To Market

When I first knit this market bag, I couldn’t help humming the old nursery rhyme over and over: To market, to market, to buy a fat pig… You know the one. It turns out the rhyme is even older than I thought. If my quick research is correct, the first written recording of the rhyme was made in 1598 by John Florio in his volume, “A Worlde of Wordes, or Most Copious, and exact Dictionarie in Italian and English.”

Counting the stockinette stitch base, this bag has 4 different stitch patterns. The stitches are solid at the bottom, becoming more open as they near the top of the bag. The bag is finished with a stitch that is less stretchy than most, and again a little more solid, to help give the top of the bag and the handle some stability. The wide handle is short, to help keep the bag from hanging to your knees when it’s full.

Knitting begins with a provisional cast on. The base is worked back and forth, then stitches are picked up, and knitting continues in the round. At the top, most of the stitches are bound off, and then the handle is knit. The final handle stitches are joined to the other side with a 3-needle bind off. If desired, bags could be lined with fabric. Lining instructions not included.

Yarn: Sport weight linen 150 [250, 375] yards
Model: Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Linen: small in Turquoise, medium in Citrus, and large in River Bank Grass; 270 yards in 100 grams; 100% linen.
Gauge: 21 sts and 30 rows to 4 inches (10 cm) in st st with smaller needles
Needles: US 3 (3.25 mm) and US 7 (4.5 mm); DPNs, 2 circular needles, or one long circular needle for magic loop; after working in the round for 4 to 8 rows on smaller sizes, may be able to move to short circular needle, if desired
Crochet hooks: US D (3.25 mm), exact hook size doesn’t matter, so long as it’s at least the size of the smaller needles
Finished size: width at top x height, empty, relaxed, without handle): 9.5 x 11.5 [11.5 x 13.5, 13.5 x 16.5] in; 24 x 29 [29 x 34.5, 34.5 x 42] cm
Notions: Smooth waste yarn in contrasting color for provisional cast on, 1 stitch marker, yarn needle

Skills: Provisional cast on, picking up stitches along an edge, YO, k2tog, p2tog, knit and purl in same stitch, knitting in the round, 3-needle bind off
Stitch instructions: Charted and written.

This pattern is listed on Ravelry.

Thank you!

Huge thanks to Kristie—again—for proof reading the original version of this little pattern, and finding the missing parentheses, among other things. Honestly, girlfriend, I don’t know what I’d do without you.