Granny squares are a cheery, nostalgic and thrifty Nanna-style craft. You can make just one and pop it in a frame... or you can make a few and make a cushion cover.. or you can make lots and stitch them together to make a blanket! Take a couple of balls of yarn and a hook with you on your travels and you can make 'A Granny A Day'! It's easy when you know how... so have a go, practice and you'll soon be Grannying along nicely!

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You will need:
A few balls of yarn
A crochet hook
Some time

A few balls of yarn- 8ply is good and bits and pieces you want to use up are good too. New yarn should cost no more then $5 per ball, often less. If you are planning on making lots of granny squares, buy a few different colours. Sometimes you might be the sort of person that wants the colours to compliment each other (various shades of brown, taupe, beige for instance) or perhaps you are like me and want the colours to clash (purple, green, yellow and pink for instance). Either way is just great. You might even want to make it totally random and not think about the colour combinations at all. That's okay too.You can buy fancy schmancy yarn - or you can buy a more basic yarn - up to you. Remember that our nannas probably crocheted with the bottom of the range yarns - or scraps of yarn they had been saving, so don't agonise too much over your Granny. Think like your Nanna did! It doesn't have to be expensive or branded. But later you might want to move onto that, which suits me fine.A crochet hook - Don't start off with a super fine hook. It's too fiddly and tricky for this job - and for beginners. I use a hook that my friend Kirsty gave me. It's a size 5.5mm metal hook and it does the job just great. The granny squares come up a treat with this hook and the metal is nice and slippery and lets the yarn slide off easily. So you could get a hook like mine if you would like?! A 4.5mm or 5.0mm hook is okay too. Again, only about $5 for a hook.

As you may know, hooks come in a variety of sizes and materials. There are metal ones and plastic ones, bamboo and wooden ones too. But I like the metal. Try the others out, though, because you might be different to me and it's important to experiment. Finer hooks for finer yarn. You can find a guide to hooks and yarn here.

Some time - There are three things you need to practice before we get started on making a granny square. If you practice these three things for a day or so, we can move onto constructing the square using a series of chain and treble stitches. But let's take baby steps. Here's what you need to study up on:

1. Make A Slip Knot - the first stitch in your crochet. The very first thing you do when you start a granny square is to make the slip knot. So do that, practice making a slip knot a few times.

2. Learn How to Hold the Yarn and Hook Nicely - once you have mastered a slip knot and you've popped that knot onto the hook, work out how to hold the whole ensemble properly. This is very important, so practice this, and refer back to this video when you forget how. You might feel all fingers and thumbs. Your brain might hurt trying to work it out on YOUR fingers. But don't worry. It will soon become easy peasy!

3. Learn The Basic Chain Stitch and practice it over and over. Make a huge long chain from the lounge room to the kitchen. Marvel at it's neatness and even-ness. Make a chain from the bedroom to the back gate. Okay. Stop chaining now. You get the idea.

Practice makes perfect, or at least your kind of perfect, right?! The chain stitch is important to the granny square because it forms the centre 'hole' in the square. Weird huh? The centre hole is made by chaining several stitches (I use 6 chain stitches) and then hooking each end of the chain together to form a ring. I even poke my finger into said ring to make it gappier and more pronounced. This is so that you can pass the hook in and out of the ring to form the first stitches (and round) of your square. But I'm skipping ahead here. Today, just practice your slip knot, yarn and hook holding and make very very long chains.

Come back in a day or so and I'll tell you all about beginning your square, how to do treble stitch, making the corners... that sort of thing! Or you can skip ahead if you would like to and check out further tutorials on Youtube or this previous post on grannying along! There is also a guide to making Granny Squares in our book! Or Gemma suggests this book as a super good guide too!*

 

More Useful Stuff:
The Purl Bee is full of great tips and patterns for crocheters and knitters too
Granny Square inspiration on Flickr
Soozs guide to buying yarn is a really interesting and super informative read
Lion Brand Yarn has a great website with HEAPS of patterns and advice
Guy-Craft on Martha Stewart - Nathan Vincent and his amazing Crochet Lawnmower
Buy yarn and other supplies online at Wool Baa, The YarnBarn and Bendigo Woollen Mills
This etsy store has the world's best crocheted (and other handmade) bears!
Patons
Also Helpful : Crochet Australia

*Please note that Australia and the UK (and presumably Europe) share the same crochet terminology - whilst the US uses different names for their stitches. Confusing? A bit. Learn using one method or the other (so learn the US way or the UK/AU way) but not both. Chain stitch and Slip stitch are the same across the board, however, as is the way to hold the hook and yarn, so you can practice all the stuff I've shown you here without worrying about the different terms. It's just when you start doing TREBLE stitch in the next part of the grannying, that you need to be aware that there is a difference in the language between continents. My book is in the AU/UK terminology and The Happy Hooker is in the US terminology. You can learn with either, and that will become your crochet language.
Hurrah!

Or watch my videos:
Lesson 1 : How To Make A Slip Knot
Lesson 2 : How To Hold Your Yarn Right
Lesson 3 : How To Crochet Chain Stitch
Lesson 4 : How To Start Your Square
Lesson 5 : How To Make The First Round!
Lesson 6 : How To Make The Second Round!
Lesson 7: Change Your Yarn Colour
Lesson 8 : How To Make the Third Round!
Lesson 9 : How To Sew In Your Yarn Ends
Lesson 10 : Joining Granny Squares

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