Faux Tie Die Knit Lunch Bag




Introduction: Faux Tie Die Knit Lunch Bag

About: I love making things and keeping busy. I prefer making things rather than buying the finished products. People say to me 'you know, would have been cheaper if you just bought it', but they don't understand...

The felted lunch bag is both insulated (to keep food cold) and water proof (to handle any spillage) on the inside. It is knitted using the intarsia method with several different colors of yarns to make it lively! I made it large enough to handle more food than just a sandwich.


100% wool worsted weight yarn in rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, light blue, purple) - I used combination of Lion Brand Wool (not Wool Ease) and Stitch Nation Full of Sheep yarn (may have been discontinued).

Waterproof Polyurethane Fabric (PUL) - ordered from Amazon.

Metalized Mylar Insulated - ordered from Amazon

Bag handle - wooden handles from Joanne's

Cord for drawstring

Cord lock

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Step 1: Knit Bag Front

NOTE: I ran out of some colors of yarn so I could only do one side in the tie dye pattern.

For the other side, I didn't chart it out but just knitted until I ran out of a color of yarn, then switched to another color. To blend the colors in, I alternated in some areas between the 2 different colors for few rows to 'blend' them in.

NOTE: The diagram was split in two to allow easier reading and printing.

Start the chart from the right side and go towards the left for the knitted rows.

For the purl rows, read the chart from left to right.

Before beginning, I cut several long strands of yarns of each color and wrapped them around embroidery floss holders. These floss holders have notches at the top which is perfect to keep the yarn wrapped and out of the way.

Because this is a bag and not something worn, I did not snip the yarn after every color change. I carried the colored yarn over across the bag if the color is to be used again within 5-6 stitches, while knitting in the current color. If the old color is to be used again but is 7 stitches away, then I would start a new ball of yarn in that color so that it is not carried too far.

Leave at least a 2 inch tail at the end of the yarn so that they can be weaved in later.


With light blue yarn, cast on 63 stitches.

Knit in stem stitch (knit row 1 then purl 1 row) for 2 rows for base.

Row 1: Knit 2 st using light blue yarn, then follow tie dye chart (for color changes) for 59 st, knit 2 st using light blue yarn. Turn.

Row 2: Purl 2 st using light blue yarn, then follow tie dye chart in other direction for 59 st, purl 2 st using light blue yarn. Turn

Repeat in pattern until row 91 is completed.

Row 92: Purl 63 st in light blue yarn

Row 93: Stitch and bind off 63 st using light blue yarn and cut yarn.

NOTE: Had problems attaching spreadsheet so had to use SNIP IT image. I can email the spreadsheet if needed.

Step 2: Knit Bag Bottom

Take the knitted front side of the bag with the knit side facing up.

NOTE: I used dark blue because it was I had plenty of yarn in that color left to use for the bag bottom.

Pick up 63 stitches along the bottom width of the front side of the bag through the back loop only (to attach bottoms to the front side of the bag for seamless knitting).

Knit and purl until bottom measures desired size (25 rows for me)

Do not bind off but cut the yarn, leaving a long tail.

Step 3: Knit Bag Back

With the purl side of the bottom facing, pick up 63 stitches through the front loop only using light blue yarn to begin the 2nd side of the bag (for seamless knitting).

Knit and purl 2 rows using the light blue yarn.

Repeat instructions for Knit Bag Front**.

**As the NOTE indicated from Step 1, I ran out of some colors of yarn and so was not able to do the tie dye pattern for the 2nd side. I ran a different pattern for the back - just changing colors after a few rows. Between color changes, intersperse the 2 different colors to blend them together.

Step 4: Knit Bag Side

NOTE: I made the sides more complicated than it should have been (see photos). I had knitted it in 3 parts (triangle and 2 sides) to create a crease so that the bag could fold nicely. However, because it was felted, the lines were blurred into one and it looked like one piece anyways. The instructions below are for a much simpler side.

Simplified sides:

With purl side facing, pick up stitches along one side of the bottom through front look only using light blue yarn. For my base, there were 25 rows so I picked up 25 stitches along the side (for seamless knitting).

Knit and purl for 95 rows, binding off on the last row.

Repeat for the other side of the bag.

Take a piece of the light blue yarn and sew the sides of the bag to the front and back to assemble the bag.

Step 5: Knit Bag Top Edge

With the knit side of the assembled bag facing and using light blue yarn, pick up 63 stitches across the front of the bag, pick up 25 stiches (or number used to create the sides), pick up 63 stitches across the back of the bag, pick up 25 stitches along the side.

Knit and purl for 3 rows and bind off.

After knitting is completed, weave in all the ends and trim them.

Step 6: Felt the Bag

I have a front load washer so I used the following method to felt the bag:

Place the knitted bag in pillow case and tie the case closed. I added a pair of tennis shoes in the washer to increase agitation. I used my hand wash cycle and hot water.

Add a little bit of soap and run the washer until the water begins draining (and before the spin cycle).

Start the hand wash cycle again and repeat the process (wash, drain, no spin) until the individual stitches are no longer discernible. This took about 5 cycles for me.

After the bag is in the desired state/size, rinse it well and lay on towel. Stretch and smooth the bag to reshape it and allow to dry.

Step 7: Line Bag

NOTE: The final dimensions of my bag was 10 inches wide, 11 inches high, and 3 inch depth. You may have to adjust depending on the final dimensions of your felted bag.

Refer to the diagram and cut 2 pieces of the PUL fabric.

With the right sides of the fabric facing, sew the 2 sides together and sew the bottom together along the .05 inch seam line. NOTE: I had problems with sewing the PUL fabric on my sewing machine and had to stitch it by hand. The PUL fabric kept getting snagged.

Fold the bag to pinch along the corner to sew together (refer to picture) to close the corner hole.

For the mylar insulation, I had cut the front, bottom, and sides separately and attached it to the PUL fabric on the wrong side.

Looking back, I would have preferred to cut and sew the insulation the same as the PUL fabric lining and joined the 2 liners together.

Step 8: Add Drawstring Top

Take a piece of decorative fabric and fold it in half. Follow the diagram (bottom picture) and cut the folded fabric as indicated.

From the folded side, measure 1 inch from the top and sewing along the length of the fabric (26 in total), to create a casing for the draw string.

Take the 2 ends of the length of the fabric and sew together, leaving the 1 inch opening free for the drawstring cord to pull through. Sew the ends along the .5 inch seam line. To hide the seam, fold along the crease and sew about .5 inch in again.

Take the liner created in the previous step and turn it outside in so that the insulation is on the inside.

Slide the circular decorative fabric over the PUL liner with the drawstring casing pointing towards the bottom of the bag, and match it to the top seam of the liner. Sew the bottom of the decorative bag to the top of the liner.

Take the bag and fold it inside out so that the insulation is now on the outside.

Slip the entire lining into the dried felted bag and sew the bottom of the drawstring piece to the top of the knitted bag. The decorative drawstring piece will sit above the rest of the bag.

Take a piece of cord and pull through the casing. Add a cord lock.

Step 9: Add Handles

Center the handles to the bag and sew.

For my wooden handle, I measured 1.5 inches from the side on both side to attach the handles evenly.


If there are errors in the stitch pattern or some parts that are not clear, just let me know and I will try to fix it.

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    6 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful! Great job with all the colour work!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! Good way to make use of yarn stash.


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! It was actually a fun project. Now I don't lose my lunch in a sea of plastic grocery bags in the fridge at work.


    5 years ago

    This is absolutely beautiful! You have an amazing amount of patience for such a detailed patten. Thanks for sharing it!


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you! The idea had been brewing in my head for a while. I was hesitant about all the color changes but I just put on Netflix and the time just flew.