Thursday 16 February 2012

Adding a Chain Round to Granny squares...a tutorial

Hello Lovelies ,
Have you ever made a motif that calls for a "chain round"? The first time I encountered this technique was when I tried   Lucy's much loved Hexagon pattern back in 2009.

HERE is a lovely image of one of these hexagons at the chain round stage.I will admit I found it rather tricky at first....all those slip stitches........ not the easiest when you are  starting out in (or in my case getting reacquainted with) crochet.

As I've become better at crochet I don't find it so difficult and I can spot when a chain round has been used
In this stunning SQUARE....a chain round has been used to define the circle to excellent effect.It's visible as the little white stitches in THIS gorgeous blanket where it has been used every alternate round to create an interesting variation on the traditional granny. In my own Kaleidoscope BLANKET It's used to attach the final , joining round .

It's benefit is that it keeps a shape clearly defined by utilising slip stitches and chains rather than multiple stitches into the existing round.........what am I waffling on about ??

Lets look at a photo, this is a granny square made in the conventional manner......

In the example below the final colour change round is attached to a chain round......

Can you see any difference ?? Maybe not but I hope so . Can you see the way the orange square still looks very square , where as the pink square has wavy edges ? yes ...good ....that is the correct answer :0)

When I decided to add a white border to my (mostly)solid coloured grannies I wanted them them to retain their square shape.
I haven't used a chain round on a square shape before and was struggling about what to do on the corners. After a quick search of my flickr favourites I found THIS image. With I bit of experimenting I figured out what I think is the correct may not be what others do but it's working for me so I thought I would share my method here.

Here we go with my Tutorial...... written as usual in U.S. crochet terms.....I think I'm pretty bi-lingual in crochet speak now but still think primarily in U.S. so I guess I should stick with that ( all my previous tutorials are U.S. terminology )
Start with a granny square....

NOTE :-  I make my granny squares with no chains between clusters and 2 chains in the corners ....see my granny square tutorial in my side bar.
If you use a different method you may need to adjust the chain and subsequent round .

Attach the colour of your choice using  the method of your choice in a space along any side of your square. Chain 3.......

slip stitch into the next space.......

Repeat along the side and when you reach a corner slip stitch into the chain space.....

Chain 4 .......

and slip stitch into the same space.......

Repeat this pattern around.  Here you can see I'm into the third side and you can clearly see the little "ears" made by the chains at each corner .......

Continue around , making an "ear" at each corner ( it's not clear in this photo but they are there )........

When you reach the starting chain insert you hook under the chain and slip stitch

This is the chain round completed. Do not fasten off .....

Chain 3 then make 2 double crochet (d.c.) under the loop created by the chain round........

In the next loop make 3 d.c. and repeat under every loop till you get to a corner..........

into the corner chain (ear) make 3 d.c., 2 chain, 3 d.c......

Repeat all the way around for your first square. On subsequent squares stop at the 3rd corner

Chain 1 then join to the adjoining block with a slip stitch .....

3 d.c. the slip stitch into the corresponding space. This is the join as you go method and there is a clear tutorial on how to do this HERE if you need more help......

Repeat along the side and complete the round as normal on the final side by slip stitching into the top of the initial 3 chain ......

When attaching squares to two existing blocks only complete two sides then join as you go to the two adjoining blocks. In the corner slip stitch into the corner of the first block you have attached to ......

Then into the corner of the one you are about to attach to (do not use any) chains  .......

Here is a peek of how my blocks are looking .......I'm not sure why I'm calling them blocks..... I suppose they remind me of babies blocks , but they also make me think of a paint box with all it's squares of colour.....

I've haven't been at work this week , so between housework,baking  and family outings I've managed to make good progress on  these two baby first crochet commission :0)
This is the first .It still needs a border but I'm now joining the blocks on the second blanket so I can delay making a decision on that.

Hope your week is going well.
Jacquie x


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I've never seen this method before but as soon as I saw your wonderful blanket the other day I wanted to know your secret! :) It's a very effective way of retaining the 'squareness' of the colour!

  2. Wow, beautiful. Thank you. My next baby blanket will be done this way.
    But now - what do you call this, granny stripe? When you do a stripey blanket? I'm doing one from a photo but struggling a bit at the end of rows as I don't have clear instructions for it...

  3. Utterly beautiful, as a knitter, I just can't get the hang of how to hold crochet xx

  4. Muito linda a manta.
    Obrigada por compartilhar conosco todos os detalhes deste trabalho.
    Fique com DEUS...beijo.

  5. I've always wanted to try this, but just didn't know how. Thanks for the great tutorial with clear pix. Will try soon!

  6. Oh my gosh ...I am thrilled to see how this is done...I thought it was done about this way but have never thought out all the nooks and crannies of it.....and it looks so beautiful!!!! Thank you for the tutorial...having just done my first tutorial...I can appreciate all the work that goes into it.....I am going to try this today!!!!!!!

  7. Your blanket looks terrific! It always looks like the sun is shining in your photos, it really brightens my day. :-)

  8. What a gorgeous blanket. Thank you for sharing how to make the square in the granny stay square (got to watch those grannies, hehe).

  9. Wow fabulous blanket i love the colours, your right it does look like a paint box. The white edging really sets it off nicely.
    Hugs Angie

  10. I know what I'm going to be doing tonight! I love this effect and the way the joining is so tidy and pretty. Great tutorial and I will have my laptop balancing, my hook in hand and my tongue hanging out of the corner of my mouth tonight while I attempt this!
    Thanks, I like reading your blog.

  11. Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww......Beautifull........

  12. Your blanket is beautiful. I like that join, its very neat and decorative. I shall have to give it a try.

  13. I am loving the twist you made to the white border of the grannies. It looks lovely! Now you have to be so happy you decided to make the white center, because it gives it a special touch. They are going to love it.

  14. What a lovely blanket! Is this method of joining the same as you used for the Spring Flower Blanket? I was wondering how you had been joining those beautiful flower squares to get such a wonderful, neat result! I love your blog, I visit every day to see if you've written anything :-))and I am totally and utterly in love with your Spring Flower Blanket... I'm not an experienced crocheter (I'm a knitter :-))but one day I hope to be able to produce a lovely blanket like that one....
    Lots of Love from Holland,

  15. This is such a great idea! The squares look so good bordered this way!

  16. Your tutorial is so clear! Both photos and words take the mystery out of this technique.

    I think that you will have inspired many folks to pick up crochet hooks and colorful yarns.

    Best wishes.

  17. It's a great tutorial Jacquie! It really does make a distinct difference to the finish of the Granny square. I'll have to add it to my never ending list of things to try out :O)xx

  18. Fabulous tutorial - lovely clear photos and instructions :-)
    Your blanket is gorgeous! Can't wait to try this joining method out.

  19. My goodness, that make such a nice change from the normal granny square! Thank you for sharing.

  20. I LOVE it Jacquie! Thank you so much for sharing with us. xxx

  21. I like using a chain round now and agin, gives a certain "bit of something".

    Love your blog.

    K x

  22. I really appreciate this tutorial, I think I shall give it ago :D

  23. You rock, great tutorial!

  24. That blanket is stupendous! I love the chains bit, thanks for fab tutorial, so helpful to a learner like me. Much appreciated.

  25. Guess what I am going to do tonight!

  26. What a perfect tutorial! Love this technique! Thanks for sharing in such an easy to understand manner! Hope all is well with you!...sitting here looking at my cute little crochet basket from you! Hugs, Annette

  27. Perfect! I'm a bit too novice a crocheter for this yet but I'll be back :D

  28. The white really makes the colours pop, lucky babies!
    Thanks for explaining this so well, am going to give it a go.

  29. That worked out Really Nicely.

  30. Great tutorial Jaquie, thank you!

  31. love the new borderm how clever of you to adapt the old one into 2 new ones. really lovely! x

  32. I like that method alot! I have a load of squares ready to turn into something I think i may give this a go. Thanks enjoy the rest of your week off!

  33. Thank you! Sometimes you just have to see a visual and then your brain goes "oh yes of course it all makes sense now"!! It makes for a beautiful join indeed. Your blanket looks stunning. Have a fab week hon.

  34. Great tut, your blankets are looking lovely... You are so quick!

  35. Thank you SO much for posting this. I was wondering how you did it!!! It makes your squares(blocks) look fab. lol x

  36. I love the way the blankets have turned out; so sweet and colourful. The way you've joined them is excellent. I am in the process of making a granny square blanket and have faffed about trying to find the best way to joined them. I wish I'd found this before I started. Oh well, I'll just have to make another blanket after I finish this one! Well done
    Jo :)

  37. Hi there, I linked to this post from my blog post today because I love these baby blankets and wanted to make my own. If you would like me to remove the link please let me know.


  38. Hello!!! I love the square! is beautiful!!! sorry by my english.... thanks you by sharing!!

  39. Wow this is EXACTLY what I have been looking for. All my squares go 'frilly' when I put a border on them. What an amazing blog. Only found you an hour ago and already I've made 2 daisy granny squares & started the border on my other project. I will be back often, thank you so much for sharing all this stuff. Best blog around! Happy New Year!

  40. Great tutorial - I'm making a pillow with granny squares and this will help!

  41. It is beautiful and a great way to join the squares together.

  42. yaay found your chain post at last i knew it was in blog land somewhere!!! i tried doing it as i remembered and am a little way through a join as you go blanket using it the last row as you have,but reading what you've written i've made a bo bo i've done 2 chain on a straight and 3 on a corner i wondered why it was folding in slightly and the middle piece is slightly raised but it looks ok now i know where it is i will make a written note of where to find it!! thank you for your how to's and patterns your drawing are fab i wish i could draw like you thank you again kerena :)

  43. Brilliant! Thank you so much for such clear help.

  44. I wanted to try your method of crocheting granny squares by not doing a chain between dc clusters on the side. I am hoping this will make my grannies less holey. Do you find not doing the chain on the sides makes any difference when using the join as you go method? Tks for you blog it is really helpful!

  45. I have also recently started crocheting again after about 10 yrs. I am making my grandson a granny square afghan. (also my first granny squares) And I have been STUCK! on what method and pattern I would use to join them. THIS is it! I hope I can do it as well as yours looks! My daughter picked out the 3 colors I am using, and I can't wait to start another one!
    Thanks for the explaining so well.


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