This sturdy bag makes use of short
lengths of lots of colours; choosing
scraps from your own stash will
make every bag unique.
The front, back and base are stiffened
with plastic canvas so the bag stands
up and will stay open on its own –
very handy for a knitting bag.
The handles pull the top closed, keeping the contents safe when it’s
The finished bag is 28 cm wide, 27 cm tall and 8 cm deep
(11 × 10½ × 3″) and is knitted with DK weight yarns. I used
Stylecraft Special DK (295m / 100g), 120g of Parchment for the
main colour and then small amounts of fifteen colours for the
You will need 3 – 4 metre lengths of
whichever colours you choose, I
measured mine by arm lengths – each
was about 4 – 5 arms. Vary the lengths
a bit so that you’re not always starting
the new colours in the same place. And
no, there aren’t going to be lots of ends
to sew in – more of that later.
Frankie’s Knitted Stuff
You can either work through your
colours randomly or plan a sequence in
advance. I’m not very good at ‘random’
so I arranged my colours in roughly
When you run out of yarn just cut
Tension is not that important for this pattern but, if you want your
bag to be about the same size as mine, I would suggest aiming for
11 stitches and 15 rows to 5 cm / 2″², working in stocking stitch on
4 mm / US size 6 needles. Not that there’s much stocking stitch in
this pattern but it’s easier than sampling the slip stitch patterns
before starting on the bag.
Front and Back
Using 3.25 mm / US size 3 needles and the cable method cast on
75 stitches with your main colour yarn.
Knit one row.
Now change to 4 mm / US size 6 needles and start working the slip
stitch colour pattern. This consists of four rows and is worked in
two row stripes of M (main) and C (contrast). Read the notes on
this pattern before starting to knit.
Row 1: C K3, *sl 1 wyib, K3, repeat from * to end.
Row 2: C K3, *sl 1 wyif, K3, repeat from * to end.
Row 3: M K1, *sl 1 wyib, K3, repeat from * to last 2 sts,
sl 1 wyib, K1.
Row 4: M K1, *sl 1 wyif, K3, repeat from * to last 2 sts,
sl 1 wyif, K1.
Use your lengths of contrast colours in order, adding a new one as
needed. There is no need to darn in the ends as the knitting will be
lined; just knot the two tails of yarn together twice and trim them a
little if needed. Don’t cut them off too short or the knots may come
Avoid starting a new length of colour at the start or end of a row as
the ends will be harder to hide – just change colour a little early if
this looks like happening.
Keep the main colour in front of the contrast at the start of the rows
for a tidy edge.
All slipped stitches are slipped purlwise. The yarn is held at the
back of the work on Rows 1 and 3 and at the front on Rows 2 and 4.
So, work in this pattern until the
knitting measures about 23 cm /
9″, ending with Row 4. The rest
of the piece is worked in the
main colour only.
Next row: *K3, K2tog, repeat from * to end (60 sts).
Knit five rows, slipping the first stitches knitwise.
Work nine rows in stocking stitch, starting with a knit row.
Cast off knitwise, leaving a long tail.
Fold and pin the stocking stitch section in half and then use the
cast off tail to close one short side and to oversew the cast off edge
to the start of the stocking stitch.
One ridge in the main colour should be visible.
This casing holds a length of wooden dowel which helps to keep
the top of the bag open. I used 6mm / ¼” dowel but, at a pinch, you
could cut off the ends of a pair of long 6 or 6.5 mm knitting
needles and use those instead.
Slide the dowel into the casing and mark where the end of the
knitting comes to; make sure that you aren’t stretching the knitting,
the casing should be the same width as the rest of the knitting.
After cutting the dowel to size and putting it back in the casing,
close the remaining short side and fasten off the yarn.
That’s the front of the bag finished. Make the back in exactly the
same way. If you continue the sequence of contrast colours from
where you left off the two sides will be different. If you don’t want
this you can start again with your first colour. I made mine
different but then I’m the sort of person who likes the stripes on
knitted socks not to match.
Sides and Base
The two sides and base of the bag are knitted in one long strip,
using the main colour and a broken rib pattern. My bag is about
8 cm / 3″ deep; for a deeper bag just cast on more stitches, any odd
number will work.
Using 3.25 mm needles and the cable method cast on 21 stitches.
Knit five rows, slipping the first stitch knitwise after the first row.
Now start the broken rib:
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: K1, *P1, K1, repeat from * to end.
This simple stitch pattern gives a nice textured fabric.
Right Side Wrong Side
Work until your strip is 23 cm / 9″ long, measuring from the start
of the patterned part or until this section matches the side of your
Now purl one row and then knit one row to mark the corner of the
bag and continue in broken rib for the base.
This should be 26 cm / 10¼” long but, again, it is best to measure
it against one of your bag pieces.
Mark the second corner by purling one row and then knitting a row
and work the second side to match the first.
Finish the strip by knitting six rows (yes six, not five), slipping the
first stitch of each row knitwise and then cast off.
Pin and sew the base between the front and back pieces.
Lining the Bag
You will need three pieces of ultra stiff plastic canvas, 7 bars to the
inch for this or you can use cardboard instead. The front and back
pieces should be 10 × 9″ (70 × 63 bars) and the base 10 × 3″ (70 ×
21 bars) or whatever size will fit just inside the knitted sections to
be lined. Trim the corners of the plastic to stop them poking
In the interests of economy appropriate to a bag made out of scraps
I used a tea towel for the lining (I keep a stock of these and use
them to make tote bags). This turquoise one came in a pack with a
patterned tea towel and matched one of my yarn colours perfectly.
Cut your fabric pieces bigger all round than the plastic canvas and
then fold them over the plastic and lightly mark the folds. Be very
careful when doing this or you will melt the plastic; just lightly
mark the folds and then take the plastic out and press the fabric
Pin the fabric to the wrong side of the knitting, sew in place by
hand round three sides, put the plastic in and then sew the last side
down. You may find you need to trim your plastic a bit if it’s a
When the front, back and base
are lined and stiffened with
plastic the four side seams can
be sewn together.
Note that the top of the sides
will not come to the top of the
front and back.
I wanted the handles to be quite thick but didn’t want to line them
with fabric so I knitted a double thickness fabric.
Using 4 mm and the long tail method cast on ten stitches. Leave a
long tail to sew the handle to the bag.
Knit five rows, slipping the first stitch knitwise after the first row.
Next row: Sl 1 kwise, (kf&b) eight times, K1 (18 sts).
Now it starts to get clever …
Every row: Sl 1 kwise wyib, P1, *sl 1 pwise wyif, P1,
repeat from * to end.
What you are doing is knitting in the round by working half the
stitches on one row and the other half on the next. This means that
you will actually only have completed a round after two rows. If
you count the rows on either side of your knitting after an odd
number of rows you’ll see what I mean.
As you can see in this picture the knitting is actually a tube with a
nice chain stitch edge on each side. Pull the yarn tightly after
slipping the first stitch of the row to keep that edge stitch even.
Work an even number of rows until the handle is about 28 cm / 11″
long (I worked 140 rows or 70 rounds).
Next row: Sl 1 kwise, (K2tog) eight times, K1 (10 sts).
Knit five rows, slipping the first stitch knitwise and cast off, again
leaving a long tail.
Make another handle to match
and then pin and sew them to the
front and back of the bag so that
the inside edge of each handle is
about 10 cm / 4″ from the sides.
st / sts stitch / stitches
sl 1 slip one stitch
wyib with yarn held at the back of the work
wyif with yarn held at the front of the work
K2tog knit two stitches together
kf&b knit into the front and back of the stitch
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Categories: Crochet Bag Patterns