Sheep Knits Bag

This Japanese knot bag is a signature piece.  It combines three patterns, the DROPS’ sheep stranded colorwork, Louise Higgin’s Japanese knot bag for the bag construction, and my auto-generated circle knitting pattern (using the maths of knitting a circle) for the base.

Yarns used

  • Canon Simply Soft Solid or comparable #4/Worsted weight yarn.

Bag Body

Cast on 96 stitches, join the first stitch, and work in round. Work extra two rounds at the beginning, then follow the chart in DROPS’ sheep stranded colorwork.


  1. Divide in 6 sections. Each has 16 stitches.  Bind off 16 stitches, K16, place marker, K16, Bind off 16, K16, place marker, K16. Turn.
  2. Decrease the width of the handle:
    1. Purl to the marker.
    2. ssk, k till the last 2 stitches, k2tog.  Turn
    3. Repeat until 10 stitches in the section.
  3. Continue the stockinette stitch on this section of the handle until desire length is reached.  End on a knit row, as we are going to join with the next section on a purl side.  Leave this section to a stitch holder.
  4. Continue with the next section in a similar fashion.
  5. Bind off on the purl sides with the first section by 3-needle bind-off.
  6. Repeat the same with the remaining two sections.
  7. Make a single crochet border around the handle and the opening of the bag to complete the edge.

Circular Base

Measuring the circumference, i.e. the body of the bag, it is 23 inches with 96 stitches.  The gauge is 4.5 stitches, or 5 rows for 1 inch.  Doing the maths for the circular base, the radius is 3.66 inches.  It takes 18 rounds to the centre.  Each row needs to decrease 5 sts, which will leave 4 sts at the centre.  According to the maths of knitting a circle, the stitch decrease needs to be spread out around the circle as much as possible.  The idea is not to decrease at the same point on the next round.

I have a script to generate the pattern below.  I will publish it when I get a chance to perfect it one day.

R1: *k14 k2tog* repeat 5 times, k14 k2tog (90 sts remain)
R2: *k6 k2tog k10* repeat 4 times, k6 k2tog k10 (85 sts remain)
R3: *k8 k2tog k4* repeat 5 times, k8 k2tog k5 (79 sts remain)
R4: *k13 k2tog* repeat 4 times, k13 k2tog k4 (74 sts remain)
R5: *k4 k2tog k6* repeat 5 times, k4 k2tog k8 (68 sts remain)
R6: *k8 k2tog k3* repeat 4 times, k8 k2tog k6 (63 sts remain)
R7: *k8 k2tog* repeat 5 times, k8 k2tog k3 (57 sts remain)
R8: *k3 k2tog k6* repeat 4 times, k3 k2tog k8 (52 sts remain)
R9: *k4 k2tog k2* repeat 5 times, k4 k2tog k6 (46 sts remain)
R10: *k7 k2tog* repeat 4 times, k7 k2tog k1 (41 sts remain)
R11: *k2 k2tog k2* repeat 5 times, k2 k2tog k7 (35 sts remain)
R12: *k4 k2tog k1* repeat 4 times, k4 k2tog k1 (30 sts remain)
R13: *k3 k2tog* repeat 5 times, k3 k2tog (24 sts remain)
R14: *k1 k2tog k1* repeat 4 times, k1 k2tog k5 (19 sts remain)
R15: *k2 k2tog* repeat 5 times, k2 k2tog (13 sts remain)
R16: *k1 k2tog* repeat 4 times, k1 k2tog k2 (8 sts remain)
R17: k2tog 4 times (4 sts remain)

Break the yarn, draw through the open loops and yarn overs. Pull tight.

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