You’ve always wanted to knit, so why not start by making a tote bag? Knitting a tote bag is the perfect beginner project since it teaches you how to cast on, off, and make stitches while creating a functional object you can show off.
Knitting a tote bag is a great way to start, whether you’re looking for a thoughtful gift or just want to add something unique to your wardrobe.
In this tutorial, I’ll guide you through the steps of making your own knit bag.
What Materials Are Needed to Knit a Tote Bag
Knitting a tote bag is a fun, easy way to make something unique and beautiful out of yarn and other materials. To get started, you’ll need the following items:
- Yarn – Choose whatever weight of yarn and color you’d like for your tote bag project. You can use a single color or multiple colors for a more intricate look.
- Knitting Needles – Depending on the weight of your yarn, you will need size 6-10 mm knitting needles.
- Tapestry Needle – This is used for weaving in your ends after the project is finished.
- Stitch Markers – These come in handy when you’re ready to start knitting in the round.
- Tote Bag Handles – Make sure you buy sturdy handles that won’t break when you put stuff into your finished bag.
Once you’ve gathered all of these materials, it’s time to start knitting!
A Breakdown of Knitting Basics
If you’re just getting started on your knitting journey, there are a few fundamentals that you should know. First, if you’re working with a pattern, familiarize yourself with the abbreviations and terminology used. This will help you understand instructions and decipher the shorthand used to describe each stitch.
Once you’ve done that, the next step is to understand basic knitting techniques and stitches. Here are a few of the most common ones:
- Casting On: This is your starting point! It involves creating stitches on your needle so you can begin to knit.
- Knitting: The most fundamental part of knitting involves passing the looped yarn from one needle to another and pulling it through.
- Purls: This stich has the same movement as knitting—passing the looped yarn from one needle to another—but it’s done from the wrong side of the fabric.
- Binding Off: When you reach the end of your pattern, this technique creates a neat edge that helps secure your stitches in place.
Now that you know some basic knits terms and techniques, it’s time to get started on making your own tote bag!
How to Knit the Fabric for the Bag
Now that you have your materials, it’s time to get knitting! The great thing about knitted fabric is that it’s made up of a series of loops. To begin, you’ll want to cast on stitches, which is the process of making your first set of loops with your yarn and needles.
Casting on is the starting point for all knitting projects! To cast on, use the “long tail” method—this means leaving a long initial strand of yarn when starting.
To start with the long tail method:
- Slip the yarn onto a needle. Make sure there’s a tail of at least six inches — this will be used later to secure your knitting at the end.
- Hold this needle in your right hand and another in your left hand. With both hands, wrap the yarn around one needle until you have the desired number of loops on that needle — this will form the foundation row for your project.
- Once you’ve got all the loops in place, secure them by using both needles to bring first loop over second loop and back onto needle in left-hand. Move down and do this again until all of your stitches are secure.
- If there’s an extra loop on the right-hand needle after doing this for every stitch across the row, just drop it; it’s not needed!
- Now you’re ready to start knitting your fabric for your bag!
Finishing Touches: Adding Straps and Handles
Now that you’ve crafted your beautiful tote bag, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Knitting a tote bag lets you personalise it. You can customise your bag with a long strap or robust handles.
Let’s go over some of the options available:
Shoulder straps are great for carrying heavier items or grocery shopping. To make one, simply continue knitting around until your strap is long enough, then join the ends with a few stitches. Voila! You now have a convenient and comfortable way to carry your items.
Handles are ideal for shorter trips or carrying lighter items. Knitting handles is an easy process: simply knit two loops in the same row and continue them until they reach a certain length. Secure them with a few stitches and voila! You’ve now got two stylish handles on either side of your bag.
These finishing touches will add flair and character to your crocheted bag and make it easy to carry everything from groceries to beach days!
So there you have it—you now know how to knit your own tote bag! We hope you enjoyed learning about this new skill, and that you feel encouraged to start knitting your own bags.
No matter how experienced you are with knitting, you can definitely make a beautiful tote bag. It’s great for gifts or for yourself, since no two bags are the same. So go ahead and give it a try, get creative with the colours and patterns you choose, and enjoy the feeling of having your very own hand-knitted tote bag!