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Contemporary Tote Bag Knitting Patterns


Klara Nilsson | Updated on April 25, 2022

Unlike sweaters, scarves, and hats, good tote bag knitting patterns are hard to come by. That’s why we’ve found the best knit tote bag patterns from knitwear designers all over the web and listed them here for you.

Generally speaking, knitted tote bags are similar to beret knitting patterns – simple to work up, quick to finish, and very practical. Even better, they never go out of style.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find an easy tote bag knitting pattern in this list that you can knit up as a gift or for yourself. Customize your colorways, experiment with the patterns, and make a step towards practical fashion with a functional bag you can use over and over again. If you’re not looking to commit, simply try one of the free tote bag knitting patterns listed here and see how it goes.

Most of the knitting patterns in this list use worsted, chunky, or super bulky weight yarn. We’ve favoured patterns that use natural cotton or linen yarns too, since they are soft, sturdy, and last a long time. That means you can use your tote bag on a day-to-day basis without it losing shape.

13 Tote Bag Knitting Patterns (Free & Paid)

Below are 13 contemporary knitted tote bag patterns for beginners and intermediate knitters. We’ve selected a range of different styles including traditional totes, over-the-shoulder market bags, and cross-body bags. Find your favourite pattern, knit it up, then go out and share your creation with the world!

1. “Junia” Tote Bag

Junia Tote Bag
Price$4.38/£3.31
Difficulty LevelBeginner
Suggested YarnPelini – Rauma Yarn
Designer’s WebsiteJunia Tote – Strikkekaffe

The “Junia” tote bag comes in one size measuring 36cm long and 32cm wide. It is knit from the top down in stockinette stitch to begin with, while the handles are attached and the edges knit together at the end. This is a classic, simple tote bag design that’s suitable for advanced beginners and fit for all purposes.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Circular Needles (60cm Cable)
US Size 6/4mm Double Pointed Needles
Yarn Weight 50g = 102m
Yarn Quantity 250g
Accessories N/A

2. “Brigitte” Tote Bag Pattern

brigitte bag
Price$7.64/£5.70
Difficulty LevelIntermediate
Suggested YarnField – Gregoria Fibers
Designer’s WebsiteBrigitte Bag – Gregoria Fibers

This knitted drawstring tote bag is worked simply from the bottom up. Inspired by crochet, the texture and lace stitching produces a vintage design that makes for a great lightweight summer accessory. You’ll need 3 skeins of mid-weight yarn, circular needles, and a basic understanding of how to knit braids for the i-cord.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 1/2.5 mm Circular Needles (60cm-80cm)
US Size 4/3.5 mm Circular Needles (60cm-80cm)
Yarn Weight 50g = 110m
Yarn Quantity 3 Skeins
Accessories N/A


3. “Technicolor” Tote Bag

Technicolour Tote Bag
Price $4.79/£3.46
Difficulty Level Intermediate
Suggested Yarn Sunday – Sandnes Garn
Designer’s Website Technicolor Tote Bag – PetiteKnit

The Technicolor Tote Bag by PetiteKnit is a playful pattern knitted in three different colors. Knitted in the round using three threads together to get a gradient color shift, it’s an excellent project for intermediate knitters. The finished bag measures 34 cm/13.5 inches in width and 38 cm/715 inches in height – plenty of space for your shopping!

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 11/8mm Needles
Yarn Weight DK/8 ply (11 wpi)
Yarn Quantity 864 m
Accessories N/A

4. “Hanna” Tote Bag

Hanna Tote Bag
PriceFree
Difficulty LevelIntermediate
Suggested Yarn Recycled Cotton Worsted Yarn – Paintbox Yarns
Designer’s WebsiteHanna Free Tote Bag – LoveCrafts

The Hanna Tote Bag is a stylish free tote bag knitting pattern with a playful design that uses three vibrant colors. It’s knit in flat blocks that are stitched together at the end, creating a sturdy market bag strong enough to carry groceries or more. The finished bag measures 41 cm/16 inches wide and 34 cm/13.5 inches high.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Needles
Yarn Weight Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity 3 Balls
Accessories Scissors

5. “Pensacola” Knitted Tote Bag

Pensacola Tote Bag
Price$3.74/£2.70
Difficulty LevelBeginner
Suggested Yarn Rowan Handknit Cotton – LoveCrafts
Designer’s WebsitePensacola Tote – AppleandAcornCo on Etsy

Made with cotton yarn, the Pensacola Tote bag is an excellent pattern for everyday use. The finished bag measures 32 cm wide and 30 cm high, not including the bag’s handles. The pattern instructions create short handles, but you can easily make the handles longer or shorter to fit your preference. Knit with stripes or in one solid color, just be wary – it’s made out of cotton, so the bag will stretch when you use it.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 7/4.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight DK or Worsted Weight
Yarn Quantity 150g
Accessories N/A

6. “This Way Up” Tote Bag

"This Way Up" Tote Bag
Price$3.46/£2.50
Difficulty LevelBeginner
Suggested Yarn Wendy Supreme Cotton DK – Wool Warehouse
Designer’s Website“This Way Up” Tote Bag – LoveCrafts

Knit flat with DK yarn, the ‘This Way Up’ tote sports wide straps and lots of space for your things. The bag is knitted in four parts using the garter stitch before being joined together. The finished bag measures 46 cm/18 inches wide and 41 cm/16 inches high, while the straps are 25 cm/10 inches long.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 4/3.5mm Needles
US Size 9/5.5mm Circular Needles
Yarn Weight DK
Yarn Quantity 15g
Accessories Stitch Markers

7. Simple Knit Tote Pattern

Simple Knit Tote
PriceFree
Difficulty LevelIntermediate
Suggested Yarn Lantern Yarn – Purl Soho
Designer’s WebsiteSimple Knit Tote – Purl Soho

This Simple Knit Tote is a modern tote bag knitting pattern made with a cotton-linen yarn mix. Though the design is classic, the mix of yarn creates a fluffy effect that adds a contemporary twist. The pattern is completely free and contains instructions to knit the bottom flat, pick up around the edges and knit the body of the bag in the round. The straps are knit separately and joined in the middle with a 3-needle bind off.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size  US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles (60cm to 80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight Worsted/Aran
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern
Accessories Stitch Markers

8. “Summer Commitment” Tote Bag

Summer Commitment Tote
PriceFree
Difficulty LevelBeginner
Suggested Yarn N/A
Designer’s WebsiteSummer Commitment – Espace Tricot on Ravelry

Knit with bulky yarn, the Summer Commitment tote bag is another free pattern that calls for knitting both flat and in the round – great for practicing both skills. The bottom and straps are knit flat and then the main body is knit in the round, while the straps are eventually joined using kitchener stitch. If you’re looking to knit a cross-body style bag, then you’ll need to pick up an extra skein of yarn, too.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 10/6mm Needles
Yarn Weight Bulky (7 wpi)
Yarn Quantity 325m
Accessories N/A

9. “Mohave” Slouchy Tote Bag Knitting Pattern

Mohave Slouchy Tote Bag
Price$5.00/£3.64
Difficulty LevelIntermediate
Suggested Yarn Re-Tweed – Lion Brand Yarns
Designer’s WebsiteMohave Slouchy Tote Bag – MamaInaStitch on Etsy

This pattern creates an oversized, slouchy bag with wide straps perfect for beach trips. The design is both comfortable and practical, with playful tassels for extra fun and flair. Knit it in the round using circular needles and two different colors of yarn, or choose one solid color if you prefer.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 11/8.0mm Circular Needles (40cm Cable)
Yarn Weight N/A – See Pattern
Yarn Quantity N/A – See Pattern
Accessories Darning Needle

10. Two-Color Slouchy Tote bag

Two Color Slouchy Tote Bag
Price$5.07/£3.83
Difficulty LevelBeginner
Suggested Yarn N/A
Designer’s WebsiteTwo Color Slouchy Tote Bag – LoveCrafts

This seamless tote bag knitting pattern is easy and beginner-friendly. It features shorter straps but you can easily lengthen them to knit a shoulder bag instead. The finished measurements are 41 cm/16” in length, 39 cm/15.4” in width, while the handles are 25 cm/9.8” long.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 17/12mm Circular Needles (80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight Super Chunky
Yarn Quantity 100m (Color A)
50m (Color B)
Accessories Stitch Markers
Sewing Thread
Scissors

11. “Nina’s Mini Bag” Knitting Pattern

This knitted tote bag is an eco-friendly pattern with a stripped-back, fashionable design that’s great for summer. Made with DK weight yarn, the bag is worked up in flat panels and sewn together at the end to create a loose, stretchy texture.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:
Needle Size US Size 8/5mm Circular Needles (60cm to 80cm Cable)
Yarn Weight 50g = 125m (Yarn A)
100g = 142m (Yarn B)
Yarn Quantity 2 Balls (Yarn A)
1 Ball (Yarn B)
Accessories N/A – See Pattern

12. Free “Summer Fling” Tote Bag Pattern

Summer Fling Tote Bag
PriceFree
Difficulty LevelIntermediate
Suggested Yarn Pure Linen – Rowan
Designer’s WebsiteSummer Fling Tote Bag – Dayana Knits

Summer Fling Hobo is a beautiful free tote bag knitting pattern perfect for casual outfits and strolling around town. Made with beautiful linen yarn which is both soft and firm, it’s bound to hold its shape well over time. The pattern contains instructions to knit in two colors, with one skein required for each color.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 3/3.25mm Needles
Yarn Weight 130m = 50g
Yarn Quantity 2 Skeins (154m per skein)
Accessories N/A

13. Free Knitted Tote Bag by Yarn Plaza

Free Knitted Tote Bag
PriceFree
Difficulty LevelBeginner
Suggested Yarn Lana Grossa Cotton Mix 80 – Ravelry
Designer’s WebsiteKnitted Tote Bag – Yarn Plaza

This free tote bag knitting pattern from Yarn Plaza is made out of soft cotton in three different colors. The twisted handle offers a unique take on a basic design that’s perfect for everyday use. It’s knit in the round using 9 balls of mid-weight yarn.

Recommended Materials

To knit this pattern, you will need the following materials:

Needle Size US Size 4/3.5mm Circular Needles (100cm Cable)
Yarn Weight Bulky/12 ply (7 wpi)
Yarn Quantity 9 Balls
Accessories N/A

How Do You Knit a Tote Bag?

Knitting a tote bag or market bag is relatively easy compared to a lot of knitting projects. The easiest way to knit a tote bag is to use circular needles to knit the bottom of the bag flat, work the body of the bag in the round, and then knit each side of the strap separately to be joined at the end.

Unlike more complicated projects like polo sweater knitting patterns, tote bags generally don’t require much shaping or decreasing, which means the process of construction is as simple as the final product.

Each knitted tote bag pattern will vary, but the size of the average tote bag is roughly 12 inches wide and 14 inches tall. You can vary the length of the bag’s handles based on your preference, or change the size of the opening depending on the items you’ll be storing in the bag.

Knitwear designers will vary the techniques required for their patterns, but most tote knitting patterns will require knowledge of knit and purl stitching, casting on and off, slip stitches, decreasing, and sometimes stockinette and lace stitches.

The simplicity of most tote bag knitting patterns means you can let your creativity flow as you’re following the instructions. If you have the skills, try mixing different techniques and yarn types to create your own unique texture and design.

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