technique tuesday: granny squares (& other motifs)

Happy Granny Square Day! Don’t worry if you didn’t know that was today (15 August); I hadn’t heard about it until earlier this week. May your counting be correct and your ends weave themselves.

Granny squares were the next thing I learned to crochet after perfecting miles of chains. When I was 7, my mother was still working on my baby blanket and I wanted to make the cute little squares too. I made at least one square for the blanket. Unfortunately I can’t find my photos or the blanket (without looking in the attic storage). Please picture granny squares with each round either pastel pink, blue, or yellow and finished in white. I have some vague recollection that she also tasked me with weaving in many of the ends — at the time I thought it was fun!

5 reasons why I love crochet motifs

stack of multicolorful motifs in progress on a black background. in front are 6 centers, the stack includes the first 3 rounds for the "literary fragments blanket"
literary fragment motifs in progress
  1. They use up yarn from other projects.
  2. They are quick, so you can crochet one and feel accomplished.
  3. They are portable, so you can bring them when travelling.
  4. They are forgiving, if you messed up because you were distract, you
    didn’t mess up the entire project.
  5. They are small, nice for when it’s hot and humid outside.

They’re one of my favorite techniques and part of my toolkit when
when I swatch a new-to-me yarn.

a stack of granny squares on a small round grey metal table. the squares are primarily green. a ball of blue/grey/white yarn and a gold color 3.75mm crochet hook are laying next to the stack. the table is outside next to bench and a tree on a sunny day.

In addition to my chaotic chai granny hexagon blanket, I have
several other crochet motif projects I’m working on. One is my Literary Fragments Blanket; we bought new seating for our library room and I wanted a new blanket.
I’ll need approximately 400 of these tiny motifs! They’re worked in
various scrap sock yarns, most from my stash and a few from friends. You
can read my notes on my personal notebook. Another is a blanket
destined for Project Linus. M has gifted me lots of yarn scraps over the
years, many are superwash sock yarns and I still need to figure out how
to turn this into a cohesive blanket.

Granny Square Resources

There are many books and resources to help you create successful crochet motifs.

Edie Eckman published her Granny Square Guide earlier today. I enjoy all of her books including, Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs which I reviewed in 2009
at my personal site, Penguin Girl. I also recommend her book Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs which helped me expand beyond the simple joining I knew from my childhood.

Margaret Hubert’s books are useful resources that I often turn to for inspiration: The Granny Square Book (2011) shares 75 different motifs and Granny Square Flowers (2013) includes 50 botanical themed granny squares.

New-to-me author, Shelley Husband offers several ebooks through my library system via the hoopa ebook system. Granny Square Flair (US Terms Edition) was my gateway to her work. I found her approach novel, motifs are first presented in a
solid – the same color is used throughout. This makes a striking visual. I also appreciate how she shows how different color options can completely change the look of many squares. The photos are clear and she includes charts, written instructions, how approximate yardage to work the square with 8ply/DK/light worsted and a 4mm/G hook. Further she includes an infinity symbol with a crochet hook if it’s a square that can be increased endlessly into a really big granny square.

You can find some of my very brief thoughts on granny squares in this 2014 post technique tuesday: weaving in ends.


Are you working on a granny square project? Track your thoughts in a notebook or print out a planning grid. A spare crochet hook is always useful. If you like me and can never find them when you need one, order a needle to weave in all those pesky ends!

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