A knitted purse is a perfect blend of mediums to show off your style and make an interesting and functional piece.
A few weeks back, I knitted a headband out of a skein of yarn that I was particularly fond of. I wanted to show off the colors and style, but I also felt like the headband wasn’t enough. I wanted to show it off the yarn even more.
But I also didn’t have that much of the yarn left. So, I decided to make a swatch of fabric which turned out to be the perfect size for a knitted purse!
For this project, I gathered the following:
- 1 skein yarn, have fun with the colors!
- 2 US 6 standard knitting needles
- 1 US 6 double-pointed knitting needles
- 1 8-inch zipper
- Fabric, should be the same size as the finished piece and a color to match or compliment. Should not stand out as it will be visible from the outside as well.
- Chain, or other desired material for a strap
BO – Bind Off
CO – Cast On
C4B – (K2 and 2) – slip the next 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the back of the work, K2 from left-hand needle, then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.
C4F – (K2 and 2) – slip the next 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the front of the work, K2 from left-hand needle, then knit the 2 stitches from the cable needle.
K – Knit
K2TOG – Knit two stitches together
P – Purl
PSSO – Pass Slipped Stitch Over. Pass the slipped stitch over the knitted stitch as if binding off. Will decrease the number of stitches.
SL – Slip Stitch. Slip a stitch from the left-hand needle to the other without knitting it.
YF – Yarn Forward. Wrap the yarn around the needle to create an additional stitch. This will create a hole effect in the knitted project.
Making the Pattern
The first step of this project was making the pattern. I decided to start with what I knew and the work backwards. The zipper that was 8.5 inches, so I knew I wanted the pattern to end up being 8.5 inches in one direction. The width became the restricted size as it was the easiest thing in my control.
One other thing I knew – I wanted to use US 6 size knitting needles. This knowledge helped me approximate the number of stitches I would need for the right size knitted purse. The knitting needle creates stitches that are approximately 4mm in width. An eight-inch project translated to about 203.2 mm which (divided by 4) is equal to approximately 50 stitches.
I decided to make the total project 49 stitches as having the zipper be bigger than the yarn swatch is preferable to having the yarn swatch outsize the zipper. But after deciding the number of stitches, I then had to decide what type of pattern I wanted to do.
I ultimately landed on doing a lace arrow pattern flanked by two simple cable stitches. The full pattern can be found in the quick recipes section. I did this pattern on repeat until I ran out of yarn leaving the knitted swatch to have a final size of 8.5-inches by 15-inches.
Making the Bag
I didn’t want to go too fancy with the knitted purse so I chose a fabric that wouldn’t stand out too much as the lining. Especially since the lining would be visible to the outside. I also didn’t want to have a “dull” side of fabric visible like you often see with patterned fabrics.
After picking out the fabric, I started to sew as if the knitted swatch was like any other piece of fabric. I faced the “right” sides of the fabrics together and placed the zipper facing inside along the edge of the width. I sewed this together carefully to secure the zipper into place.
The project was then turned, and the zipper was sewn in along the other edge. This created two tacos like shape for the bag with the zipper running down the center. Almost like a butterfly. The side of each pouch should be open.
Then I had to figure out how to sew up the side and this is where having a knitted exterior actually brings a really big advantage. I sewed the sides of the lining with the zipper facing in the proper direction. Then I flipped the knitted pouch around the inner pouch to get that final knitted purse shape. Yes, the seams for the inner pouch as slightly visible. I used pinking shears to edge the seams of the inside.
But what should I do for the outside? I don’t want visible seams on the outside of the purse! Luckily, because the fabric is knitted, I can use a crochet needle to close up the side. While this creates a kind of visible seam, it’s not noticeable against the knitting.
Detailing and Adding a Handle
After sewing up the sides, I realize that having the zipper edges hidden fully in between the two pouches wasn’t really working. So, I decided to create some finished edging on the zippers. I reinforced a piece of the lining fabric.
The edges were folded over and flattened using an iron. Then I folded over the fabric and encased the edge of the zipper inside of the fold. I lined up all of the edges on the finishing fabric and sew the square shut. And now there isn’t a visible zipper edge!
The projects knitted exterior allowed me to loop rings directly into the fabric without needed to me addition areas. I also considered using grommet but that didn’t see like it would work with the knitted fabric. Once I has the loops attached to the end of the bag, I threaded the chain to each loop to make my handle!
Oh my god, I love this knitted purse. It’s so freaking cute!! I didn’t realize that I liked knitted purses but I absolutely adore this. One thing I wished I had done was created more of an edging on the knitted piece.
Just at the top and bottom of the fabric (so the first and last rows). This would have created a helpful buffer when sewing the fabric as I wouldn’t have to rely on sewing a single piece of yarn due to the lace pattern.
Cabling is a staple on a lot of knitted pieces from what you find in stores to the home projects like this one. It can seem complicated, or even intimating, but it’s actually a very simple process that doesn’t take much extra knowledge and adds a great pop of texture to any project.
The way to get the cabling effect is to take stitches from the left needle and holding it to either the back or front to create a cross and dictate where the stitch is going to go. It creates a really cool, almost braided effect. And all of this is done using only a knit stitch!
- 2 US 6 Standard Knitting Needles
- 1 US 6 Double Pointed Needles
- 1 Skein Yarn any color
- 1 8-inch Zipper any color
- Fabric any color, same size as the knitted piece
- 1 Chain 3 to 4 feet
- Row 1: K3, P3, K4, P3, K10, YF, K2TOG, K9, P3, K4, P3, K3
- Row 2: K6, P4, K7, P13, K7, P4, K6
- Row 3: K3, P3, K4, P3, K8, SL1, K1, PSSO, YF, K1, YF, K2TOG, K8, P3, K4, P3, K3
- Row 4: K6, P4, K7, P13, K7, P4, K6
- Row 5: K3, P3, C4F, P3, K7, SL1, K1, PSSO, YF, K3, YF, K2TOG, K7, P3, C4B, P3, K3
- Row 6: K6, P4, K7, P13, K7, P4, K6
- Row 7: K3, P3, K4, P3, K6, SL1, K1, PSSO, YF, K5, YF, K2TOG, K6, P2, K4, P3, K3
- Row 8: K6, P4, K7, P13, K7, P4, K6
- Row 9: K3, P3, K4, P3, K5, SL1, K1, PSSO, YF, K7, YF, K2TOG, K5, P2, K4, P3, K3
- Row 10: K6, P4, K7, P13, K7, P4, K6
- Row 11: K3, P3, C4F, P3, K4, SL1, K1, PSSO, YF, K9, YF, K2TOG, K4, P3, C4B, P3, K3
- Row 12: K6, P4, K7, P13, K7, P4, K6
- Repeat Rows 1 – 12 until the project is the desired length.
- Place the lining fabric down with the right face up. The zipper should be placed along the topmost edge with the zipper handle facing up. The knitted fabric should be placed with the right side facing down and the edge lining up with the zipper. Sewn along the edge to seal the zipper between the two fabrics.
- Fold over the fabric to create the same line up as above but with the other edges and the other side of the zipper.
- Move the lining fabric so the inside pouch is separated from the remaining fabric. The wrong side of the fabric should be facing out and the zipper should be accessible. Sew up the sides to fully enclose the pouch and trim edges.
- Wrap the knitted fabric pouch around the enclosed lining pouch. This should be the final shape of the bag.
- Using a crochet needle, close up the sides of the knitted pouch and trim and excess string or edges.
- If necessary, cut out two squares from the lining fabric and reinforce with an interfacing fabric. Fold over the edges to hide the ends of the fabric. Fold one square in half over the ends of the zipper to hide the edging. Sew the square onto the zipper.
- Thread a key ring through the knitted fabric and both ends of the zipper. Use the key rings to attach a crossbody chain to the purse.