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Japanese Knot Plarn Tote Bag

Posted on April 23, 2015

Japanese Knot Bags are very handy and feature two handles. One handle is shorter than the other so you can pull the longer handle through the shorter as a quick and unique closure for the bag. I thought a Japanese Knot would be a cool idea for a recycled tote bag.

I used mainly recycled grey Walmart plastic bags to crochet the tote bag with 4 blue plastic bags for the stripe. It took about 50 plastic bags cut 1 inch wide and made into plarn (plastic bag yarn) to crochet my Japanese knot tote bag. I loved how the blue really helped set off the bag to give it a nice look to an otherwise boring grey bag. Overall I am very happy with the results of my latest crocheted reusable bag.

Here is a closeup of the top with the Japanese knot used for the plastic bag tote closure.

As always, here is the free crochet pattern so everyone can crochet their own recycled Japanese knot tote bag.

Japanese Knot Plarn Tote Pattern

Hook: N (9mm) size metal crochet hook
All directions are in US crochet terms.

Bag measures 14″ wide flat across the front, 12″ tall, 9-1/2″ round bottom with one handle 10″ long and the other 15″ long.

Ch 3 and join with a Sl St to form a ring.

Round 1
Ch 2, then work 9 Hdc in ring, join with a Sl St to top of Ch 2. (10)
Round 2
Ch 2, Hdc in same st, work 2 Hdc in ea st around, join with a Sl St to top of Ch2. (20)
Round 3
Ch 2, Hdc in same st, *Hdc in next 2 sts, 2 Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * – * to end of round, joining with a Sl St to top of Ch 2. (30)
Round 4
Ch 2, Hdc in same st, *Hdc in next 3 sts, 2 Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * – * to end of round, joining with a Sl St to top of Ch 2. (38)
St increases correction Round 4-6 on Feb/2016)
Round 5
Ch 2, Hdc in same st, *Hdc in next 4 sts, 2 Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * – * to end of round, joining with a Sl St to top of Ch 2.
Round 6
Ch 2, Hdc in same st, *Hdc in next 5 sts, 2 Hdc in next st*. Repeat between * – * to end of round, joining with a Sl St to top of Ch 2.
Rounds 7-22
Continue working in rounds with one Hdc in ea st around. Don’t join at end of round but continue just working Hdc’s in each st around. In the last two sts, Sc and Sl St to end with a smooth edge. (6 inches tall standing)
Round 23
Attach blue plarn and ch 1, Hdc around in each st. Join with a Sl St into ch 1.
Round 24-25
Ch 1, Hdc in each st around and join with Sl St into ch 1. FO blue plarn. (3 round of blue) 4 blue bags used.
Round 26
Join grey plarn and ch 1. Hdc in each st around. Don’t join but just continue working in the round.
Rounds 27-28
Hdc in ea st. Remember don’t join.

Lay bag down flat and mark center 10 sts on both sides of bag for the handle openings.
Round 1
Handle base round:
Starting at side of bag, Hdc around in each st to the first mark for handle opening. Chain 25 (this will be the short handle) and leave 10 stitches at center un-worked for handle opening.

I had about 12 stitches on each side of the handle opening on each side of the tote when I laid the bag down flat. But don’t worry about the stitch count, just make sure your openings are even for each side before moving passed the handle base round.
Hdc in remaining stitches and across to the other side to mark for handle opening for this side of bag. Chain 32 (longer handle) and leave the 10 stitches at center un-worked for handle opening. Now Hdc in each remaining stitch until you come around to the side of the bag where you began the handle round. Don’t join as you just work in the round for handle rounds.

Round 2
Hdc in each stitch until you come to the handle chain. Work Sc’s around the chain of handle evenly (appox. 25 SCs), then Hdc around in each stitch until you reach handle chain. Again work Sc’s around the chain of the handle which for me was about 34 but the count isn’t important. Just make sure you crochet around the chain evenly so it looks good. Finish the round by working Hdc’s in each remaining stitch of round.

Rounds 3-6
Hdc in each stitch around and work Sc’s in each stitch of handle.

Repeat until you have worked a total of 6 round for the handle. Finish at the side by working a SC in each of the last few stitches and then Sl St in the last stitch and weave under into the next stitch so you finish is a smooth edge.

If you have any questions or find discrepancies in this pattern, please email me using contact tab above.

Ch – Chain
Ea – Each
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Plarn – Plastic Bag Yarn
Rnd – Round
Sc – Single Crochet
Sk – Skip
Sl St – Slip Stitch
Sm – Same
Sp – Space
St – Stitch

This pattern is copyrighted by Cindy of My Recycled Bags {dot com} and may only be used for private individual use. No commercial sales or use of this pattern or photos are permitted. Links to this pattern are acceptable and appreciated. Ā©2015-2016

****Please do not copy my patterns on your blog site or post my patterns on Internet sites. I do not allow my patterns to be republished without expressed written permission. Posting of my patterns, without written permission is in violation of my copyrights and is content theft.

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14 Responses to “Japanese Knot Plarn Tote Bag”

  1. Saint jose
    Apr 23, 2015

    Excellent designing and good work for those who are manufactured , Keep sharing…

  2. Darleen Hopkins
    May 10, 2015

    Beautiful! I just love this design. šŸ™‚

  3. Cat
    May 10, 2015

    You’re brilliant. What a great eco friendly idea which I fully intend to make a few for reusable shopping bags! Thanks for sharing your idea and design!
    Best wishes,

  4. Gail
    May 17, 2015

    I was at a eco-friendly fair at the catholic church on Woodstock in Portland, Or. a priest, woman, not sure of the proper term. ANYWAY she had made several bags including this one and her personal one had lasted aver 20 years with lots of use a shopping bag of this same design. I was immediately hooked. there are lots of patterns and ideas for “Plarn” the term for plastic yarn just do a search on the net if you are interested. Terrific idea!

  5. Cindy
    May 17, 2015

    Gail – So glad you found my site and are enjoying crafting with recycled plastic bags. I have been posting and sharing my recycled bag ideas since 2007. You can find all of my plarn patterns here if you are looking for other project ideas.

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

  6. Sathish.R
    May 20, 2015

    Beautiful! I just love this design. šŸ™‚

  7. Debbie
    May 20, 2015

    Love it. Cool idea for the handle.

  8. shabuj
    May 26, 2015

    Awesome bag!!! Nice color also. If it is pink color it looks gorgeous.

  9. Ashley
    Jun 09, 2015

    It is quite beautiful this bag

  10. Kathy
    Feb 21, 2016

    Love this bag. Am making it right now but I’m a little concerned with rounds 4-6. Before I go any further, I want to make sure I’m doing it right. Is it hdc in 3 subsequent stitches and then 2 in the 4th stitch and so on?


  11. Cindy
    Feb 22, 2016

    Kathy – Sorry for the error but you work a HDC in each of the next 3 sts and then 2 HDC in next st on round 4. I corrected the pattern. Thank you so much for catching this error. Best wishes on your tote.

  12. Cindy Slaughter
    Jun 23, 2018

    Wow! Love the look. I wanted a beachy bag for my teen granddaughter and I think this will be fabulous. Plus I get to use up all those Walmart bags instead of buying more yarn. Thank you so much. You are absolutely a genius!

  13. Carrie Markels
    Sep 04, 2018


    I absolutely love your plarn ideas and I’m so thankful for the patterns. I made the large marketbag first, and it came out great!

    Then, I tried this one, because it’s so unique! …and I’m about 12 rows in…and it’s just looking like a big circle…not forming into a “bag” base…I’m not sure I should continue. I had trouble with Rows 3-6, the count of row stitches were not ending right in the round…I thought maybe you missed a row between 2 and 3 like…Hdc in next st, 2 Hdc in next st before Hdc in next 2 sts, 2 Hdc in next st… Couldn’t figure out if the sl stitch counted as a last stitch for the round… but I was often ending rounds where the “hdc in next 2 sts” was not happening in the last stitch of the round…and the count wasn’t as stated. Ultimately, the current result is the size and shape of a flat pizza pan…so when you try to form it into a bag…the sides would somehow need to catch up with the top…

    Help if you can. Thank you again!!!

  14. Cindy
    Sep 22, 2018

    @Carrie – Don’t worry so much if your stitch count is off a bit. The bag will come out okay as long as you add a stitch here or there to match. The circle for the bottom should be somewhat flat as you stated. Once you work even it will start to turn up and form the sides. You might not think it is going to turn up but it does to create the sides of the bag. This bag’s base is about 8+ inches as you begin the round 7. It works out to about 9 inches in most cases. You can add more stitches on your base before starting to work even if you want a larger bag base.

    Hope this helps. Let me know how it works out for you.

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About Me

Hello, Iā€™m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.

Here is a direct link to all my free patterns available here on My Recycled Bags.

Thank you for stopping by to visit and for your interest in My Recycled Bags!