How to Figure How Many Granny Squares You Need For an Afghan

There are a number of things you need to keep in mind when figuring how many squares you'll need to make an afghan or blanket.

1. Make several squares in the pattern you've chosen.

2. Block and measure the squares. Blocking is especially important when assembling a blanket out of squares. It's one of the few times I actually block my work. The time and headache saved in assembly more than makes up for what you spend blocking. I have photos and written instructions on the process I follow here.

3. Decide how you're going to assemble your squares. The assembly method you choose will affect the finished size of your blanket. Whipstitching or single crocheting the blocks together won't afect the size much. But joining with a decorative stitch can affect the outcome. Even just a 1/4" added on a join can add 4 - 5" to the overall size of a king blanket using 4" squares. So if you're choosing something fancy like that you're going to have to piece a few together to figure out what the size is of your blocked, assembled square.

4. Divide the length and width of the blanket you want  (I've compiled a list of standard blanket & bedding sizes here) to make by the size of your finished squares (including whatever you added for assembly).
This probably won't be a round number, so you'll have to decide whether you want to round up and make a slightly larger blanket, or round down and make a slightly smaller blanket. (Keep in mind that if you round down you can add a decorative border.) Then multiply the number of squares you need across by the number of squares you need for the length and you'll have the total number of squares you'll need to make.

As a formula it would look like this for a 48" x 60" throw made out of 5" squares:
48"/5"=9.6" so round up to 10.
10 x 12=120.
So you'd end up making 120 squares and your blanket would be done in rows of 10 squares. And you'd have 12 rows.
Final finished size would be 50" x 50".

My 3 favorite books filled with Granny Square Patterns:

I've spent a lot of time poking around the web looking for free granny square patterns. Keeping track of them is sort of a nightmare. Not only are the patterns written in each persons own "shorthand", but the photos are uneven & it's a hassle to print them out & keep them in any sort of organized fashion that allows me to find what I want when I want it. While browsing in the bookstore I bought just about every book I could find on the subject. Here are my favorites. I highly recommend them to your library!


Janette Spraags said...

I am relatively a newbie to crocheting and definitely a newbie when it comes to granny squares...I have indeed been blessed when it comes to finding excellent instructors on YouTube and I really lucked out with the lady who had a video for granny squares....With her video and crocheting along with her I have made my first 4 (4") squares and with your excellent information I now know how many I will need to make for a queen size afghan....
Thank you so much for taking the time out to post this information on the internet...I appreciate it and I would love to show you my finished project....but thank you again you have been a great help....

Carlyn Clark said...

I'd really like to see it Janette. Send me a picture when you've finished & I'll share it here. Good luck! It can be a long process.

Heather said...

Thank you so much for this info!!!

Christy Francis said...

I need your help I want to make a Queen size blanket with over hang on both sides and I'm not sure how many squares to make can you help me

Carlyn Clark said...

Christy Francis, I'm happy to help. What size are your squares and about how much of an overhang do you watn?

Anonymous said...

I want to make a lap quilt and my squares are6×6 can you please give me idea of how many needed

Carlyn Clark said...

A good size for a lap quilt for 6" squares would be 36" x 48", or 6 squares across and 8 squares vertically, so you'd need 48 squares. I'd love to see what you make!

Gwen Butrum said...

Carolyn Clark,
I am in the process of making a granny square afghan for a full size couch. If my blocks are 6 rows around how many blocks will I need? I plan on putting an edging around the entire afghan when I get it sewed together.
Gwen Butrum

Carlyn Clark said...

Gwen Butrum

What is the size of each square, and how long is your couch?

Tabitha said...

Im making 3 inch squares how many do i need for a full size bed

Tabitha said...

Im 4 inch granny squres how many do i need for a full size bed

Carlyn Clark said...

A typical full size blanket is 84" x 90".

3" squares would be 28 squares x 30 squares, so 840 total squares.

4" squares would be 21 squares x 23 squares, so 483 total squares.

Remember that any border you add will add to the overall size. Fortunately it's not an exact science! Good luck with your project. Share the a picture of it with me when you're finished and I'll post it.