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
I already have a pdf pattern for the granny square motif (UK terms) used in the bag and a detailed free tutorial on how to make the granny squares. You can use these to start now if you want!
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 🙂
21 thoughts on “Prepare for the BAGALONG!”
Just cottoned into this blog as a result of the three bears yarn giveaway….it looks so much fun!! NOW…. do i complete all the wip/es OR do i try my hand at a new project? hmmm……
I’m keen to get started so I’m going to try using 2 strands of special DK, as that’s what’s in my stash.
Can’t wait to get started, have some chunky yarn but a girl always needs more.
Off to buy a third colour tomorrow.
Happy hooking ladies
I would Love to join in I love this bag
Fabulous Vickie – look forward to having you join in xxx
I am so looking forward to starting this ‘BAL’. I have some chunky wool) in creams, browns and greens that I am going to try and have also ordered some Stylecraft special chucky in pinks and purples. I am so looking forward to making something that is going to be pretty and usable. 🙂 x
Sounds like a gorgeous colourway xxx
I need to go out and buy yarn for this, only recently come back to crochet. I love the style craft chunky, I thought I’d use five colours for the squares. How much of each colour do I need to buy? Thanks in advance x
If you plan on using five colours I would buy one ball in each colour and then an additional ball in the colour you want to join with. You will have enough left from the five balls you use in the squares to do the handle I would think. Its difficult for me to say definitely because I made the original bag to use up stash but it doesn’t take much yarn in total xxxxx
I have ordered wool for this and just realised I didn’t get the cotton Aran weight. As it is to late to add to order and my wool shop does not sell anything like it. Can you recommend a substitute please.
Hi Elise – don’t worry if you got DK weight just use it doubled up, two strands at once with a 5mm or 6mm hook xxx
Looking forward to following along 🙂
If I can not find chunky yarn in time, do you think using 2 strands of DK would be thick enough? I love making totes and bags. I have made 2 bags using Lucy’s, from Attic24, pattern. I made several market-style bags that I keep yarn and projects in. One can never have too many bags and totes! Thanks for sponsoring this. 🙂
Yes Debbie – some people who have made the bag have done just that. I would go down to a 5mm hook and firm the squares up but it should work just fine xxx
I have quite a lot of Special Aran, so I’ll use that. I’ll just add a couple of rounds to the squares. All my chunky is earmarked for your hexagon blanket!
Hello, I am looking forward to your bagathon!! Thank you for doing this.
How many skeins of Chunky yarn is required to complete the project?
You listed the types of yarn to use. I know there are many.
“Double crochet yarn used 2 strands at once”, does this mean non chunky yarn, using 2 strands of regular yarn?
I currently do not have any chunky yarn, but have trash bags full of yarn that people keep giving me!
Thank you for your help.
Hi Cindy Chunky is approximately 16 strand yarn while DK is approx 8 strand yarn. I know its confusing with UK and US terms but I think that’s right. I would guestimate 400g of chunky yarn at most (4 x 100g balls) but I used up part balls as a stash busting project. I’ll be able to tell you more exactly as I make another bag. You can use any yarn – but I would use the same weight (whether used double stranded or single stranded) throughout. If you mix thicker with thinner yarn you might find you have squares that are difficult to fit together because they aren’t the same size xxx
I think “double crochet yarn” is meant to read “double knit yarn”. So two strands of any yarn probably won’t be the right thickness, but two strands of DK (aka 8ply aka light worsted aka 3 weight) yarn is what has been recommended
Lovely idea, Kathryn, I’m in! I have still ten balls of Drops yarn left, didn’t know what to make with them (a mandala?), but now I know: your bag. 🙂
Perfect Corine – and I love the colours you have 🙂
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