I’ve been knitting up a bunch of Market Bags for my Etsy shop (which is LIVE, by the way!). I’m using the Ilene Bag as my base pattern. Here are my alterations if you want to make your own!

Start from the top, casting on 100 stitches, then knit in garter for about 8 rows. Start the lace pattern (Row 1: Knit, Row 2: K2TOG, YO) and do that at least once with smaller needles before switching to larger needles.

When you’re done with the stretchy lace portion, switch back to smaller needles for decreases. I put markers evenly to make 4 sections (every 25 stitches) and make the following decreases:

  • Row 1- Knit
  • Row 2- SM, SSK, Knit across to last 2 stitches before marker, K2TOG, SM

If I want eyelets in the bottom of the bag as the original pattern had, I do this on the decrease rows:

  • Row 2- SM, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG, knit across to last 4 stitches before marker, K2TOG, YO, K2TOG, SM

I repeat until I get down to 8 stitches, then tie up the bottom.

This allows me to pick up from the top wherever I want my handles and how wide. I usually pick up 12 stitches on the handle, then decrease every other garter row until I have 8 stitches, garter stitch until my handle is long enough, increase every other row until I’m back up to 12 stitches, then join on the other side using Kitchener join for garter. Sometimes I’ll make a really skinny handle, decreasing to 4 or 6 stitches.

You can check out my Market Bags on Ravelry. Or if you just want to buy one, check out Fire Tower Knits!

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