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Knitted Felted Tote Bag with Pockets Part I

( Jump to Knitted Felted Tote Bag Part 2: Finishing )

This tote bag is just the right size to carry a knitting project around, use as a basic tote bag, or even as a purse. You can choose to line it, so instructions for lining are also included here.

Finished Measurements

Body of Bag: approx. 12 1/2"H x 15 1/2"W
Large Pocket: approx. 7"H x 7"W
Small Pocket: approx. 4 1/2"H x 4"W
Strap: approx 21" Long
(Due of the nature of felting, results may vary.)

What you'll need:

  • Knitting needles size: 11
  • Yarn: 6 skeins Caron Felt It or size to obtain gauge.
    *optional* Magnetic buttons for pockets

If you intend to line your bag:

  • Fabric - Recommended 100% cotton - 1 yard or less - you'll have to measure your finished bag to get exact size.
  • Thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Measuring Tape
  • Ruler or Straight Edge
Knitted Felted Bag image

Gauge before felting: 12 sts, 16 rows = 4"/10 cm
Gauge after felting: 16 sts, 29 rows = 4"/10 cm

Knitting Instructions:

The entire piece is knitted in a Stockinette stitch.

Knit the First Strap

tote bag strap

  • Cast on 12, k in St st for 116 rows
  • Still on R 116 (do not turn), cast on 4 more sts at the end of the row.

Knit the Body of the Bag

  • Turn, (RS) k the 16 sts.
  • Continue the row, using a Knitted Cast On, cast on 35 st. 
  • Pick up another 12 st. at the end of the strap, joining the loose end of the handle to the body of the bag at the same time.
  • Cast on 4 more st.

Be sure when you join the strap to the bag body that the strap edge shows on the inside and not the outside of the bag:

knitting image        knitting image

Check out our video on how to begin the body of the bag and pick up stitches to join the strap to the bag body:

Next Row: Continue knitting in St st for 120 rows.

Note: You can make the bag taller by adding rows and wider by adding stitches to both ends of the row. Using the felted gauge, you'd need to add on 14 rows for every inch taller you would like the bag and/or 2 stitches to each end for every inch you'd like to make the bag wider.

Finish the Body of the Tote Bag:

Bind off 4 st, place marker, bind off 12 st, place marker, bind off 35 st, k to end.

Making the Second Strap

Next Row: Bind off 4 st, k remaining 12 st in St st for 116 rows.

Join the end of the strap to the body of the bag between the markers, Bind off.

Knit the Pockets

Large Pocket:

Cast on 28 st. K in St st for 42 rows. Bind off.

Large Pocket flap:

Cast on 32 st.  Knit in St st for 9 rows, ending with a purled row.
Now we need to decrease rows.
Row 10: k2tog, k26, k2tog
Row 11: purl
Row 12: k2tog, k24, k2tog
Row 13: purl
Continue decreasing in this way until you have 20 st remaining, Bind off.

Small Pocket:

Cast on 16 st., k in St st for 29 rows. Bind off.

Small Pocket flap:

Cast on 20 st. k 7 rows.
Row 8: k2tog, k16, k2tog
Row 9: Purl
Row 10: k2tog, k14, k2tog
Row 11: Purl
Continue decreasing in this manner until you have 12 st remaining. Bind off.

Knitting Abbreviations Used:
    k. - Knit
    p. - Purl
    St. st. - Stockinette Stitch

Continue to Knitted Felted Tote Bag Part 2: Finishing

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