Crocheting "in the round" is, very simply, crocheting a round or oval shape, by working your stitches AROUND your beginning chain. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, but surprisingly, a LOT of people just don't get it!
I have compiled some tips, and taken some pictures, to help you on your journey!
For an oval shape, such as a tote bag, you will have a longer chain. Let's start with showing work on an oval. Work your first stitches, as written, in that beginning chain. Once you reach the last chain, you will generally need to work several stitches in that last chain, in order to "turn the corner", without puckering your work.
Work the remainder of the stitches in the bottom side of those chains, until you reach your last chain, which is also your first stitch, from the beginning of this round.
Once you have completed the necessary number of stitches, you will either join them, with a slip stitch in the top of the first stitch, or continue the second round without joining, by working the next stitches in the top of the stitches of the first round.
Worsted weight yarn, in your choice of colors
Size H/8 (5.00mm) crochet hook
Rnd 1: ch 15. Hdc in 2nd ch from hook. Hdc in each of the next 12 chs. Work 2 hdc in last ch. Working the opposite side of the ch, hdc in each of the next 13 chs across. Join with sl st in 1st hdc. (28 sts)
Rnds 2-12: ch 1. Hdc in each st around. Join. (28 sts)
Rnd 13: ch 1. Sc in each of the next 5 sts. Ch 12(Creating button loop). Sc in each remaining st around. Join. Fasten off.
Sew a button to the front side of pouch, where button loop can slip easily over it.
Rnd 1: ch 2. Work 8 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Join. (8 sts)
Rnd 2: ch 1. Work 2 sc in each st around. Join. (16 sts)
Rnd 3: ch 1. *Sc in next st, work 2 sc in next st*. Repeat (*) around. Join. Fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing. (24 sts)
Using a yarn needle, and contrasting color yarn, stitch a smiley face on the circle. Use the long tail to sew face to the front of your pouch. Weave in all ends, and your pouch is finished!