This post has been sponsored Red Heart Yarn. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve had this concept in my head for an afghan, white with loads of colorful polka dots. It had to be at least 10 years ago now that I first told my Mimmie, my grandmother, about my idea and though she didn’t get as big of a kick out of it as I did, she took out her hook to help me figure it out anyway.
Mimmie was a self-taught crocheter. And then when I was a pre-teen she taught me,so we both had a hard time reading typical crochet directions, finding a pattern for what we wanted, and then being able to put it to use – that was pretty much not going to work out. We drew out spokes on pieces of paper and tried to figure out how to take a granny square and plop a circle right in the middle of it. The circle itself was easy enough, but turning that circle into a square proved a bit more difficult.
In the end, we got it all worked out with our hand drawn pattern that probably only the 2 of us would ever understand. :) I made dozens of circles surrounded by lovely white, well on my way. But then a move happened and, as things always seem to go for me, I lost my gallon sized zipper bag full of circle granny squares. Frustrated with the loss of work, and sort of hoping it would turn back up someday, my beautiful polka dotted afghan was put on the back burner.
But guess what? I’ve gotten back after it, inspired by the juicy and absolutely wonderful colors of Red Heart Chic Sheep Yarn by Marly Bird. Have you guys seen this gorgeous yarn? I had such a difficult time choosing colors because I quite simply wanted them ALL! Alas I selected 6 colors that are bright and cheerful and quite literally remind me of candy! I chose Fairy Tale (pink), Mimosa (yellow), Suite (blue), Green Tea, Sunset (red) and Vineyard (purple) and when the yarn arrived, I was so pleased with it.
I have never completed a crochet project with 100% wool before largely because it’s dry and scratchy and it rubs my fingers raw. But this yarn is 100% Merino wool and it is heavenly soft. Seriously. You wouldn’t even imagine it’s wool at first touch. Rob’s parents both knit and they are really good at it. They oohed and aahed over my big box of Red Heart Chic Sheep Yarn by Marly Bird just a little bit before they headed out for the evening.
I told them all about how Chic Sheep Yarn is a totally new product and that I, too, was super impressed with it. Available on the Red Heart website and both online and inside of Joann stores, these skeins are not only fun with good texture, they’re also incredibly reasonably priced for merino wool. In fact, if you were hoping to get to hooking some grannies today, Joann offers an inventory check so you can see what colors are available for pick up today in your nearest store. Cool, right?
But back to the task at hand… want to learn how to take a circle, and then surround it with a variety of white crochet stitches to square it off?
Here is how to make these circle granny squares for you pattern-loving types:
- CH – chain
- SC – single crochet
- SL – slip stitch
- DC – double crochet
- HDC – half double crochet
Round 1: Starting with a bright color, create a magic ring. CH 3 (acts as first DC), DC 11. SL round to end. (Stitches = 12)
Round 2: CH 3 (acts as first DC), DC in same stitch as CH 3, then 2 DC in each stitch. SL round to end. (Stitches = 24)
Round 3: CH 3 (acts as first DC), DC in same stitch as CH 3, then 1 DC in next stitch. *2 DC in next stitch, 1 DC in next. Repeat from * to the end. SL round to end. (Stitches = 36)
Round 4: Change yarn to white. CH 3 (acts as first DC), DC in same stitch and chain 2 and 2 DC in same stitch (this is your corner). DC in next stitch, HDC in next 2 stitches, SC in next 2 stitches, HDC in next 2 stitches, DC in next stitch. *DC in next stitch, DC in same stitch and chain 2 and 2 DC in same stitch (this is your second corner). DC in next stitch, HDC in next 2 stitches, SC in next 2 stitches, HDC in next 2 stitches, DC in next stitch. *Repeat to end. (Stitches = 12 along each side + corners)
Round 5: CH 3 (acts as first DC), DC in next stitch. *In gap from previous corner 2 DC and chain 2 and 2 DC to form new corner. DC along next 12 stitches. *Repeat to end. Close round with a SL. (Stitches = 16 + corners).
Now if you’re more of an visual type, like me, or if you are just learning crochet, here’s everything in pictures…
Grab an H hook and a skein of Red Heart Chic Sheep Yarn by Marly Bird in one of your favorite colors. Start a magic ring (need help, watch our video tutorial here!) and begin round 1. Chain 3 (acts as your first double crochet) and then complete 11 double crochet stitches inside of your ring.
Pull the ring closed and insert your hook into the topmost chain in your chain 3 that acted as your first double crochet. Use a slip stitch to close the circle up. Leave the magic ring’s tail free so that you can cinch the inner hole tightly shut later, but don’t sweat the hole being perfectly closed for right now.
Just because I can sometimes miss a stitch, I count the number of stitches of every previous round. Remember those V shapes? Count those. At this point you should have 12 total (one for the chain 3, and 11 for the double crochet stitches you completed).
Next we’re going to start round 2. For this circle granny square we are going to take off both loops when crocheting through the stitches. In case you aren’t sure, the picture above shows you how both loops form a “V” shape on the outer edge of your most recent round.
To begin round 2, chain 3.
Double crochet once in the same stitch as your chain 3.
Continue the entire length creating 2 double crochets within each stitch of the previous round.
Once you make it back to your chain 3, run your hook through the topmost loop and slip stitch the round shut. You should now have a count of 24 stitches around.
To start round 3 you’ll again start with a chain 3.
Double crochet again in that same stitch. Complete 1 double crochet in the next stitch.
Follow around the piece alternating with 2 double crochets in one stitch followed by a single crochet in the next.
At the end, your last stitch will be just 1 double crochet.
Close your round with a slip stitch in the topmost of your chain 3 as you’ve done in previous rounds. Count your stitches, this final round should have 36.
Snip a tail of about 2-3 inches and then pull the yarn through to create a really small knot. Pull the center magic ring tail and cinch the center hole tightly shut. Weave in both ends.
Now we’re going to create that lovely white surround. Grab one of your colorful rounds and a skein of Red Heart Chic Sheep Yarn in the color lace (white).
Bring your hook and yarn up through both loops of any stitch.
Chain 3, which will act as your first double crochet.
Our first job here will be to create the first corner of our square shape. To do that, complete another double crochet in the same stitch.
Chain twice and then complete 2 more double crochets in the same stitch. This is your first corner.
That’s the same corner in a completed square, just FYI (I like to know what it is I’m working toward and figure you might, too :)
Now we need to decrease and increase our stitch size to accommodate the round shape of the previous, well, round. In the next 9 stitches of the previous round you will complete: 1 double crochet, 2 half double crochets, 2 single crochets, 2 half double crochets, 1 double crochet.
Next we’ll complete another corner. In the next stitch create *2 double crochets then chain 2 then complete 2 more double crochets in the same stitch from the previous round.
At this point you’re going to continue around and around the same. In the next 9 stitches you’ll complete: 1 double crochet, 2 half double crochets, 2 single crochets, 2 half double crochets, 1 double crochet. Follow with another *corner.
Once you get around to your fourth and final side to make a square (yay!) things are going to look funny. When I was trying to remember how Mimmie and I figured this business out, I tore this out a bazillion times before I just went with it because, straight up, it doesn’t look right, but if you have your stitch count correct it actually does work out. So before you rip everything out and start over, just give it a go because it’s likely absolutely correct. :)
Once you make it around, connect with the topmost stitch of your chain of 3 and use a slip stitch to finish round 4.
To start round 5, chain 3 is to act as your first double crochet. Double crochet in the next stitch. In the gap, the corner from the previous round makes complete *2 double crochet stitches, 2 chain stitches, 2 double crochet stitches to form the new corner.
Double crochet down length in each stitch for a total of 12 double crochets.
I’m obsessed with counting stitches when working these granny squares because one missed or extra stitch throws everything off. And there’s nothing quite like getting to the last round to realize your square is becoming a whole new shape (hello there pentagon, where did you come from?!?). Above is an example of what you DO want. For each corner you’ll have 2 new stitches on each side, but you’ll have one stitch to match up with every stitch in the previous round. See the blue? Those are the new stitches from our corner but the purple has a mate to pair itself perfectly for the previous round. If you double check each side that your stitches match up, you should always get a perfect square at the end of every round!
The process to grow your square with additional rounds is just the same. Create a double crochet stitch to match up with every stitch of the previous round. Once you get to the gap for the previous corner, complete a new one. Once you’ve reached the size you’re pleased with (for me that’s 3 rows of white for a total of 6 rounds per granny), end with a slip stitch and weave in your tail.
Now isn’t that just lovely? And that loveliness is due, no small part, to that gorgeous pink Red Heart has dubbed “Fairy Tale,” amIright? I can’t stress enough just how much I am in LOVE with this yarn and I now see wool gracing my hook a heck of a lot more than it ever has in the past.
If granny squares aren’t your thing, or if you’re more into knitting than crochet, Red Heart has you covered. Every month they have new patterns that work up beautifully with Chic Sheep Yarn by Marly Bird yarns. And don’t forget you can grab your skeins at both Red Heart Online and both online and in your local Joann Store!
What are you waiting for? Grab some of those juicy colors and start hooking those modern and wonderful circle granny squares!