Contemporary Granny Squares (free)




My beloved afghan stitched for me by my grandmother about 40 years ago.

I know to some they may be old-fashioned, but I have always loved granny squares. the picture at left is of an afghan that my grandmother made for me when I got my own room. I was almost four. I know this because the reason I got my own room, as did my sister, was because little brother was on the way, and he came along a month before my fourth birthday. So, I’ve had this afghan for nearly 40 years.

My grandmother taught me how to make granny squares when I was very young, probably about eight years old. I didn’t know how to crochet anything else, and I didn’t know the names of any of the stitches, just the numbers of times I had to do this or that. After a few years, though, I lost interest. I discovered cross stitch and much later, needlepoint. Those became my main crafts. A few years ago, however, I joined a crochet circle at my church and relearned what I was taught decades before, and then some. We stitch prayer shawls for shut-ins and people who are in nursing homes, scarves for the homeless, and baby hats for preemies and other young children in a local hospital. We stitch other items when they are requested. I’ve enjoyed my work there, and have used my skills to make various gifts over the past year or so.

As much as I like the traditional granny square afghans and pillows, like the one my grandmother created for me, I am loving the more modern designs using granny squares in different ways. By using color in creative ways, stitching “closed” granny squares that are more solid than the traditional square, and putting grannies of all sizes together (that sounds funny), people seem to be creating very cool projects. Perhaps this has been happening all along and I missed it because I was not a crocheter, but it’s new to me. I’ve listed some of my favorites below.



Klimt blanket from Olivia Rainsford, The Adventures of The Gingerbread Lady.

I found this gorgeous Klimt-like closed-granny afghan over at The Adventures of The Gingerbread Lady. This pattern from Oiliva Rainsford has been out a few years now, and was based on the Babette Blanket design. However, I wanted to share it for those who may have missed it. I first happened upon this a few weeks ago, and I immediately fell in love with it. The sky’s the limit with this design; you can go with lots of colors or shades of a few colors, depending on the look you want. She shares her tutorial for a baby blanket (the Klimtchen) and recommendations for a full-sized blanket. If you’ve been crocheting a long time and have lots of scraps, I’m betting you could create a beautiful stash-busting project with this design. I’m planning on buying yarn for this in blues and purples, maybe a little green. After that, I will probably have enough for my own stash-buster project.



Magic Rainbow Baby Blanket from Tamara Kelly, Moogly.

Tamara at Moogly recently posted a pattern for a very colorful and contemporary granny square baby blanket – Magic Rainbow Baby Blanket. I love the way it uses color to create a gradient, using those same colors in the bold border. The colorful “flowers” really stand out against the white used in the outer bands of the squares and the grey used to connect the squares.



All Angles Throw from Red Heart

Red Heart’s All Angles Throw is a simple but beautiful design using squares and rectangles. As usual, I’m drawn to the blue colors in the photographed version, but I imagine the possibilities are endless, from tonal variations to a rainbow of colors. This would be a great throw for your living room or a small child’s favorite blanket.



Good and Evil Granny Crochet Block from DD Hines.

Finally, the Good and Evil Granny Crochet Blanket from DD Hines isn’t so much modern as a creative way to crochet and assemble granny squares to create an afghan that resembles a log cabin quilt. I think it may take me some time to get the colors just right for the look I want when I decide to stitch this, but the effort will be well worth it.

I’d love to see your favorite granny square designs, especially anything you have made yourself.




Leave a comment


  1. Sierra

     /  December 29, 2014

    I’m trying to find if anyone has a video of how to make these squares. I desperately want to make this for my husband, but am not good at reading patterns, but pick up on watching videos. Any help would be amazing! I can’t find one anywhere


  2. Hi Sierra, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. There are a lot of different types of granny squares out there. Are you looking for one of the specific types from the post? Maybe I can help you find what you are looking for.


  3. Sierra, I found some good ones on Moogly blog: one for a solid color traditional Granny, one for a multi-color traditional Granny, and one for a solid Granny. Try a search on YouTube for “granny square” and you should be able to find more.



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