I remember growing up and watching my great grandmother make afghan after afghan while sitting just about anywhere. It was special to see. She was fast. Her fingers flying around the yarn until you had something that was complete. I was a child living in pure awe of it. I have to admit though that I don’t think I would have appreciated knowing how to do it myself as much then as I do now. Now the lessons would have probably come easier, but I’m sure I would have let it drop to the wayside. The one thing everyone in my family knows about me is that I hate practicing. I learned to crochet by following crochet alongs, particularly from Bethintx, versus learning how to do each individual stitch and practicing that one until I perfected it before moving on to another. Each method I’m sure has it’s benefits, but I’m just not patient enough to do the latter. That being said, I also found that a lot of tutorials gave me either too much information at one time or the information was detailed enough for my brain. It was with that in mind that I contemplated whether or not to make this one post or many. Okay so not many, but it will be a 3 part tutorial culminating in color change and finishing. I wanted to make a post that would have helped me as a beginner to learn the basics of what I found to be the hardest thing to learn how to make so far in my crochet adventures. A granny square is not hard. I can tell you now that it’s actually one of the easier things that I do with my crochet, but it was hardest for me to learn.
For this tutorial, I decided on orange yarn. It’s a bright color that seems to show up on the camera better than if I were to use something that was lighter. Also, it isn’t dark enough that you can’t see each individual step of what I’m doing. A granny square can be done with any type of yarn, and I honestly lost the tag to this yarn so I don’t know the brand or style. It more like strips of paper versus traditional yarn though.
As you can see in the picture above, I have looped the yarn around my finger so that there is a circle. This is the starting point for making our slip knot. I’ll note here that the magic circle is gaining popularity these days, but I prefer the old method of starting my slip knot and chaining to the next point.
For step 2, you pull the loop from the back of your finger forward over the loop to the front.
Now you’ll pull it down so that it loops around the long string you are holding in your hand. This will make your slip knot. You will be able to loosen and pull it as necessary. Here you will want it to be tight enough not to fall off the hook but loose enough that you’ll be able to work stitches into it later.
This is what it will look like once that is on your hook.
As shown here you can loosen and stretch as necessary for the hook size. I’m using a size I crochet hook which is 5.50mm.
Next you will want to chain 3. In order to chain, you will pull the working yarn, yarn attached to your yarn ball, over top of the hook and then pull the loop that is on your hook over the yarn. This will be your first chain. For the base of your granny square you will need to do this 3 times.
This is what it will look like once you have chained 3. You will see 3 small v’s in your yarn. It also looks sort of like a braid.
Now you will want to slide your hook back into the first stitch you created. This will be the stitch furthest away from your hook currently. Once you have slid it into place you will want to slip stitch the two loops together. This merely means that you will pull the hook that is lower on your hook through the one that is higher. This will create your circle. Your circle will have a small hole in the middle which we will be working out of later.
You will still be left with one loop on your hook at this point. You should always have at least once. There will be stitches later where you will have more than one left in order to create some kind of effect, but we won’t worry about that now.
Now you have a circle. The small hole is where my pointer finger is underneath the yarn. You should be able to see it from both sides. It’s hard to catch with the camera here. You will be able to fit your finger up to it and see it though.
At this point you will chain 3 again. Next week we will go over how to begin your stitches into the circle you have created in your round.