How to Knit a Tote Bag

How to Knit a Tote Bag

Knitting a tote bag is a fun and practical project that allows you to create a unique and stylish accessory while also testing your knitting skills.

Tote bags are incredibly versatile and can be used for various purposes, such as carrying groceries, and books, or even as a fashionable alternative to a handbag.

With just a few basic knitting techniques and some simple materials, you can create a durable and functional tote bag that will last for years to come.

In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of knitting a tote bag, from selecting the right yarn and needles to finishing and embellishing your finished product.

So grab your knitting needles and start creating a beautiful and functional tote bag!

Benefits of Knitting a Tote Bag

Knitting a tote bag is fun and lets you make something special. It can be used for many things, like carrying groceries or books. Making a tote bag with knitting is good because it will last long!

You get to choose the yarn and needles; when it’s done, you can add decorations if you want. Knitting your tote bag is great!

How to Knitt a Tote Bag

Before you start knitting your tote bag, you must select the right materials listed below.

Materials needed

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch marker
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread

Choosing the Right Yarn

When selecting yarn for your tote bag, look for the following factors.

Yarn Weight

When knitting a tote bag, choosing the right yarn weight is essential. Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn and is categorized into different levels. The most common yarn weights for knitting tote bags are worsted and bulky.

Yarn Fiber

The type of yarn fiber you choose will determine your tote bag’s durability, texture, and care instructions. When choosing the right yarn fiber, consider the intended use of your tote bag and the level of care you are willing to provide.

Yarn Color

The color of your yarn can add personality and style to your tote bag. When choosing a color, consider the purpose of your tote bag and the color scheme of your wardrobe.

Neutral colors like black, gray, and beige are versatile and can complement any outfit. Bright colors like pink, blue, and green can add color to your wardrobe.

Knitting the Tote Bag

Knitting the Tote Bag

After choosing the right yarn, the next step is knitting your tote bag. Here are the next steps to follow.

Cast-On Stitches

To begin knitting the tote bag, you will need to cast on stitches. The number of stitches you cast on will depend on the bag size you want to make.

To cast on, create a slip knot on your knitting needle, insert the needle into the slip knot, and wrap the yarn around the needle. Pull the loop through the slip knot, and repeat the process until you have the desired number of stitches.

Knitting the Body of the Tote Bag

Once you have cast on your stitches, you will begin knitting the body of the tote bag. For a basic tote bag, knit every row using the garter stitch.

This creates a dense fabric that is sturdy enough to hold items. You can also experiment with other stitches, such as the stockinette or seed stitch, to create different textures.

Creating Handles

You will need to knit a separate strip of fabric to create the handles. Cast on the desired number of stitches and knit in a garter stitch until the strip reaches the desired length.

To attach the handles to the body of the bag, fold the strip in half and sew the ends to the sides of the tote bag. Alternatively, you can knit the handles onto the bag by picking up stitches along the top edge.

Binding Off Stitches

Once you have completed the desired length for your tote bag, you will need to bind off the stitches. To bind off, knit two stitches, insert the left-hand needle into the first stitch on the right-hand needle, and lift it over the second stitch and off the needle.

Continue this process until you have one stitch left on the right-hand needle. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail, and pull it through the last stitch to secure it.

Once you have bound off, weave in loose ends using a sewing needle and thread. This will give your tote bag a clean and finished look. You can also add a lining to your tote bag to make it more durable and prevent items from falling out.

To add a lining, cut a piece of fabric the same size as the tote bag and sew it to the inside using a sewing needle and thread.

Finishing the Tote Bag

Moving along nicely, we hope. The final steps to completing your tote bag include the following steps.

Weaving in Loose Ends

To finish the tote bag, it’s important to weave in any loose yarn ends to give the bag a polished look. Using a sewing needle, thread the end of the yarn through a few stitches on the inside of the bag, then cut off the excess. Be sure to weave in any other loose ends from attaching handles or knitting additional pieces.

Sewing the Sides of the Tote Bag

To complete the tote bag, fold the knitted fabric in half, with the right sides facing each other. Then, sew the sides of the bag together using a sewing needle and thread.

You can use a whip stitch or a mattress stitch to sew the sides together, depending on the type of seam you want to create. Be sure to knot the thread securely and weave in the ends.

Attaching Handles to the Tote Bag

To attach the handles to the tote bag, use a sewing needle and thread to sew them in place. You can either sew the handles directly onto the sides of the bag or sew them onto the bag separately and then attach them.

Be sure to sew them on securely, using several stitches, to ensure they can support the weight of the items you’ll carry.

Adding a Lining

If you want to add a lining to your tote bag, cut a piece of fabric to the same size as the bag, leaving an extra half-inch on each side for seam allowance.

Then, sew the sides of the lining together, leaving the top edge open. Place the lining inside the bag, with the right sides facing each other, and pin the top edges together.

Sew around the top edge of the bag, catching the bag and the lining fabric. Turn the bag right out and fold the lining over the top edge. Press the edges and sew the lining to complete the tote bag.

A lining will give your tote bag a more professional look and provide added durability to your project.


Knitting a tote bag is a fun, rewarding, practical, and stylish project. The best part is that you can customize the size and shape to suit your needs. Once you’ve knitted the bag, finish it with a lining and secure handles.

With these tips on how to knit a tote bag, you’ll be ready in no time! Now go out there and show off your handmade creations. Happy knitting!