Top Tips for A Perfect Granny Square

Granny squares are wonderful for many reasons, making them a beloved project among crocheters of all skill levels. This page provides top tips for a perfect Granny Square.

Top tips for a perfect Granny Square

There are endless examples of Granny Square patterns and endless variations.

You can find my version of the traditional Granny Square Pattern here.

Crochet has no firm rules, so I would encourage you to play around with Granny Squares and work out how best to work it for you. I have tweaked my traditional Granny Square to how it works for me. Below you find my top tips for perfect Granny Squares

Top tips for the perfect Granny Square

No 1. Turn the Granny Square over after each completed round and work the next round on the reverse side.

Although many people like working the Granny Square from one side and having a definite ‘front’ and a definite ‘back’, I like turning the Granny Square over after each round. Turning after each round can be beneficial for several reasons.

A key benefit is maintaining shape and symmetry – preventing skewing and twisting. When you crochet from one side only, the natural twist in the stitches can cause the square to skew, resulting in a more diamond-like shape rather than a perfect square. Turning the work after each round helps counteract this twist, maintaining a more symmetrical and even shape. By alternating the direction, you balance the tension in the stitches on both sides of the square. This helps in keeping the edges straight and the overall structure more uniform.

Working from one side only can also cause the fabric to curl. Turning at the start of each new round helps prevent this curling, making the square lie flat.

Additionally, turning the square after each round ensures that both sides of the square develop an even and consistent appearance, and therefore the resulting square is reversible.

No. 2 Start a new round in a different corner

This only applies when you are changing colours and using a new colour for a new round. Starting a new round in a different corner each time when crocheting a Granny Square offers several benefits.

Starting in different corners helps to blend the joins and transitions between rounds, making them less noticeable. This results in a more seamless and aesthetically pleasing finish.

Any slight inconsistencies or changes in stitch tension that occur when joining new yarn or starting a new round are spread out rather than concentrated in one area. This makes them less obvious in the finished square.

No. 3 Learn the magic ring (or better still, the double magic ring)

As a beginner, I learnt to start Granny Squares with the ‘chain 4, slip stitch into the 1st chain to form a ring’ method. However, in an attempt to try and work out a way to close the hole at the centre, I experimented with the magic ring.

I liked the magic ring as it did tighten up the hole at the centre. However, it did not hold the hole tightly closed and I had heard some horror stories about it coming undone with use of the items, even though the ends were well woven in.

Therefore I started to use the double magic ring method. I love this method and use it with almost all of my Granny Squares and motifs. It is secure and has never come undone.

Magic ring and double magic ring

I have developed a video showing all three methods.

No 4. Omit the chain between the clusters

Some Granny Square patterns and instructions include a chain between the clusters. It is personal preference, but omitting the chain in between the clusters affords smaller gaps and a denser tighter structure, and an overall more uniform and neater appearance.

This can be particularly advantageous for items like blankets or garments where warmth and minimal holes are desired.

A tighter fabric is generally more durable and less prone to stretching out of shape. This can be important for projects that will be used frequently or subjected to wear and tear.

No 5. Adjust the number of chains in the corner spaces

There are many different ways to make a Granny Square. Some patterns have 3 chains in each corner and some have 1 chain. My personal preference is to have 2 chains in the corner spaces, although I have also used 1 chain or 3 at times. I mostly go for 2 chains nowadays, but I do still adapt this depending on the project.

If you find that your Granny Square does not look right or twists or curls, I would encourage you to experiment with adjusting the number of chains in the corners.

Adjusting the number of chains in the corners of a Granny Square can help ensure that the square lies flat. If the corners are too tight, the square may start to curl; if too loose, it might become wavy. Adjusting the number of chains can help achieve a balance that keeps the square flat. It can also help maintain the correct shape, ensuring each side remains equal.

No 6. Work on maintaining an even tension

Maintaining even tension while crocheting Granny Squares ensures that each Granny Square comes out the same size. This consistency is important when joining multiple squares together, as it makes the assembly process easier and the final project neater.

Granny Squares made with even tension maintain their intended shape. Uneven tension can cause squares to become distorted, either by curling up at the edges or becoming wavy and misshapen.

Keeping even tension while crocheting Granny Squares is essential for achieving consistent size and shape, professional appearance, ease of joining, durability, efficient crocheting, and aesthetic uniformity. It ensures that the final project looks polished, holds up well over time, and is pleasant to work on.

No 7. Use a half treble crochet (UK terms) (in US this is Half Double crochet) to close the round if using the same colour for the next round

A common technique for completing the Granny Square round and turning over to start a new round with the same colour is to work the corner chains and then slip stitch into the top of the chain 3 worked at the start the round, then turn over to start the new round. In order for the loop to be at the right position to start the new round it is commonplace to slip stitch back into the corner space just formed so that the loop is in the correct position for the first chain 3. This can sometimes be a little bit unsightly and cause additional bulk to the corner.

An alternative method was suggested by someone on Facebook, which I now use routinely. Instead of chain 2 to form the final corner space and then slip stitching into the top of the beginning chain, simply work a half treble crochet (in US this is half double crochet) into the top of the beginning chain 3.

Finishing the Granny Square round

All you need to do then is turn and then start your first stitch (chain 3) to begin the next round, without the need for the slip stitch back into the corner space – as the loop is perfectly in the right place already.

This method is great for closing a round prior to starting a new round with the same colour. A video of this method can be found below.