What Size Crochet Hook is best for Granny Squares?
Crocheting a granny square is a fun project, whatever your crochet level. Even seasoned and accomplished crocheters return to granny squares again and again for the simple pleasure that comes from making them. Granny squares are a classic beginner project and tutorials abound all over the internet. You can make granny squares with any spare yarn you have to hand. However, the question can then arise: what size crochet hook is best for granny squares?
Choosing the right crochet hook size plays an important role in not only the final appearance of your project but also in the ease of making it. Several factors come into play when deciding on the perfect hook size, including the yarn weight, personal tension, and desired outcome.
Fundamentals of Granny Squares
Granny squares are a classic crochet motif that can be used to create a variety of projects, from blankets and scarves to bags and clothing. You can make “traditional” granny squares, such as those shown above, or “solid” granny squares, both of which are described below.
Traditional Granny Squares
The traditional granny square typically consists of around three to five rounds (although you can have many more) and features clusters of three double crochet stitches formed between the clusters of the previous round. Some patterns include a chain space between clusters whereas other omit this for a slightly tighter look. The corner spaces are typically formed with either one or two chain stitches.
Solid Granny Squares
Solid granny squares, unlike traditional squares, do not have “clusters” of double crochet stitches, or chain spaces (except at the corners). Rather, they consist entirely of double crochet stitches formed into the tops of the double crochet stitches from the previous round, and the corner spaces. The lack of open spaces in this pattern provides a denser and more substantial fabric.
Solid granny squares provide a great basis for tapestry crochet patterns, creating wonderful tile-like squares.
They also look great when opposite halves across the diagonal are made in different colors. This kind of square is often known as a “two-tone” granny square and when you join lots of them together you can create some wonderful geometric patterns reminiscent of quilts.
How to Choose the Best Crochet Hook Size for Your Granny Squares
Choosing the correct hook size is essential for creating an attractive and consistent granny square.
Considerations when choosing a crochet hook include:
- The type of yarn used: The yarn’s thickness, or “weight,” will be key in determining the appropriate hook size.
- The desired finished size: Smaller hook sizes create smaller squares, while larger hooks yield bigger squares.
- The desired drape: Larger hooks with create larger stitches resulting in a looser square with more drape.
Yarn weight is the first aspect to consider when selecting a crochet hook size for your granny square. Generally, lighter weight yarns require smaller hooks, while thicker yarns demand larger hooks. Each yarn label typically includes a recommended hook size range that can be used as a starting point. However, you’ll also want to consider personal tension, as each crocheter has a unique grip and working style.
Some individuals crochet tightly, while others have a looser approach. This can affect the final size and feel of your granny square. Work up a small swatch, using a few different crochet hook sizes around the recommended size to determine which hook achieves your desired outcome.
Some popular crochet hook sizes for making granny squares with different yarn weights are:
|Yarn Weight||Crochet Hook Size|
|Lightweight / DK||US E/4 (3.5mm)|
|Worsted / Aran||US H/8 (5.0mm)|
|Bulky / Chunky||US L/11 (8.0mm)|
Additional Crochet Hook Selection Considerations
As well as the size of your crochet hook, you may also wish to consider which material it should be make from and what type of hook to use. These aspects of crochet hook selection are discussed below.
Crochet Hook Materials
Various materials can be used to create crochet hooks, with the choice often dependent on personal preference and intended project outcome. Here are some of the most common materials, each with their pros and cons:
- Aluminum: Lightweight and durable, aluminum hooks are easy to find and great for any level of experience, but can be somewhat slippery with certain yarns.
- Plastic: Inexpensive and available in a wide range of sizes, these hooks are a popular choice for beginners, but might not offer the same durability as metal or wooden hooks.
- Wood or Bamboo: Yielding a warm and comfortable feel, these hooks work nicely with different yarns and create an enjoyable crocheting experience. However, they may not be as durable as aluminum or plastic hooks.
Crochet hooks come in a variety of types, each designed for specific functions or styles. Some notable types include:
- Inline: These hooks have a consistent diameter and a sharp, straight edge, making yarn placement easy and precise.
- Tapered: With a gradually increasing diameter and rounded tip, these hooks allow for smooth yarn handling and transition between stitches.
- Ergonomic: Designed to reduce hand strain during extended periods of crocheting, ergonomic hooks are available in both inline and tapered styles and often feature cushioned handles.
For more tips and advice about choosing the best crochet hook for a beginner, have a read of this article.
As mentioned above, solid granny squares provide a wonderful starting point for creative colorwork designs, using tapestry crochet in particular.
There are several methods to join granny squares. Some popular methods include:
- Slip stitch join: Use a crochet hook to slip stitch between the loops of the squares, attaching them together.
- Single crochet join: Single crochet the squares together by placing the hook through loops of each square and completing a single crochet stitch.
- Whipstitch or mattress stitch: With a needle and yarn, sew the squares together using a whipstitch or mattress stitch, creating a flat and invisible seam.
- Join-as-you-go: As you complete each granny square, join it to the existing squares with a series of slip stitches or single crochet stitches.
When you have completed your squares (and either before or after joining), you may notice that some squares are not of uniform size or are slightly misshapen. To fix this issue, you can use blocking techniques to make your squares appear more uniform and professional.
Here’s a simple guide to blocking your granny squares:
- Gather your materials: blocking mats, pins, and a water spray bottle.
- Lay your joined squares on the blocking mat in the desired layout.
- Pin the corners of each square to the mat, gently stretching the square to achieve the desired shape.
- Spray the squares with water, dampening them slightly.
- Allow the squares to air dry completely before removing the pins.
Blocking can be done individually for each square before joining, but it can often be more convenient to block the entire project at once. You can find out more about blocking here.
For a polished and professional look, some simple finishing touches can go a long way. Here are a few tips to ensure a high-quality finished project:
- Border: Add a border to your assembled granny squares to present a clean edge and add stability to your project. Choose a border pattern that complements the granny square design and works well with the chosen joining technique.
- Weaving in Ends: Weave your ends back and forth a few times through the adjoining stitches using a yarn needle. This prevents unraveling.
- Washing and Drying: Gently wash your finished project according to its yarn care instructions. Lay it flat to air dry, ensuring that it maintains its shape and size.
Whether working with a simple square or more complex designs, following these guidelines for assembling and finishing your granny square project will help you achieve stunning results.
Granny Square Project Ideas
Granny squares are extremely versatile and they can be used in a whole range of different projects. Some examples include:
- Blankets and Afghans
- Table Runners
For more discussion of this as well as some more specific granny square pattern and project ideas, check out this article.
What Size Crochet Hook is best for Granny Squares? Conclusion
Selecting the appropriate crochet hook size is crucial for creating a beautiful granny square. Ultimately, the size of the hook will determine the tightness or looseness of the stitches in the finished product.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a crochet hook size including the type of yarn used, the desired finished size, and the desired drape. Use the yarn label’s suggested hook size as a starting point and try making your granny square with different hook sizes to find the perfect size for you and your project.
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