Fancywork Market Bag

Fancywork Market BagFancywork Market Bag by Lisa Jacobs, from Knitting Traditions Spring 2016

During the nineteenth century, ladies demonstrated their industry and skill with “fancywork” such as knitting. The Fancywork Market Bag is based on a knitted lace bag held by the Victoria and Albert Museum (, Museum No. T.397-1910). According to the artifact records, it was made during the mid-nineteenth century of fine silk and measures 6¼ by 5½ inches. As the museum catalog describes it, “much time was devoted to making intricate and delicate items of fancy work without obvious use.”

Reinterpreted in a larger, more robust version here, this bag becomes a perfect companion for a trip to the farmer’s market. Worked in the same colorway and lace patterns as the nineteenth-century original, it uses sturdy linen yarn and has wider straps for comfort and convenience.

Finished Size 10½” wide and 15½” tall not including straps

Yarn Shibui Knits Linen (100% linen; 246 yd [225 m]/1¾ oz [50 g]): #115 brick (red; A), #2001 abyss (black; B), and #2026 brass (yellow; C), 1 skein each.

Needles Size 6 (4 mm): 16″ circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions Markers (m); tapestry needle.

Gauge 22 sts and 32 rnds = 4″ in Mesh chart patt.

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