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Knitters make their own sweaters, tops, and socks. Why not handbags, too?

The experience of knitting a handbag is a must for any knitter. Were you thrilled about making your own eco-friendly shopping totes? Did the raffia accessories trend raise your heartbeat? Say no more.

A knitted handbag is a special wardrobe item that carries your valuables and essentials. And it’s another way of wearing your knits all the time. You can knit bags of almost all shapes using a wide variety of yarns and techniques, from simple to sophisticated. It all comes down to your personal preference!

Choose your style


Purses are small bags for keeping your valuables and essentials safe. They’re fast and easy to knit. Best kept safe inside a larger bag, purses don’t need to be dull or uninspiring. PetiteKnit, for example, offers eye-catching designs.

The Marie Purse has a garter slip stitch that looks great in a soft, squishy yarn. The Honey Purse offers you a challenge with a honeycomb brioche stitch. Both can be embellished with a nice lining fabric.

on the left, purse on table, on the right, hands hold two purses
Marie Purse (left) and Honey Purse (right), by Petite Knit


Clutches are adaptable to everyday or festive occasions, whenever you can walk around light without carrying a lot of things. You can play with yarn and stitch patterns to make them sturdier or more malleable.

Again, PetiteKnit has beautiful clutch designs like the Cleo Clutch in a simple stockinette pattern. If you’re looking for a challenge, try out the fun Clutch Real by Filipa Carneiro in entrelac stitch (it’s a free pattern with video tutorials).

on the left, woman holding a large clutch, on the right, hand holds pink and yellow entrelac clutch
Cleo Clutch by Petite Knit (left) and Clutch Real by Filipa Carneiro (right)

Shoulder or crossbody bag

Small shoulder or crossbody bags carry your essentials and a little more when you want to leave your hands free.

The Tolt Folded Bag is a free pattern by Veronika Jobe. It’s a geometric construction with a rectangle in either garter or stockinette stitch that you fold and seam ingeniously. For a romantic look, consider the Sirens Bag by Patrícia Lima in rustic cotton yarn, inspired by the fantastical fishtails of Sirens in Homer’s epic poem Odyssey.

on the left, woman wearing shoulder bag, on the right, woman wearing shoulder bag
Tolt Folded Bag by Veronika Jobe (left) and Sirens Bag by Patrícia Lima (right)

Large shoulder bag

Large shoulder bags get us through long days of work and leisure. They’re all-you-can-fit safe havens where you can accommodate a little WIP, a book, and snacks for the way.

The Summer Fling Bag by Espace Tricot (free pattern) is a clean, casual design for a 100% linen yarn that makes the bag versatile and durable. A slouchier, stunning option is the Breeze Bag by PetiteKnit, in a mix of linen and cotton, with a simple lace pattern that creates tiny eyelets.

on the left,mannequin wearing large shoulder bag, on the right, woman wearing shoulder bag with flowers
Summer Fling Bag by Espace Tricot (left) and Breeze Bag by Petite Knit (right)

Pick the yarn for your knitted handbag

When you venture into picking yarn for a knitted handbag project, keep in mind that the yarn influences its look and wearability. You can ask yourself:

  • Purpose: Will I carry very light or heavy objects inside?

  • Structure: Do I prefer a slouchy or sturdy bag?

  • Feel: Is a rougher linen or a fluffy wool more to my taste?

  • Look: Am I seeking a relaxed, formal, or festive style?

If you want to play it safe, you can always choose the designer’s selected yarn. But make it to your liking. When in doubt, make a swatch!

Get the notions and accessories

Though not mandatory, notions have functional and aesthetic purposes. A lining in cotton or linen protects the knitted fabric from the inside and gives structure to the bag.

Leather straps or chains offer a sturdier, more durable alternative to knitted ones, especially if you carry heavier things.

Metal or wooden frames help give shape to a clutch and maintain that shape regardless of how much you wear it. Check out your favorite or local haberdashery for tips on the best options.

Have these endless possibilities made you dream of a knitted handbag as your next fun project? Pick an exciting design to get started and style it with your favorite knits!

And if you're looking for more knitting inspo, make sure to check out our trends and inspiration page.


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