Granny squares are a classic crochet motif. You can make anything out of them. They grace sweaters, scarves, blankets, pet clothes -- and they don't even have to be square! They can be circles, hexagons, or any shape you want.
The exact origins of the granny square are unknown (like much of the history of yarncraft), though one was published in 1897 as a "Patchwork Square" in Weldon's Practical Needlework (source), though it isn't entirely clear where the name came from. Regardless of the fuzzy (no yarn pun intended) beginning, the granny square is now an absolute staple.
One great thing about these squares is that that they're actually not hard to make! While there are a lot of variations, and some are undoubtedly more complicated than others, if you can make a chain, double crochet, slip stitch, and work in the round, you can make one. If you're taking part in my Learn to Crochet series, you're almost there. We'll be tackling crochet in the round in a couple of weeks, then you'll have all the skills you need!
Tweed Stripes® -- which is on sale through Thursday -- is a great yarn for grannies. The multicolor style adds interest to your squares, and for some projects that means you don; have to keep changing yarn every row. Who doesn't love having fewer ends to weave in?
I know what you're thinking -- what if I knit? Can I make the same thing without having to learn a whole new craft?
Well, the answer to that is -- you can, but also you can't. If you only knit, you can make squares that emulate the style of the classic granny, but you won't achieve the exact same look. Make a mitered square! They recreate the concept without being identical. You can make very cool motifs with this technique, and it's as useful and versatile as its crocheted counterpart.