Masa Bag

2 balls of yarn, 1 crochet hook and a good podcast…

Masa Tote, pattern & photography: Lisa Risager

I used 2 balls of Katía Jamaica in a yellow/green/red/brown blend and a 3mm hook.

Work 48 chain stitches, turn and work in slip stitches or double crochet – whatever you prefer – untill you have rectangle 20 cm wide and 53 cm long. Or thereabouts.

The fun part is the folding, inspired by Japanese furoshiki and bukuro. I’ll sketch some instructions for you. I just have to remind myself how I actually did it…

Stitch the bag together, and make a narrow strap (8 chains wide) and attach it to the top corners.

If you like you can leave your bag flat, or you can turn it inside out and fold the bottom corners to form a flat bottom and fasten the flaps with a few strong stitches.

You don’t have to crochet this – you could also use a felted, knitted rectangle or a length of fabric.

Make it small and use it as an evening purse or make it huge and use it for shopping.

The name Masa Bag is inspired by a Canarian/Japanese sushi place in Las Palmas I visited just after buying the yarn. My bag is Spanish-Japanese just like Hideo the sushi cook!

Instructions on how to fold the Masa Bag:

Instructions for folding the Masa Bag

72 thoughts on “Masa Bag

  1. … oh probably. Whether to use my new favourite green cotton DK that was going to be a summer top, or to make one in loud blues and yellow. Or the banana yarn maybe? Decisions, decisions….

  2. This is adorable!! Is the way that you folded it listed on the page of furoshiki? I’d love try this, but I’m worried I’d get it done and not have a clue how to fold it! :)

  3. @Janet, no the folding isn’t on the furoshiki page, but I’m sketching and testing and photographing so I’ll post the folding instructions tomorrow.
    I actually had a hard time re-figuring it out! So simple, yet so complicated…

  4. Thank you so much for the pattern! It was a terrific first project. I’m a newbie and am most comfortable with Tunisian right now – so I did the whole thing in Tunisian simple stitch. I used wool so it’s a bit stretchy, but I doubles the handle (and used a Tunisian join on the edges) to stabilize that bit.
    Pic at: http://grendelskin.blogspot.com/2009/05/brand-new-bag.html

    Thanks again – I know I will be making more of these (especially after other folks get a peek!)

  5. Hi Sara – it’s above, only two lines so you may have missed it:

    “Work 48 chain stitches, turn and work in slip stitches or double crochet – whatever you prefer – untill you have rectangle 20 cm wide and 53 cm long. Or thereabouts.”

    • Can someone put Youtube video on how to fold this purse I am going nuts trying! Thank you so much!

  6. Can you write a more detailed pattern/instructions please. When did you switch colors? How many rows of each color did you do? Did you sew the bag with thread? Did you sew it on th outside. Its a very pretty bag and I feel like I’m missing out because there’s not enough instructions.

    • For this pattern, yes – this is a traditional Japanese method of folding a piece of material into a bag, so feel free to make your own version and do with it as you like.

  7. I have made the strip – but for the love me I can not figure out how to fold it, I see the creases you made but then you opened it back up and the dots I am totally confused I dont suppose you did this on you tube please or email me please

  8. Love love love the bag! I hope I didn’t miss this upstream in the comments, but what are the dimensions of the finished bag? I tried folding paper to get an idea and it seemed really small for my needs. Will it work if I kept the ratio but made it larger?
    Thanks!

  9. Omg I love this and I have to go to hospital shortly for tests doing this will be a welcome distraction especially as im about to finish the waterfall cardigan im making

  10. I want to make a smaller version for my iphone. Should I just half the pattern? 10 cm x 26 cm. I’ll let you know how it turns out for other posters that want a smaller bag. I love this bag so much I’ll probably make a bigger one as well.

  11. Hi there. I love the idea of this bag and made a few mods to it just as a personal preference. I was hoping to put a couple of them on my Etsy shop. Would this be acceptable provided I included a link to your original post?

    • For this pattern, yes – this is a traditional Japanese method of folding a piece of material into a bag, so feel free to make your own version and do with it as you like!

  12. Have finished crocheting bag & folding into purse shape…can’t figure out how you stitched seams as shown in pic, so stitching doesnt show in multi stripe pattern. If machine stitched, how to stitch bottom corner?

  13. Hi there! I’m attempting to make your beautiful Mesa bag and I have my rectangle made, a touch wider than yours but it’s done. Can you tell me please what sides I am to join together? The long or short sides, and do I sew wrong sides together or right. Sorry for all the questions, have a great weekend, and thanks in advance!
    Jamie Massey

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