In The Loop

In The Loop

In The Loop, a fully-fashioned hand knitting purse pattern, first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2008-09 issue of the online publication MetaPostModernKnitting.


by Rachel “Ivy” Clarke

Difficulty: Advanced Beginner/Intermediate
This bag is actually quite simple, but it includes some optional advanced techniques. The “make loop” stitch looks complicated, but is actually quite easy. This project is a good opportunity to teach yourself the provisional cast-on, but you could always do a regular cast on, knit the two sides separately, and seam them together across the bottom. Additionally, the sample includes an optional welt pocket for the more advanced crafters (also a great learning opportunity) but it can also be left off without compromising the structure or construction of the bag.

Fashion is all about being in the loop! This bag was inspired by a hobo bag from Malo’s Fall/Winter 2007 collection. Big yarn textures are must-haves this season. But instead of a huge, overwhelming hobo, this smaller, more chic handbag lets you include the voluminous texture without overwhelming your entire outfit.

one size

10 inches wide x 12 inches tall (without handles)

[MC] Noro Silk Garden Chunky [45% silk, 45% kid mohair, 10% lambs wool; approx. 67 yd per 50g skein]; Col. No. 4; 3 skeins.
Noro Silk Garden Chunky is the perfect yarn for this project— the color blends create visual interest while the rough, chunky texture lends itself well to the look of the trend. Additionally, it’s a great way to use beautiful yarn with a rough, scratchy texture that might not be as comfortable worn next to the skin.

1 pair US Size 11/8mm straight needles

1 J-10/6 mm crochet hook (for provisional cast on; size of hook is flexible, a hook size relatively close to the weight of yarn is fine)
3-5 yards bulky weight scrap yarn

1 set purse handles (pictured: 8 1/8” x 4” black rectangle wood purse handles)
1 25” x 13” rectangle of fabric for purse lining
sewing needle and thread
tapestry needle

optional for welt pocket:
7” x 13.5” rectangle contrast fabric
2.75” x 7” rectangle of lightweight fusible interfacing

9 sts X 8 rows = 4" in loop stitch pattern

MPMK's list of abbreviations.

Provisional chain cast-on: With scrap yarn and crochet hook of a similar weight, crochet a chain over knitting needle as follows: Make a slip knot and place it on the crochet hook. With the crochet hook in your right hand and knitting needle in your left hand, bring working end of scrap yarn under knitting needle. *With crochet hook, chain 1 by wrapping scrap yarn around hook and pulling through loop on hook. Move scrap yarn under knitting needle again. Rep from * until desired number of sts are on knitting needle. Cut the yarn and pass the tail through the loop on the crochet hook, OR chain several extra sts (without putting extra sts on ndl), then remove hook and place rem loop on coil-less pin or split stitch marker.

Stitch Diva Studios offers a nice photo tutorial of the provisional chain cast on here.

ML: Make loop. Knit 1, but do not drop stitch from left needle. Bring yarn between needles to front of work. Wrap yarn once around left thumb to create a loop. Bring yarn between needles to back of work. With right needle, knit into same stitch again, dropping stitch from left needle as usual. Pass the first stitch over the second stitch as if binding off.

Crazy Aunt Purl has a great photo tutorial on the Make Loop stitch here.

With scrap yarn, crochet hook, and ndls, CO 28 sts using provisional cast on. Knit 1 row (RS). Purl. Work patt st as foll: Row 1 (RS): Sl 1 kwise, *ML; rep from * to last st, end k1. Row 2: Sl 1 pwise, purl to end. Rep Rows 1 and 2, 16 more times. Work Row 1 once more. With WS facing, BO all sts pwise.
With RS facing, unravel provisional cast on and sl sts to ndl. Work as for Front.

Sew sides of bag with tapestry needle and yarn (mattress stitch is recommended).

Optional: make welt pocket in bag lining. I used the instructions found here.

Fold lining fabric in half and with sewing thread and needle, seam sides with .5 inch seam allowance, leaving top of lining open. (Note: fold will be at bottom of bag.) Fold top edges under .5 inch and insert lining into bag with wrong side of fabric against inside of bag. With sewing thread and needle, whipstitch lining to bag around upper edge.

With remaining yarn, whipstich purse handles to bag.

Weave in all ends.

Photographers: & Caroline Bautista
Models: Rachel Clarke & Raynn Maegik
Illustration: Caroline Bautista.

Back to top