Simple Knit Tote
A hand-knit handbag, made with love not logos, can really carry the day, and our beautifully shaped, minimally wrought Simple Knit Tote does just that!
The nubbly texture of our cotton-linen Lantern (here in White Smoke, for a glorious modern-cloud effect) lends a natural raw beauty, and in simple linen stitch, the bag has a lovely woven look and a dense, sturdy feel.
Construction is in keeping with the easy aesthetic: You knit the bottom flat, pick up around the edges and knit the body of the bag in the round, then knit each side of the strap and join in the middle with a 3-needle bind off.
Knit it for you or your favorite bag-user… This Simple Knit Tote, with its perfect form, detail without fuss, and slouchy-cool structure, is our kind of everyday hero!
Share your progress + connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoSimpleKnitTote, and #PurlSohoLantern. We can’t wait to see what you make!
- 3 skeins of Purl Soho’s Lantern, 61% cotton and 39% linen. Each skein is 164 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 386 yards required. We used White Smoke. (NOTE: We no longer offer Lantern, but choose from one of our other worsted weight yarns.)
- US 8 (5 mm), 24- or 32- inch circular needles
- A spare US 8 circular or double pointed needle
- A few yards of sport or light worsted scrap yarn
- A stitch marker
- A stitch holder (optional)
27 stitches and 50 rows = 4 inches in stitch pattern
- Finished Circumference: 25 inches
- Finished Height: 11 inches
- Base of Bag: 3½ inches wide x 9 inches long
- Strap Width: 3½ inches
- Strap Length: 22 inches
You will make this bag by first knitting the Base flat, then picking up around the Base and knitting the Body of the bag in the round.
Slip all slip stitches purlwise unless indicated otherwise in pattern.
Provisional Cast On
For assistance, including how to put live stitches back onto needles, please visit our Provisional Cast-On: A Two-Step Method Tutorial.
Using a Provisional Cast-on (see Notes), cast on 24 stitches.
Row 1 (wrong side): Slip 1 knitwise with yarn in front (wyif), *p1, slip 1 (see Notes) with yarn in back (wyib), repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 2 (right side): Slip 1 knitwise wyif, *k1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 fifty nine more times, ending with Row 2. [120 total rows, measuring approximately 9 inches from cast-on edge]
Pick Up + Knit
With right side facing you, turn piece 90 degrees clockwise and with working yarn, pick up and knit 61 stitches evenly along left selvage. [85 stitches]
With right side facing you and cast-on edge at top, slip 24 cast-on stitches onto left needle (see Notes), starting with top left corner stitch. With working yarn and right needle, knit 24 cast-on stitches. [109 stitches]
With right side still facing you, turn work 90 degrees clockwise and pick up and knit 60 stitches along remaining selvage. [169 total stitches]
With right side facing you, place marker and join for working in the round.
Round 1: *K1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Round 2: *Slip 1 wyif, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, slip 1 wyif.
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 until piece measures 11 inches from picked-up edge, ending with Round 2.
Bind-Off Round: [K1, slip 1 wyif] 12 times, bind off 61 stitches knitwise, [slip 1 wyif, k1] 11 times, slip 1 wyif, place previous 24 stitches on stitch holder or scrap yarn, bind off to end of round. [25 stitches]
Work First Side
NOTE: As you work Row 1, pass final bind off stitch over first slip stitch. [24 stitches]
**Row 1 (right side): Slip 1 knitwise wyif, *k1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Row 2 (wrong side): Slip 1 knitwise wyif, *p1, slip 1 wyib, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until Strap measures 11 inches from Bind-Off Round, ending with Row 2.***
Slip stitches onto spare needle and cut yarn.
Work Second Side
With right side facing you, place 24 on-hold stitches onto left needle. Repeat from ** to *** to work second side of Strap.
Keep stitches on needle and do not cut yarn,
With right sides of Strap pieces untwisted and facing each other and holding needles parallel, use working yarn to work a 3-Needle Bind Off over Strap stitches.
Cut yarn and pull through last stitch.
Weave in ends and block as desired.