The Farmer & the Dell

While I am no fan of summer (the humidity, the sweat, the hot sun beating down, the uncomfortable feeling of a giant pile of wool on my lap) I like August for a few reasons. I like the promise of autumn being just around the corner, the back to school aisles in the stores, the evenings getting a bit cooler, the days getting a bit shorter and as my mom says, the bugs going away. August also happens to be my birthday month, but I long for fall and winter. We have a wonderful farmer's market in Washington, DC called Eastern Market. It’s a brief walk from where we live on Capitol Hill and we like to strap my son in his stroller, leash up the pug and walk over, market bags in hand. The market is packed with fruit, vegetables, flowers every color of the rainbow, exotic cheeses, meats, crafts, jewelry, art and makes for excellent people watching.

We like to try veggies we’ve never seen before, chat up the farmers, coo over other people’s children and enjoying being together as a family. This little patch of market in the middle of a bustling city is a small haven filled with happiness, color, families, friends, treats and the fleeting final days of summer, quickly slipping away. These are the days that memories are made of.

I designed the Eastern Market Tote with our weekend trips to the market in mind. I find that produce and flowers do better in a bag that lets them breathe. The gentle zig zag of the lace allows for breathing room, while the strong garter handle can be slung over a shoulder or stroller and the pinwheel-like bottom will hold up. I find a lot of the bags we bring to the market aren’t deep enough, especially for flowers, so I designed it to be extra long.

I adore the yarn, Cascade’s Pima Silk because it is an extra strong fiber blend of 85% Peruvian pima cotton and 15% silk. The key to a knit market bag is a strong fiber that will last. This blend knits up like butter and has wonderful stitch definition. It was smooth to knit with and I know I’ll be knitting with Pima Silk again soon. This may just be my new favorite Cascade yarn!

This quick knit would be an ideal first lace project, or a good way to familiarize oneself with knitting in the round. With over 35 colors, you could knit up an arsenal to bring with you on your next trip to the market. Think of all the plastic bags you can say no to if you bring your own knit totes and go green! Knit bags can last forever, the yarn is strong and ideal for this kind of project and you can easily finish one in time for your next market excursion.

As summer draws to a close, we’ll celebrate my birthday and begin to see the school buses coming back out, the sweaters pulled from storage and the air begin the change. It’s important to remember to take time with your friends and family to make memories during this beautiful time of year before we hunker down for winter.

Download the free pattern here.