Granny squares are the building blocks for various types of projects such as blankets, hats, clothing, bags... the list goes on and on!
This smiley face motif kept popping up everywhere and I knew immediately that I wanted to recreate it using braided cotton cord. I chose this fiber because I wanted to make a project that held its shape and that could hold up to frequent use. You may have noticed from my previous tutorials that this cord is one of my go to fibers to use for a variety of projects.
The smiley face motif is simply a circle within a square and it is finished off by sewing on a smiley face design. The video and written instructions below will walk you through creating this modern take on a granny square. I also share tips on how I used the granny squares to create a tote bag.
Okay, let's get started!
3mm braided cotton cord (amount needed for one square):
6mm crochet hook
Pattern is written using standard US terms.
The pattern uses the waistcoat stitch. Check out this tutorial to learn the basics of the waistcoat stitch before you get started.
Check out this tutorial to learn how to make an invisible join.
finished size: 4.5 inch x 4.5 inch square
If you plan to make a project that requires multiple squares, multiply the cord amounts listed above by the number of squares you need to determine that amount of cord to purchase.
ch = chain
st(s) = stitch(es)
yo = yarn over
sc = single crochet
wsc = waistcoat single crochet
Granny Square Pattern
Round 1: Make a magic circle and chain 1. This counts as the first stitch of the round. Make 5sc into the circle. Close the round with an invisible join. (The stitch created from an invisible join counts as the first stitch of the next round.) (6 sts)
Round 2: Make 2 waistcoat sc into each stitch around. Close the round with an invisible join. (12 sts)
Round 3: Make 1 waistcoat sc into the first stitch and 2 waistcoat sc in the next stitch. Repeat around. Close the round with an invisible join. (18 sts)
Round 4: Make 1 waistcoat sc into the first two stitches and 2 waistcoat sc in the next stitch. Repeat around. Cut cord. Finish off with an invisible closure. Weave ends. (24 sts)
Round 5: Join new cord to the circle and chain three. Make 1 dc in the next two stitches. (2 tr, ch2, 2 tr ) in the next stitch. This creates a corner. *Make 1 dc in the next 5 stitches. (2 tr, ch2, 2 tr ) in the next stitch to create another corner.* Repeat * around until you have two stitches remaining. Make 1 dc into the last two stitches. Cut cord. Finish off with an invisible closure. Weave ends. (44 sts; this includes the chain 2 spaces)
That concludes the granny square portion of this tutorial! If you're interested in a walk through of how I created the tote bag shown in the video, continue reading below.
Creating a Tote Bag
To create the tote bag, you will need to make 14 granny squares and join them together using your prefered method. There are multiple ways to join them together such as "join as you go" (JAYG), the mattress stitch or slip stitching them together. I prefer to use the slip stitch method as I love the look of the braided seam that is created.
The basic construction of the bag is as follows:
4 squares for the front panel
4 squares for the back panel
2 squares for each of the side panels (4 total)
2 squares for the bottom panel
When joining the squares, I like to arrange the squares as depicted below. It allows me to connect the squares together to create the body of the bag with only 6 seams.
First, I slip stitch the 12 squares that make up the front, back and side panels together.
Next, I slip stitch two squares to the bottom of the center 4 squares.
Slip stitch the bottom two squares to the bottom of the two squares that make up the front panel.
Seams 4, 5 and 6 are worked down one side of the bag around to the other side.
Please note that you don't have to seam your bag together in this order. Pick a method and order that works best for you.
Once the 14 squares are joined together, your bag should look like the picture below.
Creating the Handles
Round 1: Join the cord to the middle stitch of a side panel square. Chain 1. Create your foundation row by making a single crochet in each stitch around. Close round with an invisible join (or your preferred method).
(Tip: Looking at the photo below, you'll notice that the spaces in between some of the squares have slight dips in them. As you are working this round, when you come to those spaces, make a half double crochet stitch instead of a single crochet stitch, then continue working with single crochet stitches. This will help to keep this row as smooth as possible).
Round 2: (This step is definitely one that you can customize so don't hesitate to adjust the placement and length of the handles.)
Single crochet in the next 12 stitches. Chain 50. This is the first handle. Skip 13 stitches. Single crochet into the next stitch and then continue crocheting to the other side. Chain 50 to create the second handle, making sure that it is lined up with the first handle. Skip 13 stitches. Single crochet into the next stitch and then continue crocheting to the end of the round. Close round with an invisible join (or your preferred method).
Round 3: Single crochet in each stitch around. Finish off and weave the ends.
I would highly suggest that you line the interior of this bag to hide the back of the squares. This will not only give the bag a nice clean finish but keep things from getting snagged on the interior stitches when the bag is in use.
That concludes the tutorial! Share your finished projects with the hashtag #yarnth3orytaughtme. If you have any questions, post them in the comments below.
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