Corner-to-corner crochet, also known as diagonal crochet, diagonal box stitch, and c2c, is a method of starting crochet in one corner of a square, growing it row by row on the diagonal until you reach the desired size, and then decreasing back down to the opposite corner. The stitches, made with double crochet, look very similar to the granny stitch, but the way that the rows are turned and worked on the diagonal gives it a slightly different, more interesting, texture.
Diagonal crochet is a historic technique that has recently been given new life, although it is more commonly called c2c today. It can be used to make a variety of square objects but is particularly popular for crocheting blankets. It is especially popular for graphghans, which alter colors in different diagonal boxes to create beautiful pictures.
Here are the instructions for the diagonal crochet. You can use this free pattern to make an afghan in diagonal crochet by making one large square of the size desired or, for take-along work, you can make smaller squares—perhaps in varied colors—to join together when finished.
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The first thing you need to do is create a short starting chain. This will be the foundation chain into which you will work row 1, which will be the first corner box.
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Work into the fifth chain from hook. Make 3 dc stitches into that chain.
The first group of chains counts as the first dc, so you will now have one corner block consisting of four dc stitches.
All of your blocks are going to be made from four dc stitches. This is what gives it the appearance similar to granny stitch, which is typically sets of three double crochet stitches.
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Row 2, Part B
Working into the fourth chain from the make, make three dc stitches. Similar to Row 1, this is going to create a total of four double crochet stitches to make the first block of Row 2.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Row 2, Part C
Now, locate the third and fourth dc stitches from the block in Row 1. Slip stitch into the space between those two dc stitches.
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Row 2, Part E
Make three dc in the same space between the two dc stitches of the block in the previous row, right next to the chain three. This will give you four dc stitches in that space. This creates the second block of Row 2. You now have your first corner block as Row 1 and then two more blocks in Row 2.
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Row 3, Part A
Turn your work and chain five. This is the same thing that you did to begin Row 2 and it will be the same thing that you do to begin all of the rows while you continue to increase the size of your c2c crochet blanket.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Row 3, Part B
You already know what to do, to refresh your memory, do a few more practice steps. So, you're working the first block of Row 3. You have already done your chain five, so now you make three dc stitches into the fourth chain from the hook. This gives you your first block of four dc stitches.
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Continue Diagonal Crochet
You will keep growing your work in the same manner, row by row. You add one new block at the beginning of each row. Each row will have the same number of blocks as the row number. (So this is Row 5 and there are five blocks.)
Proceed in this same manner until you are satisfied with the size of your diagonal crochet blanket. When your row is as long as you want the midline of your blanket to be, you will be ready to decrease.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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Decreasing Diagonal Crochet
Slip stitch in each of the first three double crochet stitches. This is how you decrease the row by one block. That's because instead of adding a block to this corner like you normally would, you are slip stitching over to the next corner, effectively skipping a block.
Then slip stitch into the space between the third and fourth double crochet stitches to begin your first box of the row. Working as usual, chain three and then three dc into that space. Continue across the row as normal. You are making boxes the same way as before.
However, when you get to the very last block, don't make the final block. Instead, make your slip stitch as you normally do. Don't proceed with the "chain three and three dc" that would normally go here. Instead, leave off with the slip stitch. This decreases the row by one block.
You will then turn the work and repeat all of the steps from this section. Each row will have one less block than the previous row until you finally get to the opposite corner of where you started and have only one block in that last row.