Updated: Aug 25
In these time where we are trying to be more eco friendly, the Granny square bags are becoming increasingly popular. They can be used as market bags, to hold your fresh produce, or as reusable bags for anything you desire!
The first step is to decide what kind of Granny squares you want and with what fibre. The best yarn to use for bags is cotton as it doesn't stretch as much compared to other fibres. Your bag will be able to support some weight without sagging or becoming misshapen.
The good thing about Granny square bags, is that you can choose your own colour scheme and design and can make them to whatever size you want. You can make simple Granny Squares for an easy and quick make or you can choose more complex squares to add more complex designs. For this tutorial, I will be making a bag using simple Granny Squares.
The first step is to decide what kind of Granny squares you want and with what fibre.The best yarn to use for bags is cotton as it doesn't stretch as much compared to other fibres and your bag will be able to support some weight without sagging or becoming misshapen. While cotton can be harsher on the environment during production compared to other materials, it is biodegradable.
I am going to use two strands of BudgetYarn DK with a 5mm hook. Doubling up on the yarn will give the bag that extra firm hold.
Check out my How To: Granny Squares for instructions on how to make basic Granny Squares.
Once you have chosen what type of Squares you want, you can then decide what size bag you want. For bigger bags, you can add more rounds to each Square to increase the overall bag size or less rounds if you want a smaller bag. Alternatively, if your Squares require specific amount of rounds then you can increase or decrease the yarn and/or hook size.
When you have decided on which type yarn and squares to go with, you can start the bag by making 13 individual same sized Squares.
Once you have 13 squares made, align them up as in the photo below. This is the shape that will form the bag.
The Squares now need to be attached together on the inside joins while in this shape. There is no rule on what stitch you must use, but you can utilise the stitch to add extra effect to your bag. I like joining the Squares with a double crochet to give a raised seam effect. Make sure whatever join you use, that it is firm enough to hold the squares together without coming apart or loosening when the bag is full.
To make the raised seam, on the corner of a square, make a double crochet (single crochet in US terms) by first passing the hook through the most outside loop of each Square. Continue down the length of the Squares to join them up where the Squares meet.
Photo: Hold the Squares together, hook into the inside loops of each Square, yarn over, pull through the loop, yarnover and pull through the loop on the hook. This makes the double crochet into both the squares.
Photo: The double crochet gives a raised seam
Photo: When all the inside seams are sewn up, the Squares are folded as drawn out below.
When the bag is folded, attach the side Squares to the free sections of the inside Squares to form and keep the bag shape.
Remember to leave the top section free, as this is where we will add the handles.
Once the sides of the bag are attached, we can start on the top section and handles.
On the top section, which will be four top triangle shapes, in which we will do rows of single stitches. At each of their four peaks, you will do two single stitches into the top most stitch. At the dips, we will join the bottom most stitch of the square you are on to the bottom most stitch of the next square (sc2tog).
Do two rows of single stitches as described above.
On the third row when you reach the first peak, on the top most stitch chain 70 (or 50 for shorter straps, 90 for longer straps). Attach the chain to the top of the next peak (along the length of the bag, not the width) , making sure the chain is not twisted. Continue with single stitches around until you reach the next peak, repeat the chain 70, attach to the next peak and continue with the single stitches until you reach your starting point.
Continue with 4 more rows of single stitches, which will now be the rows on the top part of the handles.
Photo: When on the row next after the row where you made the chains, you will make a double stitch in each chain like usual.
When you have finished the top of the handles, join your yarn to the underside of the handles and work up 4 rows.
You can make the handles of your bag as wide or slim as you want by changing how many rows you add to the topside and underside of the handles but keep in mind that there should be enough rows to keep the handles sturdy and to support the weight of a full bag. I ran out of yarn when working on the underside of the handles so have one less row on each side but the handles and bag are still strong enough.
And last, but not least, the fun of sewing up all the ends! I'm a glutton for punishment so I always leave my ends until the end.
Please tag @againstyourwool in photos you share, I would love to see the amazing bags you make!
Paid PDF pattern can be found here in my shop.