Easy Knit Shoulder Bag




About: I'm a self taught polymer clay artist / sculptor making figurines, dolls and accessories. I sell my artworks in pop culture conventions and in my Etsy shop. I also make crafting and sculpting video tutoria...

This project is great if you're a beginner like me in knitting. You only need a couple of balls of yarn and one size of knitting needles. I do suggest you use good quality wool yarn because it makes such a big difference. I used a medium or worsted weight yarn which is a relatively thick yarn because I like the look of thick stitches for my bag and also because it knits fast.

If you've only knitted scarves, then you can definitely make this one. You don't need a pattern for this bag and you only knit in one stitch, the knit stitch. You're basically just making a rectangular piece, and sewing the sides to make the bag.

If you're an advanced knitter, this is a fun project to design your own bag. You can take this bag to a whole new different level, adding cables, colour, pockets.

I've also added in an easy polymer clay leaf button tutorial if you would like to make your own. This is entirely optional but it gives your bag a personal touch.

Step 1: Materials

  • 3 Balls 50 grams 74 meters wool yarn
  • Knitting needles 5.5 mm 14 inches length
  • Tapestry needle
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Button

Optional: Polymer Clay Button

  • Polymer Clay - Dark brown and gold (Polymer clay is a PVC based oven-baked modelling clay.)
  • Tools: ball stylus, acrylic roller, needle tool, chisel-like tool
  • Oven

Step 2: The Knit Stitch

First, you need to make a slip knot on your knitting needle. After which, you cast on stitches by wrapping the yarn clockwise on your thumb then transferring that yarn loop to your knitting needle (3rd picture). Do this until you have 40 loops on your knitting needle.

To make a knit stitch, insert the other needle to the first loop beneath the needle as seen on the 6th picture. Place the yarn in between the needles then take the yarn with your right needle. This is now your first knit stitch (8th picture).

After completing a row of knit stitches, continue with the next row. Several rows of knit stitches will form a garter pattern. What is so great about a garter pattern is it's reversible and the fabric lies flat which makes it easier to sew the seams later on.

Step 3: Binding Off Your Stitches

When you have reached a length of 22 inches, we need to bind off the stitches. This is done by knitting the first 2 stitches with a knit stitch, then inserting the left needle to the first knit stitch seen on the 3rd image. Remove the loop over the 2nd knit stitch and drop that stitch. Now you have bound off one stitch. Your right knitting needle has one loop left. To bind off that stitch, knit another stitch so that you have 2 loops on your right needle again, then remove the first loop from your right needle and drop that stitch. Do the whole row until you have only one loop left on your right needle. Cut the yarn and thread it through the loop (5th picture) and carefully pull and tighten the yarn.

Step 4: Making the Bag

Once we made the fabric, we can now sew it up to become a bag by folding one side and leaving a 4 inches flap (1st picture). Pin the sides of the bag then sew the seams with a tapestry needle using the backstitch (2nd picture). After both sides of the bag are stitched up, you can now turn the bag inside out.

Step 5: Bag Strap and Button Loop

To make the bag strap, cast on 150 stitches (about 50 inches). You can make this shorter if you like. I had a difficult time with this part because I was using a 10 inches knitting needles. I would advise you to have 14 inches needles to knit the strap comfortably.

Knit 3 rows then bind off the stitches. If you would like a thicker strap you can make it 4 rows. Sew the ends of the strap to the inner sides of the bag.

Sew the button below the flap of the bag.

To make the button loop, cast on 20 stitches. Knit 3 rows then bind off the stitches. Sew the ends of the loop to the middle part of the bag's flap.

Step 6: Clay Leaf Button

To make your own clay button, knead the gold and dark brown polymer clay without thoroughly mixing the clay to leave some gold streaks. Flatten the clay with an acrylic roller or with your hands and using a needle tool, draw in your leaf shape. Cut this out with a blade and make serrations to the sides of the leaf with a chisel-like tool. Draw in the veins of the leaf with a needle tool and make the 2 holes with a ball stylus.

Bake the button in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven for 130 degrees celsius or the recommended time and temperature of your brand of polymer clay.

Let the piece completely cool before sewing it to your bag.

You now have a completed bag completely made from scratch to use everyday or give as a special gift.

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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Can't actually find the pattern in all the tutorial instructions. What is the co amount of stitches?


    3 years ago

    what a wonderful idea. Your bag looks lovely and I want to try something like this. I didn't realize that making polymer clay items like beads or buttons could be this straightforward. Thanks for inspiring me!

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    very cute bag! i looked at the knots to make and they look tricky. but i'll try it! ;-)

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks! When I first started, it does took some time getting used to holding the needles but after several rows you'll eventually get into the rhythm. ^_^