This purse knitting pattern was dreamt up by me after I fell in love with garter stitch.
I have always wanted to use sock yarn to make a bag because although I love the feel of sock yarn but I didn’t want to knit socks.
I like to knit while I watch TV so I prefer simple knitting techniques that do not require too much stitch counting or too much marking. Garter stitch can’t get any simpler. It also produces a sturdy, flat and fairly thick fabric so I am quite happy to use it even if people complain it is boring.
Feel free to substitute the yarn. I think the pattern can accommodate yarns up to 8 ply.
Materials for the purse knitting pattern
- 100g or 350m hand-dyed superwash summer sock yarn. I’m using a 40% wool, 40% bamboo and 20% nylon yarn. Colour: Berry and Cookies. Bought from Simple Scarves at www.eleraine.etsy.com
- 1/2 ball of cream colour sock yarn for the opening and handle
- Jersey fabric of matching colour for lining
- 2.75mm circular needles
- 1 pair of 2.75mm double pointed needles
- Sewing needles and matching colour thread
Instructions for the body of the bag
The width of the bag is created by knitting 4 triangles and then connecting them to the bag body. When the sides of the triangles are sewn together, it creates an enclosed pouch. Stitches are then picked up from the opening of the pouch to make the band and handles.
Knitting the Triangles
Cast on 1 stitch
Row 1 – M1, K1, M1
Row 2 – Knit all stitches
Row 3 – M1, K3, M1
Row 4 – Knit all stitches
Row 5 – M1, K5, M1
Row 6 – Knit all stitches
Row 7 – M1, K7, M1
Row 8 – Knit all stitches
Repeat these 2 rows until there are 35 stitches on the needles. You should have a triangle on your needles. Leave the live stitches on your needles. Measure a 3-inch tail before cutting off the yarn.
Make a total of 4 such triangles by repeating the instructions.
With the yarn still on your 4th triangle, turn the work and knit 1 row across all 4 triangles. See the picture below.
Knit all rows until the body measures 25 cm.
Start the decreasing to create the next set of 4 triangles that make up the other side of the bag.
Decreasing for Triangles
Row 1 – Knit 2 together, K31, Knit 2 together, turn
Row 2 – Knit 33 stitches
Row 3 – Knit 2 together, K29, Knit 2 together, turn
Row 4 – Knit 31 stitches
Row 5 – Knit 2 together, K27, Knit 2 together, turn
Row 6 – Knit 29 stitches
Repeat these 2 rows until there are only 3 stitches left. The last row – Knit 2 together, knit 1, and pass the first stitch over the last stitch. Cut the yarn leaving a 3-inch tail.
Rejoin the yarn for the next 35 stitches on the needles. Repeat the decreases to create the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th triangles.
The bag body is complete.
Before sewing up, rinse and block the body. Blocking doesn’t make the piece bigger, it helps to even out the tension and produces more even stitches. When the piece is dry, it is ready for sewing up.
Joining the sides
Place the sides of the second and third triangles closest to each other together and seam them together neatly. Repeat with the sides of the first and second triangles closest to each other and the sides of the third and fourth closest to each other. Finally, fold the bag neatly in half and lay the 2 straight edges together, and seam the last 2 sides of the triangles together.
Now you have the basic shape of the bag.
Making the opening band
The opening band is made up of a sturdy garter stitch.
Switch to the cream colour yarn. Pick up 125 stitches all around the opening of the bag. It is easier to start at one of the sides. You will find that it is easier to pick up stitches where the knit rows are.
Join the last stitch with the first pick-up stitch so that you can knit in the round. Mark the starting stitch with a stitch marker so that you know when to change to the purl row when you have completed the knit row.
Row 1 – Knit
Row 2 – Purl
Row 3 – Knit
Row 4 – Purl
Continue this garter stitch until the opening strip reaches the desired width. Mine is 1 inch or 2.5cm. You can do a bit more if you like. Once you have reached the width you want, bind off.
Using double-pointed needles, pick up 16 stitches at one of the sides of the bag using the same cream colour yarn. Start single ribbing.
Row 1 – *K1, P1* and repeat * to * until last stitch, K1
Row 2 – *P1, K1* and repeat * to * until last stitch, P1
Continue to work this single ribbing until the handle measure 20 inches. Do not bind off but leave a long tail.
Pick up 16 stitches at the other side of the bag using the cream colour yarn.
Using the Kitchener stitch technique, join the handle to the newly picked up 16 stitches.
Weave in all the ends.
I like lining my knitted bags so that they look neater and last longer. This time, I only lined the body and not the handle. I thought the single ribbing looks good from both sides and didn’t want to cover it up with fabric.
I choose a stretchy jersey fabric to line the bag as this is not a flat bag, it has a slight bulge. I can’t dart the fabric to create the bulge so I stretch the bag when measuring and outlining the fabric for cutting.
Cut the fabric out leaving a 1-inch border. Sew the seams with right sides facing. When the seams are done, turn the fabric out.
Turn the bag inside out and slip the lining over it. Line up the opening of the lining with the bag. Pin in place and tack. Using a slip stitch, sew the lining in place.
Turn the bag back out and tuck the lining in. It is done.
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