A Knitted Shoulder Bag Pattern Using Variegated Sock Yarn, Garter Stitch, and a Quirky Construction

knitted shoulder bag

This knitted shoulder bag pattern creates a bag that have an interesting shape with mitered sides.

I like to knit while I watch TV so I prefer simple knitting techniques that do not require too much stitch counting or too much marking. Garter stitch can’t get any simpler. It also produces a sturdy, flat and fairly thick fabric so I am quite happy to use it even if people complain it is boring.

I love the feel of sock yarn but I didn’t want to knit socks. I wondered how a variegated sock yarn will look on a knitted shoulder bag.

Materials Used

  • 100g or 350m hand-dyed superwash summer sock yarn. I’m using a 40% wool, 40% bamboo and 20% nylon yarn (18wpi) .
  • 1/2 ball of cream colour dk yarn for the opening band and handle
  • Jersey fabric of matching colour for lining
  • 2.75mm circular needles
  • 1 pair of 2.75mm double pointed needles
  • Sewing needles and matching colour thread

Gauge and Measurement

My gauge using 2.75mm needles and sock yarn is 28sts / 48 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch. It is intended to be a rough guide. Do not fuss over trying to achieve the same gauge as me. It is a knitted shoulder bag, not a tight-fitting garment.

Introduction

knitted shoulder bag main piece
Shape of the bag body

The instructions given below is intended to achieve a bag shape as shown in the picture above.

Start by knitting 4 separate triangles. The triangles are then joined together by knitting across all 4. Continue in garter stitch until the length of the bag measures 32 cm or 12.5 inch. End by decreasing stitches to form another 4 triangles.

When the sides of the triangles are sewn together, it creates a pouch. Stitches are then picked up from the opening of the pouch to make the band and handles.

Knitting the Triangles

Cast on 1 stitch
Row 1 – K1, KTBL*, K1
Row 2 – Knit all stitches
Row 3 – KBF*, K all

*KTBL – knit through the back loop
*KBF – knit back and front

Repeat Row 3 until there are 35 stitches on the needles. You should have a triangle on your needles. Leave the live stitches on your needles. Measure a 3-inch tail and cut off the yarn.

Make a total of 4 such triangles by repeating the instructions and leaving the live stitches on the same needles.

With the yarn still on your 4th triangle, turn the work and knit 1 row across all 4 triangles to connect them together. You should have a total of 140 stitches. See the picture below.

knitted shoulder bag triangles close up

Knit in garter stitch until the body measures 32 cm or 12.5 inch.

Decreasing for next 4 Triangles

Place stitch markers after each 35 stitches.

Row 1 – Knit 2 together, K all stitches before marker, turn
Row 2 – Knit 2 together, K all stitches

Repeat these 2 rows until there are only 3 stitches left.

The last row – Knit 2 together, knit 1, and pass the first stitch over the last stitch. Cut the yarn leaving a 3-inch tail. Rejoin the yarn for the next 35 stitches on the needles. Repeat the decreases to create the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th triangles.

The bag body is complete.

Before sewing up, rinse and block the body. It helps to even out the stitches. When the piece is dry, it is ready for sewing up.

Joining the sides

Place the sides of the second and third triangles closest to each other together and seam them together neatly. Repeat with the sides of the first and second triangles closest to each other and the sides of the third and fourth closest to each other. Finally, fold the bag neatly in half and lay the 2 straight edges together, and seam the last 2 sides of the triangles together.

Now you have the basic shape of the knitted shoulder bag.

Making the opening band

The opening band is made up of a sturdy garter stitch.

knitted shoulder bag opening hem

Using matching colour yarn, pick up 125 stitches all around the opening of the bag. It is easier to start at one of the sides. You will find that it is easier to pick up stitches where the knit rows are.

Join the last stitch with the first pick-up stitch so that you can knit in the round. Mark the starting stitch with a stitch marker so that you know when to change to the purl row when you have completed the knit row.

Row 1 – Knit all
Row 2 – Purl all

Continue this garter stitch until the opening strip reaches the desired width. Mine is 1 inch or 2.5cm. You can do a bit more if you like. Once you have reached the width you want, bind off.

Handle

Using double-pointed needles, pick up 16 stitches at one of the sides of the bag using the same cream colour yarn. Start single ribbing.

Row 1 – *K1, P1* and repeat * to * until last stitch, K1
Row 2 – *P1, K1* and repeat * to * until last stitch, P1

Continue to work this single ribbing until the handle measure 20 inches. Do not bind off but leave a long tail.

Pick up 16 stitches at the other side of the bag using the cream colour yarn.

Using the Kitchener stitch technique, join the handle to the newly picked up 16 stitches.

Weave in all the ends.

Lining

I like lining my knitted bags so that they look neater and last longer. I only lined the body and not the handle. I thought the single ribbing looks good from both sides and didn’t want to cover it up with fabric.

lining for the knitted shoulder bag

I choose a stretchy jersey fabric to line the bag as this is not a flat bag, it has a slight bulge. I can’t dart the fabric to create the bulge so I stretch the bag when measuring and outlining the fabric for cutting.

Cut the fabric out leaving a 1-inch border. Sew the seams with right sides facing. When the seams are done, turn the fabric out.

Turn the bag inside out and slip the lining over it. Line up the opening of the lining with the bag. Pin in place and tack. Using a slip stitch, sew the lining in place.

Turn the bag back out and tuck the lining in. Done!

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