The Afternoon Market Bag

Sometimes, you just need a super simple crochet pattern you can work up in an afternoon. Even better if that crochet pattern is something usable, like a bag! Let me introduce The Afternoon Market Bag – an easy crochet market bag free pattern that you can work up while watching your favorite movies and then take with you when you go shopping for more yarn.

Easy Crochet Market Bag hanging with vegetables to show it's ability to stretch as needed - Pinterest pin

Easy Crochet Market Bag Pattern – Afternoon Market Bag

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This Afternoon Market Bag is named for how quick and simple it is to work up. Using a very simple pattern repeat, this market bag works up in an afternoon (or two!).

I’ve been designing a few more complicated pattern lately, and I really needed to give my brain a break and just design something super simple but usable. One of my main “pain points” when creating something for myself is: What can I use it for? Will it just sit around my living room catching dust?

This easy crochet market bag will not. I’ve already used it to carry around puppy items to the dog park, for my yarn-a-holic shopping trips, and for quick trips to the market.

If you prefer a PDF of this pattern, which includes links to video tutorials, you can grab one on either my Ravelry or my Etsy shop by clicking the buttons below.

I think that the best part of this easy crochet market bag pattern is the mesh body, which creates a slightly stretchy fabric without too many holes. Coupled with the solid bottom, you won’t lose smaller items in the bag AND you’ll have a little bit of extra room to stash boxes of snacks (or other oddly shaped items) inside without losing shape.

The mesh part of this crochet market bag is created with a one round repeat that uses only half double crochet and a chain one. Super fast!

Easy crochet market bag shown hanging with vegetables to show it's ease and movement.

Which yarn is best for a crochet market bag?

For a crochet market bag, I would recommend cotton yarn or a blend of cotton and acrylic yarn. This bag is going to be getting a lot of usage, and there will definitely be times that you’ll want to wash it. I would suggest a yarn that is washable (machine preferred, but hand wash is good, too). You can always hang your bag out to dry and it shouldn’t take too long, but I have always found a cotton or cotton blend works best.

That’s not to say 100% acrylic isn’t in the running! I’ve made many bags with 100% acrylic but I am much more careful of how I wash them.

In the Fox Household, it’s all about how easy something is and if washing this crochet market bag isn’t easy – I will likely use it less.

I plan to make several of these bags to use as reusable grocery crochet bags from this free pattern, because here in California we are all about saving the planet (and they charge you for bags here).

SKILL LEVEL

Beginner – Easy

MATERIALS & TOOLS

You will need the following tools:

You will need the following materials:

  • You will need approximately 4-5 oz or 300-400 (depending on your tension) yards of any medium (4) yarn.
  • You can use any other yarn weight you prefer, but this will change the size of your bag depending if you go up or down a size.
  • Additionally, if you use a lighter weight yarn you may end up using more than what is listed in the pattern.
  • This yarn amounts are based on the original design (and the projects by my testers).

If you want your bag to look exactly like mine, I used nearly exactly 5 oz of Caron’s Cotton Cake in Calico Flowers.

  • This is a medium (4) weight, 60% cotton 40% acrylic yarn. You may need more or less yarn depending on your gauge and yarn you choose.

GAUGE

Gauge isn’t terribly important, but here is mine for reference: 10 hdc in 4 rows = approximately 2 inches x 2 inches.

If you do not match gauge, you may end up with a smaller (or bigger) bag. The gauge isn’t terribly important as long as you don’t mind your bag being a different (larger or smaller, depending on your tension) size.

Additionally, you can use whatever yarn weight you prefer. This pattern is written to medium (4) Caron Cotton Cake, but my testers also used 100% acrylic medium (4), DK weight, etc. Their bags were different sizes based on these weights. Some of my testers matched gauge and some of them didn’t, so that portion is completely based on your preference. Regardless, you should end up with a bag that is more or less the size indicated.

FINISHED SIZE

The finished bag has the following dimensions, per this pattern and my gauge/tension.
Body Length: Approximately 13 inches
Body Width: Approximately 11 inches
Handle Length (from body of bag to top of shoulder): Approximately 13.5 inches
Handle Length (measuring entire handle as if it were flat): Approximately 32 inches.

You can change the length of the handle if you prefer and this will be explained in the handle portion of this pattern. I prefer longer handles so they can act as both an over the shoulder and cross body.

ABBREVIATIONS

  • Ch = chain
  • Mc = magic circle
  • Sc = single crochet
  • Hdc = half double crochet
  • Dc = double crochet
  • Sl st = slip stitch
  • Sk = skip
  • […] = pattern repeat
  • Rpt = repeat inside brackets

NOTES

  • Chains at the beginning of the row do not count unless otherwise noted.
    • This means you will always place your first stitch of the round in the same stitch.
  • This written pattern uses a magic circle to start.
    • You can, however, choose to begin in a chain round if you prefer. In this case, you would chain 4 and sl st to the first chain to create your circle.
  • This pattern is worked completely in closed rounds.
    • When slip stitching to close your round, ALWAYS slip stitch to the first stitch of your round, not your chains.
    • So, for example, to start your new round you will chain 2 and place a double crochet in the same stitch. You will continue working around as the instructions indicate. When you reach the end of the round, slip stitch to the first actual dc of the round, not the chains.
    • This will also be referenced throughout the pattern.

How to Crochet this Market Bag

R1 – In mc, ch 2 and  place 12 dc. Sl st to first dc to close. Pull tight. (12)

R2 – ch 2, place 2 dc in each stitch around. Sl st to close (24).

R3 – ch 2, [1 dc first stitch, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (36).

R4 – ch 2, [1 dc next 2 stitches, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (48).

R5 – ch 2, [1 dc next 3 stitches, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (60).

R6 – ch 2, [1 dc next 4 stitches, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (72).

R7 – ch 2, [1 dc next 5 stitches, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (84).

R8 – ch 2, [1 dc next 6 stitches, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (96).

R9 – ch 2, [1 dc next 7 stitches, 2 dc next] Repeat 11 more times. Sl st to first dc to close (108).

From here, your stitch count for the body of the bag will always be 108.

R10 – ch 1, hdc first stitch, ch 1, sk 1. [hdc next, ch 1, sk 1]. Repeat around for all stitches. Sl st to the first hdc to close. (108 stitches total: 54 hdc and 54 ch 1 spaces).
Your last hdc will be in the 2nd to last stitch of the round. Ch 1 is technically your “last” stitch.

R11 – sl st into ch 1 spc. Ch 1 and hdc in the same spc. Ch 1, sk 1, [hdc next ch 1 spc, ch 1, sk 1].  Repeat around for all stitches. Sl st to the first hdc to close. (108 stitches total: 54 hdc and 54 ch 1 spaces).
Same as previous row, your last hdc will be in the 2nd to last stitch of the round. Ch 1 is technically your “last” stitch.

R12 through 38 – Repeat Round 11.

R39 – Ch 1, place 1 hdc in each stitch and chain 1 space around. Sl st to first hdc to close. (108)

R40 – Ch 1, place 1 sc in each stitch around. Sl st to first sc to close close. (108)

Do not finish off. We are going to continue on to forming the handle with our working yarn.

Handles

To create the handle, there are two options. One is the “easier” option, and one is more advanced. Please choose the one that you feel fits your needs best.

OPTION 1 (EASY): You can easily make a handle for your bag separately from the body, if you prefer. To do this, trim the yarn from the body of the bag and begin working in rows.

Decide how wide you’d like your handle to be (for example, 6 stitches). Create a chain of the same amount plus 1 chain (for turning).

Place 1 hdc in the second chain from hook and each chain across. At the end, chain 1, turn, and place 1 hdc in each stitch across.

Continue working in this method until you have a handle of the appropriate length for you. Once completed, put a border on the handle (if you prefer) and then use a separate length of yarn and your tapestry needle to sew the handle onto the body of the bag.

OPTION 2 (ADVANCED): 

To begin forming the handle, we are going to make one long chain and sl st into the 54th stitch of the last row of the body of the bag to form the foundation.

From there, we will work stitches into both sides of the chain to create the width of the handle.

If you want a shorter (or longer) handle, chain more or less to achieve your desired length. For example, I would start by chaining 120 and slip stitching it into the indicated stitch. Carefully hang the bag on your shoulder to check the length. If it is too long (or not long enough), subtract or add chains as you see fit.

Begin Working the Handle:

Chain 120.

Now, refer back to the last round of your bag (Round 40). Starting from the next stitch to the left after your chain, begin counting 54 stitches across the last round of the bag. Sl st into the 54th stitch, being careful not to twist your chain. Do not turn.

R41 – Ch 1 and place 1 sc in the same stitch and the next 53 stitches of the main bag to meet the other side of the chain (which is now where you began chaining after R40).

You will now want to work up along the chain, placing 1 hdc in each of the 120 chains across. Sl st to the first sc to close.

R42 – Ch 1, DO NOT TURN. Place 1 sc in each stitch around both the body of the bag and the handle. Sl st to the first sc to close.

Now we have to work the other side of the handle, otherwise it is going to look a bit wonky!

You will now want to join your yarn on the unworked side of your handle in the same stitch as your chains.

Once joined, repeat R41 and R42. Once completed, finish off by trimming your yarn and weave ends.

And you’re done!

Now you can shop with peace of mind after creating your easy crochet market bag from this free pattern.

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