The Magnolia Tote by Nora J. Bellows

The Magnolia Tote

March 2021
yarn held together
+ Aran
= Super Bulky (5-6 wpi) ?
12 stitches and 14 rows = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 11 - 8.0 mm
1250 - 1300 yards (1143 - 1189 m)
one size
Flag of English English
This pattern is available for $9.50 USD
buy it now or visit pattern website
Errata available:

The Magnolia Tote is as practical as it is striking. Different styling offers different utility with the changing silhoette: it is my favorite farmer’s market companion; with the sides pulled out straight, and roomy enough for orchard-ripe apples, fresh kale, collards, multi-colored carrots, and fresh, home-grown mushrooms.

Once home and divested of treasures, tuck in the sides for a more efficient silhouette: this tote is ideal for shopping in narrow store aisles. Keep the top snapped but reach in the sides for your wallet, or snap your tiny purse, Ready, Set, Go!, to the JUL leather handle (like I always do), and your cash and cards are at the ready when you get to check out.

Felted bags are naturally insulated, so this tote is as great for picnics as it is for your latest knitting project.

The finishing can be minimal, as you see here: the top edge is secured and strctured by an Amazing Snap flanked by two rivet-in snaps hidden behind the JUL flat-strap 28 inch Forager handles. I left the bottom soft so she can drape against my side. For a more structured, formal appearance, the finishing can be more elaborate, with a structred bottom decorated with bag feet, a pocket filled lining, and even embroidery! Let Magnolia be the latest canvas for your creativity.

NOTE: This pattern has been rigorously test knit and tech-edited. Currently, no errors are reported for this pattern. If you think you have found an error, please contact Thank you.

Pattern Difficulty Level
Intrepid Intermediate to Experienced Knitters: pattern requires knowledge of knitting and purling using stranded color work methods with careful attention to maintaining an even tension. Requires knitting flat, knitting in the round on circular needles, and picking up stitches. Sewing is used in the finishing process for more elaborate finishing details.

Approximate Finished Dimensions
Tote body is 23.5” (59.7cm) wide across the entire front/back at top with bag folded flat
The height is 13.5” (17.5cm) from bottom edge to top edge
Tote bottom: 10.5” (26.75cm) wide x 9” (23cm) deep

Pre-felted Gauge
Between 12 - 13 sts and 14 - 15 rows over 4” (10cm) with double-stranded worsted weight yarn on size 11 (8mm) needle worked in color pattern. The most important aspect of gauge here is consistency througout piece and even tension. If you can, please try to achieve gauge on a size 11 needle as that size was critical in the felting process. Please also make sure your carries are loose enough that the knitting remains flat and does not buckle.

Required Materials
Yarn Requirements

The pictured tote was made in Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Shepherd’s Wool (worsted weight; 100% merino wool; 250 yds 229m 4 oz 110g skein) in the following colors:

  • 3 skeins of Raspberry (A)
  • 2 skeins of Hot Pink (B)
  • 1 skein of Black (C)
  • 1 skein of White (D)

Needles & Other Necessary Materials

  • Size 11 (8mm) 24” (60cm) circular needle
  • Tapestry & sewing needles
  • Sewing or nylon beading thread
  • Stitch markers - 4 markers with one of a different color to mark round
  • 1 Noni Amazing 18mm Magnetic Snap with rivet-in back
  • 2 Noni Rivet-in 18mm Magnetic snaps
  • 1 pair of 28” (71cm) JUL Forager flat strap leather handles with * Chicago Screws included
  • Locktite Super Glue, Extra Time Control

Materials Needed for Optional Finishing

  • 1 Custom YKK or other zipper with closed ends and two sliders that is made to fit your bag opening.
  • 2 packages of Noni 24mm bag feet
  • 1 yard (.9m) of sturdy woven fabric for lining
  • 2 large sheets of extra stiff plastic artist canvas or 1 cut-to-fit thick Mat Board for stiffening the tote bottom

Pictured Samples
The pictured tote was made in Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Shepherd’s Wool (worsted weight; 100% merino wool; 250 yds 229m 4 oz 110g skein) in Raspberry and Hot Pink with a Black and White edging at the top.