I Commit Another Crime Against Gauge

This time, the crime involves my string bag.

Pattern: Elisa’s Nest Tote, long-handled version
Yarn: Just over 1 skein of Plymouth’s Fantasy Naturale mercerized cotton color 9002 and one skein mercerized, cable-spun mystery cotton (worsted-ish weight) in green.
Needles: size 8, but read on before you grab yours
Additional note: See below for theoretical adaptation to worsted-weight yarn. The applied i-cord border really pulls in the top. If you want a bigger opening, begin crocheting the side seams together about an inch down from the CO/BO edges

When I got the project together, I read “one skein” and “cotton.” I was busy getting ready for our trip to California, and my main concerns were not forgetting anything essential to survival like socks or my hairbrush or toothpaste.

I started the project the morning we left, and when the 41 stitches on size 9s produced a piece that was 12 inches, not the desired 8, I thought–oh, gotta go down a size.

Had I done my homework, I would’ve known that Rowan 4-ply Cotton was a fingering weight yarn, not a worsted. And working a worsted yarn on needles only one size above what’s recommended on the label will not provide the extraordinary amount of stretch intended.

Here’s what I should’ve done:
1. Go up to a size 10 or 11 needle
2. Cut down the number of stitches to, say, 29 (the stitch pattern is a multiple of 2 sts + 1, I do believe)

Ah, well. I’m not the only person to finish with something not-quite-intended. I found the pattern on Owl and Acorn, and the proprietress, who had knit her version in the round, wasn’t so hip on the stretch factor and the size of the opening.

I know failure to research and read instructions properly are part of the issues I had with my version, but I’m chalking up a portion of the blame to the weirdness of the pattern. I mean, knitters usually do everything in their power to avoid stretching out their knits, and to achieve the yarn’s intended gauge.

But don’t worry, I’m not going to sit and moan about this project.

The blue-against green adds to its quirkiness,

and it passed the stretchability test (materials: one 16-inch PowerBook and an armoire)

I can’t say that I’m thrilled about having added almost a full skein of Fantasy Naturale in my stash, but seeing as the project wasn’t a complete, resounding failure, I’m going to call it a success and hold a washcloth-knitting party in my room. How does that sound?

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