Introducing ‘little love’; a solid granny square pattern and the smaller sibling of the big love blanket.
Designed in honour of Granny Square day 2020, little love uses linked double crochet stitches to create a square motif, just as versatile as the original granny.
Work it in stripes, make small squares and join them together or one big square. All whist sharing the linked crochet stitch love!
If you’re new to granny squares, you can read this post to learn how to make a traditional granny square (including a video tutorial).
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This is a relatively simple project where you may learn a new trick or two. You’ll use the following:
- Basic crochet stitches and terminology
- Working in rounds
- Working into chain spaces in the corners
- Linked double crochet stitches – see special stitches and tutorial
- I always think granny squares look better with a gentle blocking too, though this is optional
This design uses linked crochet stitches which might be new to you. They are really fun to work can create a beautiful texture which looks a little like Tunisian crochet.
You can find a full (written, video and photo) tutorial for the linked double crochet here. But I have also included a description in the special stitches section below.
If you’ve ever worked a standard or solid granny square then you will be able to pick this up super quickly! And if you haven’t, it shouldn’t take you long to get going.
If you get stuck there are photo and video tutorials to help you along.
You can work this pattern with any yarn and appropriate hook. Your finished size and meterage requirements will change depending on the yarn you use.
For the colourful squares you see pictured, I used Scheepjes bamboo soft. 50% Bamboo, 50% Cotton, 50g= 150m. This is a lovely soft fingering weight yarn.
I had a bunch of colours left over from the Chakra shawl and decided they would be perfect worked up into squares. At some point I’ll join them into a blanket (or perhaps a poncho?) and will be sure to share the finished result.
At the moment I’m just enjoying a bit of stash busting!
Each 5 round square made with Scheepjes Bamboo soft uses around 25m / 8g yarn.
For this pattern I recommend going up a couple of hook sizes to get a nice drape, so I used a 4.5mm hook.
If you want a stiffer, more solid square then you could go with the recommended hook size for your yarn. (Depending on your own tension of course!)
Sizing & gauge
Based on the materials I’ve listed above, the 5 round granny square measured just over 10cm / 4in square after a gentle block.
Gauge is not important in this pattern, however in the item you see, I made the following gauge:
21 sts and 10 rows in 10cm of linked double crochet worked in rounds using a 4.5mm hook.
- Please read all the pattern notes before starting your project
- This pattern uses US crochet terms (UK equivalents are given in brackets in the abbreviations list)
- Numbers at the end of a round indicate the number of stitches in that round
- Instructions written in (round brackets) should be worked in the same stitch / space
- Instructions written between [square brackets] should be repeated the specific number of times stated
- You will work on the ‘right side’ of the square throughout
- Do not turn your work at the end of each round
- The chain 4 at the start of each round counts as a starting chain and a chain two space – for the stitch count it is just counted as a chain 2 space (you will work over the chain 2 starting chain part of it)
I have written out the basic pattern for the 5-round square below. This is followed by separate right and left handed video tutorials demonstrating the first 2 rounds.
If you like to follow visual patterns, I have also included a step-by-step photo tutorial which follows the videos.
Stitches and Abbreviations (US terms)
- ch = chain
- ch-sp = chain space
- dc = double crochet (UK treble crochet)
- ldc = linked double crochet (UK linked treble) – see special stitches and tutorial
- j-ldc = joining linked double crochet – used to complete the round, see special stitches
- MR = magic ring – see special stitches for a modification or tutorial here
- rep = repeat
- sp = space
- ss = slip stitch
- st(s) = stitch(es)
- yo = yarn over
The Magic Ring (MR)
This is a common technique used to start projects worked in the round. You can find a tutorial here.
If you prefer not to work the magic ring, start your project by chaining 4, slip stitching to the first chain to make a loop and work Round 1 into this loop instead.
Linked double crochet (ldc)
You can find a detailed tutorial for the linked double crochet here, but for convenience, I have added the written description below:
- Insert hook under horizontal bar mid way up the previous stitch, yarn over (yo), pull up a loop (this is the equivalent of creating a yo before starting a traditional double crochet and also creates the link to the previous stitch). (2 loops on hook)
- Insert hook into the stitch you’ll be working in, yo, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)
- Yo, pull through 2 loops (2 loops on hook)
- Yo, pull through 2 loops to complete the stitch
Note that with a traditional linked double crochet, you would start the row with a ‘beginning linked double’ where you link the stitch to the starting chain. For this pattern, you will be working your first linked double by linking to a traditional double crochet, so I have not included these instructions.
Joining linked double crochet (j-ldc)
This stitch is used to complete your round and is used to link the final stitch to the starting chain to create a seamless join. It’s almost identical to the normal linked double crochet, with one small tweak!
This instruction will make a lot more sense when you have your project in front of you, so I recommend coming back to this section when you get to the end of your first round. Alternatively, you can follow along with the video. I promise it isn’t as complicated as it may seem!
- Insert hook into horizontal bar of previous stitch, yo, pull up a loop (2 loops on hook)
- Insert hook into the ch-sp from the previous round (or magic ring in the first round), yo, pull up a loop (3 loops on hook)
- Insert hook into ch4-sp (used to start the round)
- Yarn over, pull through ch4-sp and 2 loops on hook (2 loops left on hook),
- Yarn over pull through last 2 loops to complete the stitch.
Okay. Let’s get started!
The Little Love Solid Granny Square Written Pattern
Make a Magic ring (MR)
Round 1: Ch4, working into MR, [1dc, 2ldc, ch2] three times, 1dc, 1ldc, 1j-ldc, ss into 4th ch of starting ch4 to join the round. 12 sts (3 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
Note the ch2-sp indicated at the start and end of the round 2, below, is the last 2 chains of the ch4 used to start the previous round. To begin the round you will work into this sp at the bottom of your starting ch4.
Round 2: Ch4, (1dc, 1ldc) in ch2-sp, [1ldc in each st to next ch2-sp, (2ldc, ch2, 1dc, 1ldc) in ch2-sp] three times, 1ldc in each st to last ch2-sp, (1ldc, 1j-ldc) in ch2-sp, ss into 4th ch of ch4 to finish round. 28 sts (7 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
When slip stitching into the ch-sp to finish the round, I advise slip stitching into the 4th ch of the ch4. I found this made a neater join, but you can just ss directly into the ch-sp if you prefer.
Round 3 : As Round 2. 44 sts (11 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
Round 4: As Round 2. 60 sts (15 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
Round 5: As Round 2. 76 sts (19 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
To finish: Fasten off the last round before slip stitching into the ch4 and use the invisible join to finish.
Weave in your ends and block to shape if needed
To make a larger square, keep working the Round 2 repeat.
Tips for keeping your stitch count accurate
If you find your stitch count is a little off, you may find that you are missing the first stitch after working into the ch-sp in the corner.
This is a common issue with solid granny squares of all kinds.
The picture below shows you where you should insert your hook for the first ldc after working into the ch2-sp for the corner.
As you can see above, this stitch can easily get squished by the corner stitches!
Little love square video tutorial.
For the visual learners among you, below you will find a left and right handed tutorial. It has written captions giving instructions as you work if you are listening without sound. I advise using this along side the written pattern above. (But whatever works for you is good with me!!)
Right handed little love linked granny square tutorial
Left handed little love video tutorial
Little love linked granny square photo tutorial
And finally, I bring you the Little love photo tutorial, which breaks down the written instructions with images.
Note that the photos demonstrate the right handed version of the pattern. If you are left handed, you will see a mirror image.
Step 1: Make a magic ring, chain 4
Step 2: 1dc in MR
Step 3: Work 2ldc in MR
Step 4: Continuing to work in MR, ch2, [1dc, 2ldc, ch2] twice
Step 5: To complete Round 1, 1dc, 1ldc, 1j-ldc, ss into the 4th ch of ch4 at the start of the round (or into ch-sp if you prefer)
12 sts (3 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
Step 6: Do not turn, ch4
Step 7: (1dc, 1ldc) in ch2-sp
Step 8: [1ldc in each st to next ch2-sp, (2ldc, ch2, 1dc, 1ldc) in ch2-sp] three times
Step 9: 1ldc in each st to last ch2-sp, :(1ldc, 1j-ldc) in ch2-sp and ss into 4th ch of ch4 made at the start of the round to finish Round 2
28 sts (7 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
Note that the last ch2-sp you work into is the last 2 chains of the ch4 from the beginning of the previous round. You will work over the top of the slip stitch you made right at the end of the last round.
When slip stitching into the ch-sp at the end of the round, you can either ss directly into the space or into the 4th ch from the ch4 you used to start the round (As described). I found that the latter method hid the join better.
Repeat Round 2: Ch4, (1dc, 1ldc) in ch2-sp, [1ldc in each st to next ch2-sp, (2ldc, ch2, 1dc, 1ldc) in ch2-sp] three times, 1ldc in each st to last ch2-sp, (1ldc, 1j-ldc) in ch2-sp, ss into 4th ch of ch4 to finish round
44 sts (11 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners
Round 4 – 5
At the end of Round 4 you’ll have 60 sts (15 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners.
At the end of round 5, you’ll have 76 sts (19 on each side), 4 ch2-sp for the corners.
Continue working your square to your desired size
To neatly secure your last rounds fasten off before slip stitching into the ch-sp and use the invisible join to finish.
Weave in ends
I recommend giving your square a gentle block by dampening it and pinning it out on a foam board.
You can see how much better it looks after a light blocking in the image below.
If you’re making a blanket with your squares, this extra step makes a huge difference. And better to do it when they’re little squares than when the whole blanket is joined!
You can learn more about blocking here
To give you a close up of the finished square from the tutorial, below is a picture of the front and back of the square so you can really have a nosey! The astute among you will notice that when I was lining up the 4 squares to show you the blocking picture above the yellow one has the wrong side facing!
Sharing your finished makes
So there we have it. I would love to see what you make with your little love squares. Whether you go rainbow, use a single colour, go small or large, here’s how you can share them on social media… if that’s your cup of tea!
- On Instagram, you can use the hashtag #LittleLoveGrannySquare or just tag me @doradexplored
- You can tweet me your pictures, or add them to my Facebook page
- If Pinterest is your happy place, you can add them there too – check out my Pinterest account for lots more crochet inspiration from makers across the web!
I hope you enjoyed this granny square with a linked twist and will show it more than a little love (Though a little love goes a long way!!) You can use the share buttons below to save this pattern, share it on facebook or send it to your friends
(C) DoraDoes 2020. You may sell what you make from my patterns, but please credit me as the designer. The pattern is for personal use only and may not be shared without written consent. My photos may only be shared with full credit.