How to Square a Crochet Circle
by Kathryn Vercillo
There are so many inspiring crochet circle patterns out there. But what if you want to make a blanket or other item that has straight edges? You will need square crochet motifs. While there are also plenty of great square crochet patterns out there, there may be times that you want to adapt a circle into a square to create the exact pattern you desire. This guide shows you how to turn a crochet circle into a square. It includes a simple crochet circle-in-a-square pattern along with additional information to help you learn how to adapt any circle to a square.
Choosing Your Crochet Circle
You can turn any crochet circle into a square. However, it will be a lot easier on you if the final round of your crochet circle has a number of stitches that is divisible by the number 4. Each square is, of course, going to have four corners and you want those corners equidistant apart, which is why you want to begin with the right number of stitches that will easily allow you to divide by 4.
Practice Circle in Square Pattern, Part 1
For our pattern, we will crochet three rounds of a double crochet circle as follows:
- Ch 3. 7 dc into 3rd ch from hook. Slip st to close round. (8 dc)
- Ch 3 (counts as first dc). Dc in same st. 2 dc in each st around. Slip st to close round. (16 dc)
- Ch 3 (counts as first dc). 2 dc in next st. *1 dc, 2 dc around. Slip st to close round. (24 dc)
This final round has 24 double crochet stitches, a number divisible by 4.
Preparing the Crochet Circle
The stitch markers are placed equidistant around the circle; this is where the four corners of the square will be.
Crochet the circle to the point where it is ready to become a square then end off. Place a stitch marker in any of the stitches on the outside round. Place three additional stitch markers equal spaces apart (dividing the final number of stitches on the outside round by 4 tells you how many stitches should be in between each stitch marker). These will be your corners.
Practice Circle in Square Pattern, Part 2
In our practice example, attach a stitch marker to any double crochet. Attach stitch markers at every 6th stitch after that (because 24 stitches divided by 4 corners is 6 stitches.)
Combining Stitches of Different Heights
The easiest way to turn a crochet circle into a square is to use stitches of varying heights across the round. Notice that if you draw a circle around the square, the widest part of the circle is in the center of each round. Because of this, you want the shortest stitches in the middle of each round and the tallest stitches near the corners; this brings the height of the corners up to the height of the center and is what makes a circle become a square shape. It is common to use single crochet stitches in the center, followed by half double crochet on either side, double crochet on either side of that and taller stitches on the outsides if needed.
To find the center, you want to count the number of stitches across the round and divide this number by 2. So, count the number of stitches that are in between two stitch markers in your circle. Divide that number by 2 and this gives you your center stitch, which will be your shortest stitch (likely your single crochet). Working from there out you'll increase the height of the stitches. So here's an example, if you have a circle that has five stitches between stitch markers:
1 2 3 4 5
DC HDC SC HDC DC
If you are working with an even number (let's say 6 stitches instead of 5) there will be two center stitches, each the same height:
1 2 3 4 5 6
DC HDC SC SC HDC DC
Practice Circle in Square Pattern, Part 3
For our practice pattern, there are 5 stitches between each stitch marker, so each edge will consist of 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc. For this pattern, select a stitch marker and join the yarn in the stitch next to it. Ch 3, which counts as the first double crochet. then work the rest of the stitches (1 hdc, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc.) This will get you to your first corner.
A Note On Beginning the Round
You have the option of beginning the round in the center or in a corner. If you begin in a corner, you will need to have all of the stitches planned out because you will be beginning with the tallest stitches, working to the shortest, and then working back out to the tallest and you need the same number of each on either side for a symmetrical square. For that reason, many people find it easier to begin in the center of the round. This allows you to grow your round from the shortest stitch out and easily see how many you need of each stitch before you reach the corner.
So if you're working with the 5-stitch example above, you would begin with sc, hdc, dc and then reach your first corner (we'll deal with corners in a minute). Then you would do three more edges of dc, hdc, sc, hdc, dc. After the final corner, you would complete the first round with dc, hdc, sl st to join to first sc.
Dealing with Longer Rounds
When you have rounds that are a lot longer than this (meaning you have a larger crochet circle) you need to deal with it accordingly. There are three basic ways to do this:
Taller crochet stitchesThe ideal option for turning crochet circles into squares is to keep increasing the height as you move towards the corners. So you'll add a tr on the outside of each dc, then dtr next to that, tr tr next to that, etc.
More of each basic stitchOne easy option is to add more of each basic stitch, meaning more single crochet followed by more hdc on the outside of those and more double crochet on the outside of that. You will want to use the same number of each stitch (3 hdc if you use 3 sc, etc.) Please note that this is not the ideal option because it will not always create a perfect square, although it will be square-ish and might work for some patterns.
Additional roundsFinally, you can make a second (and even third) round by doing the same thing that you did before (shortest stitches in the middle, increasing height outwards across the row). If you've worked with option two (adding more of each basic stitch) and the square isn't quite square, a second round worked in the same way can help you even it out into a better square.
Crocheting the Corners
When you reach one of the stitch markers, it is time to crochet the corner. There are many different ways to create even corners but the basic idea to keep in mind is that you are going to crochet stitches that are the same height as your outer corner stitches (dc in the examples above) you will likely separate those stitches in the corner by an even number with a chain.
If you have ever crocheted the classic granny square, you are familiar with this basic idea: each corner consists of 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc. This creates a corner with 7 stitches in it, but with practice you'll discover that most crochet circles are squared better with five stitches in the corner so a good alternative is 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc. (Note that this presumes your tallest stitches of the round are dc; it would be tr crochet or taller if that is what you ended the round with.)
Practice Circle in Square Pattern, Part 4
You have now reached your first corner. For this pattern, we are going to use a corner made up of 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc. So, remove your first stitch marker and work that into the stitch. Then finish the square as follows:
- In the next five stitches: 1 dc, 1 hdc, 1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc
- Remove the next stitch marker and create your corner: 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 twice to complete the third and fourth edges and corners.
- End with a slip st to the top of the first ch 3 to close the round.
Practice Makes Perfect
The information you have here will help you turn almost any crochet circle into a square. However, there are so many different variations of circles-in-squares and different designers have all come up with their own ways of perfecting the technique. Because of this, you'll come to best understand how to work any circle into a square by practicing with a lot of different patterns. The following free crochet circle-square patterns will get you started:
Crochet Circles Throw. This throw combines plain squares (worked in the round) with circle squares (also worked in the round), offering you a great opportunity to get a feel for how the two types of squares differ from one another. The circles are three round circles that grow from single crochet to double crochet. Round 4 is worked in the back loop only, which is how you get the look that the circles sit on top of the squares. The fifth round is where you square the circle, using corners made from 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc.
Circle in Squares Throw. This is an example of longer edges where it works to use option #2 from the section above called "dealing with longer rounds). Each round is created with 3 sc, flanked by 3 hdc, 3 dc, and three tr. The corners are made using 2 tr, ch 2, 2 tr. A second round is added for additional height and a better square shape.
Flower Path Throw. This is a variation on a classic crochet granny square pattern. It begins with a round of cluster stitches in the center. The corners are created in round 3 using clusters separated by ch-5.
Flower Accents Throw. In this crochet pattern flowers are worked in the round and then a joining round is created around each flower to turn it into a square motif.
Crochet Flower Field. This is another example of a flower worked in the round - a beautiful flower with lots of texture thanks to post stitches - and then turned into a square thanks in part to some interesting ch-5 corners!
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