Granny Square Foundations

Granny Squares are one of the building blocks of crocheting (all puns intended).  They are usually one of the first things beginners learn, because they are small and easy to work.  Yet, their allure drives experienced crocheters to search out more complicated squares or interesting color patterns to create unique effects with a simple structure.
Then there are those adventurous souls who prefer to create their own designs for finished projects, or those who like to experiment by combining elements of two different squares together to form a third square.

From the very simplest, to some detailed methods that require a pen, paper and maybe even a calculator, this series of articles will provide several techniques for creating and designing granny squares, plus techniques on using color to add diversity to the Ol’ Granny Square.

The Old Fashioned Granny
  This is the basic method of starting a Granny Square.  There are two different ways of continuing the square that allow for color changes in creating wonderful patterns in the finished product.
Ch 4-6 sts (depending on your thread size, tension and guage), and connect with a sl st in beg ch.
Ch 1-4 sts depending on the Stitch you choose (sc, hdc, dc, or trc). Work 3 sts into the circle. (Ch 2, Work 4 Sts) 3 times. Connect to beg ch.
From here you can go two different ways:

Solid Granny
Start the Square with the instructions above.
Round 2: Ch 1-4 depending on your st (sc, hdc, dc, or trc). *Work a st into each st across side to corner Ch 2 sp. Work 2 sts in Ch 2 sp, Ch 2, 2 Sts in same Ch 2 sp. *Repeat 3 times to finish this round of the square. Connect to beg ch.  
For all subsequent rounds, work a st in each stitch of the sides. Work 2 sts, Ch 2, 2 sts in each corner. Connect to beg ch and you*re ready for the next round, or end off when the square is of desired size.

Checker Board Pattern or THE Granny Square Stitch
  This pattern is what most people call The Granny Square Stitch.  You use the same method to start the square as presented above, but on the second round you start the different stitch combination.
On Round 2, Ch 1-4 depending on your stitch (sc, hdc, dc, or trc), PLUS 3 more chs.  (4 sts into the corner Ch 2 sp, Ch 2, 4 sts into same sp. Ch 3.) Repeat this 2 times. On the last corner, Work 4 sts, Ch 2, 3 sts into same sp, and connect to beg ch which serves as the 4th st of this group.  
Round 3: Ch 1-4 depending on your st (sc, hdc, dc, or trc),  Work 3 sts into Ch 3 Sp of previous round.  *Ch 3.  Work 4 sts, Ch 2, 4 sts into corner sp.  Ch 3. Work 4 sts into next Ch 3 sp. Repeat from * around square. Connect to beg ch.
Round 4: Ch 1-4 depending on your stitch (sc, hdc, dc, or trc),    PLUS 3 more chs.  *Work 4 sts into Ch 3 sp of previous round.  Ch 3. Work 4 sts, Ch 2, 4 sts into corner sp. Ch 3. Work 4 sts into next Ch 3 sp. Ch 3. Work 4 sts into next Ch 3 sp. Ch 3.   Repeat from * around square to last 4 st group.  Work only 3 sts in last group and connect to beg ch-beg ch serves as 4th st in this group..  
Notes: Most people extend THE Granny Square only 3 rounds.  I included the fourth round to illustrate how the subsequent rounds are formed.   Be certain to alternate between Round 3 and Round 4 in how you begin and end each round.
You can create an entire afghan with both of these patterns just by adding rounds to one granny square.
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Pg1       Pg2     Pg3
Beg: Beginning
 Ch: Chain stitch
Dc: Double Crochet   
Sc: Single Crochet  
Trc: Treble Crochet
Lp: Loop  
Hk: Hook
 Sk: skip stitches
Sl St: slip stitch
Yo: Yarn Over hook