Rainforest Raffia Bag

Colorful raffia comes together to make a bag that feels like a rainforest adventure. Complete with trendy circular bamboo-style handles and a loop stitch center fringe, this bag has island style. Three optional I-cord flowers add the final touch to this summer bag that’s perfect for your adventures.

Skill Level: Easy

Size: 12” H x 12 1/2” W, excluding handles

Gauge: approximately 18 sts and 23 rows = 4” [10 cm] with larger needles


Yarn: Universal Yarn Yashi Iro (100% Raffia; 124 yards [113 meters]/50 grams): #207 Sea Life (MC, 6 balls)

Universal Yarn Yashi (100% Raffia; 99 yards [91 meters]/40 grams): #107 Pewter (C1, 1 ball)

Needles: US size 10½ (6.5 mm) 12” straight; US size 5 (3.75 mm) DPNs

Notions: One pair 8” natural rattan purse handles from, tapestry needle, straight pins, blocking board.

Special Stitches

Make Loop (ML): Insert needle in st on left hand needle and knit, but do not remove st from left hand needle, bring yarn from back to front  between needles and around thumb on left hand, bring yarn to back between needles, knit same st again and remove from left hand needle, slip second st to right on RH needle over last st made.



Beg at bottom edge, with larger needles and 2 strands MC, CO 56 sts.

Row 1: P

Row 2 (RS): *K1, wyif sl 1 pwise; rep from * across. (56 sts)

Rep Row 2 for 12”.

BO sts kwise.


Row 1: Using larger needles and 2 strands MC, with Front bottom CO edge RS facing, pick up and k56 sts across Front bottom edge. (56 sts)

Beg with Row 2, rep same as for Front.

Front Fringe

With larger needles and MC, CO 11 sts.

Row 1: P.  (11 sts)

Row 2: ML in each st across.

Rep Rows 1-2 for 12”, ending with Row 1.

Next Row: K.

Next Row: P.

Rep last 2 rows twice.

BO kwise, leaving a 12” tail.

Back Handle Cover (Make 1)

With larger needles and MC, CO 11 sts.

Row 1: P. (11 sts)

Row 2: K.

Row 3: P.

Rep Rows 2-3 twice.

BO kwise.

Flower Center Fringe

With smaller needles and MC, CO 7 sts.

Row 1: P.  (7 sts)

Row 2: ML in each st across, do not turn work, slide sts to opposite end of needle.

Row 3: ML in each st and BO across, leaving a 12” tail.

Roll one short side edge across to opposite side edge and use yarn tail to sew together.

I-cord Flower Center (Make 1 each in MC and CC)

With smaller needles, CO 4 sts.

Row 1: K, do not turn, slide sts to opposite end of LH needle.

Rep last row for 1”.

BO kwise, leaving a 12” tail.

I-cord 6 Petal Flower (Make 2)

With smaller needles and CC, CO 4 sts.

Make same as Flower Center for 15”.

BO kwse, leaving a 12” tail.

I-cord 5 Petal Flower (Make 1 each in MC and CC)

Make same as Flower Center for 12”.

Make same as for I-cord 6 Petal Flower.

Double Flower

  1. Form 6 even petals from 15” I-cord (see photo 1) and pin into position on a blocking surface. Insert tapestry needle and CC through inside edges of petals (see photo 2), gather tightly and sew center opening closed.
  2. Rep Step 1 to form 5 even petals from MC, 12” I-cord in same manner.
  3. Sew short ends of CC, 1” I-cord together to form flower center.
  4. Layer 5 petal flower centered onto 6 Petal Flower. Use tail ends of flower center to sew all 3 layers together.

Singe Flower

  1. Rep Step 2 using CC, 12” I-cord.
  2. Rep Step 3 using MC, 1” I-cord.
  3. Use MC to sew flower center to sew 5 petal flower.

Fringe Flower

  1. Rep Step 1 of Double flower, to form petals and thread tapestry needle through inside edges, do not gather.
  2. Place rolled Fringe Center inside flower and gather petal edges around center. Sew to secure.


  1. Fold last 7 rows of Front Fringe over 1 handle to cover and use tapestry needle and raffia tail to sew to secure. With Front RS facing, center handle covering along top edge and sew in position.
  2. Center and sew opposite edge of fringe to bottom seam of Front.

Sew each side edge of Fringe to Front.

  1. Use corresponding raffia colors to sew flowers to bag as shown or where desired.
  2. Use favorite seaming technique to sew side edges of bag.
  3. Fold handle cover over 2nd handle and sew long edges together. Position on RS of bag Back and sew to secure.

Tags: , ,

  • Karen F.

    Working on the raffia bag with round bamboo handles. Shouldn’t the stitch be k1, wyiB, sl1?

    • Nicola P.

      Hi Karen! We thank you for your question, however the pattern is correctly listed to: *K1, wyif sl 1 pwise;

      We realize this is not an ordinary or common stitch pattern, however, that is exactly why the designer chose to sl 1 purlwise with the yarn in front… because it produces a very nice thick knitted fabric that is perfect for the Rainforest Raffia Bag…or any knit bag!

      Give it a try, we are sure you will like it as much as we do! – Nicola


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.