Pike Place Market Bag

Feb 2, 2006
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by Julie Holetz


Pike Place Market BagThis bag was designed with two people in mind. My sister, who is about to add two boys to the family, and my mother, the eternal farmers market shopper. I loved the idea of the side pocket for a small water bottle or baby bottle. The wide body is a necessity for crusty French baguettes, flowers, market veggies, and diapers.

Materials List

900 yds pure wool for the body and sides, 220 yds for the assembly and straps, and some scrap wool for the contrast stitching if desired. (Anne Frost's bag, pictured in gray, used Reynolds Lite Lopi - 6 skeins for the body, 3 skeins contrast color for the sides and straps, and 1 skein of another contrast color for stitching)

Annes BagRed/orange sample used:

  • Patons Classic Wool (100% Pure Virgin Wool/100 g/3.5 oz/223 yds worsted weight) MC: 4 skeins Paprika
  • Cascade 220 (100% Wool/100 g/3.5 oz/220 yds worsted weight): CC 1 skein 9404 red
  • 1-2 ozs wool in shades of theme color for stitching
  • size I (5.5mm) hook
  • optional size J (6mm) hook for foundation chain on strap, see note
  • Thick yarn needle for weaving ends, attaching straps, and embellishments.

Finished Size

Before felting = 24”w x 15”l

After felting = 16”w x 11”l


5”x5” = 15 sts x 12 rows


  • After making the bag I realized my sister would need two pockets for the twins' bottles. You should have enough yarn to make both sides with pockets. To be sure, simply make up the sides first, following pocket side directions, then make up the body of the bag.
  • market bag with bottle and flowersWhen making up the straps, it’s a good idea to use a “J” hook to make the foundation chain then switch to the smaller hook for the remaining rows. During the felting process, the foundation chain will typically end up tighter than the last row.
  • Finally, the pattern was designed with the sides of the bag 1” below the top of the main body. If you want the sides to be even with the top, simply make the sides 15” and 24” and attach them level to the top of the bag. Felting is more art than science, so some degree of variance in measurements can be expected.

The Pattern

Begin Side 1

With MC, ch 18

R1 Hdc in 3 rd ch from hook, hdc in each st across. Ch 2, turn.

R2 Hdc in first st and each st across. Ch 2, turn. – 17 hdc

Repeat row 2 for 14”. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Side 2 – pocket

With MC, ch 18

R1 Hdc in 3 rd ch from hook, hdc in each st across. Ch 2, turn.

R2 Hdc in first st and each st across. Ch 2, turn. – 17 hdc

Repeat row 2 for 23”. Fasten off. Weave in ends.


With MC, chain 73

R1 Hdc in 3 rd ch from hook, hdc in each st across. Ch 2, turn.

R2 Hdc in first st and each st across. Ch 2, turn. – 72 hdc

Repeat row 2 for 35”. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Fold top 1” of bag down and tack in place along bottom edge. This will give added strength to the bag.

To assemble bag

pocketFold Side 2 to form pocket. Once folded this side should be the same size as the other side, about 14”. With WS facing each other, pin side 2 to bag beginning 1” below top. With contrast color, and beginning at the top of the bag, work a row of sc to attach side, working through all layers. Work one row of sl st back around. Fasten off. Weave in ends.

Pin and attach other side in the same manner. Fasten off. Weave in ends.



Straps – Make 2

With cc, ch 126

R1 Hdc in 3 rd ch from hook, hdc in each st across. Ch 2, turn.

R2-4 Hdc in first st and each st across. Ch 2, turn. – 125 hdc

Fasten off. Weave in ends.

To felt

Throw bag and straps into a zippered pillowcase, with a pair of jeans or old shoes, and about ¼ cup of baking soda OR some dish detergent. Wash on hot/cold setting. Do not let the wash go to spin cycle, which could cause the bag to stretch out of shape. Check bag and straps after each cycle. If neede, reshape strap, by pulling, to keep it from curling and felting into itself. Swipe your hand through the pocket to make sure there is no felting to the body of the bag. Continue cycles until bag measures 16”w x 11” l. Sample took 2 cycles. Remove from wash and roll in a towel to remove excess water. Bag may look distorted. Gently, but firmly, reshape bag and straps. If needed, bag may be placed in the dryer for a little bit. Place bag out to dry. Insert a form to help bag keep its shape. I used a plastic drawer from my craft cart.


After bag is dry, attach handles using running stitch. Place each strap 4” from the top of the bag and 4” in from the side. For extra security, tack down the inside of the handles where they join to the top of the bag.

You can use any embellishment you wish. I intended to make this flower by cutting my felted swatches, in various colors, to the template and sewing them together. Instead, I found a cheap vinyl remnant at my local fabric store. I cut the vinyl to the template and sewed them into place using a thick yarn needle and a little force.

To make flower in the sample, you just need some fabric remnant or felted swatches and some scrap yarn.

Crocheted button center

Round 1: Ch 2. Place 10 sc in 1 st ch and join to beginning of round with sl st.

click for full-size imageRound 2: Ch 1. Work 2 sc in each st around and join with sl st.

Round 3: Ch 1. Rev sc around and join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Trace and cut flower templates (click thumbnail at right for full-size image). Layer flower with crocheted, or ready made, button on top. Sew through all layers with thick yarn needle and attach to bag like a button.

The author has licensed this page under a Creative Commons License. Some rights reserved.

+ Add a comment


DIANA wrote
on May 17, 2006 11:52 AM


Constance Smith wrote
on Aug 1, 2006 5:45 PM
I L O V E this bag. If only the instructions were for knitting also. How delighted I'd be if I could knit one like this. This would be the greatest knitted bag ever.

ps. I wonder if I'm being subtle enough?

cdufkmsye hdiuctvyp wrote
on Aug 22, 2006 9:39 PM

fagcewy ylijdanhz btmolpgar vjhfec ublf nubgwmcre lgfshvcoy

Susan H wrote
on Sep 20, 2006 9:01 AM
Hi Julie,
Love this nice big bag with pockets! I'm sure you designed it to be a felted project but I haven't tried felting yet. How do you think it would work out if I constructed it as written and added a lining and I'm guessing something on the inside bottom to help it keep it's shape. Any advice appreciated.

I also want to compliment you on your Baby It's Cold Outside jacket. I crochet for a preemie charity group and made it with fine baby yarn and matching hook and shortened the arms a bit and it turned out fantastic!

Laurie wrote
on Sep 26, 2006 9:42 AM

I'm a beginner crocheter and have no idea what a "running stitch" is in regards to crochet. Can you direct me further on that? Thanks!

skamama wrote
on Oct 24, 2006 6:38 PM

Hi! To figure out how big to make a bag that will be felted, it's relatively safe enough to use 20-25% as a shrink number. So, say you want a bag that is 10" x 10" after felting. You divide 10" by .75 to get 13" (how big your bag should be before felting). Next, you make a swatch to see what your stitches per inch are to determine how many stitches you need to make the bag 13" wide. You can use this in knitting as well. To get the actual shrink factor for your yarn, you just knit a swatch that is about 7"x7" and felt it. Then measure and that will be your shrink factor. This bag is just a few rectangles that are folded and joined together. Give it a try. Felting is pretty forgiving of any mistakes.

skamama wrote
on Oct 24, 2006 6:40 PM

Hi! I think the bag would work unfelted. I would try to give it a tighter knit by using a smaller hook, say H/8 (5.0 mm). Also using a cotton yarn or carrying a cotton thread along with any other yarn will give the bag added structural stability. A lining would be a great idea as well. Give it a try. Thank you for your compliments.

Laura wrote
on Dec 22, 2006 7:21 PM

Awsome bag!! i did all one yarn, varigated though. This was my first intentionaly felted project ;o) Love your pattern!!

Jennifer Lang wrote
on Jan 9, 2007 10:33 PM
I have made a very similar bag from a knitted pattern. It works great.

You can see pictures of it on Flicker.com in my photo stream under jendle66.

JoAnn wrote
on Jan 15, 2007 11:31 AM

I LOVE this bag!! I am anxiously awaiting my husband to get off work to go buy the yarn! I LOVE the pocket idea, because all the felted bags I have seen do not have pockets, to put your phone, keys in on the outside. TY TY TY A WONDERFUL designer you are.

Cathy wrote
on Jan 17, 2007 12:54 PM

Thanks for the fun project, I used some leftover yarn both solids of blue and purple with varigated added for more contrast. The best part I discovered was when finished, the bag is reversable! I get 2 different color patterns with contrast stiches, a pocket on inside or outside and the same for the handles. I too like the idea of a more structured bottom, in fact the bottom was hard to figure from the pattern. I extended one side panel accross the entire width of bottom edge rectangle for added width. Not sure if you intended a bottom or not. Thanks again, I went out and got some yarn on sale $2.49 Lions Brand Wool 3.5 oz. in all varigated.

Emily wrote
on Apr 12, 2007 3:31 PM

I made this bag for my mom for her birthday! A leafy green with hot pink contrast. She loved it, thanks for the great idea!!

Maryann wrote
on Jun 13, 2007 1:52 PM

Thanks for this great design, I've made three in various colors and they all have turned out great and were loved as gifts. Here's the late one I've made if you want to see it!


SherriK@2 wrote
on Oct 26, 2007 7:43 AM

I love this bag and can not wait to try to make it myself! I think this would make some awesome Christmas gifts! Thank you so much for sharing your design

penguin813 wrote
on Oct 17, 2008 8:08 PM

This is a beautiful bag! I love it. It is similar to the one that I use at school every day. Though I sewed that one. I'm also curious as to what a running stitch is.

gocrochet wrote
on Oct 27, 2008 11:34 AM

That is cool

Lettetia wrote
on Dec 6, 2008 1:56 PM

Fabulous Bag! I can't wait to finish my gift making so I can make one of these for my own!

Never live life to fits someone else's expectations but GOD's

suzypoozie wrote
on Mar 31, 2010 9:43 PM

what a beautiful pattern!  Thank you so much!!  I am so excited for my first bag project and my first felted project!  I think it's going to turn out great, but after a few cycles through the wash, it's still 18 inches instead of 16.  Could it be my hot water isn't hot enough?