Beginner’s Guide: Knitting a Bag Made Easy

Beginner’s Guide: Knitting a Bag Made Easy

If you’ve always wanted to try knitting but don’t know where to start, this step-by-step tutorial will guide you through creating a beautiful knit bag. Knitting is a relaxing and rewarding hobby that allows you to create unique and practical items, and this bag is the perfect beginner’s project. Whether you’re a complete novice or have some knitting experience, this tutorial will provide the guidance you need to successfully complete your first knitting project.

To begin, gather your materials. You will need a pair of knitting needles, a skein of yarn in the color of your choice, and a darning needle. Choose a yarn that is soft and easy to work with, such as a medium-weight cotton or acrylic yarn. The knitting needles should be appropriate for the thickness of your yarn, so check the label for recommended needle sizes.

Before you start knitting, it’s important to understand the basic stitches. The two most common stitches in knitting are the knit stitch and the purl stitch. The knit stitch creates a smooth surface, while the purl stitch creates a bumpy texture. By combining these two stitches, you can create a variety of patterns and designs.

Once you’re familiar with the basic stitches, you’re ready to cast on. Casting on is the process of creating the first row of stitches on your knitting needle. There are several methods you can use to cast on, but the long-tail cast on is a popular choice for beginners. It creates a neat and stretchy edge that is perfect for the opening of the bag.

With your stitches cast on, it’s time to start knitting! Follow the step-by-step instructions to create the body of the bag. You’ll learn how to knit, purl, and bind off to create a sturdy and functional bag. The tutorial also includes tips for troubleshooting common knitting problems, such as dropped stitches and uneven tension.

Once you’ve finished knitting the body of the bag, it’s time to add the handles. The tutorial provides instructions for creating simple garter stitch handles that are comfortable to hold and secure enough to carry your belongings. You can customize the length and width of the handles to suit your personal preferences.

Finally, you’ll learn how to finish the bag by weaving in the loose ends and blocking the fabric. Blocking is an essential step in knitting that helps to even out the stitches and give the fabric a professional finish. The tutorial explains the different blocking methods and provides tips for achieving the best results.

By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have a beautiful knit bag that you can proudly show off and use for years to come. Knitting is a versatile and creative craft that offers endless possibilities, and this step-by-step tutorial is the perfect way to get started. So grab your needles and yarn, and let’s get knitting!

Learn How to Knit a Bag for Beginners Step-by-Step Tutorial

In this step-by-step tutorial, we will guide you through the process of knitting a bag for beginners. Whether you’re new to knitting or just looking for a fun and easy project, this tutorial is perfect for you.


  • Knitting needles
  • Yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Step 1: Choose Your Yarn and Needles

Start by choosing your yarn and knitting needles. For beginners, it’s best to start with a medium-weight yarn and a pair of size 8 or 9 knitting needles.

Step 2: Cast On Stitches

To begin, cast on the number of stitches you want for the width of your bag. A good starting point is around 40 stitches, but you can adjust the number based on your desired size. Use the long-tail cast-on method for a neat and sturdy edge.

Step 3: Knit the Base

Once you have cast on your stitches, you will begin knitting the base of the bag in the garter stitch. Knit every row until you reach your desired length. This will create a sturdy and reversible texture for the bottom of your bag.

Step 4: Start the Body of the Bag

After you have finished knitting the base, it’s time to start the body of the bag. You can choose any stitch pattern you like, such as stockinette, ribbing, or seed stitch. Knit as many rows as you want for the height of your bag.

Step 5: Shape the Bag

Once you have reached your desired height, it’s time to shape the bag. To do this, you will need to decrease stitches evenly across each row. You can use the knit-two-together (k2tog) decrease or any other decrease method you prefer. Continue decreasing until you have a small enough opening for your bag.

Step 6: Bind Off

When your bag has reached the desired size, it’s time to bind off. Use a loose bind off method to ensure the top of the bag has enough stretch. Cut the yarn, leaving a long tail for sewing the sides of the bag together.

Step 7: Sew the Sides

Using a tapestry needle, sew the sides of the bag together using a whipstitch or mattress stitch. Make sure to align the edges neatly and secure them with the yarn. Leave the top opening of the bag unsewn.

Step 8: Add Handles (Optional)

If you want to add handles to your bag, you can use either purchased handles or make your own using the same yarn. Attach the handles to the sides of the bag securely, making sure they are positioned evenly.

Step 9: Finishing Touches

Trim any excess yarn and weave in the loose ends using a tapestry needle. Give your bag a gentle blocking to even out the stitches and shape.

Congratulations! You have successfully completed knitting a bag for beginners. Enjoy using your new bag or give it as a thoughtful and handmade gift.

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needles

When knitting a bag, choosing the right yarn and needles is an important consideration. The type of yarn and needles you choose can significantly impact the outcome and quality of your project. Here are a few tips to help you make the right choice:

Consider the Yarn Weight

The yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn. It is usually listed on the label of the yarn. For a bag, it’s best to choose a medium-weight (worsted) or bulky yarn. These yarns will provide the necessary sturdiness and durability for a bag to hold its shape and withstand everyday use.

Look for Durability

Since bags are often subjected to regular wear and tear, it’s important to choose a yarn that is durable and suitable for frequent use. Consider yarns made from natural fibers such as wool or cotton, as they tend to be more durable and long-lasting. Avoid using delicate or fragile yarns that may not hold up well over time.

Choose the Right Needles

The size and material of the needles can also make a difference in your bag knitting project. For most medium-weight or bulky yarns, you’ll need larger size needles to achieve the desired gauge and a looser stitch. Look for needles in sizes US 10 or 11 (6mm or 8mm) for medium-weight yarns and US 13 or 15 (9mm or 10mm) for bulky yarns.

As for the material of the needles, it’s mainly a matter of personal preference. Some knitters prefer the smoothness of metal needles, while others prefer the warmth and grip of wooden or bamboo needles. Experiment with different types of needles to find what works best for you.

Consider Color and Texture

Lastly, consider the color and texture of the yarn. Bags can be a great opportunity to play with different colors, patterns, and textures. Choose yarns with interesting textures or color variations to add visual interest to your bag. However, keep in mind that intricate patterns or colorwork may be more challenging for beginner knitters.

By considering these factors and choosing the right yarn and needles, you’ll be well on your way to creating a beautiful and functional knitted bag. Happy knitting!

Casting On and Creating a Base

Before you begin knitting your bag, you need to cast on stitches to create the base. The number of stitches you cast on will depend on the desired width of your bag.

To cast on, follow these steps:

  1. Start by making a slip knot. To do this, create a loop with your yarn and pull the end through the loop to tighten it.
  2. Hold the knitting needle in your dominant hand and insert it through the slip knot loop.
  3. With your other hand, hold the working yarn (the yarn attached to the ball) and wrap it around your index finger.
  4. Using the needle, catch the yarn and pull it through the slip knot loop, creating a new loop on the needle.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Make sure to keep the stitches loose enough to easily work with.

Once you have cast on your stitches, you can proceed to create the base of your bag. To do this, you will work in rows of knit stitches.

Follow these steps to create the base:

  1. Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your dominant hand and the empty needle in your other hand.
  2. Insert the empty needle into the first stitch on the other needle from front to back.
  3. With your dominant hand, hold the working yarn at the back of your work.
  4. Take the empty needle and wrap the yarn over it, going from back to front.
  5. Use the needle to pull the wrapped yarn through the first stitch, creating a new stitch on the empty needle. The old stitch will slide off the other needle.
  6. Continue knitting across all the stitches on the first needle, transferring them onto the empty needle as you go.
  7. Once you have knit all the stitches, the original needle will be empty and the new stitch count will be on the other needle. This completes one row.
  8. Continue knitting in this manner, working back and forth in rows, until the base of your bag reaches the desired length.

By casting on and creating a base for your bag, you have laid the foundation for the rest of your knitting project. The base forms the bottom of the bag and sets the dimensions for the final design.

Knitting the Sides of the Bag

After you have finished knitting the base of the bag, it is time to move on to knitting the sides. Follow these steps to continue knitting your bag:

  1. Measure the distance from the base to the desired height of your bag. This will determine how many rows you need to knit to reach the desired height. Make sure to measure carefully to ensure a consistent size for your bag.
  2. Continue knitting in the stitch pattern. If you are using a specific stitch pattern, such as garter stitch or stockinette stitch, continue knitting in that pattern for each row until you reach the desired height. If you don’t have a specific stitch pattern in mind, you can continue knitting in the same stitch as the base.
  3. Count your rows. As you knit the sides of the bag, it is important to keep track of the number of rows you have completed. You can use stitch markers or simply make a tally on a piece of paper to help you keep count.
  4. Check your measurements periodically. As you knit the sides, take the time to measure the height of your bag to make sure it is consistent with your desired height. If needed, make adjustments by adding or subtracting rows to reach the correct height.
  5. Bind off. Once you have reached the desired height for your bag, it is time to bind off. Bind off using your preferred method, such as a basic bind off or a stretchy bind off, to ensure that the top edge of your bag has a neat finish.

By following these steps, you can successfully knit the sides of your bag and create a beautiful finished product. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process of knitting!

Adding Straps or Handles

Once you have finished knitting your bag, it’s time to add straps or handles to make it easy to carry around. There are several different options you can choose from depending on your preference and the style of your bag.

Option 1: Knitted Straps

If you want to stick with knitting, you can create straps using the same yarn you used for the bag. Here’s how:

  1. Decide on the desired length and width of your straps.
  2. Cast on the required number of stitches, keeping in mind that the straps will stretch a bit when attached.
  3. Knit in your desired stitch pattern until the straps reach the desired length.
  4. Bind off the stitches and sew the ends of the straps securely to the sides of your bag.

Option 2: Fabric Straps

If you prefer a more sturdy strap, you can use fabric instead. Here’s how:

  1. Measure and cut two strips of fabric to the desired length and width of your straps.
  2. Fold the edges of the fabric inward about half an inch and press with an iron to create a clean hem.
  3. Sew along the edges of the fabric to secure the hem.
  4. Sew the ends of the fabric straps securely to the sides of your knitted bag.

Option 3: Leather Handles

If you want to add a touch of elegance to your bag, you can use leather handles. Here’s how:

  1. Measure and cut two strips of leather to the desired length and width of your handles.
  2. Punch holes near the ends of the leather strips using a leather punch or a leather awl.
  3. Attach the leather handles to your bag by threading a sturdy cord or a metal ring through the holes and tying them securely.

Option 4: Metal or Plastic Handles

If you prefer a more professional-looking finish, you can use metal or plastic handles. Here’s how:

  1. Measure and cut two pieces of metal or plastic handles to the desired length.
  2. Attach the handles to your bag by using screws, bolts, or glue, depending on the design of your handles and the material of your bag.

Choose the option that best suits your style and enjoy your newly knitted bag!

Creating a Closure

Once you have completed knitting the main body of the bag, it’s time to create a closure so that you can secure your belongings inside. You have a few options for closures, and we will explore two common methods: a button closure and a drawstring closure.

Button Closure

  1. Select a button that matches the style and size of your bag. Make sure it is large enough to securely hold the opening of the bag.
  2. Choose a spot on the bag where you want the button to be placed. This is usually near the top, on the outside of the bag.
  3. Thread a needle with matching yarn or thread.
  4. Insert the needle from the inside of the bag to the outside, coming out at the chosen spot.
  5. Place the button on the outside of the bag and thread the needle through one of the buttonholes.
  6. Bring the needle back through the opposite buttonhole and through the fabric of the bag.
  7. Repeat this process multiple times to ensure a secure attachment.
  8. Tie a knot on the inside of the bag to secure the thread.

Drawstring Closure

  1. Cut two pieces of yarn or string that are twice the width of the bag.
  2. Thread one piece of yarn through a large-eye needle.
  3. Insert the needle from the inside of the bag to the outside, coming out near the top of one side of the bag.
  4. Tie a knot at the end of the yarn to prevent it from slipping back inside.
  5. Repeat steps 3-4 on the other side of the bag.
  6. Take one piece of yarn from each side and tie them together in a knot at the desired length. This will create a loop that can be used to secure the bag.
  7. Repeat this process on the other two pieces of yarn.
  8. Trim any excess yarn to desired length.

Both button closures and drawstring closures can be customized to fit your style and preference. Feel free to experiment with different buttons or embellishments, or even add additional closures if desired. The most important thing is to create a closure that securely holds your belongings inside the bag.

Adding Decorative Elements

Once you have finished knitting the main body of the bag, you can add decorative elements to enhance its appearance. Here are a few ideas:

  • Buttons: Sew on buttons in different colors and sizes to create visual interest.
  • Pom-poms: Attach pom-poms to the corners or edges of the bag for a playful touch.
  • Tassels: Make tassels out of yarn and attach them to the sides or the bottom of the bag.
  • Embroidery: Use embroidery thread to add decorative stitches or patterns to the fabric of the bag.
  • Sequins or beads: Sew on sequins or beads to add sparkle and texture.

Before adding any decorative elements, make sure to plan out the placement and design. You can sketch your ideas on paper or use digital design tools to visualize the finished look.

When attaching the decorative elements, use a needle and thread that match the color of the yarn or the chosen embellishment. Take your time and sew them securely to ensure that they stay in place.

Remember, adding decorative elements is an opportunity to personalize your knitted bag and make it unique. Have fun experimenting with different ideas and techniques to create a one-of-a-kind accessory!

Finishing and Blocking the Bag

Once you have finished knitting your bag, it’s time to give it a professional finish and block it to ensure it holds its shape. Follow these steps to complete the finishing touches:

  1. Weave in loose ends: Use a yarn needle to weave in any loose ends from your knitting. This will give your bag a neater appearance and prevent any unraveling.
  2. Seam the sides: Fold your bag in half with the wrong side facing out and start seaming the sides together using a mattress stitch or your preferred seaming method. Make sure to leave the top open for the handles.
  3. Attach handles: Depending on your bag design, you may need to attach handles. Measure the desired length for your handles and use a yarn needle to securely sew them onto each side of the bag.
  4. Block your bag: Blocking is a process that helps even out your stitches, relaxes the fibers, and sets the shape of your knitted piece. Fill a sink or basin with lukewarm water and add a small amount of gentle detergent. Submerge your bag in the water and gently squeeze to ensure thorough saturation. Let it soak for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove excess water: Take your bag out of the water and gently squeeze out the excess water. Avoid wringing or twisting the bag as this can cause stretching or distortion.
  6. Shape the bag: Lay a clean towel on a flat surface and place your bag on top. Gently reshape it into the desired shape and dimensions. Smooth out any wrinkles or lumps in the fabric.
  7. Pin and let dry: Use rustproof T-pins or blocking wires to pin the edges and corners of your bag to the towel, making sure it stays in shape as it dries. Allow the bag to air dry completely.
  8. Final touches: Once your bag is dry, remove the pins or blocking wires and give it a final inspection. Trim any stray yarn ends and make any necessary adjustments.

Following these finishing and blocking steps will give your knitted bag a polished look and ensure that it is ready to be used or gifted. Enjoy your newfound knitting skills and the satisfaction of creating your very own bag!

Other Bag Knitting Techniques and Patterns

Once you have mastered the basic bag knitting technique, you can explore other knitting techniques and patterns to create unique and stylish bags. Here are a few options to try:


Felting is a popular technique that involves knitting with wool yarn and then agitating the fabric to shrink and tighten the stitches. This creates a dense and sturdy fabric that is perfect for bags. You can experiment with different stitches and patterns to create a textured and visually interesting bag. Just remember to use 100% wool yarn and to carefully follow the felting instructions to achieve the desired result.

Cable Knitting

Cable knitting is a technique where stitches are crossed over each other to create a twisted or braided effect. This adds depth and dimension to your bag. You can incorporate cables into the body of the bag or even create a cable panel on the front or sides. Cable knitting requires a bit more concentration and practice compared to basic knitting, but the beautiful results are worth it.

Lace Knitting

Lace knitting involves creating intricate and delicate patterns using yarn overs and decreases. This technique can be used to create a lightweight and elegant bag. Lace patterns can be added to the body of the bag or used to create a lace panel. Knitting with lace requires some experience with reading charts and following complex stitch patterns, but the end result is a stunning bag that will impress.


Colorwork, also known as fair isle or intarsia knitting, involves working with multiple colors to create patterns and designs. You can use colorwork techniques to knit bags with bold and vibrant patterns. Experiment with different color combinations, motifs, and charts to create a bag that is truly unique. Just be sure to carry your floats properly to keep the tension consistent and avoid tangling the yarn.

Knitted-in Handles or Straps

Instead of attaching purchased handles or straps to your bag, you can try knitting them directly into the bag. This creates a seamless and professional finish. There are different techniques for knitting in handles or straps, such as using a provisional cast-on or picking up stitches along the edge of the bag. Knitted-in handles or straps require some additional skill, but they give your bag a polished look.

Knitted Pouches and Clutches

If you want to try something different than a traditional tote or handbag, you can experiment with knitting small pouches or clutches. These are perfect for holding essentials like keys, wallet, and phone. You can play with different sizes, shapes, and closures, such as zippers or buttons. Knitted pouches and clutches are great for practicing new techniques or using up leftover yarn.

Remember, knitting a bag is a creative process, and you can apply different techniques to customize your design. Explore various patterns, stitches, and yarns to create a bag that is unique to you. Happy knitting!


What materials will I need to knit a bag?

To knit a bag, you will need yarn, knitting needles, a tapestry needle, and scissors.

What type of yarn is best for knitting a bag?

The best type of yarn for knitting a bag is usually a sturdy cotton yarn that is durable and can hold its shape well.

How do I cast on stitches for knitting a bag?

To cast on stitches for knitting a bag, you can use the long-tail cast on method. This method creates a neat and sturdy edge for your bag.

Can I add a lining to my knitted bag?

Yes, you can add a lining to your knitted bag to give it a more finished look and to help protect the contents of the bag.


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