Fancywork Market Bag by Lisa Jacobs

Fancywork Market Bag

April 2016
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
22 stitches and 32 rows = 4 inches
in Mesh chart pattern
US 6 - 4.0 mm
738 yards (675 m)
10.5" wide and 15.5" tall not including straps
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This pattern is available from for $6.50.

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.