Amy’s comment below is right–why let good Manos go unused? I think talking it out last night on the blog helped me realize that, and I happily knit away on my version of the Lopi tote using the yarn.
The pattern calls for large needles and a gauge of 3st=1in. I looked at a book I have on felting, and it does say that you want your gauge to be rather loose, but when I did the Manos at 3/in, it looked ridiculous. I know I’ve never felted, so what do I really know about how it’s going to turn out, but I want a firm finished product, and I decided that that meant I needed a more normal gauge. So I switched from 11s to some mysterious size (Asian needles that are very old) that’s big but not so big and kind of looks like 10s to me (though they’re labled 11, I think). To maintain the general size, I increased the total stitches to 100. I also wanted the top edge to be a little fuller than the rest, so I did some garter stitch up there.
I’m beyond the handles and am just moseying along in the body of the bag. No need to think, which is quite nice.
Last night before I went to sleep I lay in bed thinking of possibilities with the bags and got very excited. THIS is the kind of feeling I’m used to when I knit. I decided that mom would get this Manos bag for Xmas and that I’d fill it with fun stuff–sort of like a stocking. Maybe I’ll try to make a matching low box for dad that he could put on his dresser to hold random things, and I’d fill his with things like golf balls and tees and a book or two. I can just picture the gifts under the tree, filled with wrapped presents.