Monday, April 14, 2008

Jumbo Stripped Tote

OK, this is number four and my all time favorite tote so far. This one is knit with Crystal Palace's Biwa yarn. It's 100% Pearl Cotton Mercerized and it has a love tight twist. It comes in smaller balls of 93 yards with a recommended needle size of US 6-7. For this tote I knit on size US9 as the pattern recommends up sizing for a lacier feel. The bag took 5 balls: One for each color strip, one divided between the flat bottom and upper knit edge, and about half to do the handles.

This is knit in the round and started at the flat bottom following this technique. I wanted a bit larger bag this time with enough size to hold a few boxes, like cereal and pasta. So this started with 61 stitches across the bottom edge. The base is worked first in garter stitch and then stitches picked up on the remaining three sides. These are knit in the round in stockinette stitch before the pattern work begins. I knew I wanted this to be a striped bag so I allowed the height to be determined by each yarn ball. After the stripes I decided to add several rows of stockinette stitch to increase the turquoise color at the top. I really wanted the color to balance out a bit more than just using the blue for the iCord handle.

I also drafted a new way of working the handles. I really am not pleased with the way the Kitchener Stitch closing, as it keeps looking too bulky at the bags edge. So I worked the this as a one piece handle that caught up both edges, leaving enough floating iCord to allow the bag to lay wide open. I started as the pattern instructs, with the attached portion and then the free iCord. But instead of closing it off to the begin, I moved to the other edge and reattached it. I worked a second attached edge and another matching length of free iCord before finally meeting back up with the original cast one edge. This is a perfect handle now. I stores flat with the bag, allows plenty of room for loading and is long enough to swing over the shoulder. Now, if I could just get that darn kitchener to look nice! I'm thinking it might have something to do with it's location also.... there is alot of stress where it meets the bag. Off to try one more, this time something to hold heavy canned goods!

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