Would you like to crochet a project using granny squares — perhaps a blanket, pillow, tote bag, hat or pair of slippers? Maybe you’d like to know how to crochet granny squares that have gorgeous flower designs in their centers — or other interesting focal points like snowflakes, windmills or hearts.
If these ideas sound appealing to you, I’d like to introduce you to a book you’re going to love. It’s called Granny Squares: Over 25 Creative Ways to Crochet the Classic Pattern.
What You Need to Know About This Crochet Book:
Authors: Stephanie Göhr, Melanie Sturm and Barbara Wilder
Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books
Copyright Date: 2012
ISBN 13: 978-1-57076-525-4
This book is available in multiple formats:
I am reviewing a hardcover copy of the book.
Number of Pages: 79
Cover Price: $19.95 US dollars
Skill Level: Skill level ratings are assigned to these projects on a scale of 1-3, with 1 being the easiest. There are many easy projects in this book suitable for beginners. Most of the projects in this book are not difficult, but there are a few that might challenge you, like the lovely carnation granny square used for making a three-dimensional trivet.
The Best Things About This Book
This book offers an outstanding value for the money you spend on it. You get 23 square patterns plus patterns and instructions for 26 finished projects. That’s a huge number of ideas packed into 79 pages — 49+ ideas in all!
This is a pretty book filled with beautiful, colorful projects and an abundance of creative inspiration. Even at times when you’re not actively crocheting, you’re likely to enjoy owning this book and looking through it. When you have crochet time available, this book offers you patterns and projects that empower you to make the most of the time you spend.
The book includes color photographs, international symbol crochet charts, and written-out text patterns. There are some diagrams, photo tutorials and basic reference information included as well. You’re covered no matter how you like your crochet instructions to be presented.
This book gives you instructions for a wonderful variety of granny squares. Some of the squares presented in the book are basic, and some of them have strong “personality”. Whether your sense of style is romantic, sophisticated, bold, traditional, contemporary, retro or modern, you’ll find options that are likely to appeal to you.
You also get patterns and instructions for how to use these granny squares to make finished projects.
Some of the other granny square books on the market do not include finished project ideas or pattern instructions; they leave it to you to figure out how to use the granny squares they teach you how to make. If you aren’t confident of your abilities to design your own finished projects, this is a compelling reason to choose this book over some of the other competing granny square crochet books.
Let’s say, for example, you want to make a granny square blanket. This book includes three lovely blanket patterns where all the math has been done for you. These blanket patterns include edging instructions, empowering you to achieve a harmonious finished look when you crochet your blankets.
If you were to buy one of the granny square books that only has instructions for crocheting the squares, you’d have to either design your own edgings or buy a separate book of edging patterns. You’d also have to do all the calculations required to make a particular edging pattern workable with your blanket design.
Of course, if you have ideas for how you want to use the granny squares you make from this book, you certainly have the option to design your own projects. Or you can use the project ideas in this book as starting points to draw inspiration from when you customize your own projects. For example, perhaps you could use the pillow cover pictured on the front cover of the book as inspiration for making a larger granny square afghan using the same motif patterns, colors and scalloped edging.
There are some unique and unusual project ideas included in this book, giving you yet another reason to choose this book over similar titles. Everyone knows you can make a blanket out of granny squares, but have you ever seen instructions for using grannies to make a coat rack or bread basket? I hadn’t — until I picked up a copy of this book.
There’s a wonderful variety of projects here; you’ll find some typical granny square projects like pillows and slippers in addition to the more unusual ideas.
I worked one of the granny squares in this book — the “cornflower” granny square — to test the written instructions. I found them clear and easy to follow, and it was a satisfying project overall. I’m sure I’ll be working more of these patterns in the future.
Finished Granny Square Crochet Projects Included in This Book:
1. Colorful Crochet Granny Square Bolster Pillow
This pretty pillow is every bit as gorgeous as the two projects shown on the front cover of the book. The bolster is a versatile design that would be lovely to use whether you’re decorating a romantic boudoir for yourself, a colorful little girl’s bedroom or another cozy nook in your home.
I love quite a few of the projects in this book, but this one’s my favorite.
2. Snuggly Crochet Granny Square Baby Blanket
This is a unisex baby blanket. The project sample is crocheted in boy-friendly colors, but it would be appropriate for baby girls with some easy color changes.
3. Cheery Bath Set
Customize any plain towels and bath linens you have on hand with granny squares to make a stylish bath set.
4. Charming Wall Coat Rack
Get your closet, foyer, mud room or child’s bedroom organized with this charming wall-mounted hook organizer. This piece would also work well for hanging up towels in the bathroom or aprons in the kitchen. I want to make a few of these for my home, and I would be surprised if you don’t find them appealing as well.
5. Romantic Pillow Cover
This is one of the gorgeous projects featured on the front cover of the book.
6. Cuddly Blanket
This is the stunning floral blanket pictured on the front cover.
7. Eyeglasses Case
This clever project will give you a good reason to sit down and transform your oddball yarn scraps into granny squares. You only need 5 squares and a few other supplies to create this quick little glasses case.
8. Retro Table Runner
This colorful table runner looks like it would be an interesting crochet project. You make it using 6 colors of yarn plus the 3 patchwork granny square patterns from the beginning section of the book.
I think this is a fantastic idea for a granny square crochet project, but if I were to make this, I’d want to modify the pattern to make the table runner wider. The finished project sample pictured in the book is only 6.25 inches wide, whereas the table runner I currently use on my table is about 16.5 inches wide. Before you buy yarn for this project, I’d recommend checking the measurements of your own table linens and table to figure out whether or not you’d want to adjust the pattern.
9. Stylish Shopping Bag
This bag includes instructions for sewing the lining. It’s wonderful that these instructions are included, because some competing crochet pattern books gloss over this part of the finishing or omit the lining instructions all together.
10. Gorgeous Bedspread
This is a classic granny square blanket pattern with lots of appeal. It would be lovely in a variety of settings, particularly in traditional, romantic or cottage-style interiors.
11. Contemporary Floor Pillow
This is a super easy project with lots of style.
12. Amazing Wall Art
I think this is one of the most inspiring and valuable projects in the book. If you’re artistically inclined, you could group small granny squares together to create pixel-art type pictures and more — and these instructions show you how to use your granny square images to make art projects you can hang on your walls instead of paintings. The sample project only scratches the surface of what’s possible, and there are lots of different ways to take this idea and run with it.
13. Practical Tote Bag
This fun tote would be ideal for keeping children’s blocks, action figures or small toys organized, but there are plenty of other ways you could use it.
14. Iconic Stool Cover
This is an eye-catching piece that you could use for adding color and pizzazz to your bar, breakfast nook or dining area. I like to keep a step-stool in my closet that would also benefit from the addition of such a pretty cover.
15. Fruit Basket
This decorative basket would be a lovely way to display fruit on your kitchen counter, dining room table or coffee table.
16. Floral Trivet
You can never have too many trivets at home, and this fun pattern gives you practical instructions for crocheting one.
17. Breadbasket with Delicate Blooms
If you’d ever want to make a box for any purpose, these instructions are definitely worth having in your pattern stash. The bread basket is one creative way to use them, but I’m sure you’ll think of plenty of additional ideas.
18. Placemat and Napkin Rings
Dress up your kitchen or dining room table with these stylish accents.
19. Button-on Mug Cozy
These retro mug cozies will help to keep your hot beverages hot and your cold drinks cold — plus they’re really cute too.
20. Slouchy Crochet Beanie Hat Pattern
Slouchy hats have been ultra-trendy crochet projects lately — and this fun hat is an interesting twist on the trend that incorporates granny squares.
21. Hip Hugger Wrap
This is a really neat wardrobe piece that not everyone will appreciate; it’s what looks like an extra-wide hippie-style granny square belt.
The project photo shows this piece worn overtop of a casual fitted denim dress. In general, the styling in this book is excellent, but I think it missed the mark in this one instance. Overtop of the denim dress, this piece looks weird and out of place, but I think it would be amazing worn over gypsy skirts or flowing bohemian-style dresses.
22. Ruffle-edge Stole
This would make a nice prayer shawl or comfort shawl for friends or charity crochet projects.
23. Stylish Wrist Warmers
These wrist warmers are simple but chic. They have ruffles at the edges for a feminine touch.
24. Favorite Woolly Slippers
My husband has snarky things to say about most crochet projects, but he had nothing critical to say about these slippers. He thought they looked really cool and high-end.
25. Tea Light Candle Holder
This was another project my husband thinks is really nice.
26. Handy Little Pouch
This pouch is the right size for storing your iPhone or other gadget, but you can change the size if there’s another type of holder you want to make.
Want to look inside this book? Amazon has a preview of this book posted on their website.
The 23 Granny Squares Included in This Book:
- Basic Square 1 — This is the solid-colored basic granny square that many beginners learn how to make as their first crochet project.
- Basic Square 2 — This is the basic granny square with color changes added; it’s a granny square in 3 rounds using 3 different colors.
- Lattice Square 1 — This is an interesting multicolored granny square with 8 rounds; you could use up to 8 different yarn colors for crocheting it.
- Lattice Square 2 — This is a solid-colored granny square with 8 rounds.
- Star 1 — The center of this square is a six-pointed star that to my eyes actually looks more like a small flower than a star. This is the solid-colored version of the design.
- Star 2 — This square looks the same as the solid-colored version except for color changes. There are 3 rounds total, so you can use up to 3 different yarns when you crochet this.
- Honeycomb — This granny square project sample is 6 rounds and 3 different colors.
- Netting — This pretty square makes use of crochet v stitches and has 5 rounds.
- Heart — This is a stuffed heart motif that you can appliqué to a granny square, or, for that matter, other types of squares or projects.
- Windmill — The focal point of this square is a motif that could be either a windmill or a flower with 4 petals.
- Full Moon — This square features a round moon-like central motif.
- Pearl — The focal point of this square is a design that looks like a flower.
- Primrose — This is a bold, dramatic floral design with 7 rounds.
- Cornflower — This is the granny square pattern featured in the romantic pillow cover pictured on the front cover of the book.
- Daisy — This is an attractive 8-round granny square that does look like a daisy if crocheted using appropriate yarn colors; it could look like a different sort of flower if you use other yarn colors.
- Little Flower Bouquet — This is a gorgeous little 5-round granny square featuring a flower motif in the center.
- Starfish — To me this looks more like another flower than it does a starfish, but it’s a lovely and distinctive design.
- Dog Rose — This is the granny square used to make the stunning floral afghan pictured on the front cover of the book.
- Snowflake — The central motif of this granny square could be either a snowflake or a ship’s wheel, depending on the colors you use for crocheting it.
- Carnation — This three-dimensional granny square has 9 rounds and a textured flower motif in the center.
- Patchwork 1 — This is an interesting textured granny square that makes use of relief stitches. It’s the tiniest in the series of patchwork squares, with only 2 rounds.
- Patchwork 2 — This square is larger coordinate that goes with the first patchwork granny square mentioned above. This square is 6 rounds.
- Patchwork 3 — Yet another, larger coordinating square worked using relief stitches. This one’s 12 rounds, and it’s spectacular.
This Book’s Shortcomings
This book includes photo tutorials for how to work some of the basic crochet stitches, including double crochet, half double crochet and treble crochet — but there are no instructions for single crochet. The instructions for how to do a chain ring also do not show you a detailed tutorial for how to crochet the chain stitch.
If you’ve already learned how to crochet, you’re unlikely to notice or care that this info is missing.
If you’re a complete beginner, and you’ve never crocheted before, these omissions make it necessary for you to seek an additional resource on the topic of how to crochet — because this book doesn’t give you every last detail you need to know. However, this is no big deal, because the book gives you most of the info you need and the missing bits are widely available in other books and online.
If you only want to buy one book and this is one that strongly appeals to you, I suggest buying this book and supplementing it using the
free instructions for chain stitch and single crochet that are posted online at knittingandcrochet.net.
This book doesn’t set out to be a thorough, exhaustive introduction to crochet and its various stitches. A reference like that is a wise investment for any crochet enthusiast; if you’re able to buy more than one book, I suggest buying this one plus a stitch dictionary that includes all the basic crochet stitches plus others too. Sarah Hazell’s Crochet Stitch Dictionary is one possibility that I love and recommend, but there are many worthwhile crochet stitch dictionaries.
Things to Be Aware of Before You Buy This Book
This book was originally written in German, and it has been translated into English. I haven’t noticed any oddities with the translation; it was done well.
I was concerned that perhaps North American crocheters might have difficulty in finding the German yarns recommended in these patterns, so I went looking for them online and found that they are available. You can click here to find one good source for buying them, and other sources are listed in the back of the book as well.
Of course, you do not need to use the suggested yarns to get great results with these patterns. The authors of the book encourage you to use your yarn remnants when you make your grannies — and you can crochet gorgeous granny squares with just about any yarn you happen to have available.
Granny Squares: Over 25 Creative Ways to Crochet the Classic Pattern is a book I’d recommend to any crochet enthusiast who is interested in learning how to crochet a granny square or finding creative granny square patterns to work on.
Where to Buy This Book:
This book is included on our list of best crochet motif patterns. Click here to see the entire list.
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This review was posted on 9/12/2016.