The Leo Tote

Margot Blanket

A step-by-step guide to crocheting summer's must-have accessory

Ever gotten halfway through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?” We have 🙋‍♀️


That’s why we’ve created these step-by-step guides to walk you through the crocheting process. 


Even if you've never crocheted before, we'll take you from zero to crochet hero in no time 🦸‍♀️

When it comes to learning to crochet, practice makes perfect.

Before we get started on the pattern we suggest you spend a bit of time learning the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your bag. 


The Leo Tote is summer's must-have accessory and you're going to have a lot of fun making her. We make Leo using the double crochet stitch as well as the single crochet stitch. 


You'll want to be confident with the single and double crochet stitches before you start 🧶 You'll also want to get a hang of tying a slip knot and chaining which is the first step in any crochet project.


You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice these stitches. Once you've got these mastered you'll find the pattern a cinch! 

Total beginner? 👩‍🏫 


For a more comprehensive lesson on the basics of crochet visit our Learn How To Crochet page. 


Onto the bag 👜🕺

The Leo Tote

⚡️What you'll need

Your kit comes with everything you'll need to make your masterpiece. In your kit you'll find;

 

  • 3.5mm hook
  • 3 balls of Cardigang Raffia in 3 colours
  • A darning needle
  • Stitch markers
  • Made by me tag

You also want to have a pair of scissors and a tape measure handy. 

⚡️Test your tension

Before you start your project, make sure your tension (how tightly or loosely your crocheting is) is juuuust right 🥣 We do this by making a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big. 


Gauge: If done correctly, your 10x10cm swatch should be 16-17 stitches wide x 9 rows high when made in double crochet on your 3.5mm hook.


To test this, chain 20 + 3 stitches (the +3 makes your turning chain), then work in double crochet for 11 rows. Then measure a 10x10cm square and count your stitches and rows within that space to make sure you're crocheting at the correct tension. 


If you've got more stitches or rows than the instructions say you should have, your work is a little too tight, and if you've got less your work is too loose. Adjust your tension by holding the yarn a little more tightly/loosely as you crochet.


Double Crochet Gauge Swatch Raffia

💪 Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 


🧶 Happy hooker, let's crochet!

Time to switch off. Stitch on. And whip up your drool-worthy tote!

BODY

STEP 1

Let's start with our foundation chain. 


💭 Try to make your chain stitches as evenly sized as possible. Don't pull the loops too tight because you'll struggle to work into these loops in your first row.


Chain 101: Make sure all the ‘V’s line up and are roughly the same size. 

Chain with raffia

STEP 2

In our first row we're working into the chain, so you're going to insert your hook into the 4th chain from the hook. We only skip some stitches like this when we're working into the chain. So this is the only time in this pattern that you'll go into the 4th chain. 


Then do a double crochet into each stitch along the chain. 


🫣 Good news, this is the hardest row to complete because working into the chain isn't as easy as working into a row. So persist and things will get easier! 


💭 Your turning chain is what gives us the height to work the next row - they are very important! Without them, we'd be making a triangle! 


STEP 3

Time to complete the second row - this row becomes the foundation for all other rows. Our turning chain counts as our first stitch so you're going to insert your hook into the second stitch in the row and then into every other stitch along the row. 


💭 Make sure your hook is going in under both bars of the stitch. Your stitches will look like ‘V’s when looking at your work from the top down. 


STEP 4 to 13

More of the same my friend! 


🌈Changing colour


When you reach row 4 you'll do your first colour change. We change colours at the end of the row. All you'll do is yarn over with the new colour and complete the stitch with the new yarn. Then tie your ends together to secure them. We will be weaving the ends into the seams at the end. 

SEWING TOGETHER

Awesome work! You've done a lot of the heavy lifting. Next we're going to seam our bag together. 


You'll fold your long rectangle in half short-ways so that your foundation chain folds over on it's self. Then follow the instructions in the video below to seam your bag together. 


🎬 Watch how to join horizontal seams

HANDLES

You're so close to the finish line now! 🎢 


You'll need your stitch markers for this part. 


STEP 1

Attach your yarn to the top of your bag by doing a slip stitch. 


💭 A slip stitch is where you insert your hook into your work, yarn over and then pull through both loops on your hook. 


Do two rounds of double crochet. 


STEP 2

Mark out the gaps for your handles with your stitch markers and then begin your round in single crochet. 


Leo handles

Complete the 4 rounds of single crochet to finish the top of your bag. 

POM POMS

You should have a bit of raffia left so if you want to make some pom poms or tassels to decorate your bag, let's do it! 


🎬 Watch how to make a pom pom


🎬  Watch how to make a tassel 

D.O.N.E! You've finished your bag, well done! Epic work 🤩 If this was your first-ever crochet project or one of many, we hope you had a blast. Don't forget to share your masterpiece with us on Instagram and TikTok @cardigang_knits 💥❤️

In a bind and need a little more help?

Email us at stitchup@cardigang.com.au and we'll be able to help! Whether you're just starting out, or you've got a specific question or problem (dropped a stitch, no stress!), we're here to get you out of a bind.