I recently created a poll asking how many stitches people crochet at the corners of granny squares. Here are the results:
1 chain stitch = 7%
2 chain stitches = 63%
3 chain stitches = 30%
I decided to crochet some squares for myself as people pointed out that everybody's tension varies. Bear in mind that these are my first ever granny squares and were crocheted fairly quickly with little attention to neatness.
This square has one chain stitch in each corner:
It is my least favourite square as it looks crowded and is almost trying to be a circle! It was the hardest square to crochet, especially the first couple of rounds when it was hard to remember where the corners and sides were.
This square has two chain stitches in each corner:
It is the squarest of the three squares and was the easiest to crochet. However, it suffers from the criss cross effect that is just visible from corner to corner. I say "suffer" because I am not keen on this look though I know others might not even notice it.
This square has three chain stitches in each corner:
This square is a lot more open than the other two and has the advantage of weighing less per inch and uses less yarn. I thought chaining three chain stitches would make the corner holes huge. But in fact it made them roughly the same size as the rest of the holes in the square. This gives a more even effect without an obvious criss cross. However, the holes might be too big for a blanket and it is already trying to lose its square shape. Over a large blanket, this might become a design problem.
Trying the squares for myself was a worthwhile exercise. I thought one corner chain sounded good, but I don't like the result. Deciding between 2 and 3 corner stitches is more difficult. The differences are not huge over a small square, but over a blanket would be more obvious. So it looks like the majority who voted are right and the square with two corner stitches is the winner.
There are different ways to crochet a simple granny square. The most helpful Youtube video I found was by Catalina Stan who goes into great detail and is slow enough for a beginner to follow. She has made many useful crochet videos including one on how to make a more more solid granny square which might be more suitable for a blanket. I have rejected that pattern as the corner holes are huge which is a look I have been trying to avoid. But watching the video was part of my learning curve. It set me thinking that a more solid stitch might be better for the child size blanket I am aiming for.
I learned a lot. I used to think I would never be able to crochet a square. Now I understand the basics. I have even found out ways to give a more professional finish by turning the work and by starting each round with 3 trebles (UK) rather than a chain 3 and 2 trebles (UK). All that would have been gobbledygook to me a short time ago. I didn't use those two techniques for these squares but will try to when I eventually start the blanket.
Thank you to everyone who voted in the poll. It was a bit of fun and you really helped me with this project. I am busy with other things at the moment and it will probably be late spring or early summer before I can make a start on my blanket. Then it will be a lengthy work in progress. I am looking forward to the day when I can write a blog post about the finished blanket.