by Kristen Hanley Cardozo


Verde is the Spanish word for green. Green was in the forefront of my mind as I worked on this bag; it is, of course, literally green, but it’s also made of 75 percent recycled cotton and is itself a reusable and green item.

Emphasis on green is a fairly recent marketing choice, but the use of string bags is very old. I was inspired by a description of a World War II–era string bag carried by a London evacuee. String bags are useful for their ability to stretch, whether you’re carrying a gas mask and sandwiches or a bathing suit and towels! Green may be a new idea, but reusable materials is a very old one.

The butterfly lace pattern used for the body of Verde is very, very stretchy, so you’ll get quite a huge bag out of this pattern. If you need something smaller, skip the last set of increases on the bag bottom and make a shorter bag body.

The strap is knit in dense, tight, fabric stitch, mimicking the sturdy bag handles of a duffel bag. While this is a little hard on the hands, I think you’ll find that the result is well worth the effort. This is a bag that will hold up to a lot of use!


18sts/29rws at 4” in stockinette stitch on US 6 / 4mm needles

Sizes and Measurements

One size

20” in length from bag bottom to upper edge (excluding handles)
14” across, unstretched.



(Popknits uses's standard abbreviations)

Bag Bottom


Using size US 6 / 4.0mm dpns, CO 4 sts. Divide over 3 or 4 dpns, PM, and join to knit in the round.

Round 1: *Kfb; rep from * to end of round.
Knit 2 rounds.
Next Round: As Round 1.
Knit 4 rounds.
Next Round: As Round 1.
Knit 8 rounds.
Next Round: As Round 1.
Knit 16 rounds.
Next Round: As Round 1. (128 sts)

Bag Body

Switch to size US 10 / 6.0mm needles.

Rounds 1 and 3: *K2tog, (yo) twice, ssk, rep from * to end.
Rounds 2 and 4: *K1, (k1-f, k1-b) into double yo, k1, rep from * to end.
Round 5: Remove marker, sl2 from left needle to right needle, replace marker. Work as in Rounds 1 and 3.
Round 6: As Rounds 2 and 4.
Round 7: As Rounds 1 and 3.
Round 8: Work as in Round 2 to last 2 sts, sl2 from left needle to right needle, remove marker, sl2 from right needle to left needle, replace marker.


Work until bag measures approximately 12.5 in from stockinette bottom, ending with Row 8.

Next Round: *K2, K2tog; rep from * to end of round. (96 sts)

Switch to size US 4 / 3.5mm needles.
Knit 3 rounds.
Next Round: *K4, yo, k2tog; rep from * to end of round.
Knit 3 rounds.

Work 8 Rounds in Woven Stitch.

Woven Stitch:
Round 1: *sl1 wyif, k1; rep from * to end of round.
Rounds 2 and 4: K.
Round 3: *k1, sl1 wyif; rep from * to end of round.

Bag Handle

Next Round: BO 4 sts purlwise, p15, BO 33 sts purlwise, p15, BO 29 sts purlwise. Break yarn and rejoin to first set of 15 sts, starting with a RS row.

Fabric Stitch:
Row 1 (RS): K1, *sl1 wyif, k1; rep from * to end.
Row 2 (WS): K1, *p1, sl1 wyib; rep from * to last 2 sts, p1, k1.

Verde (Detail)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until strap measures 10”, ending with a WS row. Place sts on holder and break yarn.

Rejoin yarn to remaining 15 sts, starting with a RS row. Work in Fabric Stitch until strap measures 10”, ending with a WS row. Break yarn, leaving a long tail for weaving.

Slip sts from first strap off of holder and onto your empty needle, so that both straps are facing each other, RS up. Weave sts together using Kitchener Stitch.


Weave in all loose ends and block. Ironing the bag bottom will help it spread out and look less like a fancy gelatin mold.

Cut six 48 in long strands of yarn and knot them together at one end. Secure the knotted end (I usually pinch it between my knees) and plait the strands in a basic braid, using 2 strands for each plait. Knot and trim both ends.

Starting at one of 2 center eyelets, weave braided cord through eyelet openings.


About the Author

Kristen Hanley Cardozo

Kristen Hanley Cardozo blabs and blogs at, where you can read all the crazy things she’s been thinking about lately.


Photos by Daniel Cardozo
Models: Kristen Hanley Cardozo and Eleanor Hanley Cardozo

From Flickr

Do you have a photo of this item you'd like to share? Tag your photo on Flickr with popknits-verde. (only the 6 most recent photos will appear here at any time.)


There are no reported errors in this pattern. Found something? Please Contact Us.

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Over the past few years, knitting vintage items has become popular again. Whether the item is a revamped sweater from the pages of Vogue Knitting 1955 or a new take on doily patterns as shawls, vintage knitting is taking a modern turn. Inspired by the thrift store finds sitting on our bookshelves, Popknits challenges you to take a new look at all things that have come before.

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