Lovely Knitted Bag Patterns (Including A Vintage Design)

Here’s an assortment of lovely bags you can knit, they’re ideal for running errands and shopping. As always, all patterns are free. The vintage project that was originally published on this page is still here but you’ll find it moved below the collection. I’ll be adding more projects to this page as I find them, enjoy!
Diamond: A generous-sized, lined tote with two handles and worked mainly in garter stitch with a diamond panel across the front.

Summer: Ideal for carrying groceries, toting to the beach or even hauling laundry, has a drawstring closure (I-cord).
Ruffled: This is worked on both straights and DPNs using Rozetti Yarns (Marina) and matching DK weight yarn.

Cable Band: Finished size measures approximately 11″ wide by 7.5″ tall (not including handles). Some experience with grafting (kitchener stitch) is recommended.
Easy Peasy: You’ll need a pair of curved-top handles and felt (for lining), includes tutorial for two rosettes (embellishments).

Exploring Waves: Here’s a one-skein beaded project worked on circulars and DPNs. Glass beads are strung onto a ball of wool first.
Retro-Style (pdf): Finished size measures 13″ long x 4″ wide x 10″ high, base is worked first then stitches are picked up from the base. (Source).

Tote: Made with yarns in two colors and worked on circulars & DPNs, started from the top down.
Windmill: Made with a ball each of yarn in three different colors and worked on straights & DPNs. Finished size depends on how many stitches you first cast on (so it’s easy to customize).

Stripes: (felted) Generous size and worked on straights & DPNs using a double strand of yarn.
Elsia Nest Tote: Ideal for both shopping and the beach, it’s a quick project that measures 8″ wide and 12″ long. You’ll find more shopping totes on this page.

Tasha: Features a long strap (in cable) so you can wear it slung across the chest, finished size measures 9″ wide x 10″ long.
Fabric Lined: Made with bulky yarn and lined with wool fabric or felt, straps are leather strips.

Square Cake: Body features vertical diamond stitch panels and the handles act as closure. Worked on DPNs.
Noro: Finished size measures approximately 11″ x 8 1/4″ x 6″ (not including handles). Lined with fabric.

Zakka Pouch: The body is fabric (drawstring closure at top) but the bottom base is knit.


This can be made any desired size.

SetAbbreviations: K (knit); p (purl); tog (together); O (yarn over); to make an eyelet–(k 2 tog, O twice, k 2 tog); sts (stitches)

  • Cast on 40 sts or 10 sts for every 2 1/4-inch.
  • Row 1: K 5, p 5 across row.
  • Repeat row 1 for 5 more rows.
  • Row 7: P 5, k 5 across row.
  • Repeat row 7 for next 5 rows.

Alternate these two groups to height desired.


Two different ways of closing it are shown. For the style shown in the illustration:

  • K a row and p a row for 4 rows.
  • Row 5: (K 1, eyelet) 3 times, k 10, (eyelet, k 1) 3 times. The 10 sts in the center of each side of bag leaves a place in center to grasp the draw string or cord as a handle.
  • Row 6: P this row. P the first O and k the second O.
  • Row 7: K a row.
  • Row 8: P this row.
  • Row 9: K this row. Bind off.

The top shown in lower portion of illustration is made exactly the same only with a row of eyelets completely across top–this is (k 1, eyelet) repeated, ending with an eyelet. This completes one side. Make a second piece.

Sew sides together and across bottom. Leave about one inch open on each side.


Take a large size sewing spool and drive four nails equally spaced around top; let each nail protrude about one half inch above the spool. Number each nail 1, 2, 3 and 4.


  • To start, pull the end of the yarn or thread through the hole of spool, leaving about a 4-inch length showing as in sketch. Pass the working end of thread around hook number 1, which should be directly in front of you. Loop yarn around hook number 2 and bring to number 3, then to 4; now you are back to hook 1 and ready to start.
  • Hold spool or device in left hand with the yarn and a small size knitting needle in right hand. Pass the thread around the hooks from right to left. Insert needle from outside into lp around hook 1 and below the working thread, pick up stitch or loop and slip it over the working thread, dropping if off the hook. Always take off sts from the left side of hooks. A little pull of the end thread will help to keep the sts even. The piece will gradually come through the end of spool. Continue until you have the desired length of cord.
  • To bind off, hold spool with number 1 in front of you. Take the last st off its hook and place it on hook to the left of it. Now drop the bottom st over it. Repeat until one st remains. Cut yarn, leaving a few inches and slip the last lp through st, drawing it tight.
  • To add more yarn or thread, or to join different colors, place the two ends of yarn together and make a knot about one half inch from end. When you reach the knot, simply tuck the loose ends into center of cord.
  • For the draw string style, make two pieces of cord each about one yard long. Lace one cord through the eyelets one way and the second in the same manner starting from opposite side. Knot the ends together and form a loop if desired.

Make two cords each about 16 inches long for the top. Make a knot on each end.

Source: The WorkBasket Magazine (1952)

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