Granny Squares: Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

There is no question that granny squares are a crochet staple. From blankets to cushions, bunting to garments, grannies are very versatile and there are as many ways to make, shape, join and crochet them as you can possibly imagine!! I am always cautious with granny square advice because its one of those things that every one does a different way and no one is wrong.  Today's post coveres how I join new colours and points you out into the world for more tips, tricks and inspiration.

Joining a New Colour

(or if I HAVE to make a granny square, how I do it for the least amount of end weaving afterwards)

After I finish one colour, to secure the end, I slip stitch over to the next chain space in the work.

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20130722-IMG_1626-Edit

I then tie a slip knot onto the hook with the new yarn.

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20130724-IMG_1670

Inserting my hook into the chain space where my previous colour ended, I pull up a loop from behind and pull it through the slip knot on my hook. This counts as 1 chain.

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20130724-IMG_1671-Edit

I then chain 2 more (counting this as a stitch) and continue my pattern from there.

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20130724-IMG_1677

As I am working, I carry the tail ends of my yarn at the back of my work, and work around them.  This encases them in the stitches and means I will not have to weave in ends later.  I generally work this way for a few stitches, carrying the yarn at the back of any chain spaces.  I then tug gently on the tails, and cut them close to the last stitches that encased them and they pull back underneath the work, hidden and finished.

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20130724-IMG_1672
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20130724-IMG_1668-Edit

To Knot or Not to Knot?

A common question is whether or not to tie off the new and old ends when you change colour.  This is entirely up to you and the yarn you are using. Knots are often unpopular in knitting and crochet as they have a tendency to pop through to the front of your work. Slip stitching at the beginning of rounds, working over your ends, and starting a new yarn with a slip knot on your hook are all good ways of preventing unravelling without tying off. For wool and acrylic - the yarns tend to be "sticky" enough that the ends don't have much of a chance to unravel.

Joining Granny Squares

So now you have made a million granny squares and want to join them.  There are hundreds of ways of joining granny squares.  Here are some of the most popular.

Joining Flat with a Slip Stitch (via Attic 24)

Joining as You Go

Joining as You Go (via Attic 24)

Joining Using a Needle and Thread with a Whip Stitch

Joining with a UK Double/US Single Crochet (this is the method I tend to use)

Granny Join

Other Shapes:

Grannies aren't just triangular. They come in as many shapes and kinds as you can imagine.  Some of my favourites:

Granny Mandala

Granny Bunting Triangles here in UK terms, here in US terms

Granny Hexagons

or check out a couple of inspirational pinboards chocked full of granny inspiration:

Granny Crochet Squares by Born and Bred

Lydia Joiner's Crochet Granny Squares

or Vickie Howell's Gaga for Granny Squares board.

Tomorrow we have another granny pattern and a guest post. I promise Granny Square awesomeness awaits!!

This post is part of a series for Crochet Camp 2013.  Just joining in? See the FAQ here and the full list of posts here.