This is one of those projects where size doesn’t matter…or gauge either. It can be knit on any size needles, but obviously, bigger is better to get a nice, large-holed, stretchy lace effect. Combined with sturdy cotton yarn, this market bag will last a long time, replacing the unnecessary and wasteful plastic shopping bags and is washable to boot!
I used up some remaining balls (3) of Bernat’s Handicrafter Cotton in an Apricot/Sand colour and it gives the finished product a nice, self-striping pattern. I used 5.5 mm (U.S. # 9) straight needles for the bag and 4.5 mm (U.S.# 7) DPN’s for the handles.
Speaking of the handles, they were a fun and totally new technique for me. Called an I-Chord, it is knit in such a way so that it comes out like a tube, just like knitting in the round, only done with 2 needles! I was duly impressed with how easy it was, and they are extremely durable, holding the weight of 6 large, heavy oranges very easily.
I have been knitting basic things for almost 30 yrs, but have just recently started paying attention to the many different tips, tricks and techniques that are used in the world of knitting. Ravelry is a great website for learning new things, as well as the Knitty site.
As for this market bag, I will definitely be making a few more to keep on hand, as well as they would make great gifts for bridal showers, baby showers, etc. My only complaint about the bag (and others who have made it on the Ravelry site) is that the opening isn’t very large after you knit the I-Chord trim and handles to the top edges. Next time I will widen the bag considerably to account for the gathering effect of the I-Chord.
For anyone wishing to make their own, you can find the pattern here.