String bags and mesh shopping bags are popping up everywhere, which probably feels like déjà vu for people who grew up in a time or place where they were the norm.
For those who enjoy the occasional nugget of history, you might be surprised to know that Wikipedia actually has an entire (albeit brief) page devoted to string bags.
“The classic East German Einkaufsnetz (shopping net) has leather handles and multicoloured netting made from Eisengarn, a strong, starched and waxed cotton thread. Due to shortages of many types of raw materials in the GDR, recycling and reusing were the norm; plastic one-use shopping bags were rarely available in shops.” (Wikipedia: String bag)
Well, if that doesn’t thrill you, I don’t know what will.
I love reusable bags for shopping, and wanted to create my own design with more heft to it as well as a pop of color. The Color Block Market Bag is one step up from a string bag — a little stronger and a little more stylish.
An additional bonus? My market bag is made from 100% cotton yarn, so no worries about synthetic fibers ending up in the ocean. It’s washable, durable, and not made from petroleum products!
Pattern PDF location: Ravelry (FREE!)
Difficulty Level: Easy/Intermediate
- Lily Sugar n’ Cream Solids (2.5 oz, 120 yds)
- 2 skeins Ecru
- 1 skein accent color
- 5.00mm (H) crochet hook
- Tapestry needle
- Stitch marker
dc double crochet
sc single crochet
sl st slip stitch
Gauge: 14 sts and 16 rows in sc = 4”
13” tall x 16” wide (not including straps)
About the Pattern:
This bright, contemporary-but-classic market bag is great for trips to the farmers’ market, the beach, the library, or for a sunny downtown stroll!
Constructed with sturdy worsted-weight cotton, it uses basic chains and double crochet stitches to form a simple square mesh pattern. The solid single crochet bottom creates a sturdy base, and the straps can be altered to the crocheter’s preferred length.
As always, please contact me via Ravelry if you ever have questions about the pattern!
Using preferred color for the bottom of the bag, ch 45.
Row 1: Sc into 2nd ch from hook. Sc in all stitches across. Turn. (44 st)
Row 2: Ch 1, sk first st, sc in all sts across. Turn. (44 st)
Rows 3-13: Repeat instructions from Row 2.
Do not turn after completing Row 13. Subsequent rows will be worked in the round.
Rnd 14: Sc along the short edge of the bag bottom, placing a total of 12 sc sts. Sc in ea st across the long edge. Place 11 sc sts along the next short edge. Sc in ea st across the next long edge. (111 sts)
Rnds 15-18: Working in a continuous spiral, sc in all sts around, placing a st marker at the beginning of ea rnd. (111 sts)
Switch colors roughly halfway through the mesh section of the bag, or wherever desired. To switch colors seamlessly, wait until you have almost completed a mesh row, but instead of slip stitching into the previous row’s starting chain with your current yarn color, pull a loop of the new color through the 3rd ch to form a slip stitch. Continue with pattern as written. Tie ends of new and old yarn colors together.
Rnd 19: Ch 5, sk 2 sts, dc in next st. *Ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc in next st* until last 2 sts. Ch 2, sl st into 3rd ch of starting ch from previous round. (37 reps of ch mesh)
Rnds 20-32: Ch 5, sk 2 sts, dc in next st. *Ch 2, sk 2 sts, dc in next st* around. Ch 2, sl st into 3rd ch of previous round.
TOP EDGE AND HANDLES
Rnd 33: Ch 1, place 2 sc into ch sp, *sk next st, make 2 sc into ch sp* around. Sl st into first sc from previous round. (74 sts)
Rnd 34-35: Ch 1, sk next st, sc into ea st around. Sl st into first sc from previous round. (74 sts)
Rnd 36: (Note: during the chain portion of this row, take care not to twist the chain before reattaching it to the top of the bag). Ch 1, sk next st, sc into ea of next 7 sts. Ch 70, sk next 21 sts, sc into ea of next 16 sts. Ch 70, sk next 21 sts, sc into ea of next 8 sts. Sl st into first sc from previous round. (172 sts)
Rnds 37-38: Ch 1, sk next st, sc in all sts around.
Using a tapestry needle, weave in all ends.
Pattern written in 2017 by Jenn Fox for Mushrump.com. This pattern may not be reproduced or copied without written permission of the author.