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History of the Humble Granny Square

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Granny Squares

Source: Le Petite Saint Crochet
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Nasim-Keshmiri

Granny squares are timeless. They have the ability to be old fashioned and modern all at the same time. Some falsely believe the granny square was only popular in the 1970s but that is far from the truth. The first published record we have of the granny square is from the Butterick Publishing Co. from 1891. A description for how to make them was described in wonderful detail but with no written pattern, only a small engraving.

Although no one knows when the granny square was invented it definitely gained popularity in the Depression Era as a way for women to use up scraps of yarn. There are even descriptions of American frontier women who took sweaters and socks that were no longer useful and carefully unraveled them to crochet small squares. They were then given to the older women of the house, or grannies, as they were called, to sew them together.

There are many ways to give your granny squares an updated modern look by using a modern color scheme and modern yarn choices. Consider this yarn.

What will you make with your granny squares? Have you considered re-purposing yarn from items such as torn sweaters? Why? Why not?

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