Knit a Purse: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

Knit a Purse: Step-by-Step Guide and Tips

Are you looking to add a trendy and fashionable accessory to your wardrobe? Why not try knitting your very own stylish purse? With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn all the essential techniques and tips to create a unique and eye-catching purse that will showcase your knitting skills.

Knitting a purse is not only a great way to express your creativity, but it also allows you to have a one-of-a-kind fashion statement. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, this tutorial will guide you through the process and help you create a purse that suits your personal style.

Throughout this tutorial, you’ll learn various knitting stitches and techniques, such as basic stitches, ribbing, and shaping. These skills will not only be valuable for this project but will also enhance your overall knitting abilities. You’ll also discover different yarn choices and color combinations to create a purse that perfectly matches your outfit or mood.

So, grab your knitting needles and let’s get started! By following the step-by-step instructions and practicing along the way, you’ll soon have a stylish and functional purse that you’ll be proud to carry around. Get ready to unleash your inner designer and create a purse that will turn heads wherever you go!

What is Knitting?

Knitting is a popular craft that involves creating fabric by interlocking loops of yarn with knitting needles. It is a versatile and enjoyable hobby that allows you to create a wide range of items, from clothing and accessories to home decor.

Knitting has been around for centuries and is believed to have originated in the Middle East. It was initially done by hand, using simple tools like two sticks or bones. Over time, knitting techniques and tools have evolved, and today there are various types of knitting needles and yarns available.

Knitting can be done with different types of yarn, including wool, cotton, acrylic, and blends. Each type of yarn has its own unique properties, such as warmth, softness, and durability. The choice of yarn can greatly impact the final look and feel of your knitted project.

To knit, you will need a set of knitting needles and a ball of yarn. Knitting needles come in different sizes and materials, such as wood, metal, or plastic. The size of the needles will determine the gauge or tension of your knitting. Thicker needles produce larger stitches, while thinner needles create smaller, tighter stitches.

There are various knitting techniques and stitches you can learn to create different patterns and textures in your knitting. Common knitting stitches include the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and the rib stitch. By combining these stitches and techniques, you can create intricate designs and patterns in your knitting.

Knitting is a relaxing and meditative activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. It provides a creative outlet and allows you to express your personal style through your knitting projects. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced knitter, there are always new techniques and patterns to learn and explore.

So, if you’re looking for a fun and rewarding hobby, why not give knitting a try? With a little practice and patience, you’ll be able to knit beautiful and stylish items that you can wear or share with others.

Why Knit a Purse?

Why Knit a Purse?

Knitting a purse can be a fun and rewarding project for several reasons:

  • Creativity: Knitting a purse allows you to express your creativity and personalize your accessory. You can choose different colors, patterns, and textures to create a unique design that matches your style.
  • Customization: When you knit a purse, you have complete control over the size, shape, and features of the bag. You can adjust the dimensions to fit your specific needs and add pockets or closures as desired.
  • Handmade Touch: Handmade items carry a special charm and sentimental value. By knitting your own purse, you can enjoy the satisfaction of creating something with your own hands and showcase your craftsmanship.
  • Portability: A knitted purse is lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry around. You can bring it with you wherever you go and have a stylish accessory to hold your essentials.
  • Gift Potential: Knitted purses make wonderful gifts for friends and family. You can surprise someone with a personalized, handmade accessory that shows your love and effort.

In addition to these reasons, knitting is a relaxing and therapeutic activity that can help reduce stress and promote mindfulness. It’s a great way to unwind and channel your creativity into a practical project.

Step 1: Choosing the Right Yarn and Needles

When it comes to knitting a stylish purse, choosing the right yarn and needles is essential. The yarn you select will determine the overall look, feel, and durability of your purse, while the needles will dictate the size and gauge of your stitches.


When choosing yarn for your purse, consider the weight, fiber content, and texture. For a sturdy and durable purse, opt for a yarn that is medium to heavy weight, such as worsted or bulky. Look for a fiber content that provides the desired properties, such as cotton for a lightweight and breathable purse, or wool for added warmth and durability.

Additionally, consider the texture of the yarn. Smooth yarns will give your purse a polished and clean look, while textured yarns can add visual interest and dimension. You can also experiment with different colors to create unique patterns and designs.


The size of your needles will depend on the yarn you have chosen and the desired tension or gauge. Most yarn labels will recommend a needle size to use, based on the average gauge for that yarn. However, it’s important to swatch with your chosen yarn and needles to ensure the proper gauge and fit for your purse.

You can choose between straight needles or circular needles, depending on your preference and the size of your project. Straight needles are typically used for smaller projects, while circular needles are better suited for larger items like purses. Make sure to select needles that are comfortable to hold and manipulate, as you will be spending a significant amount of time knitting.

It’s worth noting that the needle size and yarn weight will affect the final size and drape of your purse. So, if you want a smaller or larger purse, you may need to adjust the needle size accordingly.

Before you start knitting, make sure you have the right yarn and needles on hand. This will ensure that your purse turns out exactly as you envision it and that you enjoy the knitting process.

Selecting the Perfect Yarn

When starting a knitting project, it’s important to choose the right yarn for your purse. The right yarn can make a huge difference in the finished product, so it’s worth taking the time to select a yarn that meets your needs.

Fiber Content: The first thing to consider when choosing yarn is the fiber content. Different fibers have different characteristics, which can affect the look, feel, and durability of your purse. The most common fibers used for knitting include:

  • Wool: Wool is a classic choice for knitting, known for its warmth and elasticity. It comes in a variety of weights and can be found in different blends, such as merino or alpaca.
  • Cotton: Cotton is a breathable, lightweight fiber that is perfect for warmer climates or summer accessories. It is less stretchy than wool but provides excellent stitch definition.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic yarns are affordable, durable, and easy to care for. They come in a range of colors and textures and are a great choice for beginners or projects that require frequent washing.
  • Silk: Silk yarns are luxurious and have a beautiful sheen. They drape well and are often used for elegant, dressier projects.

Weight: Yarn comes in different weights, which refers to the thickness of the yarn. The weight of the yarn determines the size of the stitches and the overall look of the finished project. For a purse, you’ll typically want a medium-weight yarn, such as worsted or DK (double knit) weight. These weights offer a good balance between durability and thickness.

Color and Texture: The color and texture of the yarn can also play a role in the overall design of your purse. Consider whether you want a solid color or a variegated yarn with multiple colors. Texture, such as a boucle or tweed yarn, can add visual interest to your project.

Amount: Make sure to calculate how much yarn you’ll need for your project. Most yarn labels provide information on yardage per skein or ball, as well as gauge recommendations. Keep in mind that it’s always better to have a little extra yarn than to run out mid-project.

Budget: Finally, consider your budget when choosing yarn. Yarn prices can vary greatly depending on the fiber content and brand. Set a budget for your project and look for yarns that fit within that range.

By considering the fiber content, weight, color, texture, amount, and budget, you can select the perfect yarn for your knitting project. Take your time exploring different options and feel the yarn to see if it matches your preferences. With the right yarn, you’ll be one step closer to creating a stylish and functional purse.

Understanding Needle Sizes

When it comes to knitting, understanding needle sizes is essential for achieving the desired results in your projects. Needle sizes can vary depending on the country or manufacturer, so it’s important to have a good grasp of the different sizing systems that are commonly used.

Here are some key things to know about needle sizes:

  • American Needle Sizes: In the United States, needle sizes are often denoted by a number and sometimes by a letter. The smaller the number, the smaller the needle size. For example, a US size 0 needle is smaller than a US size 10 needle.
  • Millimeter (mm) Sizes: Another commonly used sizing system is based on millimeter measurements. This system uses the diameter of the needle to determine its size. For example, a 2.75mm needle is smaller than a 5mm needle.
  • UK Needle Sizes: In the United Kingdom, needle sizes are often denoted by a number. The smaller the number, the smaller the needle size. For example, a UK size 2 needle is smaller than a UK size 8 needle.

It’s important to note that needle sizes can also vary depending on the type of knitting project you’re working on. For example, when knitting lace or fine fabrics, you may need to use smaller needles to achieve the desired gauge.

When starting a new knitting project, it’s a good idea to check the recommended needle size in the pattern or consult a needle size chart. This will help ensure that your stitches are the correct size and that your finished project turns out as intended.

Step 2: Casting on Stitches

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials and tools for knitting your stylish purse, it’s time to start casting on stitches. Casting on is the first step in starting your knitting project.

To cast on stitches for your purse, follow these steps:

  1. Hold your needle with the slipknot in your dominant hand. The working yarn should be draped over your non-dominant hand.
  2. Insert the needle into the slipknot from front to back, with the working yarn behind the needle.
  3. Using your non-dominant hand, bring the yarn over the top of the needle and towards you.
  4. With your dominant hand, pull the loop of the slipknot through the new loop created by wrapping the yarn around the needle. This creates a new stitch.
  5. Continue repeating steps 2-4 until you have cast on the required number of stitches for your purse. Make sure to keep your tension even and consistent as you cast on.

Once you have cast on all the stitches, you can proceed to the next step of knitting your stylish purse.

Basic Casting on Techniques

Before you can start knitting your stylish purse, you’ll need to learn some basic casting on techniques. Casting on is the process of creating the first row of stitches on your knitting needle.

There are several different methods for casting on, but we’ll focus on two popular techniques: the long-tail cast on and the knit cast on.

Long-Tail Cast On

The long-tail cast on is a versatile method that creates a sturdy yet flexible edge. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by leaving a long tail of yarn, approximately three times the desired width of your project. Hold the tail in your left hand, and the working yarn (connected to your ball or skein of yarn) in your right hand.
  2. With your right hand, make a slipknot by crossing the working yarn over the tail. Insert your knitting needle through the loop, and pull the tail to tighten the knot around the needle.
  3. Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand, and use your left hand to create a “V” shape with the tail and working yarn. Insert your right hand needle up through the “V” from bottom to top. This creates the first cast-on stitch.
  4. Continue to repeat step 3 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Remember to keep the tension of your stitches consistent.

The long-tail cast on creates a neat edge with a stretchy quality, making it ideal for projects like the stylish purse.

Knit Cast On

The knit cast on is a simple method that creates a firm edge. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by making a slipknot and placing it on your knitting needle.
  2. Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand, and insert the tip of your right-hand needle into the slipknot from left to right. This creates the first cast-on stitch.
  3. Wrap the working yarn around the right-hand needle in a counterclockwise direction.
  4. Use the right-hand needle to pull the working yarn through the slipknot, creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle.
  5. Continue to repeat steps 2-4 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches. Make sure to keep the tension of your stitches consistent.

The knit cast on creates a clean and firm edge, making it suitable for projects where you want a bit more structure, such as the stylish purse.

Calculating the Number of Stitches

When knitting a purse, it’s important to calculate the number of stitches you will need to cast on to achieve the desired width. This will ensure that your purse turns out the correct size and is not too narrow or too wide.

To calculate the number of stitches, you will first need to determine your gauge. Gauge refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch in your knitting. To find your gauge, you can knit a swatch using the same yarn and needles you will be using for your purse.

Once you have your gauge, you can measure the width of your swatch and the desired width of your purse. Let’s say your swatch is 4 inches wide and you want your purse to be 10 inches wide. Your swatch has 4 stitches per inch (based on your gauge), so to find the number of stitches for your purse, you would multiply the number of stitches per inch by the desired width:

Number of stitches = stitches per inch x desired width

In this example, the calculation would be:

Number of stitches = 4 stitches per inch x 10 inches

Number of stitches = 40 stitches

So, you would need to cast on 40 stitches to achieve a 10-inch wide purse.

It’s important to note that this calculation is just an estimate and may need to be adjusted based on the stitch pattern you are using or any personal preferences. However, it provides a good starting point for determining the number of stitches to cast on for your purse.

By calculating the number of stitches beforehand, you can ensure that your purse turns out the right size and avoid any potential frustration or disappointment during the knitting process.

Step 3: Knitting the Body of the Purse

Step 3: Knitting the Body of the Purse

Now that you have finished knitting the base of the purse, it’s time to move on to knitting the body. The body of the purse will determine the size and shape of the final product, so take your time and pay attention to the pattern.

1. Start by casting on the required number of stitches for the body of the purse. This can vary depending on the size and style of purse you want to create.

2. Once you have cast on, you will begin knitting in the desired stitch pattern. This can be as simple as knitting every row, or you can get creative and try different stitch patterns like ribbing or cables.

3. Knit in your chosen stitch pattern until the body of the purse reaches the desired length. You can measure this by comparing it to the base of the purse or by using a tape measure.

4. Once you have reached the desired length, it’s time to shape the top of the purse. This can be done by gradually decreasing the number of stitches in each row, creating a tapered effect.

5. To decrease stitches, knit two stitches together at the beginning or end of a row. Repeat this decrease stitch until you have reached the desired width for the top of the purse.

6. Once you have shaped the top of the purse, it’s time to finish off your knitting. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail that is long enough to weave in later.

7. Thread the yarn tail through a yarn needle and weave it in and out of the stitches along the top edge of the purse. This will secure the stitches and prevent them from unraveling.

8. Finally, give your purse a good blocking to even out the stitches and shape the finished product. You can lightly dampen the purse with water and block it using pins or a blocking mat.

Once your purse is dry and the stitches have set, you can add any desired embellishments such as buttons, beads, or a strap. Let your creativity shine and personalize your purse to make it truly unique!

Knitting the First Row

Once you have cast on the desired number of stitches onto your knitting needles, you are ready to start knitting the first row of your purse. Follow these steps to knit the first row:

  1. Hold the knitting needles with the cast-on stitches in your right hand and the empty needle in your left hand.
  2. Thread the working yarn through your fingers of your right hand, leaving a tail of yarn hanging down.
  3. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from left to right.
  4. Wrap the yarn around the right needle, from back to front.
  5. Use the right needle to draw the wrapped yarn through the stitch, creating a new loop on the right needle.
  6. Slide the original stitch off the left needle, and now you have one stitch on your right needle.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 for each stitch on the left needle until you reach the end.
  8. Once you have completed the first row, you will turn your work and start knitting the second row.

Remember to maintain even tension while knitting the first row to ensure a neat and uniform appearance to your purse. If your stitches are too tight, it may be difficult to work with the yarn. If your stitches are too loose, your purse may end up with a looser, more open texture.

With these steps, you have successfully knitted the first row of your stylish purse. Continue following the remaining steps in the tutorial to complete your knitting project.


What kind of purse can I learn to knit?

You can learn to knit various styles of purses, including tote bags, clutch purses, crossbody bags, and more. The article provides a step-by-step tutorial for knitting a stylish purse.

What materials do I need to knit a purse?

To knit a purse, you will need knitting needles, yarn in your desired color, a tapestry needle for weaving in ends, and any additional embellishments or closures you may want to add to your purse.

Is knitting a purse difficult?

Knitting a purse can be a bit challenging, especially if you are a beginner knitter. However, the article provides a detailed step-by-step tutorial with helpful instructions and photos to guide you through the process.

Do I need to know any advanced knitting techniques to knit a purse?

While basic knitting skills are sufficient to knit a purse, it can be helpful to have some knowledge of more advanced techniques such as increasing, decreasing, and knitting in the round. The article explains these techniques and provides instructions on how to use them in the purse pattern.

Can I customize my knitted purse?

Absolutely! Knitting allows for endless customization possibilities. You can choose any color and type of yarn, add your own unique pattern or stitch, and even embellish your purse with buttons, beads, or embroidery. The article encourages readers to get creative and make their purses their own.

How long does it take to knit a purse?

The time it takes to knit a purse can vary depending on the complexity of the pattern and your knitting speed. It could take anywhere from a few hours to several days or even weeks to complete a knitted purse.

Can I sell the purses I knit?

Yes, you can sell the purses you knit if you wish. Knitted purses can make great handmade gifts or even be sold online or at local craft fairs. However, it’s important to check local regulations and follow any guidelines or laws regarding selling handmade items.


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