Retro chunky granny squares

Free tutorial: retro granny square - Crafternoon Treats

This free crochet tutorial shows step-by-step how to make the chunky retro granny square used in my retro granny stash bag. You can use the motifs for anything and make them larger or smaller than here. They would make a fabulous retro granny square blanket too…

Quick links:

What you need

  • Stylecraft Chunky or any similar weight chunky yarn in a selection of colours.
  • Size 6mm (size J) hook
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle for weaving in ends

BAGALONG June 2015 note: Second time round I am using a 5mm hook to give a firmer square and adding two rounds to get the same 12 inch (30cm) size 🙂

Round 1

I used denim, a lovely slate blue to start off. Leaving a long tail, I made four starting chains and joined with a slip stitch to form a ring. After making three more chains, I then made 11 trebles into the ring and joined with a slip stitch to the third chain of the first stitch. At this point I had 12 stitches and had completed round 1.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

A note about weaving in ends

Chunky acrylic yarn is not easy to control when it comes to tail ends. They come undone very easily so you need to really fix them into your crochet fabric well. This is how I do it…

I leave a long tail end – about 30cm (12 inches). I pull the yarn backwards and forwards through the top of the stitches of the round just finished. In the next round, these stitches are crocheted over, so that holds the ends securely. Leave both tails from round one – do not cut them as we haven’t finished with them yet!

BAGALONG June 2015 note – if you use a 5mm hook, the crochet is tighter and the ends don’t slip out as much. I have still woven them in well though 🙂

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

Round 2

Start round 2 in your next colour. You will crochet through both loops of each treble in the previous round. Start a few stitches to the right relative to where your yarn ends have ended up…

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

To expand the circle you make two trebles into each treble in the previous round. Start by crocheting over the tail end of this round and the tail end from round 1 that you have just woven through the tops of the stitches. After a few stitches, leave the tail ends to hang from the back of your work.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

At the end of the round, join to the third chain of the first stitch with a slip stitch. You should have 24 stitches in total. Fasten off the yarn from round 2 and weave in the ends through the tops of the stitches as before.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon TreatsRound 3

Join your next colour as before and then crochet three chains and two trebles into the space between the pairs of trebles from the previous round. Crochet over both your tail ends for a few stitches as before, then leave them at the back of your work. When the round is complete, join with a slip stitch into the third chain of your first stitch.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

At the end of round 3 you will have 12 treble clusters, so 36 stitches in total. Weave in the ends as before.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

Dealing with the ends from rounds 1 and 2

Although you have already woven in your ends and crocheted over them, you now need to weave them in further and tie them off. This method seems to be the strongest surest way of making sure the chunky yarn does not unravel…

BAGALONG JUNE 2015 note: in my second bag I have woven in the ends very thoroughly but I have not tied the yarn in a knot at the end. You can’t see the knots but they sort of make me feel uncomfortable 🙂

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

You now have a neat back and front. Leave your tails from round three for the moment.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon TreatsRound 4

In this round you will convert the circle to a square. Join the next colour yarn as before and make three chains and two trebles into the one of the spaces between the treble clusters in the previous round. In the next space, make three trebles.

Now the corner. Make two trebles, two chains and two trebles in the next space. Then continue making two treble clusters and a corner all the way round. Close the round with a slip stitch as before. Deal with the ends of round 3 as before, weaving in, bringing the two tails close to each other, then tying off with a triple knot.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

Round 5

You will see that your square is not very sharp. Its a bit bulgy. We correct this in round 5. Join the next colour yarn as before. Make two chains this time and then two half trebles into a space between the treble clusters of the previous round. Make three half treble clusters into the next two spaces. At the corner make two trebles, two chains and two trebles as before. Then, along the sides of the square, make three clusters of half trebles.

The difference in height  between the trebles and the half trebles will square off the motif…

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

Round 6

Yes this is round 6 – it says 5 in the photo but that is an error, sorry…

Join as before and then use trebles all the way round. You should have four treble clusters along the sides of the square and four corners, each with two trebles, two chains and two trebles. Close off the round with a slip stitch and weave in the tails as before.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

Rounds 7, 8, 9 and beyond!

You now carry on joining a new yarn colour as before, making clusters of trebles and making the corners in exactly the same way. The square will grow and can be as large as you want.

Free tutorial retro chunky granny square Crafternoon Treats

The minimum size is up to the end of round 6 as this gives a sturdy well shaped square with no hint of its circular origins.

For my retro granny stash bag, I stopped at round 10 but if you want to make a bigger bag, or a large blanket motif, just keep going.

BAGALONG June 2015 note: when I used a 5mm hook, the square produced was smaller so I went up to round 12 to get a 12 inch square 🙂

You can also make a giant retro granny square blanket!

For a bit of fun, here is what one might look like made with the motifs I’ve done so far:

The minimum size is up to the end of round 6 as this gives a sturdy well shaped square with no hint of its circular origins.  For my retro granny stash bag, I stopped at round 9 but if you want to make a bigger bag, or a large blanket motif, just keep going. You can also make a giant retro granny square blanket!

Quick links:

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11 thoughts on “Retro chunky granny squares

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Thanks Flora – I am launching a boggling (?? I meant bagalong…) tomorrow if you want to join in. See my FB page or IG account or my blog home page xxx

  1. shaelyn says:

    Love your retro bag. Approx how big are your squares?.I would like to try making it in dk yarn from my stash
    thank you

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Hi Shaelyn – my squares were approx 30cm using chunky yarn but you could make them bigger or smaller by using more or less rounds. If you use dk yarn I would recommend using it double for extra strength. Two strands of DK worked together come out very similar to using one strand of chunky I’ve found xxxxxxxxx

    • Crafternoon Treats says:

      Hello – thats fantastic!!! I think you certainly can do your own charity blanket (you don’t need my permission) 🙂 Good Luck!!!

  2. Pingback: A funny February - Crafternoon Treats

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