Pattern: Celtic Tote - Jennifer Tallapeneni - IK Winter '07
Colour: "Ironside Grey" - Col#122 Lot#3108
Needles: 5.5mm Aero
Start: Oct. 27/08 Finish: Jan. 15/09
Modifications: Side finishing - details below
I like the knit, I like the finished bag.
I anticipated the sides of the bag might droop under the weight of the bag's contents so I doubled the quantity of stiffener knit into the bottom of the bag.
I also made the side seams more robust by sewing right sides together and then back stitching on either side in contrast yarn to match the detail around the cables. (Instead of just sewing wrong sides together as the pattern dictates) I also assumed the light fulling of the bag would make the fabric less soft but it made no discernible difference in that regard.
Whining about "droop" aside, I'm really happy with this piece. Its the size and shape I anticipated and the Ella Rae "Ironside Grey" yarn has a slight variation in its greyness that once knit in the reverse stocking stitch reminds me of woven wool suiting.
I used about 450 yards of yarn - a wee bit over two balls.
Grafting the cabled handles to meet the tops of the cables on the bag beautifully infers the cables flow up and around the handles - a detail I find satisfying beyond reason so I highlighted it with contrast back stitching unlike in the magazine version which features no contrast stitching in this area.
The irregularity of the cable crossings adds to the character of the finished bag and so was well worth the additional attention paid to the chart to make it happen.
Finally we have the button. Do you believe I had this on hand? Just the one button - what else would it/could it have been used for? Like a good button should it ties the details of the rest of the piece together while also adding a bit of its own magic. The shiny black that encircles the centre was the determining factor in choosing to use black for the embroidery around the cables. (I was favouring blue until I saw the button in context.)
So that's it - once again a great experience with an IK pattern and with the Winter 2007 issue in particular (Bonbon and Gathered Pullovers both came out of that issue as well) I did print off the page of notes the designer blogged about the pattern a while after the publication date and I found them quite useful. There is a very small bit of errata right at the beginning (you'll have to scroll down to Celtic Tote) - its also on Ravelry.
Finishing this leaves my knitting basket quite bereft of interesting projects (Cursed Red Scarf and Socks with Gauge Issues somehow just don't excite me that much) 'Still on the hunt for yarn in which to make "Vivian" I might have to visit my micro stash and see if there's anything there to entertain me in the meantime. I hope you have a good weekend of happy knitting in the meantime!