A Japanese knot bag is a small roundish bag with 2 handles. It is carried with one handle over the other to create an interesting asymmetry.
It is frequently made with recycled kimono fabric. It is carried with one handle over the other to create an interesting asymmetry. Of course, the handles could be of equal length but I find that when one is shorter than the other, it makes an interesting closure feature.
Knitted Japanese Knot Bag
Another way of making the Japanese knot bag is to knit it.
I have chosen to design one handle shorter than the other. I have also decided to position the shorter handle in front of the longer one. The idea is to loop the shorter handle over the longer one to act as closure in front of the bag. The usual position is side by side. It means no extra accessories for closure is required.
Finally, I have also used smaller sized needles than was recommended for the yarn so that I get a firmer and sturdier knitted fabric.
3.5mm knitting needles (double-pointed or circular needles)
An extra pair of 3.5mm double-pointed needles.
Sewing needle and thread in matching colour
Instructions for the body
Cast on 72 stitches
Bring the first stitch and the last stitch together
Place a marker between these 2 stitches
Join together and start knitting in the round by knitting the first stitch right after the last stitch
Knit in the round until the piece measures 17 cm. The body of the bag is basically a square. If the width of the bag is more than 17 cm, then knit till the height is the same as the width.
Instructions for the Handles
Adjust the first 18 stitches onto a single needle
Then, knit these 18 stitches as follows: K2, P2, K10, P2, K2
Turn and knit the same 18 stitches as follows: P1, K1, P1, K1, P10, K1, P1, K1, P1
Repeat these 2 rows until the handle measures 25cm
Using Kitchener stitch, graft these 18 stitches to 18 stitches next to it.
Once grafted, cut off the yarn and weave the ends into the bag neatly
Start step 2 and 3 again with the next 18 stitches
Repeat these 2 rows until the handle measures 13cm
Using Kitchener stitch, graft these 18 stitches to the remaining 18 stitches on your circular needles. Bring the two edges together for the Kitchener stitch
The finished handles will look like this:
The handles, one longer than the other
Sewing up the bottom of the Japanese knot bag
Position the bag so that the shorter handle is in front of the longer one. After that, sew up the bottom using mattress stitch.
Attaching the buttons
Using a sewing needle, attach an assortment of buttons to the body of the bag.
Lining the bag
Line the bag so that it lasts longer. I lined both the handles and the body.
Find any fabric that you can recycle. You can buy new fabric too but I think an old T-shirt works just fine. Measure and cut the fabric with about 1 inch extra for folding in. Two narrow strips for the handles and a long rectangle for the body.
Position and pin the narrow strips to the inside of the handles right side facing up. Fold the 1-inch border in and slip stitch along all the sides.
Fold the fabric for the body in half right-side together. Mark out the 1-inch border and stitch up the side and bottom. You can use the sewing machine for this if you have one. Turn it out so that the right side is facing out. Turn the knot bag wrong side out and slip the body lining in. Fold the 1-inch border and pin along with the opening of the bag over the handle lining.
Remember, sew the buttons or any other ornaments that you like onto the bag first before you line it because you want to hide all the threads and endings underneath the lining.
I tried to be as clear as possible but if you still have questions, feel free to ask.
This is a free knitting pattern. I’ll be thrilled if you use it. Please link back here if you do.
Some pictures of another knot bag I made using brown worsted weight yarn.
Looking for a baby mittens knitting pattern? Here are 6 free ones.
Baby mittens are more advanced projects than baby bibs or headbands. Nonetheless, they are great yarn busters.
They can be knitted from top-down or from cuff down but almost always knitted in the round. So, it is also a good way to learn knitting in the round. I have tried knitting in the round using double-pointed needles and I am not a fan. I prefer the magic loop technique with one long circular needle or using 2 long circular needles.
By using 2 long circular needles, I can also knit both mittens at the same time. Knitting 2 mittens at the same time rather than one at a time mean that I will make 2 identical mittens and finish them at the same time.
The shape of the mittens is quite straightforward, there isn’t much one can vary. The type of yarn one can use is also limited. So, the only creativity one can exercise is with colour.
The collection here reflects that.
Infant mittens knitting pattern
Purlsoho always offer really good patterns and knitting ideas. These infant mittens are attached together with i-cord so that they don’t lose each other. 2 rows of colours against a background of white make up the basic and understated look. The colour is then repeated at the bind off row. A simple way to create a look. I like.
This Marius mitten’s colourwork is inspired by the Norwegian Marius sweater. The sweater was designed by Unn Søiland, a Norwegian knitwear designer and made famous by an actor called Marius Eriksen. Even though I admire fair isle or intarsia projects, I can’t imagine doing one on a big project like a sweater. The Marius mitten is an ideal project to try out a Norwegian colourwork on a small scale.
Make 3 different mittens with the same 3 colours. This will certainly cut the boredom. It is fascinating how different the same mittens can look in different colours, blocks of colours and colour stripes.
All the patterns before this one all use stockinette stitch with colourwork. This one uses a few purl rows to create a wide garter. Knitting garter stitch flat and in the round is different and this small project is ideal for appreciating and understanding the difference.
Looking for free knit diaper cover pattern ideas? Here are 5.
I was introduced to knit diaper covers by another knitter on Facebook.
The author of www.thinking-about-cloth-diapers.com wrote a comprehensive article on different types of diaper covers. There is a section on wool diaper covers also known as wool soakers. The benefits of a wool diaper cover are absorbency, breathability and anti-bacterial. It is not only good for winter but summer as well because it helps regulate body temperature.
When I was a young girl, our family used cloth diapers. I still remember having to fold so many white muslin sheets into the classic triangular shapes for my baby cousins. If only I knew about diaper covers, I could have knitted cute ones for them.
The compilation below contain diapers knitted in various different ways.
Marianna’s Hideaway Nappy Cover
Knitted flat in one piece from the back-ribbed band to the front-ribbed band. The 4 buttons are sewn onto the front band to correspond with the buttonholes at the back. No seaming required.
The pattern is free on Marianna’s website. There is no printable version but you should be able to copy and paste into a word document. She has more patterns for babies on her website. Check them out.
Marianna provides knitting instructions for a practical and pretty diaper cover. It uses 4 buttons to secure the diaper cover. There are 5 sizes from pre-mature to babies from 0 to 3 month old. It is not a professional pattern, just a generous lady sharing her patterns.
This is a pull-up diaper cover with eyelets for an i-cord or a drawstring. Pattern includes sizes from newborn to toddler. I went through the instructions and thought the construction is interesting.
Knitted in the round from the ribbed band down towards the bottom. Knit to the top of the leg opening before placing the live stitches on the front of the diaper onto a stitch holder and continue to knitting flat according to instructions. Join the live stitches on the stitch holder and those on the knitting needles using the Kitchener stitch. The pattern is available free on the Punk Rock Knitters website.
Isn’t this adaptation soaker just too cute to use? It reminds me of a retro bathing suit.
Knitted flat in garter stitch from waistband to waistband in a single piece. It is then folded and seamed. It has a ribbed waistband and leg cuffs. The length of the leg cuffs is adjustable. I think a longer leg cuff might be nicer.
Looking for poncho knitting patterns? 3 for adults and 7 for children.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a poncho is “originally, in South America: a cloak made of an oblong piece of thick woollen cloth, with a slit in the middle for the head. Now frequently more widely: any garment in this style.“
Ponchos made great layering pieces. There are no sleeves to work through. Easy to put on and pull off.
They are also easy to knit. Make an oblong piece with a slit in the middle for the head. Here are a few knitting patterns using this shape.
Rectangular Adult Poncho Knitting Patterns
Caravan poncho is designed by Alexandra Tavel.
The pattern is worked from the bottom up to the front. It is then divided into two for the head and neck opening. Once the head opening is done, the two sides are rejoined and worked all the way down for the back. The neckband is picked up afterwards and knitted up.
Alexandra uses 6 skeins Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Mushroom. Suitable yarn substitute is worsted weight. The length required is about 1080 metres. Needle sizes are US 10 or 6mm. I recommend using circular needles.
Loose is a rectangular poncho designed by Siew Clark. She made this otherwise plain poncho more interesting by making one shoulder length longer than the other. She also made the back in garter stitch and the front stockinette stitch.
Cirilia chose to use Berroco Linsey to make this poncho with size 8 or 5mm knitting needles. Gauge is 16 stitches by 22 rows to make a 4-inch square. She highly recommends checking gauge.
It is a rectangular poncho but unlike the first two patterns listed here, the poncho is worn width-wise. Because of this, the colour stripes run from front to back instead of side to side. It is more flattering.
This hooded baby poncho is knitted from front to back. The neck opening is created by casting off and casting on more stitches. The hood is created by picking up stitches at the neck and the top of the hood is shaped by stitching by folding the top edge of the hood piece into half and stitch together.
What a unique baby poncho design. Classic looking. The usual poncho is knitted in the round, this one is knitted flat. The back and front pieces are knitted separately before being sewn together. The turtleneck collar is then knitted from picking up stitches.
This is the first poncho I came across that is made up of 2 garter stitch squares joined together. What a great idea because I like making garter stitch squares on a bias. LOL!
I would consider this the best project for a beginner. Unfortunately, the pattern isn’t in English but I don’t think this is a deal breaker. You can learn how to knit a garter stitch square on a bias from my garter stitch dumpling bag pattern. Make 2 of these to a suitable size and join them together. Embellish away.
Clear knitting instructions for beginners are so important. I know because I learn to knit on my own.
A beginner knitter must first understand some knitting terms that are going to appear in any knitting pattern or instructions. I have included some video tutorials as well as written instructions with illustrations.
I suggest viewing the videos for an overall idea of how knitting is like and then use the written instructions to practise at your own pace.
Term 1: Cast On or Casting On
This is the process of making a row of stitches on your knitting needle. Cast on is usually written in abbreviation as CO in patterns.
How may cast off knitting methods are there? I found nine.
Cast off and bind off means the same thing, although I suspect bind off is more commonly known. According to Wikipedia, “binding off, or casting off, is a family of techniques for ending a column of stitches“.
It creates the final edge of a knitted fabric. Beginners need to know this too if they ever want to complete their project.
There are several methods to bind off and I have compiled them. There is no better way to learn knitting than to watch someone demonstrate it so I have included as many how-to videos as I can, selecting those I think are really clear.
Method 1: Knitted Cast Off
The Purl Soho demonstrator calls this the basic bind off but it is, to be exact, the knitted cast on or knitted bind off.
There is written instructions and pictures on their website. I am a fairly tight knitter so I almost always find the knitted bind off edge is a little shorter and less elastic than my cast-on edge.
Some knitters have suggested using a larger knitting needle when doing the bind off. That is a good idea.
Method 2: Stretchy Cast Off
As the name suggests, this cast off edge is really stretchy. You will need to know how to knit 2 together through the back. It is a good match with the German Twisted cast on method.
Method 3: Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off
This is another way to create an ultra-stretchy cast off edge. Instead of using knit 2 together like the Stretchy cast off before this, it uses yarn overs.
Method 4: Picot Bind Off
A picot bind off creates a nice decorative edge. Picots can be small or big or elaborate. So, there are different instructions for each type of picot bind off.
I don’t like complicated decorations. I prefer something simple, which is why I choose to show this method by Ambah O’Brien. Love her shawls.
It is basically casting on 2 stitches and then binding off 5 stitches.
Method 5: I-Cord Bind Off
I-cord is a small tube of knitting. Can you imagine it as the edge of a project? It is like having a very stable rolled stockinette. I think it solves edge curling in the most fabulous way.
Method 6: Icelandic Bind Off
This bind off method is great for garter stitch projects. It produces a garter edge that matches the garter stitch project. If you knit English style, it should be easier.
Method 7: Russian Bind Off
Great for tight knitters. My bind off tends to be tighter than my cast on. So, I think this technique will definitely help me.
Method 8: Tubular Bind Off
This is an amazing bind off for ribbing but you must be familiar with the Kitchener graft technique. Some people call this the invisible rib bind off.
Used together with the Italian cast on method, I am seeing handsome wrist warmers here.
Method 9: Sloped Bind off
A sloped bind off is for shaping necklines and underarms. If you have done any sort of stepped bind offs, you will notice that it leaves little steps which are painfully obvious, especially for necklines. The sloped bind off technique produced a smooth edge.
Final Notes on Cast Off Knitting
After researching both cast on and cast off knitting methods, I realised that there are fewer ways to cast off than to cast on. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.
I mentioned in my cast on compilation that some of the methods are more about personal preferences than necessity.
With cast off knitting techniques, I felt that the methods are all quite practical. They are designed to solve problems.
How many knitting cast on methods are there? I found 18.
According to Wikipedia, “casting on is a family of techniques for adding new stitches that do not depend on earlier stitches“. Therefore, the first thing a beginner learns is how to cast on.
When I first learned to knit, I only know one way to cast on stitches. Now I know more. Different cast on methods offers different effects. I tried to be as comprehensive as possible with this compilation. If I missed any, do let me know.
There is no better way to learn knitting than to watch someone demonstrates it, so I have included as many how-to videos as I can, selecting those I think are really clear.
Method 1: Wrap Cast On
Wrap Cast On is also called the E-wrap or Loop or Thumb Cast On. Essentially it is like making an E with the yarn and looping it onto the knitting needle.
This should be the easiest casting on method although it is not popular among knitters. There are a few reasons for it.
Knitting the first row from the wrap cast on might be a tad challenging for new knitters who may find handling the knitting needles and yarn fiddly.
Maintaining tension is also challenging.
The edge is also not very pretty.
Method 2: Long Tail Cast On
The Long Tail Cast On is a more stable method then the Wrap Cast On. It produces a very nice and firm edge too.
There are 2 ways to do the Long Tail Cast On method:
Sling Shot Long Tail
Thumb Long Tail
I remember I have a lot of trouble figuring out the Slingshot Long Tail because of the positioning of the thumb and forefinger, all the twisting, and picking up the yarn.
If you are like me, then you may want to try the Thumb Long Tail first. This thumb method is great for knitters who like to hold their working yarn in their right hand (like me).
Although I like the Thumb Long Tail method, it is still worthwhile to learn the Slingshot because it is quicker.
Long tail Cast On, I believe, is by far the most popular casting on method because the edge is beautiful and it is really quick once you get the hang of it.
The drawback of the Long Tail Cast On is you need to leave a long enough tail. If you are casting on a few hundred stitches, you will need to either take time to calculate the yarn you need or be willing to waste some yarn (I would not do this with my premium yarns).
There are ways to calculate how much yarn you need to leave for your long tail. Basically 3.5 times the length of your cast-on edge (the problem is, most times, we don’t know what is the length of the cast on edge).
Method 3: German Twisted Cast On
The German Twisted Cast On is also known as the Old Norwegian Cast On. This is a variation of the Long Tail Cast On that give the edge an elastic and flexible edge. It is great for edges of socks, mittens and any project that has a cuff.
It is important that you are comfortable with the Long Tail Cast On before attempting this one.
Beginners might feel frustrated with this but if you are planning to make lots of socks, mittens, hats, and gloves, I feel this is an important technique to master.
Method 4: Latvian / Estonian / Bulgarian Cast On
Another variation of the Long Tail Cast On. Like the German Twisted Cast On, it seems to be designed to cater for stretch. The right and wrong sides look similar so it is great for ribbing or reversible projects.
I personally think this is easier than the German Twisted Cast on. What do you think?
Method 5: Knit Cast On
If you already know how to do a knit stitch, then you can do this knit cast on. I was told that the beautiful Estonian lace shawls use this cast on.
It is not my personal favourite because it leaves little holes in the cast on edge and a little channel on the wrong side. To me, that is not a very pretty or neat edge.
I discovered that if you knit the first row of a Knit Cast On using the Knit Through the Back method, the little holes disappear. Knowing how to do a knit through the back stitch means this cast on method is not for beginners. Many knitters will say that the Knit Cast On is necessary for casting on in the middle of the project. It is true although the Wrap Cast On and the Cable Cast On can do the same thing too.
The name Cable Cast On is a little misleading because this cast on has nothing to do with cables. It is sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably with the knitted cast on but they are two different methods. The cast on edge is really neat and sturdy.
This is my go-to cast on for the longest time because it gives me a sturdy neat edge without excessive curling. And unlike the Long Tail Cast On, it does not require a long tail. Save me some yarn especially the expensive ones.
Method 7: Chinese Waitress Cast On
The Chinese Waitress Cast-On produces a thinner and looser edge but still neat. There are 2 ways to do the Chinese Waitress Cast On. One requires two knitting needles and the other a crochet hook.
The video below demonstrates this cast on using two knitting needles.
I find the crochet hook method more fluid. If you can crochet, this is a better way to do this cast-on method. Watch the video below to compare.
Method 8: Picot Cast On
This knitting cast on method creates a sweet picot edge. I have seen this done on a little girl’s cardigan.
This is not the only way to do a picot cast on but I find it makes a much nicer picot than some of the other methods.
Method 9: Rib Cable Cast On
The Rib Cable Cast On is a method for ribbing. It is a little clumsy in my opinion but the effect is quite good. It is basically a variation of the Cable Cast On. Also known as the Alternating Cable Cast On or Invisible Cast On.
The video explains how to identify which cast-on stitch is the knit and which is the purl stitch. This is cool because when I tried the method myself, I couldn’t tell.
Method 10: Italian Cast On
The Italian Cast On is also for ribbing. This is by far the prettiest rib edge I have come across. It is the best cast on for a ribbed beanie. It assumes you are proficient at the Slingshot Long Tail Cast On. Of all the long tail cast on variations, this is one of the more complicated ones.
Method 11: Jeny’s Slip Knot Cast On
The Jeny’s Slip Knot Cast On method is designed by Jeny Staiman for a super-stretchy edge.
It is apparently good for projects using cotton or linen yarns. Since these yarns have less elasticity than wool, a super-stretchy cast on compensates for that.
Method 12: Two-Colour Cast On
The Two-Colour Cast On method is based on the Long Tail Cast On. You must be very comfortable with Long Tail Cast On before attempting this one.
It is great for double knitting and brioche knitting, although most brioche knitting instructions include a normal cast on and a set-up row to introduce the second colour.
Method 13: Provisional Cast On – Crochet Method
A provisional cast on method creates live stitches.
Some patterns call for it so it is good to learn how to do it. There are a few different ways to do this. One of the most popular is using a crochet chain.
I tried to follow written instructions before and failed miserably.
The video below explains this method quite well, especially highlighting that you need to pick up stitches from the purl bumps of the crochet chain, which I didn’t know about.
Verypinkknits offers another way to use the crochet hook to make the Provisional Cast On and I’m liking this method more. See it for yourself.
Method 14: Provisional Cast On – Long Tail
If you don’t have a crochet hook or you don’t like it, you can learn how to do the Provisional Cast On without it.
The Long Tail method for Provisional Cast On uses waste or scrap yarn. It takes a little practice but I think it is a much better provisional cast-on than the crochet chain version.
Method 15: Judy’s Magic Cast On
Judy’s Magic Cast On is really popular. It creates a stable and invisible cast on that is hard to beat. Sock knitters rave about it. If you intend to learn to knit toe-up socks, this technique is indispensable.
Method 16: Turkish Cast On
When I first came across the Turkish Cast On, I realized that I may never need to seam or graft the bottom of any bag or pouch I make. It is really so simple although you will need to have circular needles.
Method 17: Circular Cast On
The Circular Cast On method is also known as the Pinhole Cast On. It is a good way to start a piece of knitting from the centre. It looks like stitches grow evenly out from the centre of the cast on.
This type of cast on is easily achieved in crochet but is rare in knitting.
The method invented by Emily Ocker needed the crochet hook. I am left-handed and hold my crochet hook in my left hand. I just cannot use this method.
So, I am pretty stoked when I came across written instructions and illustrations of the Pinhole Cast On at tincanknits using only knitting needles. And a video tutorial by Suzanne Bryan.
Method 18: I-Cord Cast On
The I-cord Cast On method, in my opinion, is an advanced technique. You will need to know how to do i-cord as well as a provisional cast on. However, it makes a super neat edge that is reversible.
In this video, the knitter was setting up to knit a project with i-cord row edges all around.
Final Notes on Knitting Cast on Methods
Was I too ambitious when I decided that I wanted to compile a comprehensive list of knitting cast on methods?
I think so.
This is a mega list and I learnt a lot about the nuances and differences between different knitting cast-on methods. Some are really about personal preferences, but some methods do add polish and pretty effects on our projects.
I like this kimono baby bootie because of its construction. It wraps at the top of the foot like a kimono, hence the name. Adding the buttons increase the kawaii factor.
Unfortunately, the pattern is written in Spanish. It has a Google Translate link that can translate the instructions into English but it isn’t ideal. Fortunately, there is a very helpful video showing the entire process of making the bootie.
These scrunchy booties look more like socks with leg warmers. They are knitted from the toe up using a short row heel. If you don’t know how to knit short rows, this is the ideal project to learn. The project is small enough not to take too much time to see the effect of the short rows.
I wish this was the project I learnt how to create a scrunchy look just by using alternate rows of knitting and purling. It is really quite cool.
Learn How to Knit Baby Booties with These Video Tutorials
A knitting friend told me she prefers watching knitting videos instead of reading the instructions. I personally prefer written instructions but I appreciate how a show-and-tell video can give me a general idea of how the item is supposed to be knitted up.
Here are some good video tutorials that show how to knit baby booties.
7. Moss Stitch Socks for Newborn
I thought the cuff was a little too short but since these are for newborns, I assume they don’t kick about too vigorously.
8. Baby Crossed Shoes
The designer called this shoes but I think they are more booties than shoes. The construction is similar to the Baby Mary Janes but the straps are crossed. Also, many sizes are available on the designer’s website.