Farmers Market Fridays are back here in our part of the woods. It’s one of my favourite things about the days when the weather gets warm and the days get long. I love the baked goods from the Ukranian lady who brings home made perogies and the softest rolls imaginable to her booth. I live for the sweet baby carrots and the juicy dark cherries, the amazing smelling fresh herbs and the rich, golden local honey.
I hate, however, lugging home plastic bags full of my goodies. It’s wasteful, it’s bad for the environment, and they are a pain – literally, I end up with red marks across my palms! But reusable grocery bags are also a bit of a pain at the farmers market, so I decided for this year I needed a new market bag. I found a pattern I liked on the Lion Brand yarn site.
The only problem was that it called for a sparkly acrylic and I wanted a cotton bag. Cotton wears like iron, is washable, and doesn’t stretch out of shape under heavy loads like acrylic can. Plus, I had a bunch of Bernat cotton left over from making a holder/tote for my Sigg water bottle a few months ago.
Well, no worries. As I’ve mentioned before, crochet patterns are very morphable – changing yarns is not usually a problem. I used the hooks suggested, and the yarn began to work up into a beautiful pattern. I often don’t like ombre yarns in crochet (though they are beautiful in knit) but this colorway seems to be the exception, at least in the patterns I’ve been using it in.
I did find that I had to adjust the pattern slightly, which is partly a result of the yarn change and partly personal preference.
My first change came here:
Rnds 10-30: Rep Rnd 6.
The bag was getting enormous. I really didn’t think it needed so many repeat rounds so I left two out. As you can see in further pictures, I still have plenty of room to pack in tons of loot from the market! If I were to make this again I might leave out three or even four rounds as the completed bag was a bit larger than I had hoped for.
My second and third changes came with the handle. Firstly, I found 8 stitches wide to be a little wider than I wanted for the strap. So at this point:
Rows 4-13: Rep Rows 2 and 3 until 8 dc remain.
I decreased until 6 stitches remained instead. Then I finished off on both sides. I didn’t have much yarn left – if I’d have started with a full skein I would have had more than enough to finish, but as I mentioned earlier, I had already created my water bottle holder out of this yarn. I switched to solid white, still in the Bernat cotton, to finish the handle.
Because I was going to be wearing this against my body and was intending to carry heavy goods in it, I switched from the pattern stitch to doing straight rows of DC at this point. I know from experience that a bag with a textured pattern can leave that pattern behind on your skin – especially in hot weather if you aren’t wearing heavy clothes! This is also why I didn’t want a seam in my handle at the topmost part of the shoulder, so instead of working the strap in two pieces, I worked it in one piece and seamed it at the other side where I had finished off. I also wanted a longer handle, one that I could wear cross-body for long shopping trips, so I simply worked in DC until the handle was the length I was most comfortable with.
And that was it! This was a two-movie project – The Dark Half and The Woman in Black 2 – so it took me roughly four hours to complete. It uses large hooks so it works up fast. And it was super easy – this is definitely a project suitable for beginners.
I’ll be using it today on my trek to the Farmers Market and will update you all with how well it performs!
Do you have a favourite market bag pattern? Is it crochet or knit? Where did you find the pattern? Share in the comments!