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Crocheted Linen Grocery Tote

It's always a good time to eschew the plastic bag in favor of an earth friendly one. My favorite choice is the netted grocery tote. It has all the conveniences of a plastic bag and none of the detriments. I love that it scrunches up into a tiny ball inside my purse, weighs nothing, and fits more groceries than I can even carry - magic!

Our knit version of this bag has been a perennial favorite at Purl (check out Elisa's Nest Tote), so here, finally, is a crocheted option. It's made out of Louet's Euroflax Linen, which is as durable as it is beautiful. My favorite summertime yarn, the Euroflax has the rawness of a hardworking natural linen, balanced by a delicate luster and a graceful drape. Buying groceries will never be the same!

The Materials

The Pattern

Gauge

 5 1/2 single crochets = 1 inch

Finished Size

Approximately 17 inches tall x 11 inches wide and very expandable.

The Bottom

Chain 6 and slip stitch into the first chain to form a ring.

Round 1: Make 11 single crochets (sc) into the ring.

Note: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable stitch marker, safety pin or paper clip.

Round 2: Make 2 sc into each stitch of the round. (22 stitches)

Note: You can now remove the stitch marker because through Round 6 the end of the round is obvious, and after that the end of the round won't matter.

Round 3: *Chain 2, 1 sc into next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. (22 chain loops)

Round 4: *Chain 4, 1 sc into 2 chain loop, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5: *Chain 6, 1 sc into 4 chain loop, repeat from * to end of round.

Round 6: *Chain 8, 1 sc into 6 chain loop, repeat from * to end of round.

The Body

NOTE: As you begin this section you may worry that your bag is really more of a flat doily. But as you continue, the slack of the center bottom increases will eventually be taken up, and the doily will, in fact, become a tube!

*Chain 8, 1 sc into 8 chain loop, repeat from *, spiraling up until bag measures 16 inches from the center bottom to the top edge. (Tug the bag in all directions and lay it flat to measure.)

The Handles

Note: Mark the first stitch of the next round with a removable stitch marker. Reposition the marker at the beginning of each round to mark the first stitch of the new round.

Round 1: Continuing in the same 8 chain loop, make 6 sc. Then make 7 sc into each 8 chain loop to the end of the round. (161 stitches)

Round 2: 1 sc into each stitch.

Round 3: 1 sc, chain 50, skip 25 stitches, 1 sc into next stitch...

... 1 sc into next 54 stitches, chain 50, skip 25 stitches, 1 sc to end of round.

Round 4: 1 sc into next stitch, 50 sc into 50 chain loop,...

... 1 sc into each stitch until next handle, 50 sc into 50 chain loop, 1 sc into each stitch to end of round.

Round 5: 1 sc into each stitch to end of round.

Slip stitch into the first stitch of the round, cut the yarn and pull it througn the remaining stitch.

Weave in the ends and toss your tote into the washer and dryer. The more you wash it, the softer it gets!

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62 Responses to Crocheted Linen Grocery Tote


  1. Vintage Geek says:

    Just made this bag and absolutely love it! Thank you for the perfect market bag pattern!

  2. Kelly C. says:

    I thank you and agree with everyone. I have been looking for a fast, inexpensive pattern to make market bags. I plan to make many to give to the local food bank in my location. When I had to start making use of their services, they donated two light weight totes to use. They eventually broke and I thought that I had a skill I could give back to them. I will have to look at the cost of linen or strong cotton ply yarn to use I think. What ply would you suggest? Also I plan a few for family to gather clams, muscles and oyster during the season. Any suggestions about my goals would be welcome.
    Thanks

  3. Keri says:

    Does one bag use the whole skein or could you possible squeeze two bags out of one?

  4. badlandsquilts says:

    what is the weight of the finished bag?

  5. Sarah says:

    This looks like a wonderful bag! Would it be possible to use fabric to reinforce the handles? I’m wondering if they would stretch out when the bag is filled…or another way to prevent that?

  6. tantesophie says:

    whit’ … bravo … perfect project for those single skeins of linen stashed up … happy days and a kiss to the wee one …

  7. Purl Bee says:

    Hi Keri -

    While you probably couldn’t get two bags out of one skein, you should be able to make a second, smaller bag. If you eliminate Round 6 of the “Bottom” section and Chain 6 (instead of 8) around and around, you’ll end up with a cute bag for smaller loads!

    Thanks for your question -
    Whitney

  8. Aimee says:

    Great pattern :) I *never* complain about anything on a blog, but I was wondering if y’all would consider making printer-friendly versions? I went to print this, it’s 15 pages long, eep!

  9. tantesophie says:

    whit’ … two dilemmas … the linen has knots in it every so often … how do you deal with those in an open crochet project like this … and then having dealt with a knot … it would be easy to change colors and use up leftovers non?! … thanks a bunch!!!

  10. jen says:

    Hi Aimee,

    If you look at the writing underneath the last photo, there is text that says “Print Article” This cuts out the photos and makes the pattern a bit more easy to deal with!

    Thanks!

    Jennifer
    The Purl Bee

  11. tantesophie says:

    jen’ … it defaults to printing 15 pages including all the beautiful big photos … happy weekend!!!

  12. Sara says:

    I love this bag! I made one last night – and fell in love. The instructions were excellent and it didn’t take too long at all. I’m going to start handing these out for birthdays! Love it :)

    Thanks!

  13. charlie says:

    Now THIS I really like………………hope I will be able to crochet it. I haven’t crocheted for many years. I will really try because I want one. Thanks for the tutorial.

  14. Molly says:

    Finished mine last night, used rainbow colored Sugar’n Cream yarn. Simple and quick pattern. Only problem I had was at the top, seemed like my bag was too big so instead I only did 2 sc in each 8-chain segments. Then of course, I had to count a different number of sc for spacing the handles out evenly, but it went fast. That made it much better, smaller opening, but still plenty of room when the body stretches out.. Did anyone else have trouble w/ the opening being too big?

  15. Susan says:

    Oh, this brings back memories: my mom had one of these when I was a kid, but it folded up into a little pocket located on the bottom…she would always carry it in her purse. I’m too much of a newbie to figure out the pocket thing, but I think I can crochet the bag! Thanks for the pattern!

  16. My 1st Bambina ! says:

    Thanks sooo much for sharing this pattern and tutorial !

  17. Jamie of EarlyBirdCrafts says:

    I love this post! I just finished a cotton version and will be giving it away on my blog next weekend. (http://earlybirdcrafts.blogspot.com/2009/11/crochet-grocery-or-anything-bag-givaway.html) Thanks for the tutorial!

  18. Debra Storr says:

    Thank you – I was just thinking about how to do this.

  19. Sara says:

    I have a question. In the beginning of the piece, when doing the rounds, did you do it in a spiral (no slip stitch join at the end of each round)?

  20. Treva Colton says:

    LOVE THIS PATTERN!! Love the project, love that it’s easy, love that it’s a grocery bag, love everything about it. LOVE. I’m making this with cotton yarn because that’s what I had handy and it’s working like a dream. Thanks for the amazing patterns. I love this site.

  21. Sarah says:

    As a beginner and a UK crochetier, please could you give details of the yarn weight.
    I am trying the bag in a Double Knitting weight unbleached cotton with a larger hook but I think it will be too bulky.

  22. purl bee says:

    Hi Sarah,
    You can find complete details about the yarn used for this project right here:
    http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/yarndetail/380
    it’s a sport weight which you may not have in the UK sizes, it’s thicker than a 4ply and thinner than a DK… hope this helps!

  23. handysandy says:

    Thank you for sharing this pattern! I’ve made one and will show it, with a link, on my blog
    http://handysandy.web-log.nl . Regards from Holland, Sandra

  24. Dawn says:

    Hello All. I made a cotton one this week in dish cloth yarn (£1.29 a ball) so have ended up with very cheap and fab looking bag that I’ve been using with pride ever since! Have now splashed out on slightly more expensive cotton to make a coloured one for a pressie. Thank you.

  25. corlee says:

    i have the same question as sarah… in the beginning, how are the rounds completed? are they slip stitched closed or done in a spiral? i’m very confused. also, relatively new at crocheting so that may explain my confusion. thanks in advance for the help!

  26. Susan Leschke says:

    What a great pattern. I’m glad to find this!

  27. Peggi says:

    I also had problems with printing, even after clicking the “Print Article” button I still get 15 pages WITH pictures. So I copied the entire tutorial, pasted it into Word, and deleted all the pictures. Another few clicks of the mouse to delete unnecessary line spacing, and I ended up with 2 printable, picture-free pages of instructions. This sounds like a lot of work but only took me maybe 2-3 minutes. Hopefully this will help others.

  28. Lindsay says:

    Hi, I've made a couple of these totes as gifts, but have found I like to make it shorter because of the stretch factor. One lady I gave it to sewed a lining into it to stabilize and shorten. I also reinforced the handle by running a row of single crochet around the inside of the handle, and along the top edge of the border. It gives the top of the bag a more uniform appearance as well.

    I started a bag for myself this week, but I switched to Solomon's Knot (a stitch I found in a book) which I think will go even faster, I am not sure about the durability of a more open stitch, but time will tell.

    Thanks for this great pattern Whitney.

  29. Julie says:

    I love this pattern and made one out of bamboo/ cotton. Then I thought I'd lash out and buy the linen yarn from USA ( I'm in Aus) Louet's Euroflax Original. The beautiful hunter green is a dream but I had soo..ooo much trouble with the skein. Even when draped around 4 chair legs it knotted up terribly. Had to ditch one skein :(. Is there a secret to using a skein, all the yarn you show seems to come this way….but after my experience I am only buying balls from now on.

  30. purl bee says:

    Hi Julie,
    When yarn comes on a skein you have to wind it into a ball before you knit with it so hopefully you weren't trying to knit with it directly from the skein? The linen can definitely be unruly until you have it in a ball (and even while you're winding it into a ball). It's a yarn worth getting a second pair of hands to help with winding. For the future, if you order skeins from us online you can request that we put your yarn into balls for you in the special instructions box, but just keep in mind that once they are wound they can't be exchanged.
    Hope this helps!

  31. Sara says:

    I love this one too! A perfect tote for the farmers market. :)

  32. Kirsten says:

    Have any tests been done to see how much weight this bag can reasonably and safely withstand? I am making my second now, and I would hate to overload it and break it after all that work. I LOVE the pattern! :)

  33. Lindsay says:

    I just love this! I have been wanting to crochet a bag like this for years; it just seemed so dang logical. Glad I finally sifted through your entire archive and came across it. :)

    I posted about my finished object here: http://eythink.com/blog/some-little-things-some-bigger-things

  34. purl bee says:

    Hi Kristen,

    Linen is so strong I can't imagine it breaking, but I suppose there is a limit – I just haven't found it! If you're concerned, you could crochet a few extra rounds on the handles. I actually did this on the second one I made because I thought it would be a little bit more comfortable on my hands, and it is!

    Thanks for your question!

    Whitney

  35. Cindy says:

    I came across this pattern a couple of months ago. I was unsuccessful at finding linen yarn to work with but I really wanted to try the bag. I tried it using baby weight yarn and a size F hook (I usually have to go up a size anyway). Since then I just keep using up the yarn I have and have made at least 7 of them. I have been using them instead of plastic bags when shopping for groceries. I have even been complemented on them by the cashiers. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I am really enjoying getting back into crocheting.

  36. Allison says:

    I also love this as a beach bag!

  37. Mardie says:

    what does make 3 sc,… mean, Please

  38. purl bee says:

    Hi Mardie,

    “Sc” means single crochet. You may find our tutorial of crochet basics helpful! It shows how to make a single crochet: http://purlbee.squarespace.com/crochet-basics/ .

    Thanks for your question and good luck!

    Whitney

  39. Dawn says:

    Love this pattern….I'm going to try making this with the plarn I made with old grocery bags.

  40. Heather Graef says:

    Nice tutorial, I linked to it on my blog. Thanks!

  41. Minniesgirl says:

    I'm having the same issue as Mardie. Under the handle instructions…round 1…it says make 3 sc…

    and then ends. There seems to be something missing.

    I've started the bag but am not sure where to go from here. So far…I love it. And I'm sure it will be very convenient…once I have this mystery explained.

    Thanks!

    Carol in Canada

  42. purl bee says:

    Hi Carol,

    Round 1 continues after the photo with “… make 7 sc into each 8 chain loop to the end of the round. (158 stitches)”.

    I hope this clears things up for you!

    Thanks for your question!
    Whitne

  43. Deborah says:

    I'm having the same problem with round 1 of the handle. There are only 3 sc in that one section? …and then you do 7 in each of the next chain loops on around…. so when you come back around you have this weird section with only 3 sc?

  44. Kellianne says:

    umm, all I am ending up with when i get to the chain 8 spiraling up is a wavy doily looking thing. I have redone it 4 times and it is always flat (I made it out to 24inches once). anyone have any idea where I may be going wrong? Thanks

  45. purl bee says:

    Hi Deborah,

    It's been a few years since I wrote this pattern, and I can't honestly remember what I was thinking with that “weird section”. Reading it now, I agree that it doesn't make much sense! I have now changed the pattern so that there are 7 single crochets in each loop.

    I'm really sorry for the confusion and thank you for pointing out the funny-stuff. I cringe to think of the people before you who may have wondered!

    Whitney

  46. purl bee says:

    Hi Kellianne,

    The reason the bag doesn't lay flat when it's properly crocheted is because the number of 8-chain loops stays the same. You should be essentially crocheting a tube. But it sounds like you may somehow be increasing the number of 8-chain loops as you work around. Are you making one single crochet into the loop and then chaining 8 to the next loop where you make one single crochet?

    I'm sorry I don't know exactly where you're going awry, but I hope this overview might straighten you out. If not, please write back and we'll figure it out!

    Thank you for your question!
    Whitney

  47. Amy Lynn says:

    Thanks for sharing this pattern. I just finished making one for myself the other day. I used 100% cotton yarn from Lion Brand and let me tell you…this is one tough grocery tote! :)

    http://amylynn98.blogspot.com/2012/05/slowly-getting-my-crochet-groove-back.html

  48. jeanie says:

    When the time comes for me to measure and put handles on, I have almost a perfect circle. I followed the directions and it just keeps getting rounder and rounder, the picture however looks like a tube. What could I be doing wrong? I love the pattern, but I must have missed a page..

  49. purl bee says:

    Hi Jeanie,

    Another reader named Kellianne seems to have had the same problem as you. You can read my answer to her question above, or here it is again:

    The reason the bag doesn't lay flat when it's properly crocheted is because the number of 8-chain loops stays the same. You should be essentially crocheting a tube. But it sounds like you may somehow be increasing the number of 8-chain loops as you work around. Are you making one single crochet into the loop and then chaining 8 to the next loop where you make one single crochet?

    I'm sorry I don't know exactly where you're going awry, but I hope this overview might straighten you out. If not, please write back and we'll figure it out!

    Thanks for your question, Jeanie, and good luck!

    Whitney

  50. jeanie says:

    Thanks so much for answering my question. I guess I will have to count each round of 8's.
    I did make one before, and it was also a 16 inch circle. I will not give up….plastic grocery bags are on their way out, here in Calif, so I am making all my adult kids and the grandkids one, and some to sell, and some to give as gifts.

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