East Ave. Market Bag Knitting Pattern

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This market bag knitting pattern uses an easy and stretchy lace pattern so it can fit all your farmers market purchases in styles.

East Ave. is one side of the town square where our local farmers market happens, so I thought it was an appropriate name for this bag. This is a good project for people new to knitting lace because it’s a simple four-round repeat (and two of those rounds are knit).

You’ll get plenty of practice with yarn overs and knitting decreases, namely knit 2 together and ssk (slip slip knit).



Gauge is not critical as long as the base of your bag makes firm enough fabric to hold your purchases. I got 20 stitches and 28 rounds per 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette stitch in the round using the smaller needle.


My bag is 8 inches/20 cm across at the base and 8 inches/20 cm tall in the lace section without stretching. The body of the bag is about 34 inches/86 cm around the top.

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East Ave. Market Bag Knitting Pattern: Knitting the Base

Using double pointed needles and the color you want for the bottom of the bag if you are changing colors, cast on 6 stitches.

Divide onto 3 needles for working in the round. Join in round and place a stitch marker to mark the end of the round.

Knit 1 round.

Knit in the front and back of each stitch. 12 stitches.

Knit 2 rounds.

Knit in the front and back of each stitch. 24 stitches.

Knit 3 rounds.

Knit in the front and back of each stitch. 48 rounds.

Knit 4 rounds.

Knit in the front and back of each stitch. 96 stitches. This round will probably be where you want to switch to your circular needle if you haven’t already.

Knit 5 rounds.

Knit in the front and back of each stitch. 192 stitches.

Purl the next round.

Knitting the Sides of the Bag

To continue the market bag knitting pattern, you will repeat the four rounds of the vertical lace trellis pattern (that’s what Barbara G. Walker calls it) to the desired height of your bag. Change to the larger needles at this point (it makes the lace open up a little more) and increase one stitch in the first round only (the pattern needs an odd number of stitches).

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: Knit 1 *yarn over, knit 2 together. Repeat from * around.

Round 3: Knit.

Round 4: *Slip, slip knit, yarn over. Repeat from * to the last stitch, knit 1.

For my market bag I worked in the pattern for 4 inches/10 cm in the original color, then changed to the second color and worked another 4 inches/10 cm. If you want to change colors, do so on one of the plain knit rounds.

When the bag is as deep as you’d like, loosely bind off all stitches. Weave in ends.

Market Bag Knitting Pattern: Strap

To finish your bag you’ll want to make an I-cord strap. I used an I-cord machine to make mine, but you can also do it by hand. The machine makes a cord that is 4 stitches, but you can do more or fewer as you like. Use your size 7 US double-pointed needles to make the knit cord if you’re doing it by hand.

How long your cord should be is a bit up to you and how you plan to use the bag. The cord is the drawstring that closes the bag as well as the handle. If you plan to carry it in your hand rather than slinging it over your shoulder, you’ll need a shorter cord.

I guessed at how much I would want and ended up ripping out a bunch (another positive about using the I-cord maker — it didn’t feel like a waste of time to make way too much I-cord) and actually need to rip out even more now that I’ve seen how much the bag (and the cord) stretch when there’s something in the bag. As you use it you may want to alter the length even more, or you may find your yarn doesn’t stretch as much.

As shown the cord measures 50 inches/127 cm. I wove it in and out through every other eyelet in the top lace round of the bag, and sewed the ends together to make it a strap.

This market bag knitting pattern is so fun to make, and I can’t wait to try it out at the market. Do you use reusable bags when you go shopping or to the farmers market? I’d love to hear about it.

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  1. I love the knit chicken pattern but, it disappeared before I could download it. Is it possible for it to show up again,?

  2. What a fun project! I’ve got it saved to try soon.

    I use my knit bags at Farmer’s Markets, where it’s kitchy and I’m not trying to pack in two weeks worth of groceries ?

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