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Common Granny Square Problems
© 2011 Sandra Petit, http://www.crochetcabana.com

The granny square is worked in the round, but there are many ways to begin, end, and join the rounds and many different options as to how to work it. Here I am talking about the basic granny square which I consider shells (groups of double crochets) separated by chains. A granny is generally worked on the right side with a clear right and wrong side, but it CAN be worked on both sides giving a reversible look. Those are options, however, not "problems". Here I want to discuss problems that folks have brought to me or people I know who have consented to have their ideas gathered here. Credit is given to the person who submitted the idea to me. Some of these I knew myself, some were new to me.

This page will be added to as more things come to mind or are sent to me. Hope it helps someone.

Trouble identifying the corner.

Cay in California
The biggest problem I have seen when trying to teach the granny square is most people have trouble identifying the corner. .They miss one or add an extra. No longer square! Think we have all done that at some point in our stitching. I tell them to put a stitch marker in the corner each time so they know where it is. Just move it up from round to round.

Granny Square is wavy.

Jean in Wisconsin
I only do one chain between the sets of 3 dc, even at the corners. It makes for a little tighter corner, but I found that works best for me.

Kathy C.
If it's wavy tight go to a bigger hook. (pulls in toward the middle)
If it's wavy loose go to a smaller hook. (lumpy and doesn't lay flat)

Joan M.
I used to have that problem and solved it by 'flipping' my square every row. It is a slightly different look since there is no right or wrong side but it lays perfectly flat every time. If you haven't tried this method, give it a try. You don't slip to the corner for the following row, just join at the end of the row, chain two and flip. You'll be starting in the middle of a row. Someone also mentioned doing a chain 1 in the corners which I also do.

Trouble joining rounds.

Kelly A.
I always had the problem of joining the round (looked sloppy/limpy) until I found someone post that they join with a hdc in the top of the third chain in the first cluster of the round....much better results!

Chris Matthews
I don't like starting the rounds on granny squares with ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in corners then having to sl st over stitches to get back to corners.  Therefore, I start each round with a ch 5 in the corner, 2 dc, then continue around.  When I get back to the starting corner, I make the required number of dc's to complete the round, join, and slip stitch in the ch 2 space to begin the next round.

Granny skews (is off center).

Firstly, you should make sure you have followed the instructions correctly and not missed any stitches between shells, particularly in the corner. In other words, if on one side you put a chain between shells and you don't on a different side, that will change the length of the side.

Karin had this problem and upon research found the suggestion of using the reversible granny, turning each round, to help with this problem.

Chris Matthews
Also, if changing colors, I rotate my square so that each round starts in a different corner.  Cuts the bulk of having all rounds start and end in the same corner....then bulk left to weave in ends.

Dee Stanziano
There are a few reasons this could be happening:
1. Are all the endings/joinings are taking place on the same place/corner? The weight of the excess yarn could be enough to skew it. Have the crochet change where the new yarn is added on to shift the yarn weight around. If they are using the proper join technique as shown on Annie’s Attic, then shifting the yarn is not an option.

2. It could be the joining technique itself. If the old yarn is being completely finished off prior to adding the new color, many will first have a loop on the hook then insert it into a given stitch to start making the turning/lifting chains. That first loop then becomes bulk! And who needs that? To fix, using this end off old color entirely method, insert a "naked" hook into the given stitch, slip new yarn onto hook and pull through -- you're now ready to start chaining with no excess "bulk."

3. The yarn weights could be mismatched -- even in the same yarn line! Since dye effects the weight & thickness of yarn, prior to starting a project, a crocheter should take the ends of the yarn and place them in a line between the index finger and thumb to FEEL if they will work well together. If one yarn seems harder/higher or softer/lower than the rest, this could cause shaping problems.

4. The turning chains might be missing. Have the crocheter ensure they are correctly using turning/lifting chains, and if they're tall, that they're counting them as stitches. By not counting the (taller) turning/lifting chains, it will cause excess bulk as an "extra" stitch will need to be created.

5. Tension can also be a culprit. Ensure your crocheter is creating the stitches in the same environment -- a change in tempo (music), television programing (ESPECIALLY the news broadcasts), and mind set (say a REALLY bad day at work or home) is enough to change our free flowing stitches into a tight bunch. Also, as the work gets larger, the weight of the work hanging can cause for stitches to be larger -- all one needs to do here is ensure the work is not pulling away from the area where the stitches are being created.

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Crochet Cabana created October 1997 (domain name purchased March 2001)
Crochet Cabana’s Crafty Corral begun November 7, 2004.
The Crochet Cabana Blog begun May 2010.
Site update November 18, 2012.