Pineapple Silk Purse

Dear Sis,

I’ve finally made a pineapple purse, one of the wackiest vintage purses around! Pineapple’s were a luxury item during the Victorian period. In fact, families would even rent pineapples to use as center pieces when hosting an elegant dinner party. Pineapple purses patterns (also known as porcupine purses) were used from about 1810 – 1890’s, which is quite an impressive span. 

There are a few pineapple purse patterns available on the web for free. They are all about the same, as the purse is actually the same type of stitch over and over again. And believe it or not, the pattern is actually much simpler then it looks!

Here is a modern version of the pineapple purse from Franklin Habit, and here is an historical version of the pineapple purse from 1841. Both patterns are great, but not quite what I was looking for. The modern pattern produces a larger pineapple purse, that is approximately 12 inches high. Which, if you study period purses, you know that these tiny little bags were essentially coin purses about the size of one’s hand. I also didn’t want to make the historical version, because who really wants to knit with size 00000 needles and silk sewing thread? Not me. Sorry, I love history, but I have some limits. lol

So, I ended up making something in-between. Before, I get into the pattern, I figured I would share some pretty historical photos of pineapple purses first! Pictures are from the collection of The Kyoto Costume Institute.

Okay, now on to the pattern

Pineapple Purse Pattern

Supplies I used: 25 grams Green and Gold Silk Lace Yarn, and about 5 – 10 grams of size 11/0 gold galvanized glass seed beads. 

Needles: 4 Size 000 double points (If you want to use size 00 or size 0 that should work just fine, your purse will just be a tad bit larger. If using size 0 needles, you may want to cast on 112 stitches instead.) I do use a crochet hook size 8 for the tassel. If you don’t crochet, you can knit your tassel, but it will not be as strong.

Difficulty: Medium

Let’s Start! First, thread half of your beads on to the green yarn, and the other half onto the gold.

Leaves: With green yarn cast on 128 stitches. If you are a glutton for suffering, or want to make your purse the historical way with beads, be sure to cast a bead on with each stitch. I’m going to be honest, casting on the beads and the first row of knitting are the hardest thing about making this purse, the rest is pretty easy.

Row 1: knit

Row 2: k6, yo, 1, yo, k6, sl1-k2tog-psso (pass the slipped stitch over the k2tog. This is a 2 stitch decrease) repeat around

Now repeat the above pattern until you have 1.75 inches. Keep in mind you are increasing and decreasing stitches, so the stitches on your needles are going to move. Meaning your next row you may have k5, yo, k1, yo, k6, sl-k2tog-psso, k1, or some other number. But, you will always… always have 6 stitches between the 2 stitch increase (yo, k1, yo) and the two stitch decrease (sl-k2tog-psso).


My leaves measure 1.75 inches from the base of my needle to the highest point.

Cut off green yarn and attach gold. 

Set up: Knit one row.

Now, you are going to invert your work, yep that is right. You are going to be working on the wrong side of your pineapple! Why, you may ask? This is because the leaves are done with the knit side of your work facing the right side, and the yellow part is done with the purl side of you work facing. Instead of trying to knit the rest of your purse in purl only, it is often easier to just invert the work, and knit it instead.

Row 1: Instead of join in the round, you are actually going to work the other direction. This will create a tiny hole in your purse, that you can sew up later during the finishing step. *K6, sk1-k2tog-psso, K6, yo, k1, yo* repeat from * to * till end.

Row 2: *K5, sl1-k2tog-psso, K6, yo, k1, yo, k1* repeat from * to * around.

Row 3: *K4, sl1-k2tog-psso, K6, yo, k1, yo, k2* repeat from * to* around.

Rows 4 – 6: Notice the above repetition. Once again the stitches are moving on your needle, but there is always 6 stitches between the decrease and increase. by, the time you finish the sixth row, you will have 1 stitch before the decrease, and five stitches at the very end of your row.

Row 7: Knit plainly, without any increase or decrease. If beading, put your bead in the center of the increase row below. (Yo, k1, yo) you will be adding the bead to the k1 location, which is the center of the increases.

It is a little hard to see, but there is a bead in the center of the previous rows increase.

Row 8 – 9: knit plainly.

Row 10: *K1, yo, k1, yo, k6, sl1-k2tog-pss0, k5* repeat from * to* around. Essentially, you are swapping the location of the increases and decreases. Your increase will not be dead center in the middle of your previous decreases, and vice versa. This creates the uneven pineapple look.

Row 11: *K2, yo, k1 yo, k6, sl1-k2tog-psso, k4* repeat from * to * around. 

Row 12 – 15: Continue in pattern. Keep in mind that your increases and decreases will cause your counting to move across your work, but k6 will always be between your increase and decrease. By the end of row 15, you will have k6, yo, k1, yo, k6, sl1-kwtog-psso, as your round.

Row 16: Knit plainly with a bead in the center of the previous rows increase.

Row 17 – 18: Knit

You will repeat rows 1 – 18 until you the gold section is about 2.75 – 3 inches long. I repeated the rows 1 1/5 times more, so that I had five points to the length of my purse.

When turned right side out, you can see the 5 points on the way down. My work measured about 2.75 inches.

Bottom: Cut off gold and attach green. Invert your work so that the right side is facing.

Row 1: Knit across the row.

Row 2: Invert your work so that the wrong side is facing again. Do not work in the round, turn and continue to knit. How you start this row will vary, depending on were you left off above. You are following the leaf pattern that was on the very top of the purse, but you are staggering it from the row of pineapple juts above. Meaning, your increase will be above your decrease, and vise versa.

For me: I did the following

*k1, yo, k1, yo, k6, sl1-k2tog with bead-psso, k5* repeat from * to *.

If you did another row of pineapple then I did, you may have to start this way instead.

*k6, sl1-k2tog with bead-psso, k6, yo, k1, k1* repeat from * to *.

Tip: I did not try to yank the bead through two stitches. Before, I k2tog I slid down a bead to my work, then I knit two together, and passed my slipped stitch over.

Slip stitch, slide bead to work. Then, knit two together, and pass slipped stitch over.

Rows 3 – 7: Continue in pattern with a bead in each row until you have six rows of beads.

Rows 8 – 13: Continue in pattern, with beads, only this time do not do the yo. This will decrease each row by 16 stitches. When you have completed you will have 32 stitches left and 12 rows of beads.

Row 14: *K2tog* round (16 stitches total)

Row 15: *K1, k2tog* round 

Row 16: Decrease so that you have 9 stitches total

Row 17 -20: Knit

Row 21: Decrease to 6 stitches

Graft off

Weave in all your tails through the top of the stitches on the wrong side of you work. 

Drawl-string Time

Tassels: With yellow silk and crochet hook size 1.5 MM chain 8.

Row 1: sc in second chain, and single crochet across. (7 stitches total)

Row 2 – 5: chain 1, turn, sc across. Do this until you have 1/2 inch of work… approximately 5 rows.

Row 6: ch1, sc in first stitch, *slide two inches of beads forward to the work, sc in next stitch* repeat till last stitch, sc. Cut off leaving long tail for sewing.

Crocheting a loop of beads. Don’t worry about getting everything snug, right away. Pull in the loop, then tighten, and finish the rest of your sc.

Now cut 6 green silk pieces to be 56 inches long.

Take three and thread them through a needle. Weave them through the underside of your work.  Then thread, the other side of the same thread, and weave it up through the tassel again. This will attach your drawstring to your tassel.

Nice side of the tassel. Notice that I only drew the green thread through the underside/ugly side.

Ugly side were the string shows.


Then, roll your tassel and sew it together with the long tail of gold you cut.

Pinching and sewing together the rolled crochet tassel.

All done!

Now, separate your tassel into two sets of three strands. Braid each group. Then, weave your braids through the top of the purse were the green and gold join.

And now the pineapple purse is complete!

Happy Knitting,


copywright2017 – this pattern is for personal use only. This pattern is not to be sold or redistributed.




    • Jamiegoof
      Jamiegoof says:

      Your welcome Florencai! 😊 I’m so happy that this pattern is more modern knitter friendly. I hope you have fun making it, and I love to see photos of finished projects on raverly… it makes pattern sharing so much fun! Happy knitting ~ Jamie

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