Aren’t reusable bags fabulous. I’m a big fan! Market/ grocery bags, whatever you call them, they’ve been an excellent replacement to the disposable plastic bag. There’s numerous ready made on the market or patterns online in all sorts of shapes, sizes and materials. The handiest just tuck inside another bag, compact and tidy.
I have several different versions, but there’s something about them that drives me a little mad. Have you been at the farmers market, in and out at different stalls, buying all sorts of goods. Gaining access is a Tetris game, and I often loose.
I mean its biggest advantage is, reusable, cleanable, I Just don’t find them accessible from the top or able to move things around in the bag.
So I bring you this version, one giant granny square!This flat market bag gathers up to form a versatile bag that allows easy access. It’s a practical alternative that won’t have your rifling around wondering if the pumpkins landed on top of your herbs. Then lays out flat on the bench, making it easy to unpack your items.
Using hemp for this project has several advantages. It's natural, durable, washable and eventually compostable. An often forgotten point to reusable bags is they have an end point like all materials. With reusable bags the 'how do I dispose of it?' sometimes get forgotten over the good feeling of I'm not using single use plastic
You’ll find the FREE pattern LINK HERE, to the pattern store. Not all details are written in this blog so be sure to get a copy of that pattern to work along side to create the bag.
Hand spun hemp has been used for this project but you could easily substitute it for a 8 ply/ Dk natural fibre alternative.
Let's get started
What you’ll need:
280g hand spun hemp
6mm crochet hook
5mm rope- 104cm (2x 52cm lengths) for handles
Needle for loose ends
Instructions given in brackets are worked into the same base st. Instructions within asterisks or square brackets are repeated a set number of times.
dtr: double treble crochet
htr: half treble crochet
tr: treble crochet,
sl st: slip stich
NOTE: The abbreviations are in UK terms. Please adjust the terms to US before you start your bag.
These are the rounds for the granny square. Rounds 1- 15 are repetitive and very similar to a standard granny square you may have worked before.
Round 1: Ch5, *3 tr, 2 ch* 3 times, 2 tr into magic ring, sl st into 3rd ch at beg of round (12 sts)
Round 2: Sl st into ch sp, ch 5, (2 tr into ch sp), *tr in each st, (2 tr, 2 ch, 2tr into ch sp)* 3 times, tr in each st, tr in ch sp (worked over sl st at beg of round), sl st into 3rd ch at beg of round. (28 sts)
Round 3- 15: Repeat round 2. Each round will increase by 16 sts, refer to the table for the st count per round.
Each round starts with a sl st into the the next ch sp. This makes the repeats easier to follow.
The final tr of the round is worked over the top of the sl st that was worked at the beginning of the round.
The chart below is to refer to keep track of the st count for each round.
The square will sit flat with rounds 1-16.
Round 16: Sl st into ch sp, ch 6 (2 dtr into ch sp), [*2 ch, sk 2 sts, dtr in next st* 19 times, (2 ch, 2 dtr, 2 ch, 2 dtr in ch sp)] 3 times, *2 ch, sk 2 sts, dtr in next st* 19 times, 2 ch, dtr in ch sp,sl st into 3rd ch at beg of round. (92 sts)
You'll notice in rounds 17- 24 create a sudo wall to the ball. At each corner you'll notice in the image above, you'll skip the chain space as well as the 2 double treble stitches before and after the corner chain space.
Round 17- 22: Sl st into ch sp, ch 6 (2 dtr into ch sp), [*2 ch, sk ch sp, dtr into dtr of prev round* 19 times, 2 ch, sk ch sp, (2 dtr, 2 ch, 2 dtr into ch sp)] 3 times, *2 ch, sk ch sp, dtr into dtr of prev round* 19 times, 2 ch sk ch sp, dtr into ch sp, sl st into 4th ch at beg of round (92 sts)
Round 23: Ch3, [(tr, 2 dtr, tr into ch sp), tr in next st, *htr in next st, (2 htr in ch sp)* 20 times, htr, tr] 4 times slst into 3rd ch at beg of rnd. (36 sts)
Round 24: Sl st into each st till end of round.
This final round is simply a sl st into each stitch around the entire border.
This is to reinforce the edge, it strengthens it and prevents the edge from stretching when used. However you can by pass it if you choose.
You don't need to, but if you choose to wash your work, I would recommend doing this before attaching the handles. I washed mine in hot soapy water. Because there's been minimal processing on the hand spun hemp, you'll notice there's discolouration in the water. It may take another wash and you'll seen the fibre soften.
Hemp will withstand a hotter wash. This is also good for cleaning after use.
You’ll create two handles. The measurement quoted is a guide, make it longer or shorter if you prefer. Cut two equal lengths I've made them both 52cm long.
The handles are looped between the corner double treble stitches made in round 23.
To secure them your going to do a gathering wrap knot / whipping knot around the rope. The name of this wrap varied between macrame or fishing terms. But it's still the same knot.
Gives a great finish and secure so the bag can weight bare.
Video Tutorial: Here's a short video on how to work the gathering wrap knot. Apologies for the rooster, he's a harsh critic.
Step by step:
1. Loop the rope through the corner of the bag and overlap by about 7cm. Whatever length you choose, just be consistent for all 4 loops. We're only wrapping around 3.5cm - 4cm from the end.
Place the loop on the top of the rope with the loop pointing up and the short end of the yarn pointing down. Leave a tail long enough to pull on it at the end. You need to leave a tail long enough to pull it back through at the end.
With the working thread, you'll start wrapping around the rope.
2. Hold the loop in place, wrap the long end of the yarn tightly around the rope. Don't worry if the first wrap isn't firm, after a few wraps, give the loop a tug and it will tighten.
Continue wrapping around the rope, keeping it firm and close together till the end of the rope end. Leave the top of the loop exposed above the wraps.
3. Once you've reached the rope end, trim the working yarn and thread it through the loop.
4. Gently pull on the bottom tail to draw the top loop into the wraps.
Use your best judgement, the loop junction should lay half way under the length of wrapping.
The ends are secure and the knot complete. Trim yarn ends.
You'll need to do this for all 4 handle ends. For consistency, double check the rope loop and wrap lengths are approximately the same.
I hope you enjoy making this handy market bag. If you make it please share and tag! Would LOVE to see what you create
Make it LUSH, make it YOURS!