Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Measuring the Market Bags

I've been trying out some market bag patterns and figured I'd write up some mini-reviews for the ones I've made so far. All of these are currently available for free online, just click the links in the pattern titles.

Difficulty: Medium. This pattern has a series of six rows that you have to keep repeating to create the pattern. It's really important to mark off where you left off when you take a break. Some of the rows are very similar and it can be confusing when you try to remember where you were when you resume your work.
Size: Medium. When completed this one has a hammock shape and a fair bit of stretch. The sides dip down fairly low and I get worried that stuff if going to fall out when I pack a lot into it.
Overall thoughts: I really love the way this pattern looks when it's all stitched up, but I'm not entirely happy with the shape of the completed bag. Someday I want to try repeating the pattern, but working in a round to create a more even shape.

Pattern: Sugar'n Cream - Market Bag (crochet)
Difficulty: Easy. The base rows are single crochet and once that's complete it's just repetition of a single row of mesh stitch. This is very easy to make and, because of the mesh stitch, you make pretty quick progress. I've managed to finish a whole one of these in a single day before.
Size: I've seen so many people on Craftster and other sites talk about how amazingly large and stretchy they find this bag. Personally, I found it to be the smallest of the three. It has lots of vertical stretch, but very little horizontal give, which limits the size of items you can carry in it.
Overall thoughts: A simple, quick bag that's enjoyable to make, but if you want something large, I'd suggest looking elsewhere.

Difficulty: Easy. Lots of double crochet stitches worked in the round. It's also time consuming, taking me several weeks to complete.
Size: Large. Of the three patterns I tried, this one definitely resulted in the largest bag. It also stretches nicely, and doesn't gape at the top, so I don't worry about stuff falling out.
Overall thoughts: The bag has a nice shape, but no fancy stitches to admire. On the other hand, once you've gotten the feel for this one you could add a couple rows of more intricate stitching or some beadwork in the middle to pretty it up a bit. If you're looking for something large, this is definitely the one to make.

If you've tried any of these patterns before, let me know what you thought of them. Have a different free market bag pattern that you really like? If so, share the link in the comments section.


Lindsey said...

very informative post!

I've made the Lion Brand market bag before. I really like the simplicity of it the whole thing. I also think that by doing all the doubt crochet in the spaces between stitches instead of in the stitches themselves adds some visual interest.

What I really liked about the pattern was how fast it worked up. Two movies and two evenings and I had a great bag that fits EVERYTHING. The only thing I did that I wish I hadn't was make the strap longer by about 3 inches. NO NEED. The bag stretches so much when it's full that there's no need to make the strap longer.

amber said...

I agree with you about the straps. That seems to happen with all the bags, they stretch later or from the weight of what you're carrying inside then. It's nice that the pattern makers predicted this stretch and didn't make the straps too long to begin with.