Introducing: The Cove Tote Bag — free crochet pattern and video tutorial
This playful summer tote bag is designed to be functional and stylish. The bag is constructed by working off of the unique, rope-like handle. Worked quickly in half double crochet, this bag is fun and beginner friendly!
Available as a free pattern and as a kit with Lion Brand Yarn.
Scroll down to access the free pattern, find the full tutorial video, or continue reading to learn a bit about the design and some pointers to help you out!
**please note, some links may be affiliate links which will allow me to make a small commission on products purchased through my referral. This does not influence my opinion or the price of the item that you are purchasing in any way.
Tote Bag Design
This tote bag is constructed around the handle for a unique design feature. First, you will make the handle using a unique single crochet technique. Then, you will work the rest of the bag off this handle by increasing at corners to form a rectangle.
Each of the two sides will be attached to a bottom using a mattress stitch to shape a bag that holds plenty and is able to stand up on its own!
The best part about this bag is how quickly it works up. I would say start to finish, this bag can be made in just a few hours.
I have a video tutorial that will helps you construct this bag start to finish.
Yarn and Materials
The yarn that I chose for this bag is Lion Brand Rewind in the color Willow. To get a thick, structured bag, I have held this yarn double.
Rewind is almost like a thin, soft tape yarn which gives a beautiful basket-like texture when crocheted. It’s also super easy to work with!
I highly recommend using this yarn. It comes in some great colors and makes a beautifully textured and structured bag. You can shop the kit containing this yarn here.
If you would prefer to find a different yarn, I have some other good options listed below.
- Just Hemp Yarn by Lion Brand: this yarn is made using 100% hemp and reminds me of a softer version of the cord used to make macrame friendship bracelets! It won’t make a tote that is quite as textured as the one I made but it will still have that basket-like look. Definitely hold 2 strands double if you use this yarn.
- Hue + Me Yarn by Lion Brand: this yarn is more of a traditional style yarn. It contains 20% wool so it will be quite durable and handle use well! It won’t give the basket-type look but more of smooth stitches. Definitely hold this yarn double as well!
- Wool-Ease Thick and Quick: this yarn is a classic, and for a good reason! It comes in tons of colors, is super durable, has nice structure, and is quite soft! If you use this yarn you only need to hold one strand.
- Re-Spun Thick and Quick: this yarn is a modified version of the classic thick and quick yarn made using recycled plastic. I love the concept of recycled yarn so I definitely had to include this in the list! If you use this yarn you will probably only need to hold one strand.
- Mighty Stitch Super Bulky by KnitPicks: This yarn is a good, super bulky weight yarn that is affordable and available in tons of colors. You only need to hold one strand if you use this yarn and it will give you nice, smooth, and even stitch definition if that is the look you are going for. The reason I don’t use this yarn more is because it is a bit shiny, which is fine, but keep that in mind when shopping!
- Biggo by KnitPicks: This yarn is so nice and luxurious and would create a bag with beautiful stitch definition. If you use this yarn you will probably need to hold your strands double.
- Raffia Yarn: This yarn is made out of a paper, basket like material. It creates beautiful pieces but I find it to be a bit hard to work with because its so stiff so just keep that in mind! Hold double with this yarn.
- Faux-Raffia Yarn: This yarn isn’t truly raffia but more of a soft, fabric version. This is nice because it will give the basket-like look without being difficult to work with. It is quite similar to the yarn I chose, rewind in that sense. Hold double if you use this yarn!
As always, be sure to gauge swatch, especially when substituting yarn. Small differences in gauge can lead to large changes in the size of the finished item!
Cove Tote Bag Crochet Pattern
© ORIGINALLY LOVELY 2021
This pattern and photographs of this garment are property of Kaitlin Barthold of Originally Lovely. This pattern, photos, and design are subject to copyright and are for personal use only. All commercial use is strictly prohibited. You may not reproduce or distribute this pattern under any circumstances.
The free version of this pattern must be viewed from the webpage.
4 skeins / 876 yards Lion Brand Rewind Yarn (shown in Willow)
Size US L-11 (8.0 mm) crochet hook
Tapestry Needle to weave in ends
This tote is worked by holding two strands of Rewind yarn. You will construct three pieces: two sides, and a bottom. The pieces will be seamed together using mattress stitch.
The chain 1 turning chain in this pattern will not be considered the first stitch of the row.
This pattern is written in one size and will create a tote that is 15” wide, 6” deep, and 13” tall.
8 sts and 8 rows = 4” in half double crochet with yarn held double
This pattern is written using U.S. English Terminology
[ ] = work instructions within brackets as directed.
* = repeat the instructions following the single asterisk as directed
BLO = back loop only
CH = chain stitch
HDC = half double crochet
RD = round
RS = right side
SC = single crochet
SLST = slip stitch
SLSTBLO = slip stitch back loop only
ST = stitch
STS = stitches
WS = wrong side
Cove Tote Crochet Pattern
Holding two strands of yarn, Ch 60. Careful not to twist this ch, slip stitch with first stitch to join. This will create a circle.
Round 1: slst in each ch around, slstblo with 1st st to join.
2: place your hook all the way under the cord you created in row 1 and pull up a loop, SC. SC around the cord in this way 80 times total. Slst with 1st st to join, ch1.
Row 3: in 2nd ch from hook, *HDC into both loops of each of the next 13 sts, [HDC, ch2, HDC] into the next st. Rep from * once more, HDC 13, ch1, turn. This is now the beg/end of each row.
NOTE: Each of the ch2 spaces will be one corner. You will increase to shape the bag by working [HDC, ch2, HDC] in each of these corner spaces.
Row 4: in 2nd ch from hook, HDC, *HDC in each st to corner, [HDC, ch2, HDC]. Rep from * once more, HDC to end of row.
Rep row 4 twelve more times. You will have 14 eyelets created from the increases total.
On the final row, do not ch1 and turn. Cut yarn leaving a tail to weave in and pull through the final st to secure.
Repeat once more for the opposite side.
Bottom of Bag:
Holding 2 strands of yarn, ch 32.
Row 1: in second ch from hook, HDC, HDC in each ch st across this row. Ch1 and turn. (31 sts).
Repeat this row 11 more times (12 rows total). On the final row, do not ch1 and turn. Cut yarn leaving a tail to weave in and pull through the final st to secure.
The main pieces of this bag will wrap around the bottom piece at the short edge to create a three dimensional bag. The outer edges of each main piece will be joined to the adjacent main of the bag.
Assemble the bag by working a mattress stitch to join all pieces together. Beginning at the bottom corner of one of the side pieces, seam one of each of the first 6 chains to 6 rows along the short edge of the bottom piece. Continue on along the long edge of the bottom piece seaming one chain on the bottom piece with once chain on the bottom of the bag piece. Finish by seaming the final 6 sts of the bag piece to the 6 rows on the short edge of the bottom piece. Repeat once more from this point for the second bag piece. Once each bag piece is fully connected to the bottom, seam the side pieces of the bag together to close.
For help with seaming, check out the tutorial video on my YouTube channel.
Weave in all ends to secure.
Steam block if desired.
For questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’d love to see your finished work! Share on social media using the hashtag #originallylovely or by tagging @originally.lovely and @lionbrandyarn on Instagram!