Anatomy of the Granny Square – Part 2

Hi folks.

Time for another crochet nerd post. Today’s topic is where to start a granny square.  Yup a whole post.


A  few things to note  before I start :

  • All terms stated here are UK crochet terms (just replace tr with dc, and dc with sc US folks)
  • To begin, you can do the good ol’ chain 4 & join into a circle or the magic circle as I talked about last time in this post.
  • Some methods below mention “false tr”. It  is also called “chainless start”.  This is a lil trick I have learned to replace the 3 ch with.  If you’d like to learn how, check out TXCr1cket’s videos.  (I don’t use the paper clip, but you might like to until you get the hang of it.  It is tricky at first, but I think its worth persevering for)

Where to start a Granny Square

If you do a simple Google search on how to crochet a granny square, you will see a lot of different ideas on where to start.  Let’s have a look at some of the ways I’ve come across. I am sure there are others, these are just the ones I have found so far.  

Option 1

First tr of first corner 3 tr shell, ss to the corner to start each round.  I don’t like having to ss to the corner – that row of ss stands out to me just as much as the 3 ch.

with ss along

Option 2a

Along a side somewhere not turning after each round.  This avoids the ss to corner like above but it stands out like a sore thumb eh?

along side


Option 2b

Along the side somewhere, turning after each round. I don’t like the look of the square with the wrong sides of stitches showing every second round. And again that 3 ch stands out big time.

along side turning


Option 3a

Last tr of first corner 3 tr shell. The 3 chain gets a little hidden, and for some reason with this method that corner has a bigger hole than the other corners.

3rd tr of 1st shell

Option 3b

Last tr of first corner 3 tr shell with one less chain than the pattern calls for in starting corner only. It’s still not perfect, but it’s not as objectionable to me.  It’s easy to get to the starting point for your next round and its not fiddly to start your next round. Still, that 3 ch gets lost a bit so those shells can look smaller.

3rd tr 1st shell 1 ch

Option 3c

False tr instead of 3 ch for last tr of first corner 3 tr shell.   This is the method I use when I am hooking things other than granny squares.  But with your average granny, using this starting method it really doesn’t make much difference to the 3 ch above.  Well not that I can see. The false tr can still get a little hidden.

false tr 2

Option 4a

First tr of second corner 3 tr shell.  Now this one is almost invisible.  Almost.  The 3 chain is visible, but the thing I don’t like most is how you have to kinda work backwards a bit when you start each round. Its fiddly. You have to crochet over the top of the previous round’s treble. To me, that shell on each round is wonky in comparison to the rest because of that. I know I could turn it and it wouldn’t be wonky, but as I said above, I don’t like seeing the wrong side of the stitches.

1st of second

Option 4b

First tr of second corner 3 tr shell joining with a ch 1, and dc into 3rd ch of starting chain (instead of 2 ch and ss.) This one has promise!  It’s just the 3 ch that stands out and it’s not wonky as you are not working backwards with your first shell.

3 ch dc for join

Option 4c

False tr in place of 3 ch as first tr of second corner 3 tr shell joined with a ch 1, dc into false tr (instead of  2 ch and ss to false tr.)  For me, this is IT!  It is the most invisible method.  The only thing I’d say is that in your last round, I’d end with ch 2 and ss to false tr.  It just finishes it off a little better if you are not adding a border to your squares. (I didn’t do that in the pictured square)

false r dc join

So what do you think?  I know – I’m a bit obsessive haha.  What’s your favourite method for starting a good ol’ granny?  Are there more ways I have missed?  Let me know and I’ll try them out 🙂

Next time I’ll look at changing colours just for Granny Squares.  It will be a little while before I can get to it but it will be soon.  See you then 🙂

xx Shelley


  1. Bernadette B

    Lots of good points however I guess I’m the more relaxed kind of crocheter. The method with the paper clip is way too fiddly for me, and I guess I wonder who is going to notice when you’re looking at say a blanket of the squares although I admire your eye for detail. I do agree with the no turning though I never do in granny’s I don’t like the look of it either!

    • Shelley Husband

      I know, I know I am a bit of a perfectionist with some things as you may well have noticed 😉 These thing bother me but I know there are many folks who don’t see them.

      I don’t use the paperclip on the false tr as I find that too fiddly, but it works well enough for me without it. Its particularly useful when working in circles 🙂

      I’m glad I’m not alone on the turning 🙂

      • Bernadette

        Ok will have to revisit without the paper clip! ????

        • Bernadette B

          Weird my emoticons are appearing as question marks!

  2. Tess

    lolol… 🙂

    • Shelley Husband

      I know Tess – I know. pedant? Maybe….maybe hehe

  3. Emily

    I love your eye for detail, such a great post, very interesting. I will be revisiting this on again when I start up the next granny project. I’m off to explore all your other posts now – I have inly just been shown your blog 🙂

    • Shelley Husband

      Welcome Emily – sorry I just saw your comment now 🙂 Glad you found this interesting. I hope you find some more fun stuff on your look around 🙂

  4. Hani

    Found you through craftgawker. Interesting article. I haven’t made that many grannies but have “experimented” with different ways as well. Looking forward to your research write-up on changing colours next 😉

    • Shelley Husband

      Thanks Hani 🙂 That post is still in the works. I’m hoping to find time to finish it off in the next few weeks though.

  5. Daniela

    On your examples I like the 3b and 3c variations. I don´t like the option 4c – even when the starting point is almost invisible, I think the holes are not squares and it´s worse for my eyes than the visible crossings 😉

    • Shelley Husband

      Fair enough Daniela 🙂 My eyes are drawn to the stitches, you must see the holes LOL Whatever works for you is cool 🙂

  6. Virginia

    I am having trouble with the False tr (also called a chainless start). I understand how to do it but I am having trouble holding the loop and not letting it slip while making it. Do you have any suggestions on not letting the loop slip.


    • Shelley Husband

      Apart from studying both the video mentioned here and my vimeo version of the same thing, I really don’t know what to suggest Virginia. I will say it took me many, many attempts and a couple of “I give up!” moments. I just kept trying until one day I was able to do it. Maybe try searching for other people’s videos as you just may need to see or hear one slightly different thing to make you go – Ah-huh!



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