Crochet Bag Handles- The Best 3

I need crochet bag handles. Crochet bags have one hurdle for me, finishing them with handles. There are many great handles out there, I could easily purchase leather strapping or wooden rings or traditional purse straps. I could even head to the thrift store and find a cheap handbag that I love the handles on, and cut them off for my bag…but there is a common theme in these approaches; I have to go and get something.

This “final step” is my constant hang up. It is bad enough that I have to weave in the ends; just this step can leave an item sitting in a pile for a while. So, finding a handles solution that does not become a “final stage” has been paramount to my actually completing these projects.

I have come up with 3 crochet bag handles that fit my needs very well. Ones I could actually make and attach are the requirements. Added to these requirements are the need that they not be flimsy and don’t stretch too much.

The first is make it a Tunisian crochet bag handle.

Tunisian crochet fabric, under certain conditions curls. I have taken this trait that is often seen as a deterrent and turned it into a benefit. To create this handle, I simply create a chain for the desired length of the handle using a Tunisian hook size that is a bit smaller then I would normally use (this ensures that the fabric curls). Then I work 3-5 rows of Tunisian Simple Stitch. The fabric should be curling up on itself. I then decide to seam the strip together of not. I might even insert a bit of clothes line and let the fabric wrap around it. Attach it to the bag.

The curling of Tunisian fabric to create a handle

The second is make it a braid crochet bag handle.

For this approach I create a chain that are about 3 inches longer then I would like the handle and work a single crochet in each chain. Make 3 of these single crochet strips. Pin the 3 strips together and braid them together, placing a pin at the finished end. Then attached this handle to the bag.

Braiding 3 single crochet strands together to create a handle

The third is make a chained chain crochet bag handle.

In this process you create a chain three times longer than you would like the handle. I don’t fasten off this chain as I may want to add to it to lengthen the handle as I work. Take a larger hook and then use the newly created chain as a “yarn” and create a chain with it. This creates a heavier rope appearance handle. Attach it to the bag.

Chain a Chain, or Double Chain to create a handle

These three types of handles have helped me finish up projects, then I only have to weave in the ends.

A Continuous Granny Square

There are days I need to get into a rhythm with my crochet and the continuous granny square helps me do that.

It does not require counting. It does not require joining, it just keeps going in a spiral. This is prefect for creating scrap squares, of entire scrap blankets.

What I like most is that I do not have to think about the motion of my hands. Anytime I reach a corner, I put in a corner, any time I find a side, I work a side. It really is that simple.

Where I found this technique

I learned about this square judging a “Fastest Hook” competition at a CGOA conference. The continuous granny square was worked by all participants, as it really does lend itself to speed.

A Continuous Granny Square

To make it all you have to do is start the beginning of a circle just like you always would. The first round of a granny squares as 4 sides made up of 3dc each, and 4 corners. The last corner is worked differently creating the spiral.

Lets get started

Round 1: Ch 4, 2 dc in 4th ch from hook, [ch 3, 3 dc in same ch] 3 times, ch 6. DO NOT JOIN ROUND

The four side of Round 1
Chain 6 and skip the join, work into the next corner

Round 2: Skip over the next 3 dc, and [(3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in next ch-3 sp (corner made), ch 3] rep 3 times, (3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in ch-6 sp, ch 3. DO NOT JOIN ROUND

Worked with scrap yarn…worked a corner into the ch-6 sp, to finish Round 2.

To work all subsequent rounds, work a corner (3dc, ch 3, 3dc) in a corner, work 3 dc a side in ch-3 sp, and make sure that you ch 3 between all blocks. It is that easy.

For a visual chart reference….

To help ensure that you end with an actual square, I mark the ch-6 sp, as this is the same corner of the square that I would end at to have even sides.

At finishing, I will work the beginning tail up the side of a dc at the ch-6 sp and make a connection between the 2 un-joined sides in Round 1. This ties it all together and makes it look like traditional granny squares.

Reversible Shells- A unique fabric

Creating unique reversible crochet fabric is a really fun thing to do. The Reversible Shell stitch is a great technique that can create a memorable blanket, scarf, hat, or really just about anything.

It looks more intimidating than it really is. This technique is worked as a 4 row repeat, working 2 rows in each color.

One of the things that can be a bit trying about this stitch is that after working 2 rows of one color, you remove the hook from the working loop and pick up the loop of the other color and work 2 more rows.

Lets Get Started

Start with a beginning chain of a multiple of 4. The first row has a little different stitch pattern in order to keep the project looking symmetrical.

To work the first row, put a stitch marker in the 4th chain from the hook (this is to help find the location to join the second color), dc in 5th ch from hook, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch, [ch 1, sk 1, dc in next ch, 3 dc in next ch, dc in next ch] repeat across, leave last ch unworked. Do not turn.

The beginning foundation of Reversible Shells in crochet
Reversible Shells, Row 1

A Little Unnerving Way to Start A New Row

Now for the unnerving part, pull your working loop up kind of long and remove your hook. With the second color join with a sc in the marked chain (to work a standing sc, check it out here), now ch 6, sc in the skipped chain of the beginning, (ch 6, sc in next ch) across, working last sc in the unworked last chain. Chain 1, and slip stitch to the last stitch worked in the other color making sure to keep the long loop and the working yarn of the other skein out of the way. Now you turn the fabric.

Using a standing single crochet to join for Reversible Shells
Reversible Shells- drop the working loop and join the new color with a standing single crochet
Adding the first row of a new color in Reversible Shell crochet stitch is a chain loop
Reversible Shells- Work chain 6 and single crochet across, working a single crochet in the unused beginning chain.
Slip Stitch to attach this unique reversible fabric
Reversible Shell- Slip Stitch in last stitch of the other color, make sure to keep the long loop and working yarn out of the way.

Join the Fabrics

This row essentially joins the two colors. When working the shell the hook is inserted through the indicated double crochet and chain 6 loop of the same color that is being worked. Ch2, sk 1 dc, Shell (5 dc in next dc and ch-6 loop), [ch 1, sk 4 dc, Shell in next dc and ch-6 loop (this is the center dc and the chain loop)] repeat across, sc in turning chain. Pull up the working loop to a long loop and remove hook. Do not turn.

Work through the two rows in Reversible Shell crochet stitch
Reversible Shell- Insert hook through both the indicated stitch and the chain 6 loop that is the same color as the working yarn.
Single crochet in last stitch or turning chain.
Reversible Shell- Single crochet in the last stitch or turning chain

Back to Working Only the Same Color

This row works through the same color. Start by inserting the hook in the other color loop, and resize the loop to fit the hook. [Ch 6 and sc in the ch-1 sp (between the 5 dc stitches)] repeat across. Turn and work the Row of joining the two colors.

Single crochet in the chain 1 space between the double crochets of the same color
Reversible Shells- Chain 6, single crochet in the chain 1 space between double crochets of the same color

And Repeat

Repeat the stitch pattern rows or working ch-6 loops, turning and working a joining shell. Then you drop the working yarn, pick up the other color and work the same stitch repeat.

Reversible Shells crochet
Reversible Shells- Work the pattern until the desired length.

Work this until you have the desired length.

I like to finish my work so that it has a little visual balance, so I work a row of the ch-6 loops, and fasten off that color. I then turn and pick up the other color loop. Chain 4 and [sc in the same location I would work a shell, picking up the ch-6 loop, ch 3] repeat across, sc in 2nd ch of ch-6 loop. Then fasten off.

I have found that it works nicely with a wide range of colors and yarn types. Lending itself to endless possibilities.

Tunisian in the Round- Free Pattern

To help you celebrate National Crochet Month, I am sharing a technique to help advance your crochet skills, and including a free pattern. Today I am sharing how to work Tunisian Crochet in the Round.

First, I would like to thank Crochetville for including me in they blog tour for this month long celebration. Everyday you are introduced to a new designer, or hobbyist or teacher, to help inspire a new desire of crochet within you. Don’t miss a day, check out the participants here.

What Makes this Special

Tunisian crochet is an interesting technique that produces a fabric that can look woven, or even knitted. It is worked with in a two-step process. The first step is to load up the hook with loops (Forward Pass), like casting on in knitting, the second step is working all the loops off until only one remains (Return Pass).

Here is One Option

This back and for of the two-steps, actually can make it a bit challenging to work the fabric in the round, so often it is worked flat and then seamed. However, there are a couple of different approaches to working in the round. One is to work with a double ended crochet hook, so you can load from one end and work off the loops with the other. This process works the piece in a spiral and two strands of yarn, it looks nice, but finding double ended hooks is not exactly an easy task.

The Option I like

The method I employ more is one that I discovered from Jennifer Hanson, the Stitch Diva. It is a Tunisian Loop Return Pass. It involves using a cabled Tunisian hook, and adding joining loops to the fabric while working the Return Pass. I have tweaked it a bit from what Jennifer has in her video, as it works for me. So let me share my tweaked version.

How to Make it Work

After you have completed the Forward Pass of a Round, fold the cable of the hook so that the end is next to the hook, the next step for a return pass is to now yarn over and pull through a loop, you will still do this step but you wrap the yarn around the cable as you are yarning over. Basically I have the cable laying adjacent to the hook so that when I yarn over, the yarn is coming over the cable as well, and then I pull through 1 loop.

Include the cable in the yarn over.
Yarn over and pull through 1 loop on hook.

Keeping the cable laying adjacent to the hook still, I now yarn over and pull through 2 loops. At this point I have just added 2 loops to the end of the cable.

Yarn over the cable and hook again, then pull through 2 loops on the hook.
After working the 2 added joining loops to the cable, now work the standard process for a Return Pass of Yo, pull through 2 loops, across until 2 loops from the forward pass, and the 2 added joining loops remain.

Finishing the Join

I now continue the Return Pass, by yarning over and pulling through 2 loops without working over the cable until 2 loop from the Forward Pass and the 2 added loops remain, (this will be 4 loops on the hook). Yarn over and pull through the last 4 loops.

2 loops of the Return Pass, and the 2 added joining loops
Push the added joining loops up the cable and onto the hook. Yarn over and pull through all loops.
First Round is joined.

Work all subsequent round this way, and the fabric with be joined.

Yarn over cable and hook before beginning the Return Pass of every round.

In some of the Tunisian stitches there may be some gapping at the join. I have found this with the Tunisian Full Stitch for example, but overall it is satisfactory to me. In addition as the fabric is joined in the Return Pass, during the very first Round the beginning chain is not joined, so when I weave in the ends, I use this opportunity to close this gap.

The look of the seam after a few rounds.

Tunisian Cup Cozy Pattern

Tunisian Cup Cozy


Any medium weight yarn

M/N (9 mm) Tunisian cabled crochet hook

Special Stitches

Tunisian Loop Return Pass (TLRP)–  *Bring end of cable to working end of hook, bring working yarn to bottom of hook and in front of cable, loop working yarn under cable to top of hook,** YO, pull through a loop; Rep from * to ** once, YO, pull through 2 loops (2 loops added at end of row); (Yo, pull through 2 loops) until 4 loops remain on hook, YO, pull through 4 loops.

Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss)Working from right to left, hold working yarn behind work, insert hook under next vertical bar, yarn over and draw up a loop.

Getting Started

Rnd 1: Ch 23, load hook by inserting hook in next ch, YO, pull up a loop across. TLRP. -23 sts

Rnd 2 & 3: Tss in each stitch. TLRP.

Rnd 4: Sc in each st across. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

1 for Me, 1 for You- Mixed Blocks

Help me help local communities by creating blocks for Warm Up America, by making a block for yourself and one for a community project with this free pattern. I will be creating a new block every few weeks and sharing it with you, I just ask that make one for donation.

Warm Up America is a nationwide organization that encourages local donations, but will also except donations to be sent to their office so that blocks can be assembled and then blankets can be donated through the United States.

Mixed Blocks Block

Even if you do not want to participate with Warm Up America, please consider creating blocks, or blankets for your local community. There are various places in every community that accept donations.

Corner to Corner

This is a popular technique that while a bit of a challenge to get started is quite addicting once you get it. This technique really allows you to customize the size of any project you want to work it with, you just need to refer to the “increase both side”, “increase one side, decrease one side”, and “decrease both sides” portions and work them until you have a desired size.

Gauge: 7”x9” rectangle


Medium weight yarn, in 3 colors MC (main color), CC1, CC2

K/10 ½/ 6.5mm hook


The “blocks” within this block are made up of a chain 3, and 3 double crochet stitches.

Each row creates new blocks, and work in the sides of the adjacent blocks of the previous row.

Since this Block uses three colors, instead of cutting the yarn, carry it along the side of the Block. If you need tips on this check it out here.

Block Pattern

With MC Ch 7

Increase Both Sides

Row 1: Dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in each ch across, turn. – 4 dc (1 block)

Beginning of Row 2, change color and chain 6

Row 2: Change to CC1, ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, sl st to the top of the turning chain of the adjacent dc block, ch 3, working down side of dc stitch of adjacent block work 3 dc, turn. -2 blocks

Row 2, dc in 4th ch from hook, and in next 2 chains.
Slip Stitch to the top of the adjacent block
Work in the side of the adjacent block, change color and chain 6

Row 3: Change to CC2, ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, sl st to the top of the adjacent dc block, [ch 3, working down side of dc stitch of adjacent block work 3 dc, sl st to the top of the adjacent dc block] repeat across, turn. -3 blocks

Working second block of Row 3

Row 4-7: Rep Row 3, changing color every row in the pattern of MC, CC1, CC2, MC. – 7 blocks

Increase One Side, Decrease One Side

Row 8: Change to CC1, ch 6, dc in 4th ch from hook, dc in next 2 chs, sl st to the top of the adjacent dc block, [ch 3, working down side of dc stitch of adjacent block work 3 dc, sl st to the top of the adjacent dc block] repeat across until 1 block remains, leave side of last block unworked, turn. -7 blocks

End of Row 8, do not work in the side of the last block.

Row 9: Change to CC2, sl st across the top of the last 3 dc, sl st to the top of the ch on block, [ch 3, working down side of dc stitch of adjacent block work 3 dc, sl st to the top of the adjacent dc block] repeat across, turn. -7 blocks

Beginning of Row 9, Sl st across the block to begin row, and decrease the side.

Decrease Both Sides

Row 10: Change to MC, sl st across the top of the last 3 dc, sl st to the top of the ch on block, [ch 3, working down side of dc stitch of adjacent block work 3 dc, sl st to the top of the adjacent dc block] repeat across until 1 block remains, leave side of last block unworked, turn. -6 blocks

Beginning of Row 10, sl st across to begin decreasing on both sides
End of Row 10, decreased on both sides.

Rows 11-15: Rep Row 10. -1 block

Fasten off.

End of Row 15. Note the stitch ends at the end of the block, not the corner of the overall Block.


Rnd 1: Ch 1, sc in sc in same st, sc in each st across until 1 st remains, 3 sc in last st, working over row ends evenly sc across to beg ch, 3 sc in last st, working in unused loops of beg ch, sc in each chain across, 3 sc in last st, working over row end evenly sc across, 2 sc in last st, sl st to beg sc, fasten off.

Weave in ends, block. (see tips here)