Doing, redoing, and finally done

After some doing and redoing, the granny square tote is finally done.

Based on an unlined leather bag with no closure that I saw online and which retailed for $240, the bag was comprised of just four pieces: two sixteen inch squares, and two straps that resulted in a 15″ drop.

In my quest to create a bag that embodied the major elements the bag was serving as creative inspiration, crocheting two sixteen inch granny squares had gone relatively quickly, as did the installing the fabric lining.

Shortly after that, I figured out that grommets were the way to go to get the look and ease I wanted for attaching the straps, and with the tools and excellent directions that came with the 3/8″ grommet kit I purchased, the grommets were installed in seemingly no time at all:

granny square with grommet
Detail of a grommet installed in a granny square

At this point, I thought I was nearly home free — all that was left was to crochet the straps and attach them, but as I began to work out the details, things got more complicated.

Eventually, after looking over many strap treatments for various crochet bags, I settled on braids, but in short order I learned that my braiding skills were no where near as good as my crochet skills.

It took consistent practice with the types of yarns and ribbons I would be using to get a four-plait braid that did not embarrass me, and today I had two of them which I attached using the grommets I had installed in the granny square tote.

Feeling equal parts delight and relief, I got the braided straps attached to the bag.

Here is one side before trimming:

granny square crochet purse
One side of a granny square purse with braided straps before trimming

and here is the other:

granny square crochet purse
The other side of a granny square purse with braided straps before trimming

In a departure from the bag that inspired this one, I decided to keep the tassel/fringe.

The original reason was practical. I did not want the knot to come undone, but then when I saw the joy of the tassel, I decided I liked the aesthetic of it:

granny square crochet purse
One side of a granny square purse with braided straps trimmed
granny square crochet purse
The other side of a granny square purse with braided straps trimmed

While the straps of original purse have a 15″ drop, it will take several months of use before these straps reach that length, and while this project did not go as quickly as I had expected, now that I have worked out most of the design elements, it is one that I will try my hand at again.

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