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When I first thought of making a 'paper' bag, the creased and folded edges of a brown paper bag came to mind and I was keen to reflect these bold lines in my bag design.

The yarn itself appears fragile and yet is very strong, and this again repeats in the bag. This paper yarn is made from linen, which gives it both strength and structure.

The bag itself is relatively simple to knit, however some extra construction work is required for the internal shell. If you've ever built a doll's house from a cardboard box you're nearly there.

model: Charlie photos: Zoe Richards

Height: 12 inches
Width: 12.5 inches
Depth: 2.75 inches
Habu Textiles Paper Wrapped with Raw Silk N-24 [100% linen with strands of raw silk; 312yd/280m per 1oz/28g skein]; color: White; 4 skeins

1 pair US #3/3.25mm needles
1 pair US #4/3.5mm needles
1.5 yd lining fabric
White card, approx. 20 inches x 28 inches
Glue or double-sided tape
2 bag handles
quilt batting (optional)
19sts / 22rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch using US#4/3.5mm needles

[Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here]

Use 4 strands of yarn held together throughout.

MB (Make Bobble): [Kfb] 3 times in next st (increased to 6 sts), turn work; p6, turn work; k6, turn work; p6, turn work; [k2tog] 3 times, turn work; p3tog, turn work.

Seed Stitch (Worked over an even number of sts):
Row 1 [RS]: [K1, p1] to end.
Row 2 [WS]: [P1, k1] to end.
Repeat these 2 rows for Seed Stitch.


Using larger needles and 4 strands of yarn held together, CO 56 sts.
K 2 rows.

Beginning with a RS row, work 2 rows in reverse stockinette stitch.

Work Rows 1-22 of Chart, 3 times. The 13-stitch pattern repeat will be repeated 4 times in each row.

BO all sts.

Using smaller needles and 4 strands of yarn held together, CO 12 sts.

Beginning with a RS row, work 4 rows in reverse stockinette stitch.

Work in Seed Stitch until work is the same length as one side edge of Body Panel, ending with a WS row.

Next Row [RS]: P all sts.
Continue in Seed Stitch until, measured from last purl row, work is the same length as lower edge of Body Panel, ending with a WS row.

Next Row [RS]: P all sts.
Continue in Seed Stitch until, measured from last purl row, work is 4 rows shorter than one side edge of Body Panel.

Work 4 rows in reverse stockinette stitch.

BO all sts.


Weave in ends.
Carefully block all pieces, pinning Body panels to measure approx. 12.5 inches square. Once body panels are pinned out, pin Gusset so that each section (between RS purl rows) will fit along one edge of the Body Panel.

Cut two pieces of lining fabric, each 1 inch wider than a Body Panel, and 2.5 inches longer. Cut 1 piece of lining fabric that is 1 inch wider than the Gusset, and 4 inches longer.

With right sides together and leaving 0.5-inch seam allowances, sew Gusset lining piece around 3 sides of 1 Body Panel lining piece, clipping corners.
Sew remaining Body Panel lining piece to Gusset piece in the same way.
Fold upper 2 inches of lining to the outside, and press firmly.

Card Insert
Note: Ensure that the white side of the card is on the outside of the box insert!
Following the diagram, draw pattern for box-shaped insert on white card. Cut out insert and score dotted fold lines.
Fold to form a box, and apply glue or double-sided tape to tabs to hold box together.

With wrong sides together so that seams are visible on outside of bag, sew gusset along edges of Body Panels.

Place card insert into bag. Line up seam lines and box edges.
You may wish to add batting between the layers of the bag at this point. Secure the batting to the card insert using double sided tape.
Mark handle positions and sew securely in place, using photos as a guide.
Insert lining into bag (inside box insert), ensuring that the seam allowances and hem are facing the box.
Slip stitch folded upper edge of lining just below upper edge of bag.


This bag was a long time in the making. Over the last nine months Ruby has suffered from RSI in her right arm, for months; a dislocated shoulder; a damaged collar bone and a torn shoulder muscle. During this period of knitting inactivity, Just call me Ruby was born.

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