Zero Waste Kitchen: Crochet Produce Bag

A crocheted produce bag containing 4 russet potatoes, 2 granny smith apples, and 2 small avocados

Updated Pattern

Check out my updated pattern for a smaller version of this string bag!

crocheted produce bag filled with two oranges and 2 apples
A small crocheted, reusable produce bag featuring drawstring and hanging hook.

Original Pattern

I’ve spent the past year or so trying to change my lifestyle and habits, to do my part, as much as I can, to save the planet. It hasn’t been easy, and I am far from perfect, but I think it’s still worth sharing my story and journey with others. I’d like to inspire more people to re-evaluate their personal choices, and provide real solutions to some of the most pressing waste challenges we face as a society today. The idea of being “zero waste” or “minimalist” can be overwhelming, but I like to believe that if we all take small steps, wherever we can, it will add up to real change.

So here’s one small step: In addition to using reusable grocery bags, use reusable produce bags as well!

Fruit and vegetables in crochet produce bags in a fruit bowl.
Produce bag prototypes. These designs proved too large.

My aunt is environmentally conscious and takes her reusable grocery bags with her to the store, but every time she picked up vegetables, she was still grabbing a plastic bag from the stand. I asked her why she even needed a bag at all, and she explained that they buy so many vegetables, if they’re all rolling free, it’s a huge pain come checkout time. But she saw me twitching, so she said if I could find her a good alternative, she’d use it.

Now, I’m pretty crafty, so it was game on!

I’ve seen crocheted netted bags before, but a quick search did not yield any free patterns. No worries. Like I said, I’m pretty crafty, so I figured rather than wasting hours trying to track down a pattern online, I’d just take a bash at making my own. The first few prototypes ended up being much too big. I didn’t realize how much the bags could stretch! They are super lightweight, but any more bag than you need is just wasteful, so I pared it down and here’s the final product:

a crocheted produce bag
The lovely produce bag, ~ 8″ x 12″

And here is the bag stuffed full:

A crocheted produce bag containing 4 russet potatoes, 2 granny smith apples, and 2 small avocados
In this bag are: 4 russet potatoes, 2 granny smith apples, and 2 small avocados.

Yep. 4 russet potatoes. And this is the small bag!

Small Produce Bag Pattern

Materials:

Aunt Lydia’s #10 crochet cotton

Size F crochet hook

Instructions:

first six rounds of a crocheted produce bag, with color coded outlines
The first six rounds of the pattern, outlined, starting with Round 1 in red.

Round 1: 6 sc into a magic ring. Sl st into first sc.

Round 2: Ch 4 (= 1 dc + ch 2), then dc + ch 2 into each sc around, sl st into ch 4. You’ll have 6 “spokes” in your circle.

Round 3: Ch 4 (= 1 dc + ch 2), then another dc +ch 2 into same ch 2. 2 dc +ch 2 into each ch 2 around, sl st into ch 4. Now you should have 12 spokes.

Round 4: Ch 4 (= 1 dc +ch 2), then another dc + ch2 into same ch2. 2 dc + ch 2 into each ch2 around, sl st into ch 4. 24 spokes.

Round 5: Ch 5 (= 1 dc + ch 3), then 1 dc + ch 3 into each ch 2 around, sl st into ch 5. 24 spokes.

Round 6: Ch 6 (= 1 tr + ch3), then 1 tr + ch 3 into each ch 3 around, sl st into ch 6. 24 spokes.

Repeat Round 6 eleven (11) times, or until bag is desired length. At first it might feel like your bag is just getting wider, but it will start shaping up.

Final Round: Ch 3 (= 1 tr), then 1 tr into same ch 3. 2 tr in each ch 3 around. Sl st into ch 3, finish off, weaving in ends so they won’t unravel.

Drawstring: Chain ~32″ (~125 chains). Weave in through final round.

rabbit interfering with crochet
I apologize for all the fuzz in the previous photo, but this little guy insisted on helping me out this morning!

Key

sc = single crochet

sl st = slip stitch

ch = chain

dc = double crochet

tr = triple crochet

Variations

Large Produce Bag

Rounds 1-4 as above.

Round 4a: Ch 4 (= 1 dc +ch 2), then 2 dc +ch 2 into next ch 2, then 1 dc + ch2 into next ch2, alternating around., sl st into ch 4. 36 spokes; all following rounds will now be 36 spokes.

Continue with Round 5, keeping in mind that all rounds will now have 36 spokes.

Lengthen drawstring as needed.

Other

The final round and the drawstring should both be considered optional. This pattern is super flexible, so feel free to play around with the rounds, adding another doubling row or using only double crochets instead of triple crochets. Bigger, smaller, shorter, taller, a different final round. Make it how you want it.

Sustainability

I just wanted to make a little note about the materials used for the bag. Aunt Lydia’s #10 crochet cotton is 100% cotton, so these bags will be easy to wash. I don’t think that it’s organic, but I buy mine at the thrift store, so I think that makes it more sustainable than buying it new. Like many things, I’m pretty sure they could stop manufacturing this yarn today, and in 10 years, we still wouldn’t have used up the supply that’s already been produced. At any rate, a new skein will run you about $3.50. I got 6 skeins for $5 the last time I went thrifting, so I think I made out pretty well.

The bags look fragile, but I think they’ll hold up pretty well to normal wear and tear.

Download a PDF of the instructions here: Crochet Produce Bag

If you have any questions about the pattern, or if you’ve made one yourself, please share in the comments section. I’d love to see what you’ve made!!

 

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