What is it about a French woman that is just so effortlessly perfect? I've read many books and blog posts and how-tos and it still remains a mystery to me. I've decided it must be something in the water. But I always enjoy adding elements to my life that will give me a little of that "je ne sais quoi." And my latest obsession is this simple but oh-so-chic market bag inspired by the traditional French net grocery bag. Continue on to the free pattern, or purchase a printable, ad-free version here. You can also purchase a kit containing all the yarn you'll need directly from Lion Brand here.
This bag just screams to be filled with beautiful things and simple but elegant ingredients - flowers, beach essentials, leafy greens, wedges of fancy cheese, and loaves of bread ... lots of loaves of bread. Seriously, the last time I was in Paris I saw beautiful women everywhere walking around with baguettes protruding from their bags. I want to be one of those women.
This bag came together thanks to my ongoing collaboration with Lion Brand Yarn. I worked it up in my favorite color (charcoal) of their 24/7 Cotton, which I've been obsessed with ever since I used it for my Movie Night Cocoon Cardi and Coffee Shop Wrap. I've seen tons of mesh market bags like this designed by other makers, but almost all of them are worked in the round from the bottom up, and most of them have a solid bottom before the mesh starts on the side. I actually designed a knitted version a few years ago called the Farmers' Market Tote in that style. But after studying one of the original French market bags I realized that they are not actually made in the round but rather in a large square that is then gathered quite closely on the two sides where the handles go and a little less on the other two sides to form the sack shape. This allows for optimum expansion of the bag.
Whether you fill it with groceries or beach supplies, this beauty is perfect for summer and fall days and you can be sure I'll be sporting it pretty much everywhere I go - probably with some baguettes sticking out :)
Although the stitch work is simple, the construction is a little unconventional, so I would consider this an intermediate level pattern. But if you've been crocheting for a while, have knowledge of basic crochet stitches, and are familiar with the anatomy of a stitch, then I would definitely encourage you to give this a shot! The techniques involved are single crochet, single crocheting 2 and 3 stitches together, half double crochet, treble crochet, chaining and skipping stitches, working into chain spaces, and working in back and forth rows as well as in the round.
If you're like me you're gonna want one of these babies in every color of the rainbow, so I suggest getting started ASAP!
*All Two of Wands patterns are written in standard US terms*
Ch - chain
Hdc - half double crochet
Rep - repeat
Sc - single crochet
Sc2tog - single crochet 2 together
Sc3tog - single crochet 3 together
Sk - skip
Sl st - slip stitch
Sp - space
St(s) - stitch(es)
Tr - treble
Note: Pattern is first worked in back and forth rows to form a square, which is then gathered with decrease rounds to cinch and create bag. Strap length can be adjusted.
Row 1: Starting in 11th ch from hook, tr 1, *ch 3, sk 3, tr 1 in next ch, rep from * to end of row.
Row 2: Ch 7 (counts as 1 tr and 1 ch-3 sp), tr 1 in top of next tr, *ch 3, tr 1 in top of next tr, rep from * with last tr going into 4th ch of turning ch from row below.
Rep row 2 until you have 34 vertical “squares” to match the number of horizontal “squares.”
Do not cut yarn. Block work. Begin working decrease rows to cinch top edge together.
Row 1: Ch 1, sc 1 in 1st tr, sc 2 in next ch sp, *sc 1 in next tr, sc 2 in next ch sp, rep from * across row. (102 sts)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc3tog across row. (34 sts)
Row 3: Ch 1, *sc 1, sc2tog, rep from * to last st, sc 1. (23 sts)
Rows 4-9: Ch 2 (does not count as a st), hdc across row.
Cut yarn and reattach on opposite edge at beginning of foundation chain.
Row 1: Ch 1, sc 3 in 1st ch sp, *sc 1 in ch at bottom of next tr, sc 2 in next ch sp, rep from * across row. (102 sts)
Rep rows 2-9 above along this bottom edge.
Do not cut yarn. You will now work in rounds around all 4 edges of the work to join the bag and add the straps. Begin by working down the side edge instead of back over the row you just worked. Use a stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round. Note that in round 1, the “ch 74” is what creates the straps, which are 20”/51cm – for longer or shorter straps, add or subtract ch sts.
Round 1: Ch 1, and working into side edge, sc 9 evenly down the side of hdc and sc decrease rows (until you reach the net portion), place marker, sc 3 in 1st ch sp, *sc 1 in side of ch 3, sc 2 in next ch sp, rep from * to end of net portion (102 sc along net portion), place marker, sc 9 evenly up side of hdc and sc decrease rows, ch 74, sc 9 evenly down other side of hdc and sc decrease rows (until you reach the net portion), place marker, sc 3 in 1st ch sp, *sc 1 in side of ch 3, sc 2 in next ch sp, rep from * to end of net portion (102 sc along net portion), place marker, sc 9 evenly up side of hdc and sc decrease rows, ch 74, sl st to 1st sc at beginning of round.
Round 2: Sc to marker at beginning of net portion, sc 1, sc2tog to 1 st before next marker, sc 1 (52 sts along net portion between markers), sc up side, into each chain, and down other side to next marker, sc 1, sc2tog to 1 st before next marker, sc 1 (52 sts along net portion between markers), sc up side and into each chain.
Rounds 3 and 4: Sc all the way around. Sl st to close off at end of round 4.
Secure and weave in all ends.
Purchase the printable, ad-free pattern here.
Purchase the kit from Lion Brand Yarn here.
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