Preparing to put the bag together
To make up the retro granny stash bag you need to make five retro granny squares, all with the ends thoroughly and neatly weaved in.
- Follow this link to find the retro granny squares pattern (free pdf download)
- See the detailed photo tutorial for making the granny square motif
- See my original blog post with an overview of how to make the bag
- Photo tutorial on adding handles to the bag
Plan your layout
The first step is to lay out your five squares in a cross shape as shown below. Decide which square will form the base of your bag and put this one in the middle. I didn’t really mind but, in the end, decided to make the orange, brown and gold square my base…
Choose your joining yarn
You also need to choose a colour of yarn for joining. I chose Stylecraft Chunky in plum as that shade goes well with all the colours in all of my five squares.
Choose your first side panel
Choose on of the squares to join as your first side panel. I chose the pink themed square at the bottom in the picture above.
Joining the sides to the base
Hold the two squares together, wrong side to wrong side and check that you can match the squares together, stitch for stitch.
Then off we go… Start in the right hand corner space of the two squares you are holding together…
Make a dc into each stitch along the top of both squares.
This is how things should look after a few stitches when you open out the squares ([photo below).
You should have a nice ridged effect and your yarn tail should be covered by the stitches.
Once you are happy that all is going well, carry on…
Once you have the base and one side joined, choose the square you want as your second panel.
I chose the lovely purple and plum square…
You will then have two side panel squares joined to your base square.
Repeat the process for your third side panel. I chose the retro granny square in blues and greens.
Repeat again for the final square. You will then have all four side panels joined to your base.
DO NOT FASTEN OFF YOUR YARN!
Now you need to join the first square to the fourth square by making a slip stitch.
Making the seams between the side panels
You are now going to carry on with your joining yarn and make a dc seam to join two of the side panel squares.
When you get to the top, carry along the top of the side square to give it a dc border. One dc into each stitch through both loops as you have been doing.
You need to minimise the number of ends to weave in as this is less annoying and it makes the bag stronger 🙂
When you get to the end of the top of the square, you will then use your yarn to join another side seam.
You will then have two sides of your bag joined together.
You will now need to break off your yarn and weave in the ends, using the same strong techniques used in the granny square motifs. Leave a long tail, weave it in and out along the side seam for at least 12 stitches and then back on itself. Weave the first tail in like this too and end up with the tails close to each other. Tie three times to make a strong knot. You can then fasten off or weave in the ends more. The slight bulkiness of the side seam will not be visible from the outside if you are lining the back.
Using more of your joining yarn, continue making side seams and top borders until you have a box.
This is when I was nearly finished:
This is how the bag looked when I had finished – yes, its going to be a bit floppy and won’t stand up on its own…
Weave in all the ends, tie off and cut the ends neatly on the inside of the bag.
With the joining yarn, make two rounds of dc stitches around the top of the bag.
If you want to, you now need to make the lining, fix it into place and make the handles.
The crocheted box will, however, make a good yarn storage box as the balls of yarn will give it shape 🙂