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There are so many great uses for granny squares. You can use them to make sweaters, handbags, scarves, so many things -- not just blankets! For inspiration, just look through some patterns and booklets that you already have. Take measurements and trace the project out onto paper. Then, lay out your granny squares on the paper to form to the pattern, join the squares together, and crochet a trim to fill in the gaps, and voila, a new way to use granny squares!
What is one of the first things that come to mind when you think crochet? The Granny Square of course! It is worked in the double crochet stitch and can be used to make so many things.
So, how to make a classic granny square? Follow the directions below to make small or big squares:
Ch 5 and sl st into 1st ch to form a ring.
Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), 2 dcs into ring, ch 2, [3 dc in ring, ch 2] 3 times; join with a sl st to top of ch-3. Either fasten off if joining a different color or sl st over 2 dcs into ch-2 space.
Round 2: In ch-2 sp, [ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), 2 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs] all in first ch-2 sp, ch 1; * [3 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs] all in ch-2 sp (corner made), ch 1; rep from * around; sl st to top of ch-3 at first corner. Either fasten off if joining another color or sl st over 2 dcs into ch-2 space (the corner).
Round 3: In ch-2 sp, [ch 3, 2 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs) all in ch-2 sp, * ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1 **, repeat pattern [3 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs] for corner in next ch-2 sp; rep from * around, end at **; sl st to top of ch-3 at first corner. Either fasten off if joining another color or sl st over 2 dcs into ch-2 space.
Round 4: In ch-2 sp, [ch 3, 2 dcs, ch 2, 3 dcs) all in ch-2 sp, ch 1, * 3 dcs in next ch-1 sp, ch 1; rep from * to next corner **; work corner in next ch-2 sp, ch 1; rep from * around, end at **; sl st to top of ch-3 at first corner. Either fasten off or keep repeating Round 4 until square is as big as you want. Weave in ends.
Granny squares need not be square! There are all sorts of shapes (hexagons, rounds, triangles) and motifs (lace, paisley, flowers) that can be made and put together into wonderful wearable or decorative projects. Melody Griffith's "201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects, and Ideas" is a great book with good instructions and project ideas to get you started!
Sometimes you will hear about granny squares referred to as a "motif." I was wondering exactly what a motif is and does it encompass something more than just making a bunch of squares. Well, I found my answer through "Crochet Me", a community of crocheters brought together by Interweave Publishers. Toni Rexroat, the assistant editor for Interweave Crochet Magazine, defines a motif as a repeated structure or recurring theme. When put together, motifs create a striking larger structure that is better than the sum of the motifs.