Manhattan Market Tote – Crochet Pattern

Manhattan Crochet Tote Pattern Picture

With the arrival of spring, I just can’t wait to browse around the farmers’ markets and simply be OUTSIDE!  This crochet bag is what I’ve made (while it was snowing) with dreams of toting it around in the warmer months. I wanted to make it fairly sturdy, and didn’t want overly large holes for things to fall through. This bag has a strong bottom and a hefty handle.  I’m thinking that I can even use it as a book bag, which I desperately needed the last time I took my girl to the library.

Crochet Up Close Market Tote Pattern

It’s made with a larger size P crochet hook and chunky yarn so it works up pretty quickly. The “chunkiness” makes it feel like it can hold up to a lot of wear and tear.  It’s not a giant tote, but a convenient size that won’t get overly heavy.  It’s all done with basic stitches, but does use “center single crochet”. If you’ve never done it, I posted a picture of how it looks being done below (there’s a video tutorial link below as well).

Manhattan Crochet Market Tote Pattern Modern Pic

The bag’s named the Manhattan Tote because I plan to take it on a trip to Manhattan this summer and hit up several of the outdoor markets!  I think it’s cute enough to carry around in that stylish, hustling, bustling city, right?  This mountain girl can hang in the big city, right? 😉

Manhattan Crochet Market Tote Pattern Modern

Please scroll down to view the free pattern below, or you can purchase an inexpensive ad-free version from my Etsy Shop HERE


This tote is both sturdy and stylish making it the perfect carryall. The tight, woven-like texture on the base of that bag makes it stand out among other market bag designs.  The tight fabric keeps smaller items in the bag and prevents them from slipping out, while the mesh top lends to the market bag feel. This makes for a fun and useful crochet project!

You will need:

Three skeins of Lion Brand Yarn Heartland Thick & Quick (or comparable yarn)  (This pattern uses just over 2 skeins and 304 grams of yarn)  Size P 11.5 mm crochet hook

Tapestry needle



Approximately 14.5″ tall and 11″ wide **This is a medium sized market bag


This bag is worked from the base up in continuous rounds. You will start by creating a flat circle by crocheting in the round with single crochet stitches. From there you will work up with sides using the CSC stitch.  This is the “center single crochet” stitch.  This stitch is much like single crochet, but you work through the legs of the single crochet below. See my pictures on how to do it, or you can find some YouTube tutorials as well. Here is a good one from Moogly:

It definitely takes some “work”. Make sure you don’t crochet too tightly or it will be more difficult.  The CSC stitch doesn’t flow as quickly as regular single crochet, but you get the nice tight fabric that you see on this bag.  If you’re having too much trouble, just single crochet the bottom portion!

Abbreviations / Stitches:

ch – Chain

sc- single crochet

csc- center single crochet

st – stitch

sk – skip


Crochet how to csc
With my hook, I am grabbing one of the “legs” on the stitch below in order to get my hook through the fabric. I found this made it easier for me to get it through the center.  I then slide the hook through the center just as you do with a regular single crochet.
Crochet Tote - How to CSC
See how I am working into the “V”‘s instead of into the top of the stitch as in regular single crochet.

Crochet Tote Pattern

Crochet Attaching Handle to Bag
Working on the handle


Manhattan Crochet Tote Pattern

Base of Bag : (flat circle done in single crochet)

Ch 2

Round 1 Work 6 sc into 2nd chain from hook (mark the beginning of round with stitch marker each round if needed)

Round 2 2 sc each sc around. (12 stitches)

Round 3 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next. Repeat around. (18 stitches)

Round 4 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next two stitches. Repeat around.  (24 stitches)

Round 5 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next three stitches. Repeat around (30 stitches)

Round 6 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next 4 stitches. Repeat around (36 stitches)

Round 7 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next 5 stitches. Repeat around (42 stitches)

Round 8 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next 6 stitches. Repeat around (48 stitches). Skip stitch and slip stitch to join.  Now there will be 47 stitches in that round.

Lower half sides:

Round 9 Sc in each stitch around (47 stitches) (Mark your round)

Round 10  Csc in each stitch around.

Continue making csc stitches in continuous rounds for approximately 13 more rounds or 5″. No need to join at the end of each round.

Note: each round will continue to have 47 stitches each

Once you have approximately 5″ inches in height of csc stitches, you are then ready to move onto the upper half sides.

Upper half sides:

(This is where you will work the open looking stitches towards the upper half of the bag)

Next round: *Ch 2, sk stitch, slip stitch into next stitch* Repeat around

Next round and continuing for 14 rounds or about 6.5 inches – Chain 2, slip stitch into ch 2 stitch below. Repeat around.

Once you have 14 rounds of this pattern mesh pattern, you will move onto the top portion below.

Top Portion

Make 1 round of single crochet stitches (in order to be able to csc in the next round)

Make 3 continuous rounds of csc stitches. Tie off.


Row 1 Attach yarn to upper side of bag and single crochet 5 stitches across, ch 1, turn

Row 2 Csc across (4 stitches)

Repeat row 2 until handle is the length that you would like. Mine is 19” long.  Holding bag straight, attach handle to opposite side of bag. Whip stitch to join or used your preferred method.

Now, you will single crochet around each edge of the handle and along the top portion of the bag. This will make your handle look nice and neat.  Tie off, weave in all ends.

Attach a tassel if you wish!  If you’re not sure how, there are a lot of online and YouTube tutorials on how to make a simple tassel.

I hope you enjoy your sturdy little tote!

Be sure to follow along on my Facebook page  and subscribe for free to my blog for more free patterns. 🙂

Modern Crochet Market Tote Free Pattern

What do you think of this bag? I’d love to hear in the comments below! As always, let me know if you have any thoughts or questions about this pattern!

Manhattan Market Tote - Crochet Pattern

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  1. Very very cool!! It will totally work in the city! I like the color of it too. I might have to try this pattern out!
    Great job!

    1. You’re so sweet Amy. I’m glad you think I can pull it off in the city! I hope you have a great Easter!

  2. Very “authentic” market tote. So great for everything. It’s something I would make for myself and use until it just falls apart. It is totally my style. Thanks so much for sharing. Can’t wait til I can get started…after my hand heals from surgery #1 hopefully before surgery #2.

    1. I hope your hand heals quickly Nadine and that surgery #2 goes okay. That must be tough. I’m so happy you like the tote!

  3. I am starting this TONIGHT!! I love bags and there is always an occasion for one of these. Thank for the pattern a for teaching me a new stitch. 🙂

    1. Hi Izola! It’s my pleasure! Thanks for taking the time to let me know that you like the bag. I hope that you enjoy making it. The csc stitch can be a challenge but is fine when you get a feel for it.

  4. Love it. Definitely an upscale city tote. My problem is I don’t know how to crochet. Do you have a similar tote for a knitter? Enjoy your posts greatly!

    1. Hi Pat! I’m sorry, but for now I’ve only done this in crochet. I wish I could be of more help! I wonder if you did a search on Ravelry if any knit market totes may come up? Thanks for your kind words.

      1. can you tell me which color you used? It doesn’t look like the two lighter ones> thanks, carolyn

        1. Hi Carolyn, I used the color called “Katmai”. It’s a blend of grey and white. 🙂

          1. I really look forward to making this and using the csc have never done this before.
            Thank you

  5. You will be the hit of Manhattan with this bag!!! I had some bags I crocheted when I lived in Florida (before I moved back to Wyoming) and always had people ask where they could buy one. I made alot of my Florida friends bags before I moved back to the West! I am definitely going to make one of these Manhattan Market totes! Thank you dearly for the pattern!!!!!!

    1. Ha ha! Thanks Brenda. It’s my pleasure to share it with you! I’m so glad that you like the pattern. I imagine bags would be a nice thing to crochet in Florida as you wouldn’t want to make a lot of the cold weather gear that’s so popular! I am going to make a note in the pattern today that although the yarn is listed as super bulky it is more of a chunky yarn in my eyes. It’s not as “big” as some of the super bulky yarns I see. Just wanted you to know in case you get started on it soon! Hoping you have a nice spring in Wyoming. It looks like a blizzard outside here today!

      1. How I wish I would had some chunky yarn yesterday!! Snow bound at home with the blizzard!! Have some drifts well over 5 feet in front of the garage and over the fence!!! Hope you had an enjoyable day inside during the blizzard!!! 🙂

        1. Oh my goodness Brenda! You got hit really hard. It was bad here too and I made the mistake of driving to the store. They ended up closing the roads everywhere near my house and it was white out conditions. I was praying I’d make it home in one piece! Next time I’ll just stay home and crochet. Happy Easter to you Brenda!

    1. Hi Pauline:
      Here is what it says is per skein of yarn:

      5.00 oz./142 g (125 yd/114 m)

      This bag takes just over two skeins, so I hope this helps you in figuring it out!

  6. Hello !!

    the tote is simply adorable. I can’t wait to try to make it. Question, would you suggest lining it?

    1. You could definitely line it if you’d like! I see most bags like this without lining, but it’s totally personal preference. Let me know if you try that!

  7. This is really an amazing looking tote. I just hope I can do this as easily as you have made it look.

    1. I hope you can make it as easily as it looks as well! The center single crochet takes some getting used to. Let me know how it goes!

  8. Hi! I’m at the start of the top portion of the bag and I’m having a hard time knowing where to place the csc. Should there be a row of single crochet first? Please help if you can! 🙂

    1. I had the same problem, the comment and reply helped. Now I’m at the beginning of the handle and struggling. The 3 csc stitches in the middle of the handle are well defined, but the 4th stitch isn’t and I’m guessing that the 4th stitch is sometimes on the right and alternate times on the left because when I turn to do the next row I begin stitching in the second stitch. Hope that makes sense. I’m also thinking that this will work itself out when I do the finishing sc along the sides. Am I correct? Thanks. This is my first time crocheting, and it’s turned out beautifully because I took my time and ripped out when I goofed and watched youtube a lot in an effort to learn. Will definitely make this one again. I used the yarn you suggested in the Redwood color, it’s great.

        1. I’m making it now and having the same issue, I figure it’ll resolve With the SC around like you suggested

  9. Hi!

    Love this tote and just getting started on it. I’m already confused at the very beginning. It says to chain 3 than 6 SC in 2nd chain from the hook so am I slip stich in into the third and last chain?

  10. I made this super cute little bag in a dark blue color, then added the tassel and wove some white ribbon into the top edge of the bag! I also added a little accent of thin, metallic silver ribbon along the edges of the handle and I LOVE how it turned out!! I want to make more of them for my friends! Thank you so much for sharing the pattern!

    1. Hi Meg!
      Thanks for sharing how you customized this to be your own! I love the idea of using some white ribbon in contrast with a dark yarn. Very nice! You’re welcome for the pattern. It’s a lot of fun for me. 🙂

  11. You have created a very sturdy pretty bag/purse. Can this pattern be made smaller like 7 X 10 inches for a child by just making less stitches? Can’t wait to make several as I really like the look and style you have created. Thank Yoy SoMuch foor the Free Pattern.

    1. Yes! Just make the base smaller and go from there. Sorry for the delay in replying! Glad you like the bag Christine!

  12. Hi, I love this bag and I’ve tried to make it but I had trouble understanding how to make the base? I started with a magic ring but from there I couldnt figure out how to proceed. Was it supposed to be a magic ring? I’ve completely misunderstood

    1. Hi!
      Thanks for asking! So in my pattern, I don’t use a magic ring. What you would do is simply single crochet into that first stitch (which would be just like crocheting into a magic ring). You can however use a magic ring if you’d like and just follow the pattern in the same way. You would need to just make the 6 single crochet into the magic ring. Have you crocheted in the round before? If not, you might want to search a YouTube video on how it’s done and then follow the pattern. I hope this helps!

      1. okay so i figured it out, that bit turned out to be easy, however i think i have made a mistake somewhere because it looks like a very dramatic vase, its round in the bottom, goes in a bit and then flares out in the top, do you know what I might have done wrong because I followed the pattern as close as I could :/

        1. Mine looked the same way when crocheting it, but when I turned the bag inside out, it hung straighter. (I viewed it that the “wrong” side was facing out when crocheting; and I like how the stitching of the CSC looks when the bag is turned, too.) Hope that helps!

  13. I love this pattern. I was just wondering if we chain 1 before each round? and would the chain 1 be where we put the stitch marker or would it be the next stitch?

    1. Hi Jenna! Sorry for the delay! You don’t need to chain one as it’s just worked in continuous rounds. I hope this helps!

  14. Hey Jessica.
    Love his bag. I have never crocheted before.I have been given yarn and needles so people think I can. I wanted to start with this bag as I need something stylish and free flow to carry my gallon jug around during the day to the office and things. Is this a good pattern for a first attempt? Let me know your thoughts or if you have any suggestions for this newbie.

    1. Hi Sarah! This would be tough to do as your first project. It’s easy, but you should probably start with a beginner scarf, washcloth or otherwise. Once you get basics down and some practice, come back to this! Good luck!

  15. I tried this with Lion Brand Fast-Track and love it! I’d made it previously but wanted a stiffer yarn, this worked up beautifully. Had to add several rounds to the base to get the size I wanted, it was very easily done. Thank you for the beautiful pattern!

    1. Oh – very cool! I’d love to see it done with Fast Track. I’m so glad that you liked the pattern!

  16. such a cool tote. I will ask my daughter to make an Amazon order for the yarn.
    But I don’t understand what you meant by instructing: do not join the rounds? (after round 11)
    I love so much your blog and your creative mind!

    1. Hi! It just means you continue crocheting each round instead of slip stitching to join the end of a round. You may be able to google crocheting in continuous rounds to see a tutorial of some sort if it still doesn’t make sense. 🙂

  17. Hi Jessica, thank you for sharing this. I see that you recommend a P size hook and the yarn recommended is N. Is P the correct size? TIA

  18. OMG, this bag is gorgeous, and it was a blast to crochet! Do you have any tips on how to neatly attach the yarn to begin the strap? Mine just doesn’t look sturdy enough. Thanks for sharing this awesome pattern!

  19. Hello! Love this bag but I wondering on the top which stitch do you put the single crochet into to make the round of sc before the csc. The ch 2 spot?

    1. I have the very same question. I tried to put one sc in the ch2 so and one in the slip stitch but it ended up being too small in opening. So I tried putting 2sc in the ch2 so and one in the slip stitch and it was huge. I’m in my third tote now and want it to be just right

        1. Thank you! I had the same question so this helped! I’ve just made two of these with some yarn I needed to use up and I’m in love with them! This pattern works up so quickly!! Thank you for sharing this!

          1. I’m struggling and struggling with the handle. This is the first I’ve crocheted and my bag is beautiful, I love it. With the handle I attached the yarn, crocheted my 5 sc, 1 ch, turn and csc 4. After this do I chain 1 at the end of each row? From here on out I have 3 nicely defined csc stitches, but the 4th gets lost? Should the 4th be at the beginning or end of the row? Thanks for helping.

  20. I have 2 skeins of yarn left over from another project and can’t wait to try this. I’m a visual learner. I’m wondering if you have a youtube tutorial video of this whole project up yet? That would be awesome! I want to make this bag and use it for summer farmers markets!! I just did a post on farmers markets (I’m a health food blogger). yay! Thanks.

  21. Holy moly! I started this pattern this morning and am finishing the handle now. A one day pattern, that is so fun and easy to follow. I also love your yarn suggestions! I got exactly the brand you recommended, and it is so soft and thick! Absolutely wonderfully and sturdy. I’m so happy it can also go in the wash and dryer too. I’m hopeful that it will last me a long time. Debating whether to line it or not. Thank you for sharing this wonderful bag pattern! ❤️

  22. I just came across this pattern a few days ago. Have made two bags; they make up quickly and are soothing to do. I used the same variegated yarn for both—a denim color splotched with off-white, so the “v” didn’t show up as prominently as in Jessica’s photo, but it still turned out nice. It is a pattern amenable to a bit of adaptation: on second bag, I did all single crochet on bottom half, then4 rows mesh, then more single crochet to full height. In both bags I ran macrame cord through the mesh. Looks beachy! Going to try with self-striping yarn next.

  23. I love this bag pattern but I have a question: instead of using a bulky yarn I was thinking of using up dome of my Caron Cotton Cakes. I think I would have to use 2 strands together? because its rated a 4 wt.
    Thanks very much

  24. I’m half-way done crocheting this tote and I love it. I’m using the same yarn but the color Redwood and am not sorry. This is the first I’ve crocheted, watched a lot of youtube and ripped out a row or two more than once, but it’s gorgeous. I’ll make one or two more for gifts. I call it my Farm Market Tote.

  25. Hi there!! I just finished making this tote and I LOVE IT!! So super cute! Thank you kindly for sharing your pattern, much appreciated. The center single crochet is certainly tough on the hands, however. But still so very worth it. Be well and take care!!

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