I made this bag for the Ravelry Aussie Knitters Orange swap last month and I was pretty happy with it, I have to say. It's probably way over-engineered for a simple market bag (there are much easier patterns out there) but it's a really nicely constructed bag, and so very pretty, which makes it great for a gift or a more "special" sort of market bag!
Pattern: Strawberry Market Bag by Aryn Morse (Rav Link) (blog link). Really nice details in this bag. It is knitted from the top (picot edge) down, and finished with a circular base.
The handles are knitted separately, with eyelets threaded with ribbon, and sewn on. The pattern has only one longer handle, but I thought two shorter handles would be more practical for my pal.
Yarn: Just over 2 x 50g balls of Moda Vera Soya, colour 04. I saw this yarn in Spotlight, and loved the colour - thought it would be good for the orange swap (and I am on such an orange kick right now!). I've never knit with soya yarn (well, not 100% soya). It's quite similar to bamboo yarns in terms of drape and slipperiness, and can be a bit splitty but I seem to be able to manage that ok. It's got a bit of a halo, and is sort of "sticky" when knitting with it. Hard to explain, but it leaves my hands feeling almost dirty after I knit with it - I know that doesn't make it sound very pleasant, but it's not bad at all!! The knitted fabric feels really nice.
Sticks: A whole range of sizes! Thank goodness for interchangeables! 3mm for the straps, 3.5mm for the base, 4mm for the picot edge and 5mm for the bag body (I think...). The soya is a 4ply/fingering equivalent, and I wasn't sure how stretchy it would be, so knit at a slightly tighter gauge than the pattern suggests.
Time: 12-24 January 2009. As it was for a swap, and I was coming up against the deadline, I mostly knit on this project during this period - so you can see that (a) I'm a slow knitter (!) and (b) it is a bit more time consuming than many other market bag patterns. But so pretty!
What I learnt: A really handy technique for picot edges!! I was so pleased with myself! The pattern has you do a provisional cast on using a spare cable or circular needle, rather than waste yarn. The technique is the same though, and as I'd never done it, I followed the tutorial on knittinghelp.com and watched the video about 5 times before starting myself!
It was a bit tricky knitting the first row, but I got there, and the more rows you do, the less awkward it becomes having the cable sort of flapping there.
When you are ready to turn the picot edge, you just attach a needle to the cable holding the cast on stitches, and knit the live stitch and the cast on stitch together, thereby making the picot edge!
So clever! I felt like such a knitting genius when I'd knit right around the picot edge and had this!
I will be far less scared of picot edges now, because of this great method!!