Toward a more perfect granny square

As anyone who has ever crocheted a large granny square knows, after a certain point, the square becomes a little less square and a little more wonky.

This could be seen a bit in my most recent large granny square project:

crochet granny square baby blanket
Blocked and ready for adventure

with the edges curving by the time I was thirty-six rounds out, and it is more obvious in my as-yet-to-be finished scrap great granny square blanket where the curving edges almost makes the result square appear to dance:

great granny square
My great granny square

My quest for a somewhat squarer granny square took on a new urgency as I got it into my head that I wanted to make a crochet bag to rival a large leather bag I found online the body of which was essentially two squares with two very long, very skinny rectangles made into straps.

The bag was not lined, it had no closure, it retailed for $240, and it was sold out.

I figured that with a granny square as the foundation of the design, I could make a large, completely riveting piece for a fraction of the cost; so I got to work.

Since the March 17, 2015, when I made my first granny square using the method outlined in America’s Crochet Book by Gertrude Taylor (no chains between the three dc shells and a very modest chain-1 corner), it has been my go-to granny square for making purses.

Using worsted weight yarn and a 4.0 mm hook, it produces a firm, tidy square that is incredibly versatile and has also proved to be incredibly durable. However, despite all these wonderful qualities, it can still get wonky after 12 rounds or so, and this bag will be at least 18 rounds.

My first effort to get a very square square involved crocheting one round with my right hand and the next round with my left hand. I got five rounds in before I stopped:

My reasons for doing so were twofold.

One, my gauge (particularly the height of my stitches) was different from left to right.

Two, while I can get a fairly tidy stitch crocheting with my non-dominant hand (which for me is my left), it takes a very long time; time I felt could be better used making more granny squares.

So my next effort involved a systematic shift of the corner where I would start each round.

The result was a square that was still very square, but that took much less time to crochet than when I switched my crocheting hand:

How I accomplished this is better seen by looking at the back:

After I finished each round, I would weave in the end that was generated from the ending join just enough for me to crochet over it, and I would start the next round of the square in the corner to the immediate right of the corner where I had just finished (If you crochet left-handed you would want to crochet in the corner to the immediate left of the corner you had just finished).

The result is that wonkiness is more evenly distributed and much less apparent.

And now that I have the particulars of this square figured out, all that is left to do is for me to crochet the bag.

Related posts: Granny squares by the books
The sublime nature of the granny square

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