Even though temperatures here are still dipping below zero, it is March, which in my corner of the world means spring is coming. And while we’re left to keep on guessing as to when we’ll be graced with its presence, I’ve decided I’m ready to start crocheting for warm weather fun now.
One of the goals I’ve set for myself this year is to eat more healthy, whole foods, which starts with buying more healthy produce. And I want to make it a point to buy from local farmers. Not only is it better for you (you can make sure you’re buying real food that hasn’t been doused in chemicals); but supporting your local economy, especially farmers, is just a good thing to do.
I love all the market bags I’ve seen on Pinterest, and I wanted to make one for myself that I could take to the farmers’ markets this spring and summer. I’m hoping that having a cute bag will be motivating, kind of like how new running shoes can give you renewed excitement for exercising. Except this market bag is a whole lot cheaper than running shoes! (With yarn and buttons, plus sales and coupons, I probably put less than $4 into it!)
This bag is also very easy to make larger or smaller, if you’re comfortable with deviating from patterns. Just add a couple of rounds to the base for a bigger tote, or take a couple away for a smaller one!
MARKET TOTE BAG
Hooks: H (5.00mm) and I (5.50mm)
Yarn: Approx. 315 yards of worsted weight yarn in your favorite color (I used Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Yarn” in Midgreen)
Buttons (optional): Four. I used 1-1/8″ wooden buttons by La Mode (style #3102)
Dimensions: The bag (not including straps) measures about 12″ wide by 14″ tall. The straps add another 13″ or so.
Notes: For the base of the bag, you will join rounds. Once you get past the base, you’ll start crocheting in a continuous spiral. This is noted within the pattern.
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With H hook, begin with a Magic Circle.
Round 1: Ch 2 (counts as first DC here and throughout); 11 DC in Magic Circle. Join. (12)
Round 2: Ch 2; 1 DC in same St. (2 DC in next St) around. Join. (24)
Round 3: Ch 2; 1 DC in same St, 1 DC in next. (2 DC in next; 1 DC in next) around. Join. (36)
Round 4: Ch 2; 1 DC in same St, 1 DC in each of the next 2 St. (2 DC in next; 1 DC in each of the next 2 St) around. Join. (48)
Round 5: Ch 2; 1 DC in same St, 1 DC in each of the next 3 St. (2 DC in next; 1 DC in each of the next 3 St) around. Join. (60)
Round 6: Ch 2; 1 DC in same St, 1 DC in each of the next 4 St. (2 DC in next; 1 DC in each of the next 4 St) around. Join. (72)
Switch to I hook. From this point on, you will no longer join rounds. I use a stitch marker (like a bobby pin) to mark the first stitch of the round I am working on.
Round 7: Ch 1 (does NOT count as first stitch). 1 SC + 1 DC in same St. Skip next St. (1 SC + 1 DC in next; skip next) around.
Round 8: 1 SC + 1 DC in first skipped space from previous round. (1 SC + 1 DC in next skipped space) around. (Note: If you separate the stitches to find the space, you may see two spaces: one to the left, and one a little down and to the right. You’ll want to work your stitches in the space to the left.)
Rounds 9-29: Repeat Round 8.
Switch back to H hook.
Round 30: Working in top loops again, (1 SC in each St) around.
Rounds 31-36: Repeat Round 30.
Next you’ll add the straps, still working in a continuous spiral.
Round 37: Ch 100. Skip 20 St; Sl St into the next St. 1 SC in each of the next 16 St. Ch 100. Skip next 20 St; Sl St into next. 1 SC in each of the next Sts until you reach the first chain.
Round 38: 1 SC in each St around. When you are working on the straps, put your SCs in the BACK LOOP only of each Ch. When working around the base, SC as you normally would, under both loops.
Round 39: 1 SC in each St around (including up and around the straps).
Rounds 40-41: Repeat Round 39.
Optional: Add more rows for thicker straps.
Finishing: Sl St to the next St (you should be at the bottom right base of the first strap you made). Fasten off and weave in ends.
Add your buttons to both sides of the bag, or embellish as desired.