Montavilla Market Tote

Yarn: Knit Picks Simply Organic Cotton

  • 1 Marshmallow (65/100g)
  • 1 Ginger (65/100g)
  • 1 Toffee (65/100g)
Yarn Weight: Worsted
Needles: Size US 9 and US 10.5 circular
  • Base: 7 x 8″
  • Sides: 13.5″ high and 27″ around
  • Handles: 17″ long and 1.5″ wide
Pattern Location: Knit Pick’s Montavilla Market Tote
Time Spent: 20 hours
Dates: 4/18/2012 – 5/4/2012

I started this bag because of my 30 days of knitting questions – Day 15:  What was your least favorite pattern and why?  This project was going to be a reminder of how much I’d improved my knitting over the last year and I guess it was.  Unfortunately I still really don’t like this pattern very much.

First, changing colors every round is a real pain.  I figured out one of the reasons I did so bad the first time was because of this changing of colors.  In the lace pattern on round three of the repeat I had to end the round with a yarn over and then change colors.  What this meant was that I would lose this yarn over and mess up my entire counts for the next round and the lace pattern was completely broken.  This time I was very careful  with that yarn over and changing colors but I still had a few mishaps I had to correct.

The other main reason I don’t like this pattern is the handles.  I think they look funny and it’s a bit awkward the first few founds.  I would prefer a cleaner method for the handles because to me it looks a little sloppy. Also, I wasn’t too worried about gauge since it was just a market bag but I’m very suspicious of their gauge.  My base and handles were a lot smaller than what I see on the Knit Pick’s website.  Quite a few projects I’ve seen from other people on Ravelry seem to have this same issue so I don’t think it was just me.

Now as for the bag itself it is growing on me. When I first finished it I was disappointed.  It was ugly and a little awkward.  I think you have to use this bag a few times in order to really get the final look.  The lace pattern sides look much better when the bag is full and the entire thing stretches a lot.  I thought the handles were too short until I really weighted the bag down and got it to stretch.

I went grocery shopping this morning and the market bag did hold as much as my store bought reusable grocery bag.  I put the heavier items in the market bag because I wanted to get more stretch out of it and it does seem a lot sturdier than the store bought cloth bags.  Both bags ended up full and did hold the same amount of groceries.  The market bag was a lot more comfortable to carry around which I did not expect but I certainly appreciate it.

So, final thoughts, I don’t like knitting this pattern but I’ll probably use the rest of the yarn I have to make a second bag eventually (I have an entire second ball of Marshmallow).  I will modify the pattern to have a larger base and shorter sides.  I think with these changes it will be worth knitting again.


  1. Pure Klass says:

    I can see how it might be an annoying knit, but it really does look nice. Well done!

  2. This looks great! I once had some linen left over from a weaving project and for some reason I decided to crochet water bottle holders. I made two and never made them again! 🙂

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