Pike Place Market Bag


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.

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