Wednesday, May 11, 2016

It's My Bag, Baby Market Bag

It's My Bag, Baby Market Bag
The name just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

First of all, let me apologize for the two-week hiatus: we took a lovely trip to Sardinia (you can find photos on my Instagram account, if you're interested), and three kids in a hotel room is enough to keep your hands full without an extra skein of yarn thrown in the mix! Luckily, while I was vacationing, I was also blocking this sweet little market bag back at home. Made with just about 350 yards of worsted weight yarn and a faux i-cord design, it's sturdy, functional, and attractive. In fact, it's so sturdy that I loaded it up with a bag of apples, seven oranges, three peppers, and my 4 year-old's favorite stuffed toy for the pictures. Long story short, if you'd like to knit a bag that won't lose its shape the first time you use it, this one is for you!

Yarn: Schachenmayr Catania Grande (100% Cotton; 68 yards [63 meters]/50 grams); #3281 Orange - 5 to 6 skeins (I squeaked by with 5, but just barely)

A better look at the handle

Needles: One set of double pointed needles (dpns) in size US 7, one 16" or 24" circular needle, also in size US 7, one 16" or 24" circular needle in size US 6, one needle in size US 8 for provisional cast on (optional), and one cable needle (cn)

Notions: Tapestry needle, stitch marker

Gauge: 17 stitches = 4 inches

And with that out of the way, let's make a bag! First, then, we'll start with the handles. And I should tell you that you have two options at this point, as well: later on, when you finish the bag, you can either attach the handles by seaming normally, or with a three needle bind off. If you'd like to go the seaming route, using your size 7 needles, cast on 12 stitches loosely. If you'd like to use the three needle bind off at the end, using your size 8 needle, cast on 12 stitches provisionally, and then transfer work to your size 7 needles (this is also why the size US 8 needle is optional!). 

Anyway, once you're done with your cast on for either method, we'll continue to work the handle as you'll find below. Remember that you can pull the yarn tight before your 4 slipped stitches both in the handle and when you work the bag later; that's your faux i-cord that provides the bag its nice, sturdy shape! So let's work like so:

Handle Row 1 (wrong side): k4, p4, k4

Handle Row 2: k4, sl4 wyib, k4

Work handle rows 1 & 2 until the handle measures roughly 12" and you've just finished row 2 of the pattern. If you're seaming, bind off loosely. If you're using the three needle bind off, transfer live stitches to a scrap of yarn to bind off later when you attach it to the bag. Make another. And then, it's time to start the main attraction!

With that goal in mind, then, and using your size 7 dpns, cast on 8 stitches, and then distribute evenly between 4 dpns (usually I work things on 3 dpns; however, given the construction of this bag, 4 will make it a lot easier to work). Join in round. Then we'll work the bottom of the bag, with increases, as you'll find below. To do this, we'll need the following notation:

back cross (bc): slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cn

front cross (fc): slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cn

Remember you can always work those cables without a cable needle. And once we're comfortable with the notation, we'll continue like so:

Increase Row 1: knit

Increase Row 2: * m1r, k2, m1l; rep from * (16 stitches)

Increase Row 3: knit

Increase Row 4: * k1, m1r, k2, m1l, k1 * (24 stitches)

Increase Row 5: knit

Increase Row 6: * k1, m1r, k4, m1l, k1 * (32 stitches)

Increase Row 7: * k2, slip 4 stitches with yarn in back (sl4 wyib), k2 *

Increase Row 8: * k2, m1r, k4, m1l, k2 * (40 stitches)

Increase Row 9: * k3, sl4 wyib, k3 *

Increase Row 10: * k3, m1r, k4, m1l, k3 * (48 stitches)

Increase Row 11: * k4, sl4 wyib, k4 *

Increase Row 12: * bc, m1r, k4, m1l, fc * (56 stitches)

Increase Row 13: * k5, sl4 wyib, k5 *

Increase Row 14: * k5, m1r, k4, m1l, k5 * (64 stitches)

Increase Row 15: * k6, sl4 wyib, k6 *

Increase Row 16: * m1r, k2, bc, k4, fc, k2, m1l * (72 stitches)

Increase Row 17: * k7, sl4 wyib, k7 *

Increase Row 18: * k1, yo, k16, yo, k1 * (80 stitches)

Increase Row 19: * k8, sl4 wyib, k8 *

Increase Row 20: * k2, yo, bc, k8, fc, yo, k2 * (88 stitches)

Increase Row 21: * k9, sl4 wyib, k9 *

Increase Row 22: * k3, yo, k16, yo, k3 * (96 stitches) 

Increase Row 23: * k10, sl4 wyib, k10 *

Increase Row 24: * k4, yo, k2, bc, k4, fc, k2, yo, k4 * (104 stitches)

Increase Row 25: * k11, sl4 wyib, k11 *

Increase Row 26: * k5, yo, k16, yo, k5 * (112 stitches)

Increase Row 27: * k12, sl4 wyib, k12 *

Increase Row 28: * k6, yo, bc, k8, fc, yo, k6 * (120 stitches)

Knit increase rows 1 - 28, and then transfer work to your size US 7 circular needle (it should fit on either length). Now we're done with the bottom of our bag, and will continue to work, without increases, like so:

Rows 1, 3, 5, & 7: * k13, sl4 wyib, k13 *

Row 2: * k5, ssk, yo, k16, yo, k2tog, k5 *

Row 4: * k5, ssk, yo, k2, bc, k4, fc, k2, yo, k2tog, k5 * 

Row 6: * k5, ssk, yo, k16, yo, k2tog, k5 *

Row 8: * k5, ssk, yo, bc, k8, fc, yo, k2tog, k5 *

Knit rows 1 - 8 until piece measures roughly 12" along faux i-cord and you've just finished row 8 of the pattern. Then, transfer work your size US 6 circular needle, and we'll work the edging, as follows. Note that you'll need the following notation to continue:

rt (right twist): knit two together, leaving stitches on left-hand needle; next, insert right-hand needle from the front between the two stitches just knitted together, and knit the first stitch again.  Finally, slip both stitches from left-hand needle together

lt (left twist): with right-hand needle behind left-hand needle, skip one stitch and knit the second stitch in back loop; then insert right-hand needle into the backs of both stitches and k2tog-b (knit two together through back loops, inserting right needle from the right)

And once you've got that, we'll continue like so:

Edging Row 1: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, ssk, k4, sl4 wyib, k4, k2tog, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 * (122 stitches)

Edging Row 2: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, k14, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 *

Edging Row 3: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, ssk, k3, sl4 wyib, k3, k2tog, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 * (114 stitches)

Edging Row 4: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, k12, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 *

Edging Row 5: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, lt, k2, sl4 wyib, k2, rt, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 * 

Edging Row 6: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p2, k10, p2, k1, p2, k2, p1 *

Edging Row 7: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, k1, lt, k1, sl4 wyib, k1, rt, k1, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 *

Edging Row 8: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p3, lt, k4, rt, p3, k1, p2, k2, p1 *

Edging Row 9: * p1, k2, p2, k1, p1, k4, sl4 wyib, k4, p1, k1, p2, k2, p1 *

Work edging rows 1 - 9. If you're making the seamed version of the bag, bind off loosely, in pattern. If you're using the three needle bind off, transfer the stitches on each end of each handle to a dpn to work the bind off. Then, on the bag, bind off 7 stitches loosely in pattern. Bind off the next 12 stitches using a three needle bind off, seaming together the bag and the end of your first handle. Then, bind off the next 14 stitches of the bag loosely in pattern, and then repeat the three needle bind off with the other end of the first handle, being careful not to twist the handle. Repeat for the second handle, attaching it, like the first, to line up with the faux i-cord in the bag. Oh, and if you're making the seamed version of the bag, now's your chance to seam your handles to the bag, attaching them so that the faux i-cords line up.

For both versions, tuck in ends and block aggressively, or your bag will look like a shriveled-up... yeah, I'm not coming up with anything PG-rated to end that sentence with, but just take my word and block it!


  1. Hi Gretchen,
    Glad to have you back! This is a beautiful bag and I plan to start on it right away. It will be a gift for a close friend of mine. Glad you had a great time with your husband and sons. I too, had 3 sons. Enjoy them. They grow up too fast!
    happy knitting,

    1. Thank you! And yes, my littlest is now 2... time is flying!!! :)

  2. Don't you dare apologize for enjoying your life and vacation! You are amazing!! Thank you for this adorable bag.

    1. That's very sweet, thank you! :) And I'm glad you like the bag!!!

  3. I'm one of your biggest fans. Thanks so much for the cute pattern once again. I don't know how you find time to knit with 3 boys, let alone come up with all these creative patterns. You are Superwoman! Hugs, Kimmy

    1. Well, mostly I am just Supercrankywoman if I don't get time to knit! Luckily the kids appreciate my hobby, especially when I'm making things for them!!!! Oh, and I'm glad you like the pattern. I thought this bag turned out very well. :)

  4. Lovely looking bag. I've been looking for cotton knit bag pattern for about a week. Thanks for posting photos, especially if the bottom. I saw how the cables increased in size. I saw in my head what I thought they would look like. Photo saves my brain from thinking too hard!!

    1. I understand that - I try to get photos from all angles, if I can, for exactly that reason!!! Anyway, glad you like the pattern, and let me know if you have any questions. :)

  5. Thanks for sharing this lovely bag pattern. I can't wait to go shopping and get some thick wool to begin making a couple for myself. Also want to ask if you per chance have a patter for a man's belaclava - preferrably one with 2 eye holes and a small space for the mouth. If so, please send to attention Penny. My son-in-law is constantly asking me to make him one but I haven't been able to find a suitable pattern. Hope you can help me. Have a lovely day! Respectfully, Penny

    1. Hi Penny!

      I'm glad to hear you like this pattern. :) And, unfortunately, I don't have a balaclava pattern like that right now. Have you tried Ravelry? This one is unfortunately not free but seems like what you're describing:

  6. Thank you for sharing this lovely pattern. I'm sure all my family and friends will like their own bags since I can see any number of ways to vary this pattern to suit any situation. Thanks a million for sharing! Have a lovely day. GrandmaG

    1. Glad you like it!!! It sounds like there are lots of lucky people you knit for. :) And let me know if you have any questions!!!

  7. What method of blocking did you use? I've heard both steam and wet blocking will work for cotton.

    1. I wet blocked it. Although I can imagine that steam would do well too... :)

  8. How do you ssk? Do you slip both stitchs knitwise, or the first knitwise and second purlwise? I've seen it done both ways. Thanks

    1. Hi!

      Personally, I slip both knitwise but this is definitely one of those things where you are welcome to do it your own way! :)