Help, My Granny Square Is Leaning to the Right!


I received a comment the other day on my post about the granny square blanket I crocheted for a friend’s one-year-old son.

The comment was from Brenda, the co-moderator along with Joan, of the popular Yahoo Group,  Angel Wings Crocheting. Joan was having problems crocheting a granny square afghan, explaining that the granny square “leans to the right.” She asked me to help her figure out why, and I agreed.

Joan sent me a link to the YouTube video and a photo of her afghan. The photo below shows how the center section of the afghan is “learning to the right” or “tilted.” The problem seems to correct itself the wider the afghan gets, but it’s really obvious as you move toward the center.

A granny square that “leans to the right.” Photo used by permission.

As the photo shows, the upper right-hand corner dips down, “tilts,” or “leans to the right.”


I watched the YouTube video Joan sent and thought I knew what the problem was. But in order to see if I was right, I decided to crochet a granny square, more or less following the YouTube video (I changed how I end and begin each row), to see if I could make my granny square “lean to the right.”

The instructions I used to crochet a four-round granny square are provided below.

To start my granny squares (or crocheting anything in the round), I prefer what’s called the magic adjustable ring or magic circle method  because it creates a less bulky first round; you’re crocheting over two strands of yarn instead of chain stitches.

The following crochet abbreviations (US terminology) are used in the pattern:

  • chain (ch)
  • double crochet (dc)
  • round (rnd)
  • slip stitch (sl st)
  • stitch(es) (st(s)).

And I’m assuming you know how to read a crochet pattern.

Granny Square Written Instructions

Make a magic ring (or ch 4 and sl st to 1st ch)
Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (serves as 1st dc), 2 dc inside the ring, [ch 2, 3 dc] 3 more times, ch 2, sl st to top of the beginning ch-3. You should have four 3-dc groups in the ring, each one separated by a ch 2 (do not turn at end of rounds).

Rnd 2:  Sl st to the first ch-2 space, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3dc) in the ch-2 space (one corner made), [ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-2 sp] 3 more times, ch 1, sl st to top of beginning ch-3.

Rnd 3: Sl st to first ch-2 corner, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3dc) in the ch-2 corner space, [ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 space, ch 1, (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-2 corner space] 3 more times, ending with ch 1, 3 dc in last ch-1 space, ch 1, sl st to the top of beginning ch 3.

Rnd 4: Sl st to first ch-2 corner, (ch 3, 2 dc, ch 2, 3dc) in the ch-2 corner space, [ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 space, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-1 space, ch 1 (3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc) in next ch-2 corner space] 3 more times, ending with [ch 1, 3 dc ] 2 more times, ch 1, sl st to the top of beginning ch 3.

**Note: I found several errors in the instructions since I first wrote them (what happens when you try to edit you own work). I believe I’ve corrected them all, but if you try the pattern and find more errors, please let me know.  Thanks in advance!

Granny Square Symbol Chart Instructions

If the written instructions are confusing, I’ve tried my inexperienced hand at creating a symbol chart diagram which I hope will give you a better idea of how to crochet this granny square.

Granny Square Symbol Chart
I know this is a lousy photo, but my printer died, and I have to take photos with my unsophisticated camera of stuff I would normally scan.  This granny square isn’t that square, but I hope it’s clear enough to use along with the written instructions.

And if you would like to learn more about how to read symbol diagrams, Craftsy has an excellent course taught by crochet designer and tech editor, Charles Voth.


Granny square leans, but to the left!.

I crocheted the above granny square by forgetting to do some ch-1’s  between a few 3-dc groups on the top and bottom sides of the granny square. In effect, I’ve created two sides that are shorter than the left and right sides, and this is what’s causing the lean. But as you can see, this granny square is leaning to the LEFT (upper left corner dips down), so I haven’t really duplicated the problem.

Something else that I thought  might be causing a lean is that some granny square patterns have you crochet a ch-2 between the 3-dc groups along the sides of the granny square. I find that this makes for a wobbly, loose granny square. The only time I chain 2 is at the corners because you’re fitting six dc stitches in the corner space but only three dc stitches along the sides, in the ch-1 spaces. So you really don’t need to ch-2  on the sides because the three dc stitches don’t need all that room, and doing so might cause the granny square to lean one way or the other.

It could also be that the crocheter is being inconsistent with those ch-1 and ch-2 stitches, doing some ch-1’s in the corner space and some ch-2’s along the side. Or perhaps her tension is too tight (can you tell I’m guessing at this point?).

If all else fails, there’s “finger blocking” which is a matter of tugging on the corners where the square is leaning the most.


To make a long  story short, none of the above solutions helped Joan fix the problem. In fact, she discovered a solution on her own. She found a set of videos on how to crochet a  traditional granny square that instructs you to turn at the end of each round.  A simple solution, indeed.

Turning the granny square at the end of each round eliminatred the lean. Photo used by permission.

Joan crocheted the lovely “baby girl” granny square afghan above, using the “turn your work” method. As you can see, the exaggerated lean to the right has been eliminated.

The video  below is the first of the five that she watched to learn this method. View it on YouTube to see the other four videos in the set.

Thanks to Joan for providing the photos of her afghans so that I could show the “before” and “after” afghans.


A member of the Crochet Guild of American (CGOA} Member Yahoo Group reported having the same problem as Joan. Another member, Amanda Pace,  gave an excellent explanation of why the “tilting” or “leaning” occurs.

It has to do with the fact that crochet stitches don’t stand perfectly upright. There’s a little lean to them which gets accentuated when you crochet in the round (the lean is in the opposite direction for left-handed crocheters.).  Furthermore, crochet stitches don’t exactly stack one on top of the other like they do in knitting, so that causes even more “lean.”

This is why the “turn your work” method works well; the stitches on one row will lean in the opposite direction of the stitches on the preceding and following rows, cancelling out the lean.

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I've been crocheting for over 40 years and blogging since 2004 - two of my favorite things in the world to do besides walking the beaches of windward Oahu, Hawaii.

25 comments On Help, My Granny Square Is Leaning to the Right!

  • Very helpful 🙂 I’d just like to say that the lean doesn’t change if you’re left handed. I just finished my first granny square and it leans to the same side as the one pictured above.

    • Hi zainab, glad you found it helpful, and sorry your granny square is still leaning. Did you try turning at the end of each round (that way you’ll have the lean going in the opposite direction on each round)? Also, finger blocking (pulling the ends) might help.

      I think the ultimate use of your granny square will determine if it continues to lean. For example, if you’re making a blanket of multiple squares, once you get them sewn (or crocheted) together, the weight of the blanket and the pull of adjacent squares might hide the lean a bit. Hope this helps.

  • Hmmm…I think the lean looks kind of neat. Now I may just have to try to “make” that mistake! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I have sooo many granny square blankets i have started and given up on because the ends become pointy the edges aren’t strait the middle twists…i don’t understand what i do wrong i have used the turning my work method and it’s perfect…it makes me laugh how some peoples work doesn’t turn buy mine does….I’d be ok with the slight twist in the middle but the saggy ends is too much to handle

  • I have been having the same problem lately. My middle rounds are twisting to the right. I was not aware of this problem on my other granny square blankets I have made. I thought it was just me! Lol I’ve been doing bi-coloured squares as well and they’re fine. I will try the turning method and see how it goes. Thanks for your help! ????

  • Oooh, I’m a leftie with leaning granny squares (!) and I’m just trying to understand what you mean by ‘turn your work’….do you mean rotate it or turn it totally over so you work front/back/front/back etc? Sorry if that’s a daft question….

    • Not daft at all, Kate. You know when you’re crocheting in rows? When you get to the end of the row, what do you do? You turn your work so you go in the other direction on the next row. So when you get to the end of a granny square round, after you do your join, instead of continuing in the same direction when you start a new round, you turn your work and crochet in the opposite direction. Hope that made sense. Let me know if you still have questions

  • Thank you! I’ve a feeling this could be a revelation!

  • I’ve been trying to make a Granny Square afghan for a really good friend of mine.
    It has the lean that everyone is talking about, but he seems to like it.
    Will it make a difference with the lean if I try doing the turn at the end of the round and try to straighten it out when I’m on row twenty.

    • Hi Terri, I’ve found that turning at the end of each round eliminates that dreaded lean. So if you start at the beginning and turn at the end of each round, you shouldn’t have to straighten anything out no matter how big you make the granny square. Hope this helps.

  • Thanks for the advice, I’ll have to give that a try and let you know how it works.

  • Hi. I am crocheting a granny square for my granddaughter. It seems to be bigger on the square points at the four corners and getting to be very obvious. I tried decreasing but has not totally worked yet. What am i doing wrong

  • I found that by doing 3 chains in each corner corrected the lean.

  • Hi I just started learning the granny square but after I get so far it seems like the middle wants to puff up and then when I get down my corner turn up any help please

  • I have a problem in an afghan that I crocheted. It is saggy in the very middle, like a square bowl. I know that it could be due to crocheting looser at times, especially at the beginning. It is not a granny square, though. It is a solid square in the middle and then rows of hdc around it in alternating colors and white rows. I don’t know if the different types of yarn (all 4 ply, but some are Love and some are Caron simply soft. The first 3 rows are the ones that sag. The others are somewhat tighter on two sides. I can easily block these, but don’t know how to “tighten” the middle. This is a blanket for my future grandchild in Nov. Please help!! Thank you.

    • Hey Betty, it’s hard to say without seeing a photo of the problem. It doesn’t sound like the yarn is the problem since they are all 4-ply. Sometimes the best thing to do is frog back to the part that’s sagging then resume the blanket with a close eye on tension. And it looks like you have time since the baby isn’t due until November.

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