This knit bag is so cute and practical. It’s great for toting around groceries, gym gear, beach wear and more. It’s, lightweight, eco-friendly and a fun knit!
The market bag is knit flat and then joined in the round to create the sides and top handles. It’s a unique construction that’s incredibly satisfying when it comes together. More on that below in “Pattern Notes.”
This bag pattern is appropriate for those who are comfortable casting on, knitting, purling, casting off and knitting in the round. This is a medium difficulty project. It’s recommended to both adventurous beginners and seasoned knitters.
This pattern tutorial will guide you through how to knit the market bag from beginning to end. Watch the video tutorial below for a step-by-step guide through the pattern.
If you’d like to purchase a printable PDF file on this pattern, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the “Buy” button.
Now, let’s get started!
Knit Market Bag Materials & Notes
- 2 balls of Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK in color Pistachio (50g/1.7 oz, 125m/137yd, 100% cotton)
- 32″ 3.5mm circular needle (a circular needle that is 32-42″ is ok)
- 6.5mm straight needles
- 1 stitch marker
- tapestry needle
This bag is best knit with cotton, linen and hemp yarns. These fibres are hard-wearing with minimal stretch. The result is a sturdy bag that can hold a lot of weight without stretching out of shape.
Some favourite yarns:
- Rowan Creative Linen (50% linen/50% cotton in beautiful muted tones)
- Rico Essentials Cotton DK (100% cotton yarn in a variety of colors)
- Debbie Bliss Cotton Denim DK (100% cotton with a marled denim look)
Garter Stitch Knit Flat:
Row 1: knit all sts
Repeat Row 1
Garter Stitch in the Round:
Round 1: knit to end of round
Round 2: purl to end of round
Repeat Rounds 1-2
This technique increases one stitch purlwise. It’s similar to M1 (make one stitch), but the lifted strand of yarn is purled instead of knit. The accompanying tutorial video demonstrates this technique.
During the Lace Repeat on Row 2 and 4, the first and last stitches are knit. This creates a garter bump along both edges of the lace. You will pick up stitches through these garter bumps during the Side Pick-Up.
Customising the Bag:
The width of the bag can be customised by adjusting the number of stitches in the lace repeat. The lace pattern will fit into a multiple of 2+1 stitches. For example, 50 sts (multiple of 2) plus 1 st = 51 sts for the lace repeat.
The length of the straps can also be customised by casting on more or fewer stitches. Thicker straps can be made by knitting more rounds of garter stitch before casting off.
Market Bag Video Tutorial
This knitting tutorial video walks you through how to knit the market bag from beginning to end.
Market Bag Knitting Pattern Instructions:
CO 24 sts with 3.5mm needles
Knit 8 rows in garter stitch
Switch to 6.5mm needles and work as follows:
*P1, M1P; repeat from * to last stitch, P1 (47 sts)
R1 (RS): K2, *YO, K2tog; repeat from * to last stitch, K1
R2 and 4 (WS): K1, purl to last stitch, K1
R3: K1, *SSK, YO; repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2
Repeat Rows 1-4 of the lace repeat until piece measures 24” from cast on edge. End having worked Row 1 or 3.
Switch to 3.5mm needles and work decrease row as follows:
Decrease Row: K1, *K2tog; repeat from * to end of row (24sts)
Knit 6 rows in garter stitch and cast off.
Creating the Handles:
With 3.5mm needles and with the right side facing up, pick up 5 stitches from top garter stitch edge.
Pick up 20 sts along each bump on the lace edge. Then, pick up every other bump for 15 sts. Pick up 20 sts along each bump on the remaining lace edge. Pick up 5 sts from top garter stitch edge.
Cast on 85 sts using backward loop cast on. This creates the handle.
Ensure cast on sts are un-twisted and repeat Side Pick-up instructions for the other side of the bag.
Cast on 85 sts for handle using backward loop cast on. Ensure handle cast on sts are untwisted. PM and join in the round with first stitch from side pick-up.
Work garter stitch in the round as follows:
Round 1: purl all sts
Round 2: knit all sts
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 for eight rounds.
Cast off loosely and weave in ends.
* *: repeat the instructions between asterisks
CO: cast on
K2tog: knit two stitches together
M1P: Make one stitch purlwise
PM: place stitch marker
RS: right side of fabric
SSK: slip one stitch, slip one stitch, knit two slipped stitches together
WS: wrong side of fabric
YO: yarn over
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This three-page PDF file is beautifully laid out and ready to be printed. Upon purchase, the pattern file will be delivered to you by email. Thank you for your support!
Perhaps it’s my device, but the link to buy the pdf pattern seems to be broken. Many thanks!
Hi Gerry, the link should be working now. I had a bit of a mix-up earlier, linking the slipper pattern instead of the market bag, but it’s since been fixed.
Francine Accurso says
would like to purchase the market bag pattern. when i try, it brings up bulky slippers.
please let me know how to purchase
Hi Francine, yes I accidentally mixed up the slipper PDF file for this product. I’ve since linked the correct market bag PDF file. If you purchased the pattern and got the slipper pattern please email me at davina[at]sheepandstitch[dot]com and I’ll send you the correct file. Very sorry about that.
I want to buy the pdf but the link send me to buy the easy chunky slipper pattern. I don’t think that’s the right now
Hi Susan, yes I accidentally mixed up the slipper PDF file for this product. I’ve since linked the correct market bag PDF file. If you purchased the pattern and got the slipper pattern please email me at davina[at]sheepandstitch[dot]com and I’ll send you the correct file. Very sorry about that.
I’m really looking forward to making this bag!
When I go to purchase the PDF though, it adds the pattern for the chunky slippers to my cart. Anyone else having this problem?
Yes, you’re correct. I mixed up the PDF file for this product. I’ve since linked the correct PDF file. If you purchased the pattern and got the slipper pattern please email me at davina[at]sheepandstitch[dot]com and I’ll send you the correct file. Very sorry about that.
I’m curious; are both skeins of Paintbox yarn used entirely or did you use more like 1.5 skeins?
I used almost all of the two balls.
I’m very excited to make this bag! I just want to make sure 8 garter rows at the beginning but only 6 at the end before casting off?
Yes, the instructions are correct. When you’re working the decrease row, that row also gets counted into the garter stitch border. Hope that makes sense!
I’m pretty new to knitting and found this pattern and am excited to try this out! I’m getting my list of materials together and have a question about the needles.
You are calling one of them circular and the other is flat but they look the same. Why is that? It’s a little confusing for me.
Thank you in advance, this looks so fun and I can’t wait to get started on it!!
I’m using 6.5mm circular needles to knit the body of the bag, but I’m knitting it flat and not joining in the round. I’m using circulars because those are the only needles I have in a 6.5mm size. You can use flat needles or circulars (just don’t join in the round). Hope that makes sense!
Hello there! I am starting to pick up bumps now but unfortunately I ended up with only 55 of them in the 24 inches. I already did the bind off. How do I cope? I did use a different 100 %cotton yarn that you suggested (Lily Sugar & Cream) . Help!
Hi davina is there any way for me to know how many yards i should use? also do i need to use joining in the round or i can use straight needles for the whole bag
This is a great pattern for a first time doing lace!
I am almost done with the 24″ lace portion, but am still going to fall short of the number of garter bumps that you list, for picking up to make the handles. How would you recommend adjusting? Should I pick up fewer stitches, based on my number of bumps, or pick up more stitches to get to the 55 (20 + 15 + 20) that you have for each side? (Not including the 5 stitches per side for each garter section)