The Reversible Granny Square actually solves two problems with normal Granny Squares.
The first thing it solves is that the center doesn't twist. If you've ever tried to crochet a larger item (like a baby blanket) with the standard granny square, you'll note that the center seems to lean (or twist) to one side. That is caused from crocheting in one direction.
The second solution, that the reversible granny square solves is that it's, ... well ..., reversible. It looks almost as good on the 'back' as it does on the 'front'. I find this especially nice for the larger throws and afghans. It just doesn't matter what side you are looking at, it still looks great.
They are very easy to crochet, once you get the rhythm. As you are following along with this free crochet lesson you'll actually make the trivet you see pictured above.
This will work with any yarn you love and any size hook that makes it look good.
However, if you're going to practice with making the trivet (pictured) you'll need:
Yarn: Crochet cotton, 4 ply. I picked two colors but one ball, of any color you love, will be plenty.
Hook: G / 4.00mm.
Other: A scissors, a yarn needle (I like using the metal needles) for hiding your ends.
Gauge: Even if you are making the trivet, your gauge really doesn't matter.
My very first large granny square was a baby blanket for my first son. Until that point I had always made small ones. As my baby blanket got larger I noticed that the center was twisting, sort of leaning to one side. I had no idea that was going to happen. I wasn't too proud of that first larger square, but my son loved his blankie (and that's all that really mattered).
I brought this 'problem' to my crochet club and a wonderful lady, named Maggie, took the time to teach me how to make a Reversible Granny Square. She explained to me that when you crochet in the same direction, as with 'traditional' grannies, your work will always lean. By crocheting each row in opposite directions you solve the problem.
Needless to say, my second baby blanket was made this way, and I became a very happy Mama.
The Basics of the Reversible Granny Square
Chain (ch) 4. Here's the first little trick I've been using for years. I place a bobby pin in the center of this chain because you're going to slip stitch (sl st) connect it together, and then crochet into the center of the little loop. I always have trouble finding the 'center' on the first stitch. So, with the bobby pin there I can use it as a guide to take me to the exact center. As soon as that first stitch is in place, you can take the bobby pin out.
Slip Stitch (sl st) into your first chain, connecting your chain together, to make a little circle. Then chain (ch) 3.
The little arrow in the picture shows where all the beginning round's stitches need to go - inside that first little circle.
After your chain (ch) 3, double crochet (dc) 2 into the circle. *** Chain (ch) 3, double crochet (dc) 3 into the circle. *** Repeat the instruction between the stars (***) 2 more times.
At the end, when you have 3 corners done, (this will make your fourth corner) chain (ch) 3, slip stitch (sl st) into the first stitch of your first double crochet (dc) - and stop.
Turn your work.
For those of you who are used to one sided grannies, and have never worked with a Reversible Granny Square, this is going to feel strange.
Round 2: Slip Stitch (sl st) into the corner.
Chain (ch) 3, 2 double crochet (dc) into the corner.
Chain (ch) 3, 3 double crochet (dc) into the same corner.
*** Chain (ch) 1, move to the next corner, 3 double crochet (dc), chain (ch) 3, 3 double crochet (dc) into the same corner. *** Repeat the instruction between the stars (***) 2 more times.
At the end (yes you are in the middle of the work), chain (ch) 1, slip stitch (sl st) connect to the first stitch of the first double crochet (dc), and turn.
Round 3 and Beyond: This is the basic pattern you will follow until your work is as large as you want. For the Trivet I did a total of 6 rounds in green, and 5 of the variegated.
Beginning of Every Round
Slip Stitch (sl st) into the space, chain (ch) 3, 2 double crochet (dc) in the same space.
On Side Spaces
Chain (ch) 1, double crochet (dc) 3 into the next space.
Chain (ch) 1, double crochet (dc) 3 into the corner, chain (ch) 3, double crochet (dc) 3 into the same corner. Chain 1 to begin the next side group of stitches.
At the End (always in the middle of a row):
Slip Stitch (sl st) into the top of the first double crochet (dc), and turn.
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A Color Changing Trick
I don't really remember when I started doing this, between variegated and solid colors, it's always given my color changes a bit of a more professional look. With your variegated yarn find the first color that matches and make your color change using that color. For this I just tied a normal knot.
Here you can see that the color slowly changes, but matching the color makes it more difficult to see exactly where you did the change.
A Yarn End Hiding Trick
Always leave a long tail end, about 4 - 5 inches. Do it at the beginning, when you bind off, and when you change color. With the length of yarn you've left you can thread a needle and weave the yarn - in the middle - of the stitches.
I always go in 3 or 4 different directions (down into the work - to the side - up, but not close to the edge).
After you've woven the yarn in, snug it tight. This is not pulling it until it terribly puckers, it's just making sure that it's not loopy and really snuggled in.
Snip the yarn as close to the work as you can.
Then give your work a little pull to straighten it back out, and your yarn will tuck inside the stitches.
In the picture you can see that the yarn end has disappeared into the work. It will also withstand normal use and washing.
Just a note: If the item is going to get pulled and tugged on A LOT, you could work it in a few more times. For toddlers I usually go 4 - 5 times in different directions.
All text and photos, of this Reversible Granny Square Lesson, are original.
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