For the Love of Granny
When one thinks of crochet, it is almost guaranteed that most of us will conjure up a picture of a colourful square with rounds of uniform granny clusters. It is THE quintessential stitch that represents crochet whether we like it or not. The granny square has been around since the Victorians, growing in popularity during the 1960’s and 70’s. Then it seemed to disappear for a while, along with crochet in general. But for the last few years it has exploded in popularity again, hasn’t it? Crochet, and the granny stitch, is everywhere!
Crochet is definitely back in fashion and the symbol upon its banners is a granny square! We are in a granny renaissance! And luckily this means a whole new generation of fans who are learning to love, not only the granny, but all things crochet.
What I want to do here is celebrate the humble granny (everyone always calls it humble, don’t they?!). I thought it would be a good idea to get a selection of granny stitch patterns where there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Read on…
Why Granny is the Greatest
Honestly, I could be here forever and a day, sing songing about all the fab reasons about why the granny stitch is just soooo good but let’s stick to a small handful…
Firstly, rose-tinted nostalgia! For me, and for others I know, crochet harks back to a time when our mothers and grandmothers were, with busy hands, stitching away at yarn crafts (and yes, fathers and grandfathers too!). For decades my Nanna would stash bust her way through yarn scraps with a make do and mend mentality. She was always making giant granny square blankets from leftover yarn. Yarn that was left over from all the knitted jumpers she made. It’s satisfying to know that we’re carrying on a version of those traditions, and being economical too.
Secondly, it’s how we learn to crochet isn’t it? Not that I think it’s the best way to learn, it really isn’t (that would be the methodical process of learning rows and rows of single/double crochet before graduating to row and rows of other stitches. But that’s not as exciting though, hey?!). Nevertheless, a granny square seems to be the most taught pattern for beginners and that’s because it has an easy pattern repeat and is quick to work up. Instant gratification!
It doesn’t need to be written down, it just gets handed down from generation to generation like an old fairy tale. Sometimes there are slight differences but ultimately it’s a square of squishy goodness.
Other Reasons to Celebrate the Granny Stitch
One of the other reasons I love this classic stitch so much is because it is the ultimate in comfort crochet. Whenever life gets too much, or I’m working on a pattern that’s a bit complicated, I turn to Granny for a bit of soothing stitchery. It works wonders! Almost like a hug from your real granny! It’s the ultimate in mindfulness.
You can literally do it with your eyes closed! With a little bit of practice, the granny is the best stitch for resting your eyes and crocheting at the same time. Those gaps between each cluster are easily found by touch alone.
Like Nanna knew decades ago, granny stitch projects are fantastic for busting that stash. Granny squares are perfect for using small scraps, you only need small amounts to create a pretty mishmash of colourful squares.
Granny is the gateway drug to “proper” crochet. I say this knowing that some of you might tell me off and argue that granny is real crochet! Yes, of course it is, I don’t dispute that (this whole post is a big love letter to Granny so it would be remiss of me to throw it under the bus) but there is also soooo much more to crochet than this stitch alone. It’s really exciting to see new and different designs coming out that really push the boundaries of what crochet can do. Once you’ve conquered how to make a granny, why not try something new?!
The Ultimate Versatile Crochet Stitch
You can pretty much grannify anything you want. This is because it’s such a simple, no frills crochet stitch. If you’re not ready to move on to pastures new just yet then there is plenty of fun things that Granny has to offer. Oh, the limitless potential!!
To be honest, I don’t think the granny will ever truly go out of style as there are so many options for patterns. Even when the time comes when it’s not featuring in Vogue or whatever, there will still be crocheters building little piles of squares, or working on their stripes in all kinds of ingenious ways.
One day it is my goal to decorate my old Nikes in bright squares. I’ve seen it, it has been done, and it looks amazing!
Collection of Granny Patterns
So after all the waffle, extolling the virtues of my fave stitch of all time (probably…), here is a selection of granny patterns to check out. Not gonna lie, I have more than enough to ensure that this post could be all about me me me, but I have also added awesome patterns that are from other designers. I’ve made them and can attest to their brilliance.
The majority of patterns below are available as written instructions. I have also created video tutorials for a few of them too. There are lot of shawls, scarves & cowls, bags aplenty, a blanket and garments here and there too. Phew!!
Wayward Sisters – Granny Stripe Shawl
I’m starting with my latest granny pattern. This is the Wayward Sisters and it’s a free crochet pattern. You can find it here. It’s a straightforward pattern using granny stripes and is super fast to work up. I pretty much made this in one weekend!
Granny Market Bag
Another new pattern from me! I love love love how this awesome crochet market bag turned out. It’s stripey clusters worked diagonally from corner to corner which is then magically transformed into a super modern shopper. You can find it on Etsy or Ravelry.
Miu Miu Inspired Granny Stripe Scarf
This is from last year when Miu Miu had granny stripe scarves on sale for a LOT of money. Make one for free here on my lovely crochet blog!
See My Vest – Crochet Tank Top
See My Vest, See My Vest, not made from gorilla chest! (sorry, it’s a rubbish Simpsons reference, I apologise). I came up with this design as homework for upping my grading game. It was a good lesson as this colourful crochet tank top comes in 9 different sizes. You can get a copy of the pattern from Ravelry, Etsy, Lovecrafts or Ribblr (that’s a lot of pattern platforms!)
Chevron Cowl Pattern
This chevron cowl is just so quick to work up! Find the pattern and tutorial here so you can make one, two, three or more! It’s a snug fitting cowl but you can keep on going to make a version that’s more like an infinity scarf.
Granny Christmas Hat
As hats go, I have only designed a Christmas hat with clusters of extra chunky yarn. Perhaps I should consider more hats (even balaclavas) to add to my catalogue of grannies…
Granny Stitch Cowl
Gudrun – A Modern Shawl Design
This is the Gudrun pattern and is my interpretation of what “grown up” granny looks like!
A Bag for more Crochet Projects!
Join As You Go squares are worked in a rectangle, folded in half and joined at the sides. The bag is lined so nothing can escape through granny’s holes! Find the free pattern and tutorial here.
Another Crochet Market Bag Pattern!
Oh my goodness I have made a lot of these cotton market bags! A lot of market bags in general to be fair! I use every single one and they make fabulous crochet gifts too. This one has lots of drape. If that’s not your thing, go down a hook size or two.
Hotchpotch Granny Purse
You can make this Hotchpotch purse in so many different sizes. Add a zip, add a magnetic clasp, add handles. Do whatever you like! Worked from the bottom up, in the round, it’s a very easy pattern to adapt. The video tutorial shows you how to line it too.
Granny Edged Rainbow
This one is going back a bit and is more of a recipe rather than a standard pattern. I mean, do you need a pattern for a granny square? OK, sorry, you might be looking for one here. Fear not, you’re in luck, this one has a video tutorial! Find the blanket recipe here.
Simple Granny Stitch Shawl
A very early pattern from me that is a step by step photo tutorial of this very easy crochet shawl, which is super useful for beginner crocheters.
Asymmetric Cowl Pattern & Tutorial
I know, I know, another cowl. Better to have all the choices, no? This one is another speedy project as it’s nice chunky yarn on a big hook so it has a nice drape. Although it’s not very “me” I still have a soft spot for it even if the yarn I used left fibres EVERYWHERE! Find the pattern here.
Perpetual Dawn Granny. Retro Square Shawl
This is a recent design I came up with for a crochet collection from The Fibre Co. You can find the pattern on their website and get the kit if you wish. I love the summery retro feel of this one. The lace weight yarn makes is floaty light and ever so silky.
Revival – A Granny Square Jumper
This fabulous crochet sweater is by crochet designer, Heather of HG Designs. The granny stitch is her modus operandi and definitely someone to visit if you are a major fan of all things granny. Revival is a jumper that always gets checked out when I wear it.
Just Feel Festive Shawl
I wear this colourful stripey shawl scarf allllll the time. I wear a lot of plain colours in real life and if I feel that something needs a splash of colour, then this is the scarf I reach for. You can can this free crochet pattern from Caleisha Ryan. Mine is made from all my DK acrylic scraps, it is the perfect stash buster!! But do make a luxury version, like the original beauty, by using your pretty merino minis. They will look stunning!
Granny Go Round Jumper
Everyone has made a Granny Go Round, right? Oh my goodness, how many versions could you make? As with all Grannies, there are so many options for colour work. I went off piste in a couple of places when making this, including making the sleeves more balloony by adding some decreases near the cuff. I love this top down jumper. It’s fab!!
Which is Your Favourite?
I mean, if you got this far I know you must be a fan, right? What have I missed? Is there a Granny pattern you love that deserves a mention? Let me know!
Also note that I haven’t included all of my granny projects. make sure to look at my FREE CROCHET PATTERNS for more inspo, not just for the clever little clusters that we all love but for other patterns outside the Granny arena too.