Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Make It ! The Stabby Granny Tote Bag !!!

As promised on my Instagram feed , I'm ready to show you how to make a market bag using the STABBY GRANNY SQUARE, whose pattern can be found on Miki's blog (HERE) and on Emily's blog (HERE), too !!!!!

Emily and Miki have prepared even two free patterns to make something nice and useful from the stabby grannies : a pair of STABBY GRANNY GLOVES and a STABBY GRANNY COWL !!!

I was curious to try the STABBY GRANNY SQUARE and I was so pleased with the tickness of the fabric...

... that I decided to make a bag, instead !!! I think this idea was even influenced by the JAPANESE KNOT BAG I've crocheted almost 10 days ago... But that pattern was not mine (it's from a Japanese crochet book), so I decided to make a similar one, with different granny squares, different handles and a different method of joining !!! ;oD


- a 4,5 mm hook
- a pair of scissors
- a yarn needle
- stitch markers, useful to point out the stitches (along the top of the bag) where to attach the handles!
- some colourful yarns : I was using, from my personal stash, a selection of  DK acrylics from Filati Cervinia CAPRICE, Lane Biella MARK, Filati Tre Sfere LANA LANA and some "two colour strands" from TIGER Garn/Yarn !
- follow the basic STABBY GRANNY SQUARE PATTERN by MIKI and EMILY and crochet a total of 26 stabby grannies (18 for the bag + 8 for the handles)

Remember I use and follow the US crochet terminology, thank you !!!!

I prefer not to sew my crochet pieces together (you can do that, instead, if you prefer!) and I use the "join-as-you-go" method, the same that Miki uses for her COWL !!

My grannies are made of 8 rounds (bag panels) or 6 rounds (handles), but you can choose if to crochet smaller or bigger ones !!! ;oD


The colours for my grannies were chosen while crocheting each one of them !

Only the first square (=the central one) was completely crocheted in 8 rounds.

The other squares were completed (part of the 8th round was done during the join) while joining to the main square and/or to the other ones !


Nothing difficult, as I followed the previous method, used for the first panel!

I only put one big safety pin on the bag's "top-to-be", just to remember not to join that side, too, as the bag needs an openining to put in and out your own stuff (grocery, books, crochet, knitting, etc...)!

Each panel measures : 44 cm x 44 cm

The lovely thing about this joining method is that you don't really need to block your squares, as they are stretched into the right shape while joining them !

Just look at the above picture : the pink square and the black one have slightly curved sides, but when the green square is joined, the sides become straight !!!! Really good !!!!

TOP BORDER of the BAG (two rounds)

Pick up your bag-to-be and, keeping it in front of you with the opening upward, insert the hook in the right top corner of the first square and join the new yarn. Chain 1 and make 1 DC (=double crochet) in the same corner.

The idea is to make a complete round of "stabby shells" (may I say that ??) in each space between couples of shells of the stabby squares : easy peasy, right? (look the above pictures)

How to behave into the adjoining corners of two squares ?

Very simple (look above pictures) : work 1 DC in last corner, 1 DC in space between the two corners, 1 DC in new corner !!!

The pattern is repeated around the entire opening of the bag.

When you work your last DC (= the one in the space between first square and last square !), slip stitch in the top of the first DC of the round to complete your first round !

After the slip stitch, with the same yarn chain 1 and work 1 single crochet (=SC) in the same stitch.
Crochet 1 SC in each stitch of the first round. When you reach the last stitch, make a slip stitch in first SC made.

Cut yarn, fasten off and weave in all the tails : your border is done !!!

BAG HANDLES (make 2)

Differently from the Japanese knot bag, the handles in this tote bag are symmetrical and each of them are made of 4 stabby squares.

The other difference is that we are going to work a smaller stabby square : instead of 8 rounds, this time we need squares of 6 rounds each !

Another important thing to note is that each side of the squares (6th round completed) is made of 20 stitches. From corner to corner you will count in : 1 chain, 3 half double crochets, 4 shells of 3 stitches each (total stitches = 12), 3 half double crochets and 1 chain.

Knowing this, you have to place your stitch markers along the bag border in the stitches where you intend to attach your handles. A couple of stitch markers for each handle end, positioning the first marker in the 1st stitch and the 2nd marker in the 20th stitch ! ;oD

Even this time I'm using the "join-as-you-go" method, but you can simply stitch the handles along the bag border, if you prefer.

1- attaching the square along the border

You have to put the bag upside-down, with the opening towards yourself.

You need even a stabby granny with 5 rounds completed.

Start the 6th (and last ) round of your square (in any corner) : 3 half DC, chain 1 and start the joining, as follows :

slip stitch in first stitch of the border (where you have your stitch marker, mine is gone, but you see an arrow on the right of the above picture), work 1 hDC (=half double crochet) and slip stitch in the correspondent stitch along the border, work 1 hDC and slip stitch in the correspondent stitch along the border, work last hDC and slip stitch in correspondent stitch along the border. The first corner of your square is done !
Work the following 4 shells (= 12 stitches) in the same way : after each stitch of the shells are done, remember to make a slip stitch in the correspondent stitch along the border !
When the shells are completed and all 12 stitches are joined to the border, work the first 4 stitches of the second corner :  3 hDC (work one stitch, then make a slip stitch in the correspondent stitch along the border, 3 times!), then 1 slip stitch in last correspondent stitch along the border, where you have the other stitch marker!!! JOINING DONE !

To complete the corner, just : chain 1 and work 3 hDC ! Continue to crochet the last round as usual!

2- attaching the following two squares of the handle

This time the joining is much more simpler, as you have only to slip stitch in the spaces between two shells, as Miki already described in her COWL pattern.

You need other 2 stabby squares, with their 5th round completed.

You start the 6th round as usual : 3 hDC in any corner, then chain 1. Crochet a slip stitch in the opposite corner of the square already joined (see above picture), then work the other 3 hDC in same corner, with no extra slip stitches! Slip stitch in space between corner and first shell and crochet an usual shell, with no slip stitches !!! Repeat this simple pattern until you reach the 2nd corner, where you work 3 hDC, slip stitch in second corner of previous square, chain 1 and work 3 hDC in corner.

Continue your square as usual!

Repeat the same joining for the 3rd square, too !!!

3- attaching the 4th square

You have to use both joining methods this time !

First you use the simpler one to join the two squares together, while to join this last square to the other side of the bag, just follow the first method showed to you !!!

You have to repeat all this work for the 2nd handle, too !!!! ;oD

Black edging around the handles and top border

Simply crochet a round of single crochet, along the outer and inner sides (plus the top borders left out from the joining) of the handles, just to complete your beautiful bag !!!!


xxxx Alessandra

P.S. : if you liked this photo tutorial (thank you!), please feel free to check my other free patterns right here, on the MAKE IT ! page !!!!


  1. Fantastic! It is a really unusual stitch that we should make more of as crocheters shouldn't we. Now you have two great bags to use for your crochet!!

  2. It's colorful and beautiful. If you left the bottom open, you could even wear it as a vest. :) Happy Tuesday!

  3. Looks great in all the colours, a very retro bag! X

  4. Wow, super! That's a Happy Bag ♥. Great job, Ale!!
    Happy Valentine's Day xxx


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