How to Crochet a Granny Square (one-handed)

This post is going to take you through the steps of crocheting a granny square, these are the written instructions to go with my video tutorial on YouTube.

Let’s get started – don’t hesitate to answer any questions in the comments section.

So, you start with a slipknot to get the yarn around the hook. How to do this is in my video, or you can click the link to see full instructions.

crochet slipknot

Next, we make a chain.

Chain 1

This means pulling the working yarn (yarn attached to the ball) over the hook (around the back) and then pulling the yarn through the loop that’s on the hook (made by the slipknot).

We then repeat this five more times.

Chain 5

Next, insert your hook into the first chain you made (to create a circle) yarn over your hook, pull the yarn through the chain and the loop on your hook. This is a slip stitch. You now have a circle.

Chain 3. This acts as a treble- to start each round you have to bring the yarn up to the right height of the stitch you will be doing. In this case we do 3 chains for a treble (US Double). Starting Chain 3

Next we do the treble stitch (US Double). We start with a yarn over the hook.

Yarn Over

We then insert the hook into the middle of the circle we made. This can be a bit tricky, especially one-handed, to find the correct space as there’s lots of little loops. You have to aim for the biggest, try stretching out the circle as best you can. I find this really easy now, but when I first started, I wasn’t sure if I was inserting in the right place!

Insert Ring

We now do a yarn over with the hook inserted and pull the yarn through the circle. This leaves three loops on your hook.

Three Loops

Next, we yarn over and pull the yarn through the first two loops. Positioning can be a bit tricky, try not to have all your loops too tight otherwise it can be tough to pull them through. Doing this one-handed means we have less flexibility with the angle and movement of the hook.

Through Two Loops

I always try and pull the loops right to the end of the hook when making them to help widen them a bit and make sure there’s a bit more wriggle room when pulling the yarn through.

You now have two loops left on your hook.

two loops

Yarn over again and pull through the remaining two loops on the hook. You have just completed your first treble stitch.

Pull Through Last Loops

So in short form a treble is:

Yarn over (yo) insert into circle, yo, pull through circle (3 loops), yo, pull though 2 loops (2 loops left), yo, pull through 2 loops (1 loop left). With me?

So we now have one chain 3 (ch3) and one treble. We are not going to do another treble, repeating the above steps. We now have 3 stitches. This is our first ‘treble cluster’.

Three Trebles

We are going to make 4 of these (3 more) in the circle, with 3 chains between each cluster – this makes the square shape. Let’s break it down.

Now, chain 3.

Chain 3 Corner

This chain 3 is the corner, we now make a treble into the circle.

First Treble

We do two more trebles to make out 3 treble cluster. Chain 3.

Second Treble Cluster & ch3

Repeat again, 3 trebles into the centre circle & ch3. We now have 3 treble clusters.

Third Treble Cluster & Ch3

We now do our final treble cluster. Make 3 trebles into the centre circle and ch3.

Fourth Treble Cluster & ch3

Now, slip stitch into the top chain of the starting chain 3. Insert hook – I aim to insert through two loops rather than one – yo, pull through ch & loop on the hook.

Slip Stitch

You’ve completed your first round – Congrats!

First Round

We now have to increase so that the second round is bigger than the last. If you remember, we need to make 3 ch to bring it up to treble height. We also in this round ch1 to connect the corner trebles. This will make sense as we go along but to start with we ch 4 rather than 3.

We then treble into the first corner (the left corner in the above image). It looks odd to start with but it will take shape as we go around.

Ch 4 & First Treble

Make two more trebles in this ch3 corner and then ch3.

Treble & Chain 3

Next make 3 trebles in the same corner space. So, we make two treble clusters (with ch3 between them) in each corner chain of the previous round. These are also corners. After making our second treble cluster, we chain 1.

Chain 1

This lets us reach the next corner, where we make 3 trebles in the corner space (sp), ch 3, 3 trebles in same corner sp.

We continue this pattern all the way round:

Chain 1, 3 trebles in next corner, ch3, 3 trebles in same corner. Ch1, 3 trebles in next corner, ch3, 2 trebles in the same corner – we’re back at the beginning & we have our ch4. Insert the hook into the 3rd chain from the base & slip stitch. This is our ch3 acting treble, leaving ch1 between the first & second corners.

We now ch3, and make 2 trebles into the ch1 sp.

Ch1 to take you to the corner. Make 3 trebles, ch3, make 3 trebles in the same corner sp. Ch1 to take you to the ch1 sp – 3 trebles into this space.Cluster in Ch1

Repeat this pattern all the way around:

Ch1, 3 trebles into corner sp, ch3, 3 trebles into same space, ch1, 3 trebles in ch1 sp, ch1, 3 trebles in corner sp, ch3, 3 trebles in same corner space, ch1, 3 trebles in ch1 space, ch1, 3 trebles in corner sp, ch3, 3 trebles in same space, ch1.

Slipstitch into the starting ch3.

slipstitch round 3

Ch 4 and repeat the pattern from the previous round, working one 3treble cluster into the ch1 spaces, chain 1 between trebles, always working a corner (3trebles, ch3, 3trebles in same sp) in the corner spaces. Your final treble cluster only has 2 trebles, slip stitch into the 3rd ch of the starting ch4.

Finished Square

Ch1 and cut the yarn, leaving a reasonable size tail, and pull the tail through the loop, pulling tight.

And that’s your Granny Square! You’ve done it. Weave in your ends so it doesn’t unravel (I’ll do a post on this soon).

 

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Holding A Crochet Hook One-Handed Tutorial

This is a quick tutorial on how you can hold a crochet hook one-handed. I’m lucky enough to have a little strap to help hold the crochet hook to my amputee hand but this video shows how you can hold the hook against your knee, which will also work against a different surface.

You can see the full granny square tutorial and how I hold the hook with the strap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ-2SZNS6R0

If you would like to learn to knit one-handed:
Casting on one-handed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6OyU0SM5rs
Knit stitch one-handed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFajvNUzgPo
Holding yarn & tension one-handed – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPRtTgZZ7kg

One-Handed Crochet – Granny Square Tutorial

I’ve just uploaded my fourth video to YouTube! This one covers how to crochet one-handed showing beginners how to crochet a granny square, which in my opinion is the easiest pattern to crack as a beginner! See below the video, and let me know if you have any questions or difficulties.

This tutorial aimed to help how help those with an upper body disability master crochet one-handed, demonstrating the technique with a limited movement of the crochet hook – I found learning quite tough as two-handed tutorials move and twist the hook considerably to get the motion.

Hopefully, this video will help other amputees or one-handed crafters get the hang of using the left hand as the dominant ‘worker’.

In the video I do use a strap to hold the hook to my arm however, anything that holds the hook still, or if its easier, holding the hook against your knee (how I started off) or on the side of a surface should work ok- this will be trial and error until you find something that suits you.

Yarn: Stylecraft Special DK – Turquoise
Needles: 4mm Fusion Rubber Grip Hooks

There are some useful links below – Thanks for watching!

Beginner two-handed Granny Square Tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=granny+square+crochet

My blog: https://elisabethward04.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisabethWard04
Instagram: Lis_Ward

If you would like to learn how to knit one-handed, please take a look at my other videos or visit my ‘tutorials page on this blog:

One-handed Casting On Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6OyU0SM5rs

One-handed Knit Stitch Tutorial:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFajvNUzgPo

Holding the Yarn One-handed & Tension:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPRtTgZZ7kg

Crochet Addict: Who Needs Two Hands Anyway?

Since I entered into the world of knitting, my life has transformed. To say I’m addicted is a slight understatement. I’ve been taken in by the endless exciting things that I can create, from hats and ties to shawls and slippers. I can hold something in my hand and say “I made this” I didn’t buy it, I spent hours and days creating it. It’s a real pleasure to see others wearing the things that I’ve made- they’re bespoke, hand-made with love.

My pride and joy so far (below) is a knitted tie. It came out beautifully and I sent it as a birthday gift to someone who it suited perfectly -it made me so happy that I was able to give a gift that was not ‘run of the mill’ to someone who would take pleasure from that.

Knitted tie
Knitted Tie

Anyway, knitting has become a passion. This is not only because I enjoy it so much and can’t wait to get home to carry on a project, it’s also because it helps with my stress and anxiety. I am someone who carries a lot of anxiety and worry day to day, much of which I can’t control.

Part of this, I think, comes from living with one hand. For example, I stress about the checkout part of shopping, getting out my purse, rushing to get my change/card back into my purse, packing, etc. this applies to a lot of things. I have little tricks too help things run smoother, but I’m constantly thinking about these things, from worrying about holding people up to trying to carry multiple things off a tube/bus without missing my stop. As you can imagine, this doesn’t exactly contribute to ‘worry free’ life.

I also think that my level anxiety comes from my upbringing and, bless her, my mother. She is a wonderful mum but she is the queen of worry and anxiety, and I’m not sure she knows quite how much. I think this anxiety, understandably, was worse when I was young. Why wouldn’t it have been, two young children, one with a disability who was clumsy and, err, a little ‘head in the clouds’. Anyway, I think I’ve inherited a lot of that worry and anxious behaviour, and I can see that my mum is calmer these days so it is ‘conquerable’ but I think my disability exacerbates it!

So back to the point, knitting really calms me. The methodical movement of the needles, I disappear into what I’m doing, the world melts away and calm takes over me. However, this wasn’t quite enough on the crafts front. I wanted to learn to crochet too – there’s so much more I would be able to create and crochet is easier to do ‘on the go’ as you don’t need to finish a row- if you get interrupted, you just stick a safety pin in the loop and put your work in your bag- it’s brilliant.

But it proved VERY difficult to start with. It was much harder to grasp than knitting and many of the tutorials involved a lot of right hand hook work/movement that I just can’t do. Unlike knitting, I needed to hold the yarn in my left hand. Frustration ensued. Anger. Cursing. I tried at least four times to master crochet, working some of the yarn, it looking very wrong, unravelling, trying again and failing, again.

I had a few stumbling blocks. The first is that I tried to crochet with the most used style hook.

Slim Crochet hook
Standard Crochet Hook

BIG mistake for me, I had no grip, the hook just kept twirling between my right ‘hand’ and my leg. Quickly I realised that this style hook just wasn’t going to work. So I bought a set of ‘ergonomic hooks’.

Ergonomic Crochet Hooks
Ergonomic Crochet Hooks

This helped considerably, I have more grip as I hold the hook between my hand and my leg, like this.

crochet hook
‘Hook between hand and knee’ crochet method

I started again with a little more success than the first few attempts, but something still wasn’t clicking. In part I think it was because the type of yarn wasn’t ideal, but also, this whole ‘chain’ business wasn’t quite clicking. I’m still having trouble getting my head round exactly which part of the chain I’m meant to insert my hook into but I’m working on it! I did manage a messy beginning of a granny square, which seemed to be the simplest thing to learn how to crochet.

First granny square attempt
First granny square attempt

I seemed to get the basics down, but I realised I needed some better yarn to really crack it. So I put it on hold and tried again with some Stylecraft Special DK and just like that, I could crochet. It clicked. I was super chuffed.

Successful Granny Square
Successful Granny Square

And thus began my second addiction. Proving yet again, what seems to require two hands, does not actually need two hands.

Granny Squares for Mood Blanket
Granny Squares for Mood Blanket

I was still pretty slow and the ‘hand and leg’ combo wasn’t ideal. That’s when I had a slight ‘epiphany’. I could use the device that I hold my knife in to hold the hook. And voila, I practically have the proper use of a second hand.

Strap Holding Hook
‘Strap Holding Hook’ Method

If you’re one -handed and don’t have such a device, any kind of ‘strap’ would work, anything velcro based that can hold the hook tightly to your arm. It’s not perfect, I don’t have the twisty motion that a lot of crocheters use but I have more motion and I’m pretty proud of my little brainwave.

The best part is that I can crochet on the tube on the way to work, I’m now fast enough to do a square a day. I do get a lot of looks on the tube but I’m using it as a way to push myself out of my comfort zone and get used to people looking. It’s hard but the more people see, the more they get used to it. Plus I’d rather be stared at for doing something interesting with my disability than being stared at just for being me, for having an odd looking hand. This way, hopefully people see that it’s no big deal.

So, I can crochet ‘on the go’ and knit at home and I have so many awesome projects available to me. It’s so exciting, I don’t have to buy beautiful things others have made, I can make them myself! It sounds simple and obvious but when you’re so used accepting that ‘crafts’ are not really your thing because it’s fiddly and most of your stuff comes out looking like a five-year old’s art class ‘thing’, it’s a bit of a revelation. Anyway, I’ve wasted no time, I’m already all over ‘homeware’ with some beautiful coasters:

Multi-coloured crochet coasters
Multi-coloured crochet coasters

They’re not perfect or even, but then I think it adds charm, I’m not perfect or ‘even’ either, but I’m one of a kind, well, ish. What can I say, who needs two hands anyway? I’m a crochet addict and this is my story.

For anyone interested in how I crochet one-handed, or are an amputee who would like to learn to one-handed crochet, I will be doing a video soon. If would like to knit one-handed, take a look at my Casting-on knitting Tutorial – I will also be doing a follow up ‘knit stitch’ one-handed tutorial soon.