Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Remarkable Granny Stitch

Lately, I've been pondering the classic granny square and the stitch pattern from which it's made - 3 double crochets, chain 1. I had been looking for a comfortable casual cardigan pattern and decided on Not Your Granny's Sweater #1 by Marty Miller. The pattern is based on granny squares. I had never spent much time making granny squares before. I made one when I first started crocheting because, well, you've just got to! It's almost a crochet rite of passage. That poor square is now used to clean my bathroom sink. And that was about as far as I went with granny squares. But as I was working the first square for the sweater, I began to really like the look of this stitch pattern. I'm not sure what it is about it. Perhaps the symmetry and the balance of positive and negative space. I also like the way the first round looks like a flower and the diagonal lines of shells formed by the corners of each round.

The stitch pattern can be worked in rows as well as rounds. What is it called if worked this way? The granny stitch? The granny square stitch? I haven't found it in any of my stitch dictionaries under those names. It's a version of the shell stitch really.

I've decided it would be fun to do a series of projects using this stitch pattern both in rows and in the form of the classic square. Searching on Ravelry, I've found all sorts of patterns using this stitch pattern not just afghans which is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Here are a few:
The Concamerate Shell by Janet Brani
Granny Short Mitts by Mearacaera Designs   
Easy Crocheted Hat by Meg Kealey
Granny Shawl by Charlene Van den Brande
Granny's Got New Ears by Carol Veitch

I love those earrings. What a fun use for bits of leftover yarn!

I just remembered another pattern that I've made using the classic square - Tessellations by Tracy St. John. This is a really fun hat pattern that is another good use for yarn leftovers. I've made several. Here's one of my favorites being modeled by my pale faced friend.

I'll post a photo of my granny cardi when I finish it. I'm not sure what my next "granny" project will be after that, but I'm looking forward to exploring the uses of this versatile stitch pattern. Anybody want to join me?

Speaking of Finished Projects

Here's the finished sweater that I was swatching and calculating for in my July 7 post. Since it isn't really the original Lorelei pattern, I called it the Lora Lie.


  1. For years I resisted the granny square trend, but then I too became fascinated with them. I designed a little hat that starts with a true granny square crown, then eventually rounds off into rows of granny clusters. (That's what I call them, anyway.)

    Love that hat and the Pale Face Friend! (PFF? She almost needs a name - something befitting such a fair inscrutable being. Hmm.)

    The Concamerate Shell is a brilliant design.

  2. Yes, the Granny Square really is coming into its own as a wonderful pattern with
    many creative uses. I think the quality and colors of yarn having improved immensely over the years really helped the evolution of the GS.


  3. Gorgeous sweater! Perfect for early fall.

    And you can make granny square earrings out of wire too!


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