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« Molly's Sketchbook: Finishing a Needlepoint Pillow | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Back to School Lunch Bag »

Whit's Knits: 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


 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!

Reader Comments (74)

I just finished the grocery tote. The pattern was easy to follow. I made an extra round of single crochet since I wanted a little more substance in the handles.

I ended up using a cotton yarn since the sales person in my local yarn store told me that I needed to wash the Euroflax yarn before working with it. I thought that was strange. Next time I will try this yarn.

Thank you for sharing this awesome pattern. I can definitely see it as a beach bag as well.
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusie
Thanks for this lovely Bag. I have made two of these and use to keep my lil daughter's stuffed toys.. Can Have a Look over here.
October 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterArchana
You have a beautiful site, this pattern has made me four wonderful bags that I've had to give away my friends and family love it so. I will make one for myself to keep! I used linen blend yarn, and have tried using plastic twine, but boy is that hard to work, but so pretty. thanks.
January 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPacificaRia
Hi there!

I had a question about the linen yarn used in this pattern. Is it the linen content that makes this tote so durable? I found a beautiful yarn that's a blend of linen, rayon, and cotton, and I'm not sure if it'll be as strong as 100% linen, does anyone have any idea? Thanks!
January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
I used a blend of 82 acrylic 18 linen and it's durable in my opinion. When I joined the chain 8, I did an extra loop over stitch because I was finding it didn't look as secure as I would have liked, imagining all my fuji apples weighing it down. Good luck!
January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPacificaRia
HI Katy,

Linen is an awfully tough fiber, but so are most plant fibers (like cotton and bamboo). So it sounds to me like the yarn you found will work out great. I say, go for it!

Thanks for asking and good luck!
January 10, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have completed the body of this tote, but have a question about the handle instructions. I have 22 8-chain loops. If I single crochet 6 stitches in one of these loops and single crochet 7 stitches in the remaining 21 loops, I figure I will end up with 153 stitiches in the first round of the handle, not 161 as stated in the instructions. Which isn't to say my math isn't completely off. It's definitely happened before.

So far my tote looks great and I'm looking forward to using it soon.

Thank you.
January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlatebloomer
Hi Latebloomer,

You should actually have 23 8-chain loops, which multiplied by 7 is 161.

But listen, in the case of this bag, the whole thing is quite flexible. I would say, as long as you like how your bag is looking, forge ahead with what you have and you'll probably never notice the difference!

Thanks for your question and good luck!

January 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
How do you connect the rounds together? I think that is the reason my tube is still a doily. I am not sure how to complete a round.
April 2, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteraileen
I love your tutorials! I am almost finished with bears rainbow blanket!! I stumbled upon this pattern and decided to take a break from my blanket and give it a whirl. I keep getting stuck though. I'm confused when it says to do 1 sc in next two stitches repeat from *. I thought I was doing it right by doing a single crochet in the next stitch then chaining and so on but it's not coming out right....what am I doing wrong. I looked for a video in you tube but I just can't understand's probably something really simple but I'm getting a little frustrated! Help!
April 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChrista
HI Aileen,

Once you get to Round 3 you really don't have to worry about the end of the round. You just keep working your way seamlessly around and around.

If you're getting a doily instead of a tube, you are somehow increasing stitches. You should have the same number of stitches all the way up the handle section.

I hope this helps! Please let me know if not, and we'll try to figure it out!

April 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
HI Christa,

I'm not sure where you are in the pattern. I can't find any direction that says to "do 1 sc in next two stitches repeat from *.

Please let me know where you're getting stick and we'll figure out what the problem is!

Congratulations, by the way, on almost finishing your Rainbow Blanket! I hope you enjoyed the process and love the results!

April 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you! This looks magnificent in white!
May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMackenzie
Thank you for this tutorial ! I'm french and it's my first english work.I've choosen it easy! wow, I hope I'll manage to crochet it ! (If I finish to understand and the tutorial...)
Thanks a lot, it looks very beautiful, I hope mine will be the same...
September 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKarine
Hi Whitney,
I'm having the same problem some had before: I have no clue how can I "Spiraling up" without having a doyle shaped result.
I was wondering if the others (who had problems) managed to make the bag, and how.
I'd love to make it!
Thanks anyway for the pattern :)
October 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadreLayana
I am having the same problem. I am ending up with a large doily instead of a tube shape. Clearly I am not mastering the "spiraling up" technique. Can anyone help?
October 28, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnita
Hi MadreLayana and Anita,

I think that people who are getting "doilies" are somehow increasing their stitches, so I would recommend counting your stitches periodically to make sure that the number of 8-chain loops is staying the same.

Also, are you making one single crochet into the loop and then chaining 8 to the next loop where you make one single crochet? You should be. Are you just going around and around without regard to the beginning and end of the round? You should be!

I'd love if a reader who solved his or her doily problem would write in with the magic solution! Otherwise, I hope these tips straighten you both out.

Thank you for your questions and good luck!
November 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney,
I finally finished my bag! My mistake was closing the first rounds with a slip stitch, therefore I didn't get a spiral from the beginning.
Thank you very much for the help.
November 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMadreLayana
I am sorry, but I keep getting a doily too,instead of a tube shape.I have read the instructions six times.Plus I have gone through all the 50 and odd comments too.What am I doing wrong?Could you help please.Maybe, if you could follow the instructions and start crocheting a bag, you might also get a doily and that might help.But it baffles me as to how many commenters wrote in with their success stories.How DID they get a bag?Why does mine keep becoming a doily?
Thanks for your patience.
January 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersandy
Hi Sandy,

It's been so long since I made this bag, that I took your advice and decided to make another! I believe that you and everyone else who fears that his or her bag is a doily rather than a tube has just not worked far enough along. It's true that for quite awhile it seems that the shape is going to remain flat, but after you have worked up the slack from the center bottom increases, things really do start to take proper shape!

I've added a note to the pattern so that people will be prepared for the journey. I hope this explanation resolves your problem. If not, then we'll take another look! Thank you so much for your question and good luck!

January 24, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I, too am having the above issue with the doily look. I am not increasing stitches at the SC then chain 8. I am new to crocheting~~~at what place in the next chain do you SC? Does it matter? Maybe that is why I have the doily look. I have been SC in the 3rd or 4th loop of the chain. I am 6ish inches in to the bag~~~~ Doily :)
Thank you.
May 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPenny
Hi Penny,

You don't actually make the single crochet in a chain stitch. Instead (and much more easily), you make the single crochet into the chain loop, which means that you put your hook below the chain into the space created by the previous round's chain. Just right into that hole!

And as far as the doily problem goes, I think you still haven't worked far enough along. Your bag should take on its tube shape in the next few inches or so!

Thanks for your questions and please let us know if you have any more!

May 24, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Just made this bag and absolutely love it! Thank you for the perfect market bag pattern!
June 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVintage Geek
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.
June 21, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelly C.

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