6 Free Knitting Patterns for a Quick, Super-Practical Market Bag

Looking for a cute tote bag for groceries or any other errands? Try one of the fabulous market bag knitting patterns shown here

Oklahoma summers are no joke. We moved here in 2011 — during the summer — and the first thing I knitted after we moved here was directly inspired by the Oklahoma summer heat.

I enjoy many things about living in Oklahoma, but I could definitely do without the summer heat!

Having said that, summer in Oklahoma does bring one stellar feature: fruits and vegetables. Or, more specifically, the opportunity to enjoy fresh, succulent fruits and vegetables thanks to farmer’s markets and my own plot at a local community garden.

I’m not the most successful gardener in the world (the sun means I’m constantly fighting both drought and weeds), but we often get a generous crop of tomatoes. There’s nothing in the world like a fresh-from-the-garden tomato. Juicy, sweet, tangy… mmmmmmm.

My town has various produce stands as well as a downtown farmer’s market. These are the next best thing to growing them yourself, in my opinion. They’re so often far better quality than what you’ll find at the grocery store.

Of course, you won’t find any shopping carts or baskets at farmer’s markets or produce stands. So you need a market bag. Sure, you could just grab an old plastic bag, but there’s a certain romance to a lovely handknit market bag. Don’t you think?

Sure you do. You’re a knitter!

As it turns out, many designers have created market bag patterns. If you’re itching to try out a market bag of your own, why not take a look at these free knitting patterns for market bags?

Market Bag Patterns You’ll Love to Knit 

market bag
Grrlfriend Market Bag
Photo: Laura Spradlin

Grrlfriend Market Bag

  • Why you’ll love this pattern: It looks great, and it comes with an inspiring backstory: the designer recycled yarn from a friend’s ex-husband’s sweater to transform it into something completely different.
market bag
Ilene Bag
Photo: Hannah Mason

Ilene Bag

  • Why you’ll love this pattern: It creates a stretchy market bag characterized by a wide, fairly short strap that won’t hurt your shoulders or hang somewhere by your knees.
Let's Go Shopping Market Bag - lling39 on Ravelry
Let’s Go Shopping Market Bag
Photo: lling39 on Ravelry

Let’s Go Shopping Market Bag

  • Why you’ll love this pattern: I love that it’s knit on the bias (adds interest!), and it features a nice flat bottom that means you can set your bag full o’ produce on the kitchen table without fruit and veggies scattering everywhere.
Everlasting Bagstopper - Amy R Singer
Everlasting Bagstopper
Photo: Amy R. Singer

Everlasting Bagstopper

Why you’ll love this pattern: 3 reasons. 1)It was specifically designed to leave as little of a carbon footprint as possible in the knitting process; 2) the finished project squishes into a small enough pile to easily to slip into a purse, so it’s always there when you need it; and 3) it stretches practically indefinitely, so you can put whatever you need into it.

Yarns to Use for Your Market Bags

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Looking for a fabulous yarn to use for your market bag? Check out the options below!

From KnitPicks:

  1. Shine Sport: 60% Pima cotton, 40% Modal natural beech wood fiber, available in 30 beautiful colors.
  2. CotLin: 70% Tanguis cotton, 30% linen, available in 50 dazzling colors.

From Darn Good Yarn:

  1. Waves of Cotton: I love using this yarn! Its thick-and-thin texture creates a slightly nubby effect that gives any project interest. And with 330 yards, you’ll have plenty of yarn for your bag; you can even whip up a few dishcloths!
  2. Sport Weight Linen 2-Ply: 350 yards of goodness. An added plus: whatever you make with this yarn will grow softer with every wash!

From Sirdar Yarns:

  1. Sirdar Cotton DK: 100% mercurized cotton that’s perfect for bags.
  2. Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK: A blend of bamboo-sourced viscose and wool, this yarn will create soft and snuggly bags that won’t bother your shoulders when you’re shopping in summer weather!
French Market Bag - Polly Outhwaite
French Market Bag
Photo: Polly Outhwaite

French Market Bag

  • Why you’ll love this pattern: You’ll knit this bag using a feltable fiber and–you guessed it!–felt it after knitting. The knitting and felting processes give the bag a pleasant basket-like appearance, and you’ll love to carry and display anywhere.
Elisa's Nest Tote - Purl Soho
Elisa’s Nest Tote
Photo: Purl Soho

Elisa’s Nest Tote

  • Why you’ll love this pattern: Its purpose is simple: to replace a plastic grocery bag. It’s cute and carryable just about anywhere.

Of course, your market bag can go anywhere; not just to the market, but also to the beach or the library. Pick your favorite and enjoy knitting your contribution to conservation!

Market Bag Knitting Patterns

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