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Nautical Bag

This simple striped bag has a ribbed top which folds over the circular handles. The contrast knitted tie gives it a colourful nautical look perfect for a cute summer look.

Finished size: 27 x 26cm (10¾ x 10¼in) excluding handles

  • Sewing
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate

Tools and materials required

  • Knitting needles 4.5mm (UK 7, US 7)
  • 2 balls of aran (10-ply/worsted) yarn in cream (A), 1 ball each in dark blue (B) and red (C); 50g/85m/92yd
  • Handles: pair of white plastic circles, 13cm (5¼in) in diameter
  • Lining and wadding/batting: 28 x 55cm (11 x 21¾in)
  • Lining for pocket: 13 x 23cm (5 x 9in)
  • Interfacing for pocket: 10 x 10cm (4 x 4in)
  • Tension (gauge): 17 sts x 26 rows over 10 x 10cm (4 x 4in) in st st


  • CDI central double increase: (k1tbl, k1) in next st, insert left-hand needle point behind vertical strand running downward between the 2 sts just made and k1tbl into it to make third st
  • cm centimetre(s)
  • cn cable needle
  • cont continue
  • C6B slip next 3 sts on to cn, hold sts to back of work, k3, k3 from cn
  • C6F slip next 3 sts on to cn, hold sts to front of work, k3, k3 from cn
  • dec decrease(ing)
  • g st garter stitch
  • in inch(es)
  • k knit
  • kfb knit into front and back of next st
  • kfbf k into front, back and front again of next st
  • k2tog knit 2 stitches together
  • k3tog knit 3 stitches together
  • LH left hand
  • m1 make one stitch; pick up horizontal strand of yarn between st just worked and next st and knit it
  • m1p make st by picking up and purling into back of strand before next st
  • MB make bobble; k into front, back and front of next st, turn, p3, turn, k3, turn, p3, turn, sl 1, k2tog, psso
  • p purl
  • p2tog purl two stitches together
  • psso pass slipped st over
  • rep repeat
  • rev st st reverse stocking (stockinette) stitch
  • RH right hand
  • RS right side
  • ssk sl next 2 sts singly to RH needle knitwise, insert tip of LH needle through front loop of both sts and k2tog
  • st(s) stitch(es)
  • sl slip
  • sl1 slip 1 st
  • tbl through back loop
  • TW3B twist 3 back: sl next st onto a cn and hold at back of work, k next 2 sts from LH needle, then p st from cn
  • Tw4B twist 4 back: slip next st on to cn, hold st to back of work, k3, p1 from cn
  • Tw5B twist 5 back: slip next 2 sts on to cn, hold sts to back of work, k3, p2 from cn
  • Tw3F twist 3 front: sl next 2 sts on to cn and hold at front of work, p next st from LH needle, then k sts from cn
  • Tw4F twist 4 front: slip next 3 sts on to cn, hold sts to front of work, p1, k3 from cn
  • Tw5F twist 5 front: slip next 3 sts on to cn, hold sts to front of work, p2, k3 from cn
  • WS wrong side
  • yo yarn over needle
  • yf yarn forward
  • yfrn yarn forward and around needle
  • yd yard(s)


Front and Back (make 2)

Using yarn A, cast on 47 sts.

Row 1: knit.

Begin stripe sequence.

Row 2: purl in A.

Row 3: knit in A.

Row 4: purl in A.

Row 5: knit in A.

Row 6: purl in B.

Row 7: knit in B.

Continue to work in st st, working the 6-row stripe sequence until 9 repeats in total have been worked.

Using yarn A, p 1 row, dec 1 st in centre (46 sts).

Eyelet row: k5, (k2tog, yf, k5) five times, k2tog, yf, k4.

Using yarn A, work rib as follows:

Rib row 1: *k2, p2, rep from * to last 2 sts, k2.

Rib row 2: *p2, k2, rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Continue in rib for 4 more rows.

Change to yarn B.

Work 2 rows rib.

Change to yarn A.

Work 6 rows rib.

Cast off.


Using yarn C, cast on 135 sts.

Knit 3 rows.

Cast off.

Making up

Block and press the bag pieces under a dry cloth. Pin the bottom of the bag right sides together and sew the seam using backstitch. Sew the side seams 20cm (8in) up from the bottom of the bag using mattress stitch, leaving the rest open at the top.

To make and attach the lining, follow the instructions on page 122 of ‘How to Knit Beautiful Bags’. Pin and sew the lining to just below the eyelets, turning under the sides of the lining at the top where the sides are left open. Turn the top of the rib border over the handles, with the yarn B stripe at the top. Sew in place, leaving the sides open at the top.

Thread the tie though the eyelets, threading the tie so that it is on the inside at the sides, and leaving the sides loose to open the bag.