Having seen that Heather of The Patchwork Heart is making a granny stash bag from my pattern, I sort of mentioned that it might be nice to have a bagalong! I have been wanting to make another for a while now as I’ve some new ideas about how to do the lining and the handles – and new colours schemes to try too.
Pattern and tutorial quick links
- Downloadable pdf pattern for the retro chunky granny square motif – UK terms
- Downloadable pdf pattern for the granny square – USA terms – NEW!
- Detailed tutorial on the retro chunky granny square motif
- Overview of how the granny stash bag is made up
- Detailed tutorial on joining the granny squares to make up the bag base
- Detailed tutorial on making the handles
- Detailed tutorial on the small project bag – includes an improved method of doing the handles that can be used on any size bag
- Method of lining individual squares – an alternative to making a box lining
I was a bit unprepared by the response though! Loads of people on Instagram and Facebook have posted messages wanting to join in… so its all happening now and without any planning, so do please excuse any lack of seamless organisation 🙂
About the BAGALONG
Its all very flexible and informal. I will do the launch posts on Instagram and Facebook on Sunday 31 May in the early evening and then post regular updates of my bag through its various stages during June:
- Making the five granny squares that form the bag
- Assembling the bag
- Lining the bag
- Making the handles and finishing
You can go as fast or slow as you like. You can jump in at any point and an even do the bagalong after June if you want – I will leave the links and posts in place.
I welcome questions – if you are new to crochet or haven’t done a bag before, ask away and I will try to help. If you want to jump in and answer someone else’s question, feel free! Some people have contacted me since I first posted the bag that they managed to make a large granny square from my tutorial as their first ever crochet granny square! That is great to know – but if anything isn’t clear to you, please shout.
This is a fun project and the bagalong will be about just having fun with colours and crochet and ending up with something useful at the end. And it doesn’t take as long as a blanket 🙂
Feel free also to adapt the pattern and make your own version of the bag, with different colours, an alternative size, different lining and different handles. Anything goes.
I’ve created a Facebook album and I will load as many photos of your bags as possible (nudge me if I have apparently forgotten yours as I may miss some comments :))
Joining the bagalong is free
I am making the pattern and tutorials available freely. I’m also not making any money from commission on yarn sales. All I ask is that if you find them useful and you enjoy the bagalong, please consider a small donation for Marie Curie Cancer Nurses (link top right to my Just Giving page). Its the same Just Giving page as the flower blanket and this will be open for a few months yet.
Please also respect my copyright on my pictures and the pattern. You can make bags to sell but please don’t sell the pattern or claim the design as your own.
What you need to join in with the BAGALONG
I used Stylecraft Special Chunky 100% acrylic yarn as it comes in some nice colours and is nice and chunky.
Alternatives include (and there may be others):
- Any other chunky yarn of either acrylic, wool or a mixture
- Double crochet yarn used two strands at once
- Cotton aran weight yarn – such as Drops Paris
This is a great stash buster project so you can use what you have rather than buying new stash. But I’m not stopping you if you want to buy new stash!
Crochet hooks, tension and sizing
For Stylecraft Chunky I used a 6mm hook for my original bag. If you want a tighter, denser square, go down to a 5.5mm or a 5mm. But this does make the yarn harder to work with and your hands and fingers may ache.
Do a couple of little test squares of 2 rounds and see how they compare and which you like best. If you use a 5mm hook you may find your square comes out smaller – if you want a bigger bag, just add another round!
If you want to make a smaller project bag, reduce by a couple of rounds.
The key is to make five identically sized granny squares for YOUR bag! A little warning though – if you make squares with different numbers of rounds, they won’t fit together properly.
Its good to use several colours but, again, this is completely flexible. You can:
- Follow my colour suggestions and copy one of my bags exactly
- Use your own colours and make five different squares or five identical squares
- You can even just have a one-colour bag if you want!
- Add embellishments if you like – sew on flowers or hearts – just go as mad as you wish to all!
I need to stress at this point that I am not a crochet designer – I just made this bag to fit my needs and was surprised that so many other people liked it! You are just as creative, if not more so and I would love to see variations and new ideas so that we can all inspire each other. Its taken me until very recently to realise that I can be creative with crochet and colour – and if I can do it, ANYONE CAN!
Don’t be afraid of trying new colour combos and seeing how it turns out 🙂
This project bag has several stages and some may take you longer than others, depending on how skilled you are at crochet and sewing. I find the crochet a breeze but will be back to throwing things on the floor and swearing when it comes to making the lining…
Very generally I’ll be allowing a week for each stage listed above but you can go faster or slower – this project can be picked up without any problem so don’t feel the need to ‘keep up’.
You may be pleasantly surprised at how fast your squares grow though – 10 round squares in chunky yarn are BIG! I can easily do one in an evening and that is quite a relaxed evening at that!
Pattern and tutorial
You can also download a pattern pdf in USA terms – NEW!
These are in my original colour combos for my first retro granny stash bag. This time I will be doing something different and will be posting new colour schemes and adding tutorial steps to a Facebook album.
I’ve also got some new ideas about the lining, including non-lining options, and a new method for the handles.
Look forward to joining you tomorrow 🙂