one last christmas gift

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Pattern: based on the Knitty French Market Bag
Yarn: Jo Sharp DK in Orient (MC) and Khaki (CC)
Needles: 7mm Addi Turbos (60 and 80 cm)

After much attention with a hairdryer, my last christmas gift made it into a box just in time for mum to arrive and take it back out again. This bag was based on the French Market Bag from Knitty with some modifications to make it more like the shopping baskets my mother bought in Vietnam 10 years ago and still uses to do her shopping every week. 10 years ago they were wonderfully unique, today you can get them everywhere, you know the ones - brightly coloured plastic baskets woven from packing tape (the stuff they use to bind palettes). Mum loves this shape of bag so I based the ratios of the sides on her 10 year old shopping baskets, consulted Montse Standley’s The Knitters Handbook for how to knit a rectangle from the centre out, cast on and prayed. I cannot tell you how relieved I am that it worked. For the record:

Cast on 2 stitches, pm, cst on 42 stitches, pm, cast on 2 stitches, pm, cast on 42 stitches.
Work as for the base knitted in the round in the original pattern.
When you have enough stitches to be able to flatten the base, seam the cast on edge together (the two 42 stitch sides should meet up nicely creating a rectangular base once sewn together).
Place the handles centered on the long sides with 4 stitches between the two sides of each handle.

The Jo Sharp DK was lovely to work with but really didn’t feel like wool at all. Not long after starting the first ball I felt compelled to go check that I hadn’t somehow made an awful mistake and bought DK cotton. The yarn was stretchy and easy on the hands like wool but not at all scratchy, it really did feel more like cotton sliding through my fingers. Unfortunately the colours bled a bit during the felting process and the blue that I was so in love with is no longer quite as vibrant but Mum is happy and that was, after all, the point…

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