How to Crochet: Joining Granny Squares
Need a quick and simple way for joining granny squares? Then we have the blog post for you! The lovely Mary Beth Temple has written this fab tutorial to make this task a breeze!
Granny squares – they are so much fun to make, and there are a thousand plus variations, but how best to put them together?
The three things you need to think about when selecting a method are speed, strength/durability, and visual appeal.
I almost always put my squares together with a double crochet (single crochet US) seam. While whip stitching seams with a tapestry needle and matching yarn can make a nearly invisible seam, holy cow can that not only take a long time, but leave with you a ton of ends to weave in when you are finished! So for speed, crocheting them together always wins in my book.
If you are working the squares for your project in the order in which they need to be assembled, you can combine finishing with the last round of each square by joining as you go.
To do this, line up your squares as you stitch the last round, and wherever there is a chain space between shells, replace one of those chains with a slip stitch in the adjacent chain space of the next square over.
Sometimes you will be joining a square on one side and sometimes on two sides – it all depends how they are to line up in your project.
The major pro of this method is that you are finishing your project while you stitch, so you aren’t faced with a monster-sized finishing job after the crochet proper is finished. This method also cuts way down on ends to weave in – you are using your working yarn for the “seam” rather than having to begin and end a separate piece of yarn.
The cons? If you are a tight crocheter, or someone with a death grip on your hook, this method may not be for you – you may tug too tightly as you go and make the seam pull in. It also doesn’t lay quite as flat as some of the other finishes I will show you.
You avoid having a bulky seam with this method as well – which can be a pro if you don’t like the look of double crochet (single crochet US) seams, but a con if durability is your priority.
If you want to simply crochet your finished motifs together when you are finished making them, where, exactly, do you stick the hook?
You basically have three choices:
Double crochet (single crochet US) going through all loops:
This is very durable, and something I highly recommend if you are making a throw that’s going to get a lot of wear and a lot of machine washing – maybe a piece for a pet shelter, an active toddler, or your college-age friend who spills! You do get the most bulky of the finishing seams, but this finish wears like iron, and with a little bit of planning you can use the seams as part of the design – either by using the same color as the final round of your squares to coordinate with each motif, or by using a contrasting color to add a design element.
Simply hold the squares you are joining with Right Sides together, and double crochet (single crochet US) across, inserting your hook through all 4 loops you see – 2 on the square towards you and 2 on the square away from you.
If you look closely at the photo you can see a different between the stitches I used in the ch-1 spaces. You can use either, but be internally consistent so that you address the chain spaces the same way every time you come to one.
On one space, I inserted the hook through the chain spaces. Again, that’s highly durable, and certainly faster to stitch, but you do get a different look on the Right Side. That could be a plus though – your call on how you want that seam to look on the front!
One the other space, I inserted the hook between the strands of the chains, instead of quickly ducking under, into the spaces. This gives a more uniform look to the Right Side.
Double crochet (single crochet US) through inside loops:
When crocheting this seam, instead of inserting my hook through all four loops of the adjacent motifs, I missed the closest loop, inserted the hook through the next two loops (1 on each square) and left the farthest loop away unworked. In this sample, I went through strands of the chain spaces instead of through the spaces.
You can see that on the Right Side this looks very much like going through all four loops. It is slightly less durable because you are catching two loops into each stitch of your seam instead of four, but if you look at the back:
you can see that the seam itself lays much flatter than the one above. It’s like the seam stitches recess inside a small channel made by leaving the outside stitches unworked.
Double crochet (single crochet US) though outside loops:
When crocheting this seam, I inserted my hook through the closest loop, missed the two loops in the middle, then inserted my hook through the loop that was farthest away (1 on each square). On this sample, too, I went through the strands of the chains instead of working right into the spaces.
Durability-wise, this one is equal to working through the inside loops. But visually I love how it looks – if you look at the Right Side, the unworked loops leave a line around the finished motif, almost like a little frame. I find this very appealing and use this finish a lot, but again – you get to pick which style works for your specific project!
Here is a photo of all the Right Sides:
And here is a photo of all the Wrong Sides:
Thank you as always for reading along!