My Purse Knitting Pattern Using Sock Yarn

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This purse knitting pattern was dreamt up by me after I bought some yummy sock yarn from Simple Scarves.

purse knitting pattern
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I have always wanted to use a 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 many 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
  • 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 body is worked from side to side.

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 be a triangle on your needles. Leave the live stitches on your needles, leave a 3-inch tail before cutting off the yarn.

Cast on for the next triangle. Repeat the same instructions until you have a total of 4 triangles on your needles.

With the yarn still on your 4th triangle, turn the work and knit 1 row across all 4 triangles. See picture below.

Garter stitch handbag

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.

Decrease for first triangle

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. 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. See picture below.

Garter stitch handbag body

Before sewing up, rinse and block the body. Blocking doesn’t make the piece bigger, it help 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 edge

Using the cream colour yarn, starting from one of the sides, pick up 125 stitches all around the opening of the bag. You will find that it is easier to pick up the stitch where the knit rows are.

Join the last stitch with the first stitch so that you can knit in the round. You can mark the starting stitch 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 measures 1 inch or 2.5cm. How broad you want this strip is actually up to you though. You can do a bit more if you like. Once you have reached the height 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.

Closeup of garter stitch handbag


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.

Lining the garter stitch handbag

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 slip stitch, sew the lining in place.

Turn the bag back out and tuck the lining in. It is done.

This is a free knitting pattern. I’ll be thrilled if you use it. 

If you like this pattern, you might also like my garter stitch squares bag pattern

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