Market bags are more functional than elegant, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be fun and interesting to knit. A great yarn in a pretty color and a relaxing stitch pattern makes a knitted bag the perfect, portable project.
I began my bag at the bottom. I like my bags to have a somewhat flat base to provide more room for my goodies. A rectangular, double-stranded garter stitch bottom also makes the bag strong enough to prevent small items from falling through. To avoid seams, I worked the body of the bag in the round. Picking up stitches around the edge of the rectangle proved to be a bit of a challenge, but double-pointed needles or several circular needles do the trick nicely.
The original pattern stitch didn't completely work in the round, so playing around with it lead me to two variations: I found that it was easier to purl the two stitches together if the yarn over was to the left of the stitches and working the bag with the wrong side facing was more pleasant. Plus, I discovered that the pattern made a really nice diagonal stitch on the right side.
While the bag was in progress but almost complete, everyone at my knitting group loved it and couldn't wait for the pattern to be ready. So, here it isenjoy!
100% mercerized Egyptian cotton
Provence is mercerized Egyptian cotton that knits up at 5 to 5½ stitches per inch, depending on needle size and the fabric you want.
Egyptian cotton has two qualities that make it a great cotton yarn: a very long staple (fiber) length and a small diameter. The long staple gives the yarn strength and sheen and the delicate diameter means that it spins into a soft, smooth yarn. Mercerizing makes a yarn that is stable, takes dye well, and is less likely to shrink.
Provence comes in a whopping 56 colorsmake your market bag in a bright color, a neutral, something pastel, and/or basic black.
Here is the free downloadable Provence Diagonal Bag pattern.
If you have difficulty downloading or printing the PDF pattern above, try this: page 1
As Judy mentioned in her story, the pattern in her market bag is worked in the round with the wrong side facing. Working wrong side out makes the stitch pattern easier to do. Here’s why: With the right side facing, you would need to knit a yarn over and single stitch together, with the yarn over as the first stitch. The single stitch in which you first insert the needle is awkward and tight to work into because it’s surrounded by yarn overs.
With the wrong side facing, the single stitch falls first and the yarn over is second, making it easier to purl through both stitches. Feel free to try out both methods for yourself to see which way you like it best.