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Botanical Japanese Knot Bag · Free Crochet Pattern

With the warmer months coming up, summery crochet projects are in full swing! I'm thrilled to share with you my newest design: the Botanical Japanese Knot Bag! 


    The Botanical Japanese Knot Bag is a handy color block purse that features the beautiful knit stitch (aka "waistcoat stitch") and a leaf applique charm.  This project is made completely in one piece, requiring sewing only for one end of the straps.  Its size can easily be adjusted and customized. 

    Makes a great gift & summer craft fair product!

    This market bag makes a great gift because it not only looks so cute, it's also functional.  It can be for kids, teens, adults, friends, parents, or even teachers as an end-of-year teacher gift.  It's perfect for summertime and would make a stunning summer market or craft fair product. 

    This is actually my second Japanese Knot Bag design. My first is the Mosu Bag (below), which is also a free pattern on my blog and YouTube channel! The Mosu Bag has a long and flat base instead of a rounded one, features the moss stitch, and is crocheted in a solid color. It's also smaller in size than the Botanical Bag, but the sizes for both bags are definitely adjustable! 

    Yarn used

    The yarn I used is KnitPicks Billow Yarn, which is a bulky weight 5 yarn that is 100% Pima cotton.  I used one skein of green and two skeins of off-white, which was a total of 3 skeins (360 yards).  The yarn itself is very interesting to work with because it features varying thickness (alternates between thin and thicker texture).  It looks both rustic and modern all at once, and the color palette available for this yarn is contemporary and sophisticated!  

    I love the color block look of this project, which features two different solid colors of yarn. However, you are also welcome to use self-striping or variegated yarns for an ombre look.  

    It is recommended to use a yarn that does not stretch, such as a 100% cotton yarn.  This will allow your bag to better maintain its shape.  Alternatively, you can also add a cloth lining by sewing it inside of the bag, as well as the underside of the straps.  This will keep the yarn from stretching out and provide added durability. 

    PDF Pattern

    The PDF pattern is printable, ad-free, easy to read, includes photo references, and helps support Sweet Softies! (If you enjoy my free patterns, you can consider it as a donation to me when you buy one of my pattern PDFs! It allows me to maintain my blog and continue sharing more free patterns.)

    You can get the PDF pattern from my storeRavelry, or Etsy.


    Free Crochet Pattern

    Terms of Use & Copyright Notice © 2023 Sweet Softies (www.sweetsofties.com). You have permission to sell finished products made from this pattern, but you must credit Sweet Softies as the owner/creator of this pattern by linking to my website (www.sweetsofties.com). No wholesale. You may not translate, copy, alter, or sell my patterns in part or in whole in any way. My patterns may not be used in video tutorials or teaching online classes. My patterns may be used in teaching in-person classes ONLY with written consent from me. You may link to this pattern but you may not copy any part of the pattern instructions on other websites.

    Crochet Pattern Information


    Length (not including handles): 12” 
    Width: 14”

    Level of Difficulty:

    ★★☆☆☆ Familiar Beginner/Intermediate. Requires familiarity with stitches used (below) and changing colors.

    Stitches/Terms Used:

    • FO = fasten off 
    • ch = chain 
    • sl st = slip stitch 
    • sc = single crochet 
    • inc = increase  
    • hdc = half double crochet 
    • dc = double crochet
    • ks = knit stitch (video tutorial available)


    • 360 yards of bulky weight 5 yarn that is non-stretchy or 100% cotton
      I used KnitPicks Billow Yarn: 2 skeins of off-white (240 yd), 1 skein of green (120 yd)
    • 6mm crochet hook 
    • Scissors 
    • Yarn needle

    Crochet Instructions

    Pattern Notes

    • Photo references are only available in the PDF pattern 
    • A full video tutorial is available on the Sweet Softies YouTube channel!
    • If you plan to use up an entire skein of C1 yarn for the base, make the Leaf Charm pattern first. Then, you can safely use up the rest of the C1 yarn on the bag’s base.

    Color Guide

    C1: base color (green)
    C2: body and straps color (off-white)


    Start with C1 yarn.

    R1: Insert 6 sc in MR. (6)

    R2: Inc around. (12)

    R3: (Sc, inc) x 6. (18)

    R4: (Sc 2, inc) x 6. (24)

    R5: (Sc 3, inc) x 6. (30)

    R6: (Sc 4, inc) x 6. (36)

    R7: (Sc 5, inc) x 6. (42)

    R8: (Sc 6, inc) x 6. (48)

    R9: (Sc 7, inc) x 6. (54)

    R10: (Sc 8, inc) x 6. (60)

    R11: (Sc 9, inc) x 6. (66)

    R12: (Sc 10, inc) x 6. (72)

    R13: (Sc 11, inc) x 6. (78)

    R14: (Sc 12, inc) x 6. (84)

    R15-R24: Sc around. (84)

    At this point, the piece measures approximately 6.5” from R1-R24.

    Switch to C2 yarn. Tip: use the invisible color change method (video tutorial).

    R25: Sc around. (84)

    R26: Ks around. (84) - Knit stitch video tutorial
    Note: The knit stitch (ks) is a very dense stitch and uses more yarn than single crochet stitches. For reference, one skein of KnitPicks Billow Yarn created 4” height of ks rounds. If you don’t want to use the ks, you can use sc (for R26 and beyond) instead.

    Repeat R26 until the height of your bag, laid flat and measured from R1 to the last round, is 12” (or 5.5” for the C2 yarn portion only).

    Do not fasten off yet. Continue with the straps instruction below.


    Note: The straps are worked in turned rows, not in continuous rounds.

    Strap#1 (shorter)

    R1: Sc 12.

    R2: Ch 1, turn. Sc 12. (12)

    Repeat R2 until your strap reaches 6” in length.

    Fasten off with a long tail for sewing.

    Strap#2 (longer)

    First, flatten the bag with Strap#1 on the right. Count 18 sts to the left. Attach yarn in the next st, which is where the first sc will be made.

    R1: Ch 1, sc 12. (12)

    R2: Ch 1, turn. Sc 12. (12)

    Repeat R2 until your strap reaches 14” in length.

    Fasten off with a long tail for sewing.


    Note: A full video tutorial for the leaf is available here.

    Use C1 yarn.

    Ch 8.

    Insert 6 dc in 4th ch from hook. Dc in next ch, hdc in next ch, sc in next ch.

    In the last ch: sl st, ch, sl st.

    Now, work on the other side of the chain. Sc in next ch, hdc in next ch, dc in next ch.

    Insert 6 dc in the last ch (same opening as where you started).

    Join with a sl st to the first dc of the leaf.

    Ch 30, or however many sts to wrap around one strap.

    Fasten off with a long tail for sewing later.

    Finishing Instructions

    1. Attach the leaf’s chain around the shorter strap, and sew it securely.
    2. Sew the ends of the two straps to the other side of the bag.
    3. Weave in all ends.
    4. If desired, you may add a cloth lining inside the bag to provide more support and durability.

    Thank you for reading, and hope you had a fun time crocheting this project!  If you'd like to help out my blog, feel free to check out my post, "5 Ways to Support my Blog!"

    You might like my other designs if you enjoyed this one!  Simply click on the image below for the pattern, or check out all my free patterns here.


    I'd love to see your finished work from my designs!  Here are links for sharing photos of your creations: 

    As always, you are more than welcome to SHARE this post with any fellow crocheters who'd like to try this pattern!  Thank you for reading, and I wish you all a wonderful day!

    Best wishes,