How To Make A Granny Square Cardigan?

Here are the general steps to make a granny square cardigan:

  1. Crochet Granny Squares: The first step is to crochet granny squares. The number of squares you need depends on the size of the cardigan you want to make. For example, one pattern requires 38 (XS), 70 (M), or 140 (5XL) squares1. Another pattern requires 54 (S), 78 (M), 96 (L), or 125 (XL) squares4. You can use any granny square pattern you like6.
  2. Lay Out Squares: Once you have all the squares, lay them out in the desired pattern. Join the squares together with a whip stitch, trying to match the sewing yarn to at least one edge of the square color2.
  3. Add Edging: Finally, add an edge of double crochet stitches around the entire cardigan1.
How To Make A Granny Square Cardigan?

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Choosing the Right Yarn and Hook

Selecting the Yarn

When it comes to making a granny square cardigan, choosing the right yarn is crucial. You want to select a yarn that not only feels comfortable against your skin but also has the durability to withstand regular use. Consider the season in which you plan to wear the cardigan – a lighter, breathable yarn would be ideal for warmer months, while a thicker, cozy yarn would be perfect for chilly winters. Additionally, think about the drape you desire for your cardigan. Some yarns have a more structured, stiff appearance, while others have a soft, flowing quality. Take your personal preferences into account when making your selection.

Finding the Appropriate Hook Size

Once you have chosen the yarn, it’s time to find the perfect hook size. The size of the hook will determine the size and tension of your granny squares, and ultimately, the fit of your cardigan. If you prefer a looser, more relaxed look, opt for a larger-sized hook. On the other hand, if you want a tighter, snug fit, go for a smaller-sized hook. Keep in mind that the size of the hook and the weight of the yarn should complement each other. A thicker yarn may require a larger hook to achieve the desired gauge, while a finer yarn may call for a smaller hook size. Experiment with different hook sizes until you find the one that gives you the desired tension and appearance.

Considering the Fiber Content

In addition to considering the yarn weight and hook size, it’s essential to think about the fiber content of the yarn. Different fibers have distinctive qualities that can greatly impact the look and feel of your granny square cardigan. Natural fibers such as cotton, wool, and bamboo are breathable, hypoallergenic, and have excellent moisture-wicking properties. They are perfect for creating lightweight and comfortable cardigans. Synthetic fibers like acrylic and nylon are often more affordable and come in a wide range of colors and textures. They can add durability and elasticity to your cardigan. Blend yarns, which combine different fibers, offer a balance between the qualities of each fiber. Take into account the specific characteristics you want in your cardigan and choose a yarn that aligns with your preferences.

Creating Granny Squares

Understanding the Basic Granny Square Pattern

Before diving into the construction of your granny square cardigan, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the basic granny square pattern. A granny square is typically made up of clusters of double crochet stitches separated by chains. The corner spaces are created by adding additional chains, allowing the square to expand evenly. Familiarize yourself with the pattern through online tutorials or instructional books. Once you grasp the basic concept, you’ll be able to customize your granny squares to suit your style and design preferences.

Starting the First Round

To begin making your granny square, you’ll need to start with a magic ring or a chain of four to six stitches, depending on your desired square size. From there, you’ll work a series of double crochet stitches and chains, following the specific pattern you have chosen. The first round sets the foundation for the rest of the square, so make sure to pay attention to stitch counts and corner spaces. As you become more comfortable with the pattern, you can experiment with different stitch combinations and variations to create unique and eye-catching squares.

Increasing the Size

To make a cardigan, you’ll typically need a significant number of granny squares. Depending on your preferred size and style, you may need dozens or even hundreds of squares. When it comes to increasing the size of your squares, you have a couple of options. You can simply continue adding rounds to the existing square pattern, increasing the number of stitches and chains in each round. Alternatively, you can use larger hooks and thicker yarn to create larger squares from the start. Consider the final dimensions of your desired cardigan and the number of squares you’ll need to achieve that size.

Joining the Squares

Once you have made enough granny squares, it’s time to join them together to create the body of your cardigan. There are various methods for joining granny squares, including slip stitching, whip stitching, and crocheting them together. Experiment with different techniques to find the one that suits your preference and desired aesthetic. Take note of the orientation and arrangement of the squares while joining to ensure a cohesive and visually appealing design.

Designing the Cardigan

Planning the Shape and Size

Before you start constructing your cardigan, take some time to plan the shape and size you want it to be. Consider your body measurements and determine the desired length, width, and fit. Sketching out a rough outline or using a pattern template can help guide you through the construction process. Keep in mind that the design can be customized to your liking, whether you prefer a cropped, waist-length cardigan or a longer, oversized style. Planning ahead will save you time and ensure a well-fitting final product.

Determining the Cardigan Style

When designing your granny square cardigan, you have the freedom to choose from a variety of styles. Whether you prefer a classic button-up cardigan, a cozy open-front style, or a wrap-around design, the choice is yours. Consider your personal style, the occasions you plan to wear the cardigan, and the level of complexity you’re comfortable with. Look for inspiration from magazines, online resources, or even existing cardigans to help you envision the final outcome.

Calculating the Number of Granny Squares Needed

To determine the number of granny squares needed for the body of your cardigan, you’ll need to estimate the width and height of each square and the desired dimensions of the final cardigan. Once you have these measurements, you can calculate the number of squares needed by dividing the width and height of the cardigan by the dimensions of each square. However, keep in mind that adjustments may need to be made during the construction process, so it’s always a good idea to have extra squares on hand.

Making Adjustments for Sleeves

If you want to add sleeves to your granny square cardigan, you’ll need to make some additional adjustments to the design. Decide on the desired length and width of the sleeves and determine the number of squares needed. You may choose to create smaller granny squares specifically for the sleeves or alter the size of your existing squares accordingly. Additionally, consider the placement and orientation of the sleeves on the cardigan body. Planning and visualizing the sleeve design as part of the overall cardigan will ensure a cohesive and balanced final look.

Constructing the Cardigan Body

Arranging and Joining the Granny Squares

Once you have all your granny squares ready, it’s time to arrange them in the desired pattern and start joining them together to create the body of the cardigan. Lay out the squares on a flat surface or use a design board to visualize different arrangements. Take note of the color distribution, placement of various patterns, and any specific design elements you want to incorporate. Once you’re satisfied with the arrangement, begin the joining process using your chosen technique. Take your time to ensure accurate alignment and a sturdy join.

Adding Borders to the Cardigan Body

To give your granny square cardigan a polished and finished look, consider adding borders to the body. Borders can provide structural support, neaten the edges, and add an extra touch of style to your design. You can choose to add a simple single crochet or double crochet border in a contrasting or coordinating color. Alternatively, you can opt for more intricate stitch patterns such as shells, picots, or lace borders. Experiment with different border variations to find the one that suits your personal taste and complements your cardigan.

Working on the Neckline

The neckline of your granny square cardigan can greatly influence its overall appearance and comfort. There are several options to choose from, such as a round neck, V-neck, boat neck, or even a collar. Consider your personal style and comfort preferences when deciding on the neckline. You can create a simple, clean edge by adding a row or two of single crochet stitches in a contrasting color, or you can use more intricate stitch patterns to showcase your creativity. Take the time to try on your cardigan during the construction process to ensure the neckline fits snugly and feels comfortable.

How To Make A Granny Square Cardigan?

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Creating Sleeves

Choosing the Sleeve Length

When it comes to designing the sleeves for your granny square cardigan, the first consideration is the length. Determine whether you want full-length sleeves, three-quarter length sleeves, or short sleeves. Think about the level of warmth and coverage you desire and how the sleeves will complement the overall style of the cardigan. Longer sleeves may require more granny squares, while shorter sleeves may require fewer squares or even a different pattern altogether.

Making Granny Squares for Sleeves

To create the sleeves of your cardigan, you have the option of making individual granny squares or modifying existing squares to fit the sleeve shape. If you choose to make separate squares for the sleeves, consider their size and shape. Depending on the desired sleeve style, you may need squares that are narrower or wider than the squares used for the body. Alternatively, you can adapt your existing granny squares by adding or eliminating stitches to achieve the desired sleeve shape. Remember to keep the stitch counts and patterns consistent throughout to maintain the overall aesthetic of your cardigan.

Attaching the Sleeves to the Body

Once you have completed the necessary number of granny squares for the sleeves, it’s time to attach them to the body of the cardigan. Carefully align the sleeves with the armholes and use your preferred joining method to secure them in place. Make sure to match stitch counts and patterns to create a seamless transition between the body and the sleeves. Pay attention to the orientation of the squares and the alignment of any design elements to ensure a professional and well-finished look.

Working on Sleeve Borders

To provide a polished look to the sleeves of your granny square cardigan, consider adding borders. Just like the borders on the body of the cardigan, the sleeve borders can help stabilize the edges and give a refined appearance. Depending on your design preferences, you can use a single crochet or double crochet border in a contrasting or complementary color. Alternatively, you can incorporate more intricate stitch patterns or edgings to add detail and visual interest. Take into consideration the overall aesthetic of your cardigan and select a sleeve border that enhances its style.

Finishing Touches

Adding Trims and Edgings

To elevate the look of your granny square cardigan, consider adding trims and edgings. Trims can be decorative elements that provide a pop of color or texture, such as ribbons, pom-poms, or tassels. Edgings, on the other hand, are typically crocheted or knitted embellishments that line the edges of the cardigan, such as picots, ruffles, or lace. Experiment with different trims and edgings to find the ones that resonate with your personal style and enhance the overall design of your cardigan.

Weaving in Loose Ends

As you progress through the construction of your granny square cardigan, you’ll inevitably have loose ends of yarn from joining squares or changing colors. Take the time to weave in these loose ends to provide a clean and tidy finish to your cardigan. On the wrong side of the garment, use a yarn needle to thread the loose ends through the stitches, securing them in place. Trimming any excess yarn ensures a neat appearance and prevents the ends from unraveling with wear.

Blocking the Cardigan

Once your granny square cardigan is complete, consider blocking it to achieve a professional and polished look. Blocking involves gently wetting the garment and then shaping it into the desired dimensions before allowing it to dry. This process smooths out any uneven stitches, improves the drape, and helps the cardigan retain its shape. Follow the specific blocking instructions for the type of yarn you used to ensure the best results. Blocking can be particularly beneficial for natural fibers like cotton or wool, as it allows the fibers to relax and settle into place.

How To Make A Granny Square Cardigan?

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Tips and Tricks

Keeping Tension Consistent

To ensure a uniform appearance and proper fit in your granny square cardigan, strive to keep your tension consistent throughout the project. Tension refers to the tightness or looseness of your stitches. Pay attention to how tightly you hold your hook and yarn and aim to replicate the same tension for each square and join. Consistent tension helps maintain stitch size and overall dimensions, resulting in a polished and professional-looking cardigan.

Trying Different Granny Square Patterns

While the basic granny square pattern is a classic choice for a cardigan, don’t be afraid to experiment with different square patterns. Numerous variations and adaptations exist that can add unique textures, shapes, and designs to your cardigan. Browse crochet pattern books, online resources, or even create your own patterns. Trying different granny square patterns allows you to personalize your cardigan and showcase your creativity.

Using Stitch Markers

When making a granny square cardigan, stitch markers can be invaluable tools for keeping track of stitch counts, pattern repeats, or specific design elements. Whether you use commercial stitch markers or simple safety pins, place them strategically to mark significant points in your pattern. They will not only save you time and frustration but also contribute to the accuracy and consistency of your cardigan construction.

Blocking for Perfect Shape

As mentioned earlier, blocking your granny square cardigan can greatly enhance its appearance. Taking the time to shape and flatten the garment after it’s been completed helps achieve a perfect fit and a smooth finish. Follow the instructions specific to your yarn, as different fibers require different blocking techniques. Be patient and allow the cardigan to dry thoroughly before wearing or storing it. The blocking process is especially crucial if your cardigan appears misshapen or the individual squares look uneven.

Customization Options

Experimenting with Color Combinations

One of the most exciting aspects of creating a granny square cardigan is the ability to experiment with various color combinations. Whether you prefer bold, contrasting colors or a more subtle, monochromatic palette, the choice is yours. Consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve and how different colors can contribute to that vision. You can use different shades of the same color for a gradient effect or mix and match complementary or analogous colors for a vibrant look.

Incorporating Different Stitch Patterns

While the granny square pattern forms the foundation of your cardigan, incorporating different stitch patterns can add visual interest and variety. Depending on your skill level and desired complexity, you can introduce stitches such as bobbles, cables, popcorns, or even lace motifs. Combine them with the granny squares to create unique textures and designs. Be mindful of overall stitch counts and the compatibility of the added patterns with the granny square structure.

Embroidery and Appliqué Ideas

To add a personal touch to your granny square cardigan, consider incorporating embroidery or appliqué elements. These embellishments can be added on individual squares or even on the completed cardigan body and sleeves. Embroidery can be used to create intricate designs, monograms, or small motifs. Appliqués, on the other hand, involve attaching pre-made motifs or shapes onto the squares or garment. Play with different colors, stitches, and designs to create a truly one-of-a-kind cardigan that reflects your style and creativity.

How To Make A Granny Square Cardigan?

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Caring for Your Granny Square Cardigan

Proper Washing and Drying Techniques

To ensure your granny square cardigan maintains its quality and appearance, it’s essential to follow proper washing and drying techniques. Depending on the fiber content of your yarn, you may need to hand wash the cardigan or use a delicate cycle on your washing machine. Always check the care instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult the yarn label for specific guidelines. Use gentle detergents and lukewarm water to avoid harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures that could damage the fibers. When drying, either lay the cardigan flat on a clean towel or use a drying rack to prevent stretching or distortion.

Storage and Protection Tips

When not in use, it’s important to store your granny square cardigan properly to maintain its condition. Make sure the cardigan is clean and dry before storing it to prevent musty odors or mildew. Consider folding it neatly and placing it in a breathable fabric or plastic storage bag. Avoid hanging the cardigan for long periods as it can stretch and lose its shape over time. Additionally, if storing for an extended period, consider inserting anti-moth repellents or lavender sachets to protect against insect damage.

Repairing and Replacing Granny Squares

With regular use, it’s possible that a granny square cardigan may develop wear and tear or experience accidental damage. In such cases, it’s helpful to know how to repair or replace individual squares. Familiarize yourself with basic crochet repair techniques, such as darning or patching small holes. If a square is beyond repair, you can remove it and replace it with a new square of the same pattern. This way, you can extend the lifespan of your cardigan and keep it looking as good as new.


Making a granny square cardigan is a rewarding and creative project that allows you to showcase your crochet skills and personal style. By carefully selecting the right yarn and hook, understanding the construction of granny squares, designing the cardigan body and sleeves, and adding finishing touches, you can create a unique and beautiful garment. With the guidance provided in this article, we hope you feel inspired to embark on your granny square cardigan journey. Remember to embrace experimentation, customization options, and proper care to ensure your cardigan becomes a cherished handmade piece in your wardrobe.

How To Make A Granny Square Cardigan?

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