There’s a special knitter’s joy in slinging a beautiful bag over your arm that you made yourself! Perfect for bodega runs, beach days, and weekend outings, the Kit + Caboodle Tote by Julia Adams is pretty, yet sturdy enough to hold anything that fits inside.

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

You’ll knit this bag in the round, starting at the bottom. A simple stitch pattern made up of right and left twists alludes to classic mesh produce totes and gives the fabric just the right amount of stretch. Go ahead, drop a cantaloupe or two into this bag… It can handle it!

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

The Kit + Caboodle Tote’s sturdy straps are worked all in one piece, thanks to an I-cord that travels all the way around the top edge. You’ll attach the I-cord to the bag as you work, until it’s time to part ways in order to knit the strap. You’ll then rejoin the I-cord to the bag, and do it all again for the other strap.

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

Our Sunshower Cotton is the perfect fit for this bag, a super strong four-ply yarn in a worsted weight that makes the stitches fly by! Its stippled colors mingle beautifully with the stitch pattern, and the palette of sunny and stormy shades allow you to make a bag for any mood… You might find you need more than one of these winsome totes!

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

Made in Italy of 100% organically grown cotton, Sunshower Cotton has a satisfying heft and a wonderfully supple feel. It’s machine wash- and dry-able, too!

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho
Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

The Kit + Caboodle Tote is ready to come along on all your summer adventures… Pack it full of produce from the fruit stand, stow your sunscreen and water bottle for a day at the pool, or slip your book and a knitting project inside and take them everywhere you go. This tote is ready for anything, and you will be, too!

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

Designed for Purl Soho by Julia Adams. Julia loves the combination of math, science, and art that’s necessary for designing. She comes from a long line of obsessive knitters and has spent years finding the perfect balance between practicality and beauty in her designs. We call that the art of knitting!

Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, #PurlSohoKitAndCaboodleTote, and #PurlSohoSunshowerCotton. We can’t wait to see what you make!

Materials

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho
  • 2 skeins of Purl Soho’s Sunshower Cotton, 100% organically grown cotton. Each skein is 159 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 315 total yards required. We used the colors Heirloom White, Wood Thrush, and Pink Clover for our samples.
  • US 8 (5 mm) 16- or 20-inch circular needles
  • A set of US 6 (4 mm) double pointed needles
  • Removable stitch markers, including one unique
  • Optional: Scrap yarn and crochet hook for provisional cast on

GAUGE

24 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in stitch pattern (see Notes)

SIZE

  • Finished Circumference: 21 inches
  • Finished Height: 12 inches
  • Finished Strap Width: ¾ inches
  • Finished Strap Length: 22 inches
  • Finished Handle Drop: 11 inches

NOTE: These dimensions are after blocking and before use. Height and width tend to grow with use.

NOTES

CONSTRUCTION

You will start this bag with a Provisional Cast On, then work the Body in the round from bottom up, before binding off. You’ll then work the I-Cord Straps, attaching them to the Body and finishing the bind-off edges using an Attached I-Cord. You will finish by grafting the bottom closed using Kitchener Stitch.

PROVISIONAL CAST ON

For assistance, including how to put live stitches back onto needles, please visit our Provisional Cast-On: One-Step Method tutorial at purlsoho.com/create/provisional-cast-on-video/.

RIGHT + LEFT TWIST

NOTE: The Right Twist is the same as our Mock Cable Rib tutorial’s, which you can view right here: purlsoho.com/create/mock-cable-rib/

RT (RIGHT TWIST): Knit 2 stitches together but do not drop them from needle, knit the first stitch again, slip both stitches from needle.

LT (LEFT TWIST): Knit the second stitch on the left needle through the back loop, slip slip knit into the first and second stitch on the left needle, slip both stitches from needle.

STITCH PATTERN (FOR GAUGE SWATCH)

(Worked over a multiple of 4 stitches, in the round)

Round 1: Knit to end of round.

Round 2: *Right Twist (RT; see Notes), Left Twist (LT; see Notes), repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3: Repeat Round 1.

Round 4: *LT, RT, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1–4 for pattern.

PATTERN

CAST ON

We used a Provisional Cast On (see Notes), but a basic Long Tail Cast On would also work (and may be easier for beginners)!

FOR A PROVISIONAL CAST-ON…

With scrap yarn and a Provisional Cast On, cast 86 stitches onto circular needles.

Set-Up Row 1 (right side): With main yarn and leaving a long tail for later when you will graft the bottom of the bag closed, knit to end of row.

Place unique marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Move on to the Body section, below.

FOR A LONG TAIL CAST ON OR SIMILAR…

Cast 86 stitches onto circular needles, leaving a long tail for later when you will sew the bottom of the bag closed.

Place unique marker and join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Move on to Body section.

BODY

Set-Up Round (right side): [K1, knit front and back (kfb)] 21 times, k1, [k1, kfb] 21 times, k1. [128 stitches]

Round 1: Knit to end of round.

Round 2: *Right Twist (RT, see Notes), Left Twist (LT, see Notes), repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3: Repeat Round 1.

Round 4: *LT, RT, repeat from * to end of round.

Repeat Rounds 1–4 eighteen more times until piece measures 12 inches from cast-on edge, or desired height of bag, ending with Round 2 or 4.

Next Round: K14, [slip slip knit (ssk)] 18 times, k28, [ssk] 18 times, k14. [92 stitches remain]

Bind-Off Round: Bind off 1 stitch, remove unique removable stitch marker and re-place on bound-off stitch for end of round, bind off 13 stitches, place removable marker (pm) on last bound-off stitch, bind off 18 stitches, pm on last bound-off stitch, bind off 28 stitches, pm on last bound-off stitch, bind off 18 stitches, pm on last bound-off stitch, bind off 14 stitches to end of round.

Leave remaining stitch on needles and do not cut yarn.

STRAPS

CAST ON

NOTE: In the following section, you’ll cast on additional stitches to work an Attached I-Cord along the bind-off edge. We used a Provisional Cast On, but using a Make 1 Backwards Loop would be easier for beginners and also works.

FOR A PROVISIONAL CAST-ON…

Without cutting yarn, loosen remaining stitch on needle and pull working yarn (in its ball) through to secure, pulling stitch taut (you will continue using this yarn in the next step).

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

With scrap yarn and a double pointed needle, cast on 5 stitches using a Provisional Cast On.

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With right side facing you and using still-attached yarn from bound-off edge, knit 5 stitches of provisional cast on.

Go on to Complete Cast On section, below.

FOR A MAKE 1 BACKWARDS LOOP…

NOTE: For help with Make 1 Backwards Loop, visit our tutorial at purlsoho.com/create/make-1-backwards-loop/.

Slip remaining stitch to a double pointed needle, then cast on 4 stitches using a Make 1 Backwards Loop. [5 stitches]

Go on to Complete Cast On.

COMPLETE CAST ON
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To complete the cast on, insert needle from front to back underneath both legs of first bound-off stitch (the one with the unique end of round marker on it) and knit. Remove marker and slide work to other end of needle. [6 stitches]

BEGIN ATTACHED I-CORD

Next Round: K4, knit 2 together through the back loop (k2tog tbl), knit into next bound-off stitch. Without turning needle, slide work to other end of needle. [6 stitches still on needle]

Repeat last round until you have knit into the next marked bound-off stitch. Remove marker.

FIRST STRAP

NOTE: For more information on how to work an I-Cord strap please visit our I-Cord tutorial at purlsoho.com/create/i-cord/. Just note that our tutorial demonstrates over 3 stitches, and this strap has 6 stitches!

Work a 6-stitch I-Cord until strap measures 22 inches from bind-off edge.

CONTINUE ATTACHED I-CORD

Skip next 18 stitches and re-join Attached I-Cord at next marker as follows…

Next Round: K4, k2tog tbl, knit into next bound-off stitch. Slide work to other end of needle.

Remove marker, then repeat last round until you have knit into the next marked bound-off stitch. Remove marker.

SECOND STRAP

Work 6-stitch I-Cord until strap measures 22 inches from bind-off edge.

COMPLETE ATTACHED I-CORD EDGE

Skip next 18 stitches and re-join Attached I-Cord at last marker as follows…

Next Round: K4, k2tog tbl, knit into next bound-off stitch. Slide work to other end of needle.

Remove marker.

Repeat last round until one bound-off stitch from Body remains.

Next Round: K4, k2tog tbl. [5 stitches remain]

IF YOU BEGAN WITH A PROVISIONAL CAST ON…

NOTE: For help with Kitchener Stitch, visit purlsoho.com/create/kitchener-stitch-video/.

Carefully remove scrap yarn from Strap’s Provisional Cast On, slipping stitches onto a double pointed needle as you go.

With needles parallel and wrong sides together, use Kitchener Stitch to graft ends of Attached I-Cord together.

IF YOU BEGAN WITH A MAKE 1 BACKWARDS LOOP…

NOTE: For help with Whipstitch, visit purlsoho.com/create/whipstitch/.

Bind off remaining stitches.

Holding cast-on and bind-off stitches parallel, use Whipstitch to join ends of Attached I-Cord together.

GRAFT BOTTOM

IF YOU BEGAN WITH A PROVISIONAL CAST ON…

Carefully remove scrap yarn from Provisional Cast On, slipping stitches onto circular needles as you go. With first half of the stitches at one end of the needles and second half at the other end, use long tail and Kitchener Stitch to graft bottom of bag closed.

IF YOU BEGAN WITH A LONG TAIL CAST ON OR SIMILAR…

Holding cast-on stitches parallel to each other and starting with first cast-on stitch, use long tail to whipstitch bottom edges of bag together.

FINISHING

Weave in all ends and wet block as desired.

Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho
Kit + Caboodle Tote | Purl Soho

Looking for more inspiration? Explore all of our free knitting patterns, knitting tutorials, and beautiful yarn and cast on!