My mesh bag is done! This is knit in Classic Elite’s Bam Boo Print yarn, the aqua colourway. 4mm circular needles. It is a *very* rough version of the Turkish String Bag by Judy Gibson.
I suppose I could say that my bag was ‘inspired by’ the Turkish String bag. Here’s how I knit this, including what I did differently on purpose (1 and 2):
- I used worsted weight bamboo yarn instead of #10 crochet cotton.
- I used 4mm circulars instead of 9mm circulars (size six instead of size 13).
- I completely messed up the Turkish Stitch in the first few rows, so my stitches laddered.
- I realized I had messed up, fixed it so I was working Turkish Stitch for about five rows, then decided I didn’t like Turkish Stitch, and thought the laddering was prettier.
- I tried to go back to laddering, and had a lot of trouble figuring out how to do it, resulting in several very odd rows before I figured it out.
- I ran out of yarn and had to stop for several weeks.
- I finally got more yarn, and started up again, and promptly messed up the laddering again, so I was actually knitting more Turkish Stitch.
- When I figured out how to stop knitting Turkish Stitch and got back to the laddering, it was going the opposite direction.
- I decided it looked much prettier going the opposite direction – you can see the stitches much more clearly – so I kept doing it that way.
- At this point I just worked in pattern for a while, then did a stitch count. Through some minor miracle I had the same number of stitches that I am supposed to have in Judy’s pattern!
- So I started finishing – decreases, then garter stitch, then binding off but for the strap and knitting and joining the strap. All this I actually did to pattern.
And here is the bag. The book is ‘Vegetable Love’ by Barbara Kafka – it’s a *huge* book, which shows just how stretchy this bag is.
Things I learned from doing this project:
- The importance of stitch count in YO based patterns. Everytime this went wonky on me, it was because I had lost or added a stitch somehow and my count was off.
- Bam Boo yarn is a pain to knit with – it needs to be untwisted every few rows.
- The desire to stretch in length which is inherent in all bamboo yarns is a very very good quality for a mesh bag.
- The garter stitch handle is too wide – when I knit this again I’ll make it narrower.
Things that this project has inspired me to do:
- Knit it again in my own variation now that I know what I like and what I want. I’ll get the laddering I like established right off the bat, watch my stitch count more carefully so it doesn’t go wonky, narrow the garter stitch handle, and buy three skeins of yarn instead of two so I can make it deeper.
- Knit it again to pattern – my bag came out nothing like the bag that Judy had designed, and I want her bag too.