We've all been there. For a beginner crocheter, a classic Granny Square pattern can look quite complicated. But it's such a wonderful pattern, and a great way for a beginner to learn! Before you know it you will crochet blankets or some other larger crochet project, and it all starts with this basic "how to crochet a granny square" pattern.

You can start out with the back block, and expand on your knowledge as your skills grow. These crochet squares lend themselves to all types of projects. Coasters, potholders, blankets, pillows, clothing and pretty much anything you can imagine.

If only I knew how easy crocheting Granny Squares is! They are a basic block, but because of the versatile nature of the stitch and the flow you get into when crocheting granny clusters, they lend themselves to all types of projects.

They're the perfect crochet square for a beginner crocheter, because just changing up the color can already make a huge difference: If you like a traditional granny, you can make them with a black joining. But if you like more colors of yarn, you can use the same pattern to create something colourful, like the Colourful Rainbow Granny blanket (a free crochet pattern, by the way). It all comes down to remembering basic crochet stitches like chains and double crochet stitches to create a square crochet pattern. That's it!

Or the Vintage sweet shawl, which is a great way to vary on granny squares: granny rows!

What is a granny square?

A granny square crochet pattern is a name for a motif that’s worked in granny clusters. A granny cluster is a group of 3 double crochets (or in UK terms, trebles). All three double crochets are worked in one chain-space, separated from other clusters with chains. In every row, you crochet granny clusters around the chains that separate the clusters of the previous row.

Clusters can be worked in the round to make a square pattern, or in rows to vary in shape. If you work in the round, you will increase the number of granny clusters in each round to make your granny square larger and larger.

If this all sounds complicated, don’t worry. It’s all best explained in pictures, so I’ve made a photo tutorial for you, simply scroll down to learn how to crochet a granny square! 👇

If you prefer a video tutorial, you may find something that suits you on Youtube. Just search for How to crochet a granny square, and you should find something that works. I just find that these step-by-step instructions get the tutorial across better then video.

What yarn do I need to crochet a simple granny square?

You can use any type of yarn! My advice to you would be to use a non-splitting thread, especially if this is your first time crocheting a granny square. You want to see your stitches clearly, and splitting yarn is just the worst for that.

I recommend a 100% cotton yarn such as Scheepjes Catona, which is mercerised to prevent splitting and is available in over 100 colours. If you choose Scheepjes Catona, use a 3.5mm hook (US size E/4). For other yarns, check out the yarn label for the right size crochet hook.

Where can you buy yarn for Granny Squares?

I recommend a non-splitting, 100% cotton such as Scheepjes Catona. You can find Catona in the following webshop:

Learn how to crochet a Granny Square

This granny square tutorial is written in US terms. If you prefer UK terms, simply substitute every double crochet (dc) with a treble (tr). This tutorial is made for absolute beginners and contains a lot of photos and extra explanations. If you’re looking for the written pattern, scroll to the bottom of this tutorial for the free crochet pattern.

Getting started (photo 1)

Chain 4, then slip stitch the last chain to the first chain (photo 1). This will create a ring for you to crochet your granny clusters in. Alternatively, if you’ve mastered the magic ring you can use that one too as a substitution for this step.

Round 1 (photos 2-6)

Chain 3. These three chains will count as your first double crochet, which I will abbreviate with dc from now on. Do you see the ring you’ve created by chaining the first and last ch together? The arrow in photo 2 indicates the centre hole. That’s where you are going to crochet your first round in.

Make 2 dc in the ring indicated by the arrow in photo 2. You just made your first granny cluster (photo 3)! Chain 2. Those two chains you just made form your first corner (one chain on each side of the corner). Crochet 3dc in the ring again. You now have made two granny clusters and one corner, all in the same ring (photo 4). You might already see part of a square forming!

Now repeat the instructions "chain 2, 2dc in centre ring" 2 more times, to create two more granny clusters and corners. Finally, make another two chains for your final corner. Your work will now look as in photo 5.

Now you will need to close your round. Do this by slip stitching the last chain into the third chain of the chains you’ve started your round with (photo 6). This closes your round and brings you back to the starting point.

As you might have noticed, I crocheted over the loose end of my yarn. I do this because it saves me an end to weave in later. If you're not comfortable doing this, then simply leave the loose tail at the back of your work to weave in later.

You just made the first round of your traditional Granny square. This row constitutes the basic stitches, and from here on it doesn't change all that much. You can stop here, or or change to a new color if you like, but I’ll continue with the same color for a solid granny square this tutorial.

Round 2 (photo 7-11)

You’re now going to start your next round. Your first cluster will be a special one: usually, you work your clusters in the chain spaces that you created between clusters in the previous row (in the case of Round 2, those are the corner spaces). However, because you crochet from right to left, there is no space for your other stitches in this round: your cluster from the previous round is in the way! That’s why we’re breaking up this cluster a little bit, and finish it in the final stitches of this round. Simply follow the steps below, and it will make sense!

Chain 3. This will count as your starting dc again (photo 7).

Chain 1 more. You have now made a dc (your first three chains) and an extra chain for a chain space. Remember, you only need one chain in between clusters on the same side, and two chains if you’re crocheting a corner.

In the corner space of the previous round, crochet 3dc (photo 8). Do you see what’s happening? You’re going to make a new corner, in the corner space of the previous round.

Chain 2, and then make another 3dc in the same corner space (photo 9).

You’re going to continue like this around your square. Chain 1 to create a chain space. Next, crochet (3dc, 2 chains and 3dc) in the same corner space. Repeat this until you end up on the side where you started. In your final corner, be sure to crochet 2dc instead of 3dc (photo 10). Why? Because we started the round with our special ‘broken up’ cluster. We made three chains, and those counted as our first dc. So now we add two at the end of the round to complete the granny cluster. Does it make sense now?

Slip stitch your last dc to the third chain of your first three chains, and you’re done with this round as well (photo 11)! It’s starting to look like a proper granny square, doesn’t it?

Round 3 (photos 12-13)

Chain 3, those will count as your starting dc. As you can see, this time you’re on the ‘right’ side of the previous’ round cluster. So there’s no need to break up your first cluster like you had to do in the previous round. Crochet 2 more dc in the chain-space (photo 12).

You’re now ready to crochet a corner again, so repeat what you did last round. Make 3dc, 2 chains and 3dc in the same corner space. Chain 1 to create a chain-space, and crochet 3dc in the next chain-space of the previous round. Now you’re all ready at your next corner! Continue like before, making corners and granny clusters in between. Finally, close the round with a slip stitch in the third chain of your starting three chains (photo 13).

Do you see a pattern emerging? Because you make two granny clusters in each corner space, you increase the number of chain spaces each round. That means that each round, you can make one extra granny cluster in between, helping you grow your granny square pattern larger and larger. This is how you create a classic granny square.

I hope you have seen that the granny square is no mystery to those who’ve followed a step-by-step tutorial! I’ve also written this pattern in the ‘regular’, condensed crochet format.

Written basic granny square pattern

Abbreviations (US terms)

  • beg: beginning
  • ch: chain
  • ch-sp: chain-space
  • dc: double crochet
  • ss: slip stitch

Basic Crochet pattern

Ch4, join with ss in first ch to close ring.

Round 1 Ch3 (counts as first dc), 2dc in ch-sp, (ch2, 3dc in ch-sp) 3 times, ch2, join with ss in 3rd ch of beg-ch.

Round 2 Ch4 (counts as first dc + ch 1), *(3dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner ch-sp, ch1; repeat from * 2 more times, (3dc, ch2, 2dc) in corner ch-sp, join with ss in 3rd ch of beg-ch.

Round 3 Ch3 (counts as first dc), 2dc in ch-sp, ch1, *(3dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner ch-sp, ch1, 3dc in next ch-sp, ch1; repeat from * 2 more times, (3dc, ch2, 3dc) in corner ch-sp, ch1, join with ss in 3rd ch of beg-ch.

Continue like in Round 3, but crochet 3dc and ch1 in each ch-sp in between corner spaces. This will grow your granny square motif to the desired size.

Remember: if you’re ready for the real work, my Rainbow Granny Square Blanket is perfect for practising your Granny squares!

Granny Square Inspiration

I've created several roundup posts with granny square designs. They vary from a solid granny square to more intricate patterns and square variations. Most of these patterns contain either schematic drawings and/or step-by-step instructions, catered to your skill level. Some even have a video tutorial. Practising is the best way to learn a new skill, so dive into these patterns and learn something amazing:


Question about the pattern. I'm trying to follow it in step 5 you have ch2, DC2... Should I DC3? And in step 8 I'm not understanding why we put an extra ch1 in there from step 7. Sorry I'm new at crocheting! September 01, 2016 01:04 - Reply
Don't worry, you will get the hang of it eventually. :) December 28, 2017 03:14 - Reply
becky G
That is an error! yes- chain 3-- i noticed that too. December 06, 2020 16:00 - Reply
becky G
That is an error! yes- chain 3-- i noticed that too. December 06, 2020 16:00 - Reply
Excelente tutorial de fotografías paso a paso. Buenas fotos y bien explicadas. Muchas gracias por compartir. June 25, 2017 15:23 - Reply
Thank you so much! These directions were straightforward and really easy. Plus, they weren't super confusing like other websites iv'e been on. December 28, 2017 03:12 - Reply
Judy Shanklin
When I learned to crochet a granny square it was always 3 chain on a corner. ONE FOR EACH SIDE AND ONE TO TURN ON. January 03, 2018 05:09 - Reply
reread your pattern and try to follow it, I believe you mean to say dc 3 times, after the first cluster .The two chains are to make a gap between the clusters, right? your pictures are correct, but the instructions seems off, to me. February 26, 2018 03:46 - Reply
Thanks!!! This was really helpfull February 27, 2018 22:27 - Reply
extremely good tutorial!!! April 24, 2018 10:36 - Reply
In part 2,you said to d/C 2.Is it the d/C stitch twice?Or is it d2d? February 24, 2019 23:08 - Reply
Hi Melanie,

it's the dc stitch twice! So in your first granny cluster you've got 3 chains (counts as your first dc), and then 2 dc, making for a total of 3 dc. 3dc is the staple of each granny cluster.

Hope this clarifies it for you! February 25, 2019 10:13 - Reply
I want to make a rectangular shawl that’s about 60” long and 26” wide, using granny squares. About how much yarn would I need. I want to use only one color. Thanks! December 07, 2019 00:50 - Reply
This was the best instruction for granny squares I have used. I have finally cracked it. July 04, 2020 11:50 - Reply
Misty Michell Gardner
Planning to give it a whirl, I can understand this very well, thank you! Can I use different color squares? August 30, 2020 23:13 - Reply
Hi Misty,

of course! You can use any colour you want :) August 31, 2020 07:48 - Reply
here is new crochet pattern
https://paparnews.com/crochet-pretty-doll-dress-pattern-for-free-step-by-step-crochet-doll-tops-patterns/ July 02, 2021 10:01 - Reply
vague instructions confused me. October 02, 2021 08:24 - Reply
vague instructions confused me. October 02, 2021 08:24 - Reply
Wondering what I did wrong? Mine is a flower, not a square. It’s very cute though! January 29, 2022 03:06 - Reply
It sounds like you might either not be making enough clusters (thus, having your square become slightly concave as the circumference of the rounds isn't enough to lay flat) or either making too much (the square starting to ruffle due to too much circumference in the last round).

Either way, I'd look for the issue in the number of clusters, most likely in the corner spaces :) July 03, 2022 21:33 - Reply
Kept forgetting your dc is my tc! Also annoying as your instructions were worked backwards. So much easier to look at the end result picture for the method rather than written instructions July 03, 2022 20:12 - Reply
Thank you-I've been trying to master granny squares forever. This tutorial finally clicked. November 24, 2022 23:11 - Reply
Can you please recommend a good video tutorial that goes along with your steps? I'm trying to teach a large group of 8th graders. April 28, 2023 15:36 - Reply
I found it very confusing Bea cause I have only just started and I am 9 years old 😩 January 07, 2024 19:59 - Reply
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