How To Knit A Market String Bag

Today’s free pattern and tutorial is for an easy, eco-friendly knit market bag! This shopping tote is simple to knit and is designed with new knitters in mind.

Using basic stitches and a simple shape (it’s basically a tube), you can whip several out to go shopping in no time. 🙂  I also have a crochet version available HERE. 

With more and more stores limiting the use of plastic bags, it only makes sense to think of what we can use as alternatives.

I’ve made a couple of knit bags over the years,the Aspen Mountain Bag & The Farmers Market Bag,  but hadn’t made a bag that I could really put to use for groceries.  Plastic is a real hazard for our planet and I’ve seen some scary statistics about it lately!

It’s kind of nice to know that when we knit this project, not only are we having fun, but we are taking a small step to help our earth. It’s also just a cute bag, sooooo with that, let’s get to it!

What Yarn To Use for A Knit Market Tote

For this project, I chose to use Lion Brand Yarn Re-Up, however, it’s been discontinued. The great thing is that you can use any yarn you like!

Simply grab any worsted weight #4 or light yarn that you have! Cotton is always nice for these bags, but the sky is the limit.

Again, this is a cotton blend, worsted weight yarn, but feel free to use any other comparable yarn that you might have on hand.

My bag uses two colors just to add a little interest, but you can use as many or as few colors as you’d like.

How Do I Knit This Market Bag?

Grab your circular needles! There isn’t a lot of counting, which is awesome, and no shaping with this pattern.  Essentially, you will be knitting a tube, from the bottom-up .

The bag’s finished by seaming the bottom closed and adding handles at the end.  The stitches are all super basic, and this is a fun pattern to try if you’ve wanted to work in the round.

The mesh stitch used in this pattern is so versatile. 

I also used it in my Honeycombs Easy Scarf Knitting Pattern HERE.  While the scarf pattern is knit flat, there is a helpful video tutorial included (here).  Definitely check it out if you feel clueless on starting this stitch!  It’s super easy once you get going!

Scroll down to see the full pattern!  You can also find the ad-free, printable version in my Etsy Shop HERE!

Below: Love this Re-Up yarn. It’s got a great, sturdy, texture.  Any good cotton or acrylic will work though!

Picture Tutorial How To Assemble The Knit Market Tote

You’ll seam the bottom closed (pictured below)

To shape, fold the bottom corners in slightly (such a great, beginner friendly hack!)

Attach handles with a sturdy slip stitch seam (if you can crochet) or basic whip stitch (below).

Pattern DescriptionCut back on plastic by using this pretty, eco-friendly net bag.  Perfect to haul produce or take along to your local farmers markets. The beginner friendly pattern is easy to follow and quick to make.

Skill Level:

Easy +


US Size 9, 5.5 mm 16” circular knitting needles

2 Lion Brand Yarn Re-Up (HERE) in Grey 70 g/skein

1 Lion Brand Yarn Re-Up (HERE) in Ecru 70 g/skein

Pattern uses approximately 140 g worsted weight yarn


Tapestry needle

Sizes/Dimensions (approximate): 14” wide x 14”tall

Abbreviations & Skills:

k – knit

p – purl

k2tog – knit two together (decrease)

yo – yarn over


Not important for this pattern.


This bag is knit from the bottom-up and is knit in the round. You’re basically making a tube that you will seam and close at the bottom! Handles are knit separately and are attached with your preferred seaming method.  If you’re familiar with crochet, the slip stitch seam was used on the handles for the bag that is pictured. The bag here uses two colors for a nice contrast, but you can make this with just one color as well!

Eco Market String Bag Knitting Pattern Instructions

(Ad-free, printable pattern, including helpful photos can be purchased in my Etsy shop HERE)

With Ecru, cast on 92 sts, join to knit in the round

Seed Stitch Bottom

Rd 1 *K1, p1; repeat from * around

Rd 2 * P1, k1; repeat from * around

Repeat rounds 1 & 2 for approximately 2″, working the seed stitch

Next, change color to Grey & move onto the Main Body of Bag Section

Main Body of Bag 

Rnd 1 *K2tog, yo; repeat from * around

Rnd 2 Knit each st around

Rnd 3 *yo, k2tog; repeat from * around

Rnd 4 Knit each st around

Repeat rows 1-4 until entire bag is approximately 12” tall.

Finish by working 2” of seed stitch, following the same stitch pattern as in the Seed Stitch Bottom section.

Cast off and weave in ends.

Block to shape and size as desired.

Seam & Shaping

With a whip stitch or preferred seaming method, sew the bottom of the bag closed.  Next, fold the two bottom corners inward. Tie each of them down with a length of yarn and weave in ends.


With Grey, cast on 7 stitches.

Knit each row until the handle is approximately 20” long (keep in mind that it will stretch and become longer when used).  Make it as long or short as you’d like.

Cast off and weave in ends.

Sew the handle to the bag with a slip stitch crochet seam or a whip stitch seam.

Enjoy your new, planet-saving, eco bag! 🙂

I’d love to see if you knit one – just tag me @mamainastitch on Instagram or post a pic on my Facebook page!!


If you liked this, you might also like:

Bobbles Circle Tote Pattern

Jute Summer Circle Bag Pattern

How To Knit A Market String Bag

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  1. Hello. I look forward and enjoy your posts, thank you. Hope you and your family stay safe in the current virs. From Australia

    1. Are the stitches supposed to decrease by 1 for every time you finish Rows 1-4 of the honeycomb pattern?

  2. Do you have a recommendation for knitting this lovely bag with a 72% cotton/28% nylon bulky (5) yarn? I will try the Re-up yarn, but can’t wait to try this:) Size of needles and cast on number, that is! Love your blog, BTW! Thanks you!

  3. I have 4 daughters and plan to make 3 bags for each of them – ecru, grey and yellow. Math tells me a total of 12 and I am almost halfway there. Feeling thrilled with the pattern ………..and a little proud of myself!

  4. Thanks so much for knitting patterns! I have tried crochet and you make it look so easy. I ordered 4 skeins of Scarfie to make your cardigan but just couldn’t get the crossed half double crochet. I found a couple patterns to use that yarn. I am making the knitted market bag now and just about to start on the body! Love these bags! I always share your patterns on Facebook . They are always a big hit!

  5. Do you have any comments or recommendations as far as the strength of the bag? Admittedly I did not use the recommended yarn but I am finding that there is a lot of “stretch” to the bag. Can you recommend any other types of yarn that might work well with this project? Thank you!

  6. I thought I would give a try and tackle this eco market bag as I’ve never made anything like this before…I am loving making it and can’t wait to finish it and use it !! My daughter has already requested a couple!! Thank you for this pattern!!

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