Round 2

In my example, I’m making each round a different color, but the color changes are up to you!

To start a new color: Insert hook in the stitch to the right of the knot (the little knot made after closing up the previous round). Loop new color yarn over hook and bring up a loop leaving a tail. Hold the tail yarn of the new color and the tail from the previous round secure and continue with the pattern.

With the new color joined, start with a chain 3 (counts as first dc).

Note: Throughout the second round, the corners will be formed by crocheting 2 clusters of 3 double crochet stitches.

showing the foundation chain stitch starting round two of the granny square

Then make two double crochets into the chain 1 space below and chain 1. This counts as half of a corner.

first cluster of double crochet at the beginning of round 2 of the granny square

To form the first corner of round 2: (For every upcoming corner in the granny square, this is how the pattern will be worked!)

You will be skipping the double crochet cluster from the previous round and working in the next chain 1 space.

Make 3 double crochet in the chain 1 space, chain 1, 3 double crochet (in the same chain 1 space), chain 1.

Continue on to the second corner and work in the same chain 1 space.

Make 3 double crochet in the chain 1 space, chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 1.

Third corner: Make 3 double crochet in the same chain 1 space, chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 1.

Second half of final corner: 3 double crochet in starting chain 1 space, chain 1.

To close off the round, insert the hook into third chain of starting chain, pull yarn through 2 loops, cut yarn, pull all the way through.

And that’s the end of Round 2!

the finished round two of the granny square on a white table next to scissors and a crochet hook

Step 6: Round 3

Hopefully by now the pattern is familiar and you’re getting the hang of it! Round 3 will be following the same pattern, but you will adding in double crochet clusters to form the sides of the granny square.

Attach a new color in the same way as Round 2 and chain 3. Then make two double crochets into the chain 1 space below and chain 1.

In the next chain 1 space, make a cluster of 3 double crochet and chain 1 – This forms the sides of the granny square.

Repeat the pattern from the previous round at the corners and add in a double crochet cluster in between the corners to form the sides. Remember: At the corners, always make 3 double crochets, chain 1, 3 double crochets. And don’t forget to chain 1 after each double crochet cluster.

The pattern for Round 3 is as follows:

[3 double crochet (in next chain 1 space), chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet (in same chain 1 space)] x 3.

3 double crochet (in next chain 1 space) chain 1, 3 double crochet (in beginning chain 1 space), chain 1. Slip stitch in third chain of beginning chain to close round.

That’s the end of Round 3! Depending on what size square you are wanting you can stop here, or keep going. I’ll be showing one more round since that’s what I did for my Agnes Sweater Vest tutorial.

round three of the granny square finished on a white table next to a pair of scissors and strand of yarn

Step 7: Round 4

Join a new color in the same way as the previous rounds, and chain 3.

Repeat the pattern from the previous round, making clusters of 3 double crochet in the chain 1 spaces along the sides of the square, and two clusters of 3 double crochets in the same chain 1 space at the corners.

Pattern for Round 4 is as follows:

Chain 3, 2 double crochet, chain 1. [3 double crochet (in next chain 1 space) chain 1, 3 double crochet (in next chain 1 space) chain 1, 3 double crochet, chain 1, 3 double crochet (in same chain 1 space), chain 1] x 3 .

[3 double crochet (in next chain 1 space) chain 1] x 2.

3 double crochet (in beginning chain 1 space), chain 1. Slip stitch in third chain of beginning chain to close round.

And that’s it, your completed 4 round granny square!

two finished granny squares laying on a white table next to a crochet hook and 4 colors of yarn

Now go make some more granny squares! 🙂 Have fun with color combinations, yarn textures or experiment with size. My tutorial, How to Join Granny Squares will walk through 3 ways of joining squares together so you can make clothing, bags, blankets or accessories! There’s so many possibilities with one little granny square!

I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful – let me know if there’s any step that is confusing!

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