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Basic Tote Bag

This is a great pattern for new knitters.


Front and Back of Bag

Knit (2) pieces for front and back of bag. Front and Back of bag are the same.

Cast On (30) sts. Do (1) circular (wrap down board and return) in stockinette, then, place anchor yarn across sts. (This is done by laying contrasting color yarn between boards with ends dangling at each end.) Do 2nd circular. Now you have (2) wraps on each needle. Hook bottom wrap over top. Your stitches are now cast on.

Continue in stockinette st for (24) rows.
Bind off with crochet hook. (Start at end of board without yarn. Slip crochet hook through 1st st, front and back, and 2nd st front. There will be 3 loops on crochet hook. Pull (1) closest to hook thru (2). Pick up next (2) loops, alternating boards. Pull (1) thru (2). Continue to end of sts, and your knitted piece is off the board. Pull tail end of yarn thru last loop for a knot.

Sides of Bag (Knit 2)

Cast On (12) sts. Don’t forget the anchor yarn. Continue stockinette for (24) rows
Bind off with crochet hook.

Bottom of Bag (Knit 1)

Cast On (12) sts. Don’t forget the anchor yarn.
Knit additional (30) rows.
Bind Off
(Hint) If you like a very heavy bottom, You can make this with a double strand of yarn. This will result in more dense, tight knitting)

Straps (Knit 2)

CO (10) sts. Don’t forget the anchor yarn. Knit (32) rows in stockinette stitch.
Bind off with crochet hook.

Sewing it all Together

Finish off all pieces by crocheting the sts at the anchor yarn. Do this same as the top crochet edges. Once the edge is complete, you can remove the anchor yarns.

Sew the pieces of bag together in top stitch. Use the matching yarn for sewing. Top stitch is done by laying the (2) pieces together with matching edges. Sew in and out from one side of knitted pieces, as you would do in basting a seam. Take little bites for a nice tight edge. This creates a ridge at the seams, and makes the little bag stand up.

Start by sewing the edges of the front and back to the bottom piece, long sides. Then, you can sew the ‘short edge of side of bag’ to bag bottom (short side). Then continue up the sides, front and back to sides. This will give you the basic bag.

Pull all the sewing tails into the bag with crochet hook. By tucking them in between the double knit, they will never be seen.

Adding the Straps

Fold each strap lengthwise. Sew long edges together in whip st. (Let your yarn wrap around the top of the edges) This will make a smooth seam.
Sew one strap to bag front aprox 2” from side seam on each end. Sew the other strap to bag back at same location. This can be sewn with a whip st to top of bag. Tuck all ends into double knit.

Be sure your top edge of bag is a smooth finish. Your little tote bag is ready for service.

OPTION: You may also line the bag with colorful jersey knit, and hand whip the edge of lining to top of bag. This will make it ready for heavier goods without pulling on the knit.

To make a lining: Before sewing the knitted pieces together, lay each piece of knitting on the fabric to be used. Cut fabric to size with 1⁄2” outside of each knitted piece. Be sure to allow an extra inch of fabric at top edges of all sides for the top of lining. Sew all pieces together to form a bag of fabric. With seams to outside of bag, place into the sewn knitted pieces. Press the corners to fit. Fold down the top edge and sew the lining about 1⁄4” below the top of bag with matching thread. Add the straps.

LOOM: Knitting board with 30+ needles

SIZE: Approx 10” x 8” x 4”

YARN: Bulky 100% Wool Brown Sheep Bulky, (2) skeins

STITCHES: Stockinette throughout

NOTIONS: Knit hook for lifting loops, crochet hook for finishing edges, large sewing needle

GAUGE: 3sts=1” 4 rows=1”

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