Leaves on this Family Tree

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Joining a Tote Made of Squares

Below are two totes that I joined using the instructions written out below.

The multicolor tote was made first. The crooked bottom comes from adding a large pocket inside. When I put my yard inside, the bottom was normal like the 2nd tote.
I then made a solid one to see if I could follow my own instructions. Both squares have 4 rounds of dc's and 1 row of sc in a contrasting color.

I have been looking for the directions I have used every time I have done one of these totes. For the life of me, I can't figure where I wrote it down and saved it.
I wrote these instructions down as I was making the left tote. If you have any questions, please let me know.
Every time I type the name of a color, I would STRONGLY suggest that you label my colors with your colors to keep yourself straight. When you get a COLUMN done, I would pin a piece of paper on it with its' name: COLUMN A, COLUMN B, COLUMN C or COLUMN D. Again, this will help keep you straight as to what you are seeing on the directions and what you have in front of you.

Before joining your blocks, lay them on the floor to see what they are going to look like. Once you get a pleasing pattern, you are ready to join.

These blocks are placed on a diagonal because that is the way the columns will be joined.:
a. COLUMN B dark red withh be koined to COLUMN A light blue.
b. COLUMN C navy blue will be joined to COLUMN B beige
c. COLUMN D blue will be joined to COLUMN C dark green

c-1. I am getting ready to join the green and blue squares at the bottom of COLUMN A
c-2. I have picked up the back loop of the corner stitch AND the loop underneath it. (You can see the loop underneath the back loop to the right of the hook.)
c-3. I have drawn my yellow yarn through a back loop (and the loop behind it) of a middle stitch on the green square with the matching stitch from the blue square (explained in #2 above.)

4. This is showing a single crochet decrease on the blue square.
5. If you need to do the decrease or an increase when joining, it will be un-noticeable.

6. I am now ready to end the joining. The last stitch includes the back loop (closest to the hook end) of a stitch and the loop below the back loop.

7. Now, pick up the matching back loop and under back loop on the green square.
8. Next, pull the yarn through.

9. You are now ready to connect all of the blocks in COLUMN A. Follow the same steps as listed above.

10. Once COLUMN A squares are joined, Join all of the squares of COLUMN B.

11. When COLUMN B is finished, place the TOP square of COLUMN B (my top square is red) next to the 2nd square of COLUMN A (light blue in the example.

12. Look at the picture below and see if your sCOLUMNS are joined in the correct way..

--> Now you are going to make your 1st join at the bottom of the purse.
13. This is the how the bottom squares (blue, solid pink and pink variegated which is above the solid pink in COLUMN B) look when you finish joining COLUMN A with COLUMN B.
14. NOTICE: There is a major gap between the pink and blue squares? No problem!
15. Continue joining these two squares. When finished, you will have the bottom of the blue square sewn to the right side of the pink square.

--> Now you are back at the top of COLUMN A and COLUMN B.
16. This is what the top of COLUMN A and COLUMN B look like after they are joined.
17. I don’t like the space between the red and green in the picture below.

18.The long, horizontal piece of yarn (in the picture above above) shows where I made the place a stitch.

19 . After pulling the stitch tight, you can see the difference between the space in #17 above and the space in the picture below.

20.This joint will be stronger and more stable than the lose join I had to start with.
21.Next, join the squares that make up COLUMN C.
22.When you have COLUMN C complete, join the top square (navy blue in my example at the beginning of this pattern) with the 2nd square (beige in my example) of COLUMN B.

--> Now you are going to make your 2nd join at the bottom of the purse.

23.When you get to the bottom of COLUMN C,
a. You will have COLUMN A (blue square) and COLUMN B (solid pink square) joined.
b. Now, you will continue joining the two columns by joining the right side of the green square (COLUMN C) with the bottom of the pink square ( COLUMN B)

24.This is what the top of the bag will look like when you start #25 below.

a. The bottom squares from all of the columns will feel like they are bunched up, but that is normal.
b. The green from COLUMN A looks like it is above the pink from COLUMN B
c. REMEMBER: the grey square is the top of COLUMN D (in the picture above, it looks blue) and the pink is right below it.

25. Repeat #21 – 22 with COLUMN C and COLUMN D. à DO NOT FASTEN OFF ß until I tell you to fasten off.
a. This is ALWAYS the place where, invariably, I mess up
b. I am going to list the way the squares should match up.

1. Green (1st or top square)to Pink (2nd square in COLUMN under the grey)
2. Light blue to Darker Blue
3 . Green to variegated pink.

26. STOP & CHECK. I have used safety pins to join my bottom squares together to make sure they will join correctly and make a square .

--> Now you are connecting the variegated pink to the rest of the squares to make a bottom.

Variegated pink to Blue (COLUMN A)
Varigated pink to Light green (COLUMN C)
27. I stuck a pair of scissors through the middle hole that I had in my bag from joining the 4 squares. This shows that thehole at the join is bigger than I want.

28. Take a needle and yarn and whip stitch this bottom hole together. After doing this the bottom of the tote will be stronger and more stable for carrying heavy items.

Which side should be the front and which the back from the next 4 choices?

29. Navy & Scarlet Top

30. Silver Blue & Navy Top

31. Kelly Green & Silver Grey

32. Scarlet & Kelly Green

--> Time to finish the top and add the shoulder straps.

33. Decide what sides you want as your front and back. I chose picture 31 and 33.
--> I will do some stitches here for strength and stability. I want my tote to be able to carry anything I put in it without coming apart.

34. Join your yarn anywhere on the outside. (I chose the side of the grey square in picture 33.)
a.Ch 1, sc in same sp
b. Sc in each stitch around.
1. When you come to a place where two squares join (see picture below) do a single crochet decrease

2 This decrease will strengthen the top of the bag by pulling the (here red & green) squares closer together.
c.When you get to the middle sc of the green square (which looks blue in this picture)

1. Ch 90, sl st to the square where the strap will join.
2. Sc in each st back to the beginning and single crochet decrease to join to the top of the bag.
3. Continue doing sc’s until you reach the place where you joined the handle.
e. Join your yarn in the space directly on the other side of the handle.
f. Repeat steps 1) -> 4).

--> Adding more rows to the top of the bag and shoulder strap. Again, this is for strength and stability. One sc handle isn’t strong enough for the bag.

35. Join yarn in any stitch, sc around until you come to a shoulder strap, do a sc dec between the last sc on the top and the 1st sc of the shoulder strap. Repeat step 3) and 4) above when you end up at a strep.

36. Decide how many rows you want to put on, Repeat step 37 above until the top of the bag and the shoulder strap look the way you want them (I used red between the straps and green on the outside of both straps.) FASTEN OFF.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are now done.
Wash and dry your bag (if the yarn allows) and ENJOY ! ! ! !
If you would rather get a copy of this pattern, click on the Buy button.
The pattern is FREE, but there is not a way for me to post a FREE button.
the Crochet Pattern Fairy


  1. Hooray! You're back.

  2. That is so clever, Paula! I don't usually crochet, but I can definitely see one of these in my future...thanks!

  3. Hi! Thanks so much for your great pattern for granny tote bags! I just started following your blog recently, and I'm so glad I did. My name is Keri, I'm from Okla. City, and I just learned to crochet last Thanksgiving. My first project was a granny square. I intended to make an afghan, but once I got my hand on some REALLY good yarn, I decided my "beginner's" yarn was too scratchy and scrunchy for a nice, cuddly afghan. So, now I have about 75 squares sitting in a drawer, waiting to be turned into something. Your pattern is the first one I've found that makes sense to me. Thanks again, and feel free to stop by my blog anytime to get acquainted. I don't blog much, but I love reading what everyone else has to say! :) Her is my site: http://greytballsofyarn.blogspot.com/

  4. Hi Paula! I've been wanting to try this one out for a long time! YOURS look great!!! I'm busy packing and moving these days, but I'd love to try this one sometime soon! ~tina


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