Solid Granny Squares Pattern (Elmer Squares)

This is my pattern to make solid granny squares. I’ve changed a few things since my previous pattern and I like this version much more. I’ve used it for two blankets: Rach’s Birthday Blanket (making the squares much larger) and the Elmer-inspired baby blanket for Baby Jack. I’ve also applied the same theory to the Pinketty Pink blanket although the centres are different. In this pattern I show you how to make the squares just in one colour, but it is very easy and fun to make each round a different colour – I’m sure you’re familiar with how to do that but if not, have a look at my other patterns on the sidebar and that should help.

I appreciate that this is hardly an original idea, but this pattern is one that I have written myself and I’m pleased with it. I hope you like it too.

You will need:

Yarn, crochet hook, scissors and a darning needle.

All crochet terms are UK, and you will need to be able to do the following stitches: chain stitch, slip stitch, treble (TR) stitch.

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First of all, cast on your yarn (I assume you all know how to do this!) and chain four stitches. Join this to make a ring, and then chain six stitches.

Chaining six stitches is important to this square and you will do it at the start of each round. The first three stitches will form the equivalent of your very last TR stitch, and the next three stitches form the corner spacing. This will make more sense as we go on, but I want you to know the thinking behind it too.

Now, work 4 TR stitches into the ring. To make a TR stitch, you need to:

1. Yarn over, and insert hook into the centre of the ring.

2. Yarn over and pull back through (giving you 3 loops on your hook)

3. Yarn over and pull through the first two loops on your hook (giving you 2 loops on your hook)

4. Yarn over and pull through the remaining two loops on your hook.Voila – you have made a treble stitch!

When you have worked 4 TRs into the ring, chain 3 to make your corner space.

Then you need to repeat this step: after your corner space, work four more TRs into the ring, chain 3 for your corner, work 4 more TRs and then do another chain 3 to make the last corner space for this round.

Now, for this side of the square you only need to work 3 TRs into the ring. This is because we have made it back round to the beginning, and the initial chain 6 forms your last TR. So, when you get to this point, (when you have worked 3 TRs into the ring) you need to slip stitch into the chain. The way I think of it is this: I need 3 chains for my corner, and 3 chains for my last TR. It’s easier to see where the chains end, so I count backwards from there. It’s the 4th chain down/3rd chain up. Can you see where I’m pointing my needle? You’ll get the hang of this and it’s not crucial until you are working on your last round. I hope you can see … you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.

When you have slip stitched into the chain, bring your yarn to the front so that you an start Round 2.

Again we are chaining 6 stitches here as it is the start of the round. Is it making sense now? Excellent!

Now what I would like you to do is make 2TRs into the corner space of the first round. Lovely. Now we are going to be working out of the tops of the stitches. Can you see where I mean? I don’t mean between the stitches, I mean under the top two loops.

Work 1TR into the top of each stitch. On this round, this is 4 stitches. Can you see – I’ve covered up the two stitches in the corner to show you that you should have 4 stitches, one for each stitch in the previous round. This is the theory that you need to apply to all subsequent rounds. To finish off that side of the square, work 2 TRs into the corner space and then chain 3. (I like to think of the corner stitches as book ends! Two in each corner, separated by the stitches that go in the tops.)

Repeat this all the way around, making 2TR in the corner space, then 1TR into the top of each stitch, 2TR into the corner space and then chain 3. You know the score by now I’m sure.

Then, when you get to the last side of your square, work just 1TR into the corner space, and slip stitch to the 3rd chain of the initial chain 6 like we did on the previous round. You’ll do this on every round.

Bring your yarn to the front so that you can start Round 3.

Chain 6, and work 2TR into the corner space.

Then, work 1TR into the top of each stitch. This time you should get 8 stitches, flanked by the two in each corner space.

Repeat this all the way around the square (not pictured, but I’m sure you can imagine it.)

When you get to the last 1TR, you may find that you need to wiggle it a bit to get your hook through. Sometimes it’s a bit tougher when you’ve slip stitched in the previous round. It’s ok though, it will go through.

Then work 1TR into the last corner space, and slip stitch into the 3rd chain of the initial chain 6. Try to get the right chain here because you definitely need 3 chains for when you are joining them together. (I haven’t done a tutorial for joining them together, but I use Lucy’s tutorial and then do it like THIS.)

When you have slip stitched into the 3rd chain, cast off in your normal way. Everyone seems to do this differently, but I always do one really tight chain and then snip the yarn quite long and then pull it through the stitch on my hook and then pull it tight.

Now it is good practice to do your ends as you go. Trust me. There are only two and they take seconds to do when you do them as part of making the square but it will take you ages and seem like a daunting task if you leave them all until the end.

Pretty self explanatory photo really – just take your first end around the centre on the back of the work, and then trim off.

For your next end, take it through the chain space so that it’s at the back, and then go one way through the top loops (NOT the same loops that you were working your stitches out of, but the loops that are formed on the back of the crochet work) and then back the other way through the lower loops. Then pull gently through so as not to squish all your stitches up, and then snip off the end with scissors. NOW you are finished!


29 thoughts on “Solid Granny Squares Pattern (Elmer Squares)

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  8. I would really like to know with which camera are you taking pictures… everything looks so beautiful… you are really professional!!!

  9. I love this tutorial and the pictures – very easy to follow! I’m planning a character throw blanket for my boys and will be using these instructions for the squares. I wanted to know what size hook you used and what the dimensions are on the finished square though, to make sure I’m planning accurately. Thanks in advance!

  10. Hi Jennifer,

    I used a 4mm hook with dk weight yarn. I don’t have the measurements for the finished square as I gave the blanket I made away as a gift. I would suggest making a few squares before starting your blanket as they will depend on your tension as to what size the finish up. Best thing is to sample a couple and go from there. Heather x

  11. Hello there, Heather
    You, are truly blessed!!!! EACH piece of yours is a work of art. They all need to be in a crochet museum, to be stared at, and adored. Honestly! Do the recipients of these truly magnificent pieces know how much love and dedication goes in to each and every stitch? And that these pieces should be classed as heirlooms? I found you by accident, and that was a blessing in itself. I, want to crochet. I bought a hook and two bundles of yarn. And just playing around, practising chains etc. Your story, your Tiny Tin Bird, your family, your photography, your work – is AMAZING!!!! I am SO glad I found you.

  12. I love this little design and will be using it to make my own “Elmer” blanket
    My only question is what do you mean when you say “bring the yarn forward” when starting the next round??

  13. I love this little design and will be using it to make my own \"Elmer\" blanket
    My only question is what do you mean when you say \"bring the yarn forward\" when starting the next round??

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  15. I love this design, especially how the corners end up looking! Thank you for taking the time to make such a clear tutorial! Just made square in a colour similar to the photos actually!

  16. Can you tell me how join your solid granny squares? I know how to join my traditional squares using the join as you go method. Do you sew or stitch into the back loops to join them?

    Thanks.

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  18. Thank you so much, this is for a beginner like me much better to follow than the normal ones, looks better to. Thanks from the Netherlands.

  19. Thank you so much, this is for a beginner like me much better to follow than the normal ones, looks better to. Thanks from the Netherlands.
    Love it.

  20. Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your tutorials. I have finally learnt how to crochet thanks to you!

  21. Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your tutorials. I have finally learnt how to crochet thanks to you! !

  22. Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your tutorials. I have finally learnt how to crochet thanks to you! !!

  23. Hello! I love making these squares. Thank you for your help!
    I like the solid look.

    I always end up with bigger holes in the starting corner than in the other three corners though. Is this normal?

    : )

  24. I also have larger holes when joining rounds
    Also, what workes best with this pattern wool or man made yarn.

  25. I love the pattern but I’m really struggling.

    Following the above instructions, where you start the round with 2TR in the corner loop, I end up with too many stitches on one side and a very lopsided square…

    If I miss out the 2TR at the start, the square remains a square but the start loops aren’t very pretty.

    Do you have any ideas as to what I’m doing wrong?

  26. I love the pattern but I\’m really struggling.

    Following the above instructions, where you start the round with 2TR in the corner loop, I end up with too many stitches on one side and a very lopsided square…

    If I miss out the 2TR at the start, the square remains a square but the start loops aren\’t very pretty.

    Do you have any ideas as to what I\’m doing wrong?

  27. Hi Rachel! Sorry you’ve been struggling with the pattern. You need to start the round with ch6, and then 2TR in the corner space. The ch6 is equivalent to 1TR and the 3ch space that you’d do on a normal corner. So, a normal corner is 2TR, ch3, 2TR, yes? But with the starting corner you do ch6, 2TR and then work all the way around the square and when you get back to the beginning you make a 1TR before the ch6 and then slip stitch into the 3rd chain. That makes your corner completed. x

  28. Hello, your pattern is really pretty but I was struggling with the first side too, having more stitches than the rest. I think you should edit the instructions to make it clear that a corner is made up of 2tr ch3 2tr. I tore out my square 4 times before I saw your reply above. Pheeew!

  29. December 5 2014.
    Hello, Just wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful pattern. I don’t know if I can get
    colors like you have, but I hope I can get close. I never saw the square done like this before.
    It is a much neater method, which I hope to achieve also.
    Ruth

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