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Mojave Desert Knit Tote Pattern

Use this bag as a purse, a knitting project tote, or a beach bag!

Mojave Desert Knit Tote Pattern
Mojave Desert Knit Tote Pattern
This image courtesy of

The Mojave Desert Knit Tote Pattern is absolutely the bag you need to knit if you've never knit a bag before. The easy-to-follow instructions will teach you how to knit a handbag for beginners more clearly than bags with extra frills such as cables, lace, or other extra design elements. It's not necessary to line this bag with fabric before use, but if you choose to, it will help make this knit tote a great workhorse bag for everything from your knitting projects to your day-to-day belongings.


Knitting Needle Size8 or 5 mm, Circular Knitting Needles

Yarn Weight(3) Light/DK (21-24 stitches to 4 inches)

Gauge19½ sts x 28 rows = 4" (10.2cm)

Finished Size16" x 25" (41cm x 64cm)

Materials List

  • Willow Yarns™ Rise (58% cotton/42% acrylic; 150g/475yd) - 730203-0004 Caramel (2 balls)
  • US Size 8 (5mm) 40" circular or size needed to obtain gauge
  • US Size 8 (5mm) straight needles (optional)
  • Yarn needle
  • Stitch holder



  1. Stitch Guide

    3-needle BO (3-needle bind off):
    Insert needle in  rst st on front needle and in  rst st on back needle, k these 2 sts tog and sl on third needle, k the next st from the front needle and the next st from the back needle, sl these onto third needle, sl the first st over the second st on the third needle like a normal BO; rep for pat.

  2. Note: The bottom of the bag is worked in rows, then the sides are worked in rnds to the strap. The strap is worked in rows and each strap is worked individually.


CO 100 sts.

  1. Bottom

    Rows 1-46
    : K across, turn.

    Do not turn or fasten off after Row 46.

  2. Sides

    Rnd 1 (RS): Pm, pickup 17 sts along side, pm, pickup 100 sts along next side, pm, pickup 17 along next side, pm; join to work in rnd.
    Rnd 2: K to next m, p1, k to next m, p1, k to next m, p1, k to next m, p1.

    Rep Row 2 for approx 12" (30cm) from beg.

    Next Rnd: K27, BO 80, k37 (place those 37 sts on a stitch holder), BO 80, do not work last 10 sts.

  3. First Strap

    Beg working in rows.

    Row 1 (RS): (K to m, p1) twice, k to end, turn.
    Row 2: (P to 1 st before m, k1) twice, p to end, turn.
    Rows 3-4: Rep Rows 1-2.
    Row 5: BO first st, (k to m, p1) twice, k to last st, BO last st, turn.
    Row 6: Rep Row 2.
    Rows 7-10: Rep Rows 1-2 twice.
    Row 11: Rep Row 5.

    Rep Rows 6-11 eight more times, removing m as you reach them on last dec.

    Rep Rows 6-10, once more. Do not fasten off, place sts on st holder.

  4. Second Strap

    With RS facing place sts on needles and work the same as First Strap.

  5. Finishing

    Turn bag inside out and holding both straps tog, work a 3-needle BO off on all sts. Fasten off and weave in any ends.


bind off
cast on
place marker
right side
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