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  • Writer's pictureThe Knotted Nail

Free Pattern Friday: Checkerboard w/ BONUS Storage Backpack!

This is a project I've been thinking about over and over again for years now. Ever since I first learned how to create a granny square I've had this idea for a giant crochet checkerboard. After being inspired by this big fabric checkerboard the kids at the daycare I worked at used to play with, I figured I'd try my hand at making my own!

Overall, this project is quite simple but does require quite a bit of time and patience. It consists of 32 squares per color (64 in total), plus 24 double-sided checkers. Let's just say there were quite a few cups of coffee (and a couple glasses of wine) needed to finish it. I've also gone an extra step and included a BONUS pattern! I realized that it would be hard to keep all the checkers together, so I created this cute little storage backpack to go with it!

All things aside, I do think this project is very special and meaningful (especially when given as a gift) for the amount of time and energy that goes into it. You can also have a lot of fun playing with different color combinations to make it really unique. I personally recommend finding nice contrasting and complementary colors to work with.

If you're up for the challenge, keep scrolling for the links to the free checkerboard & storage backpack patterns!

An ad-free, large print pdf bundle version is available for $3.99 on my Etsy Store!

Checkerboard w/ Checkers


Weight 4 yarn in 4 colors of your choosing (I used Red Heart Super Saver in “Aran”, “Black” and “Heather Grey, and Loops and Threads Impeccable in “Arbor Rose”)Scissors


I - 5.5mm


Board: 20.5" x 20.5"

Checkers: 2 inch diameter


ch = chain

slst = slip stitch

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

Inc. = increase (2dc in 1 stitch)

F/O = finish off (ch1, cut yarn & pull tail through to create a knot)

Checkerboard Pattern

(Make 32 squares per color)

*For every round, join with a slst in 2nd chain.

1. Magic Circle w/ 16dc (including ch2)

2. Ch2, 1dc in same stitch as chain, ch2, 2dc in same stitch (corner 1). 1dc in next 3 stitches. 2dc/ch1/2dc in next stitch(corner 2). Repeat for remaining sides & corners, ending w/ 1 dc in last 3 stitches. Slst into ch2, F/O & weave in tail.

Note: If you would like to make a larger board, continue to create additional rounds to each square using the same pattern (1dc on sides & 2dc/2ch/2dc in corners).

Connecting Squares

Line up the edges of 2 squares (different colors). Create 2sc in the right corner, 1sc in each stitch across, and 2sc in the left corner. Line up 2 more squares (opposite colors on each side) and repeat the same pattern across until you have a row of 8 squares (16 total including both sides). Continue to connect squares in rows of 8 until all are connected. Turn board & sew other sides together using same pattern (crochet over lines from previous rows).


(Color 1) Starting on one side of the board, ch1 & create 1sc in each stitch around the sides & 2sc/ch2/2sc in each corner, switch to color 2. Repeat same border pattern starting with ch2 & dc’s instead of sc. F/O & weave in tails.

Checkers Pattern

Make 24 checkers per color (will sew 2 pieces together)

*For every round, join with a slst in 2nd chain.

Magic Circle w/ 10dc (including ch2)

Ch2, 2dc in each (20). Slst into ch2 & F/O.

To connect checkers, match up 2 pieces with wrong sides facing inwards. Create 1sc, inc. around & join w/ slst (can also use a tapestry needle to sew together). F/O & weave tail.

Checkers Storage Backpack


Weight 4 yarn in Pink, White & Black (I used Loops & Threads Impeccable in “Arbor Rose” and Red Heart Super Saver in "Aran" and "Black")



Tapestry Needle


I - 5.5mm


8” H x 8.5” W


ch = chain

slst = slip stitch

sc = single crochet

dc = double crochet

Inc. = increase (2dc in 1 stitch)

dc2tog = double crochet together

F/O = finish off (ch1, cut yarn & pull tail through to create a knot)


  • Join w/ slst at end of each round

  • In each round, ch2 counts as 1 dc stitch

  • When creating flap, create 1st dc in same stitch as ch2

  • For both the top strap & arm straps, you can choose to make the straps separately and sew onto the bag using a tapestry needle

  • If you want to make the backpack bigger, make additional increasing rounds & add to the total length of the bag. You will also need to make the top flap wider and longer and add to the length of all straps.

Backpack Pattern


1. (PINK) Magic Circle w/ 10dc (including ch2)

2. Ch2, 2dc in each (20)

3. Ch2, 1dc, inc (30)

4. Ch2, 2dc, inc (40)

5. Ch2, 3dc, inc (50)

6-9. Ch2, 1dc in each (50). Slst w/ WHITE

10-14. (WHITE) Ch2, 1dc in each (50). Slst w/ BLACK

Top Flap

15. (BLACK) Ch2, 1dc in next 20 stitches (21 incl. ch2)

16. Ch2 & turn. 1dc in each (21)

17-20. Ch2 & turn. 1dc2tog in 1st 2 stitches & last 2 stitches of

row, with 1dc in each stitch between. (19 / 17 / 15 / 13)

21.(Button Hole) Turn & slst in 1st 5 stitches. Ch 8 & continue to

slst in remaining 5 stitches. F/O & weave tail. *May need to

adjust number of chains for hole depending on size of button*

Tie & Strap Patterns


Using a tapestry needle and matching color yarn, attach button at round 11 in the middle of the front.


Using WHITE, ch 90 & F/O. Find the two front middle posts in row 14 (front of bag= opposite side of flap), insert hook between the posts & begin weaving in and out of dc posts across row. Working in sections, begin pulling the white chain through the posts till tie wraps back around to the front.

Top Strap

(BLACK) Attach yarn to dc post after 7th dc of 1st black row going inward on either side. Ch 20 & slst into dc post after 7th dc in on opposite side. Ch1, turn & 1sc in each chain. Slst into same beginning post, F/O & weave tail.

Arm Straps

(BLACK) Attach yarn to end dc post of 1st black row & ch 45. Slst into dc post in round 2 on same side where strap was attached. Ch1, turn & 1sc in each (45). Slst into same beginning dc post, F/O & weave ends.

Repeat same steps with other strap ( slst into dc post on opposite side of round 2).

© Copyright Notice: You have permission to sell the finished product for this pattern. If products are sold online, please give credit to The Knotted Nail by providing a link to my blog (, or to my Etsy store ( Rewriting, reselling, distributing or copying the pattern itself is prohibited. Thank you for your understanding and happy crocheting!


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