Sunday, 24 August 2014

My Granny Square Crochet Bag, plus: A lucky find

My Granny Square Crochet Bag

I wanted to tell you a bit more about how I made my bag. I began this project in June/July 2014 when I first managed to find Scheepjeswol Stone Washed at one of the local markets here in Antwerp. Initially only 8 colours were released (now there are 16). I chose the following colours:

RED - Red Jasper (807) *
BLUE - Blue Apatite (805)
YELLOW/SAND - Yellow Jasper (809) *
PINK - Corundum Ruby (808)
LIGHT GREEN - Canada Jasper (806)*

* I didn't choose them because they were named after one of our cats!!! (Of course, Jasper deserves to have yarn named after him!!)

I love using this yarn, it is great, no, actually my favourite, of this summer! Made of a white strand of Cotton (78%) and surrounded by a fine fuzzy outer coloured layer of Acrylic (22%). This is what creates the Stone Washed effect, it has great stitch definition! I have been using it with a 3mm hook.

My initial idea was to make a bag out of Granny Squares, possibly buying a set of handles for it. Then I discovered that there were people who used a jute bag and crocheted around it. I saw this on some Dutch blogs I was reading. By the time I came across this bag, I had already managed to crochet my 56 squares!
(Here is another lovely bag I like!) (These ladies have lovely blogs!)

As you were reading previously, this summer I was pretty busy making shawls, so this project took a little break. Meanwhile the idea of also using an inner bag took hold, but I could not find a suitable one, until a recent trip to England. (Thank you, Sainsbury's!!!) Thus equipped, I set to work and realized that by attaching the squares to each other (with the green yarn), they did not cover all the edges of the bag. So I added more green to the edges.

Laying out the granny squares in the right order
The front panel featuring 20 joined up squares
Then I ran out of green yarn, but I wanted to carry on! I started crocheting a base in black, since I reasoned that nobody would see the bottom of the bag and it might get dirty anyhow. I had made about 2/3 of it, and realized that did not make me happy. Well, I had to wait for the next market day and get some more green. Meanwhile I started again making more little squares. I worked out that I needed to make 10 more! However, I decided that they could be random squares.

Crocheting extra squares for the bottom of the bag
Finally all the pieces were finished.

Laying out the joined up panel pieces
Attaching the panels to one another

Once I had made my 'outer crochet shell', I tried it on! Then all I had to do was to sew it onto the bag using a tough and long darning needle which managed to get through all the layers! This took quite a while, but I persisted until it was complete! Ta-da!!!

The finished project! The panels had to be sewn to the bag

The happy bag posing on the sunny balcony!
Side Panel
Bottom panel
In the end I was glad that I made the bottom panel to match the rest of the bag and I felt extremely pleased. I love my new bag!!! You can fit a nice lot of yarn into it, that's for sure!

Initially I wanted to start my blog about my bag, but then I decided otherwise. You can see that my way of working is quite flexible and involves trial and error. I love to try things out and I tend to do them the way that seems best to me at that time. I do not plan every detail, but I let the project grow by itself! I did not google hundreds of images to decide what to make, I just followed my own calling!

A lucky find!

Today, we went to have a quick look at Het Kunstige Marktje in Borgerhout, Antwerpen. This was a yearly outdoor craft market. As we got there, the heavens opened and it started to rain quite heavily. Luckily I found a new friend at one of the very first stalls! What a happy purchase! He even has got a tiny badge saying 'made with love'! I had seen the pattern online (In Dutch here, and in English there!) and had saved it in my mountain of online patterns for the day when I would have the time to make it!

Henry the dachshund
Always support homemade crochet!
I love it that he has got 2 different coloured ears, so cute!

I regret that due to the weather we did not get to see everything at leisure, there were many handmade things, such as crocheted items, blankets even, sewn cushions, candles, jewellery, cards and much more. Some of the people had packed up their things as they didn't have some sort of cover. I would definitely love to go back there next time.

Later that day the rain cleared up again and we went for a nice family walk in the Kempen area of Belgium. Our walk took us across the countryside, along corn fields (I noticed how tall the plants were!), through woods, along heath, passing several small lakes. We saw 4 pheasants in an open field, dragonflies, horses grazing along a lake, so peaceful, and I discovered some frogs in standing water even! It was an enjoyable walk (and of course there was a spot of crocheting in the car!)

I hope you all had a relaxing weekend and that you have renewed energy for what the next week may bring!

Please feel free to leave me some comments, I love reading them!


  1. Hij is mooi geworden!
    Gaaf effect dat stone washed van Scheepjes,
    ik heb ook nog een aantal bollen liggen....
    Groetjes Jellina

    1. Hallo Jellina,
      Dankje! Ik hou van dit wol en maak ook nog veel andere dingen ermee!
      Ingrid xx

  2. Ingrid, that little dog is the cutest and oh my I LOVE your bag. I think it is a fabulous idea to make the bag over an already existing bag, I just might have to try that myself. It gives the bag so much more form.
    Hugs to you and have a great day,

    1. Hi Meredith, aww thanks, I just couldn't resist him!
      Yes, these jute bags are pretty good, they keep their shape well. This one even has a waterproof lining on the inside! (I'm now playing with another idea: using a fabric bag and adding crochet (on)to it!)
      My day has been fine, managed to get some wool to knit a scarf for my son (It will be his 21st birthday soon!). Made a good start, hooray for thick yarn!
      Hugs, Ingrid xx

  3. Wat is je tas mooi geworden! Bedankt voor je compliment op mijn tas! Hartelijke groet, Janneke

    1. Hallo Janneke, Dankje!!! :)
      Ik ben al benieuwd wat je nu gaat maken?!
      Ingrid xx

  4. Love your bag. such a clever way to make it! That yarn looks so lovely, I think I'll have to try hunt some down here in Australia.

  5. Hey Bec! Thanks very much! Not sure whether it is easy to find in Australia, but Deramores ships internationally, I believe, check it out here:
    Good luck! xx

  6. Your bag is just lovely, what a clever idea, would make a lovely gift too and a nice way to satisfy the granny square making urge on a smaller project.
    Thanks too for the link to the Dashund pattern-it is seriously sweet.
    Have a lovely week Ingrid, hope the sun shines on your city soon.

    1. Thanks, Helen! :) Hahah, I love that expression - satisfying the granny urge! It pretty much sums up compulsive crochet!!! xx

  7. The bag is stunning, a beautiful make. I will now follow your blog to see what else you make.

  8. Hello! Thanks for that! And I will check out yours in return!
    Happy Crafting! xx

  9. Hi Ingrid, your bag is so beautiful. And it is funny, because today I used a bag I do not like at all. It is a black felted bag from Vero Moda. I often thought about making some grannies to cover it and now as I have seen your bag I'm quite sure that I have to do it. What a lovely work! I'm sure that the bag will brighten up your day every time you'll use it. Have a nice evening! Viola

  10. Hello Viola, that is so nice of you to say, thanks! :)
    Yes, I think often there are little ways to personalize or even upcycle a bag, to make it totally unique and yours! You could also use some crochet just as an applique if the bag is very large, just by adding a square or hexagon to the front, in nice colours, to contrast with the black! Or you could do a blanket stitch around the edges and then crochet onto it and make a trim for it! Not to mention bag charms! I've seen bunting triangles stitched onto a bag! Good luck with your crafting, I would love to see what you will come up with!
    Take care! Ingrid xx

  11. What a beautiful bag Ingrid-you are so talented! I like the way you work out your own designs, so lovely to make them unique and your details on how you made it so useful.
    I adore Heinrich der Dachshund! Er ist sehr suss (sorry forgot the umlaut). My German is very limited! I am going to save the pattern for him-thank you!
    Alison xx

    1. Thanks, Alison! Well, I trust and hope that people who read this blog do so out of interest and I feel it is nice to share a bit about the process that has gone into making something, also the ups and downs including design changes. For me this is all part of the fun and the challenge of creating! :)
      Danke schoen! (Henry bellt: Wauwau!!!) xx

  12. I absolutely LOVE your bag! I have had a pattern for one of these printed out for a long time now, but I just haven't made one yet. It's great!

    1. Thanks, Pammy Sue! Well it is just a basic Granny Square starting with 12 stitches and each round it grows more. Instead of connecting them to make a blanket, I made panels to cover my bag. The beauty is that you could make this for any size bag! You could also make the squares as big as you like! I didn't use a pattern, I just made it up as I went along (which is what I tend to do most of the time, hahah!) xx