So there I was, listening to the Yarn Harlot (which I promise I'll talk about soon), and blithely knitting away on the long, plain stockinette section of the bag. And then I started to wonder exactly how long that long, plain section should be. But of course I didn’t wonder enough to stop knitting until I could check some figures. So: although my conjectural calculations (more about which, below) were that the body of the bag should be about 12.5” before fulling, what I now have is 14”. Sure, I could have ripped back—especially once I remembered that I’d been planning to put in holes for the straps before I got to the top edge. But I really dislike ripping out perfectly good knitting, and it’s not like I was that sure about the 12.5” anyway, so I left it.
I did, however, go back and put in the buttonholes by dropping stitches down at the right spots, thusly: As I knit the next round, every time I got to a buttonhole point, I dropped two stitches off the left needle and raveled them back 4 rows. Then I put the two (live, 4-rows-ago) stitches back on the left needle, and with the right needle, used the raveled float to knit the 2 stitches together and then form a yarnover. This takes slightly less yarn than knitting the stitches individually would have, so technically I’d have a little extra slack left, but in work this loose it really doesn’t matter. Then I re-knit the three rows above the buttonhole, being careful to use the floats in order. Here's a picture of the afterthought eyelets. Just to the left of center, you can also see the ridge of slipped stitches for the crease.
There are 8 buttonholes in this puppy, two in each of the four sides. It’s doubtful whether I saved myself any time by working the fix this way, as opposed to ripping out the four rows. But boy, I hate to rip my knitting.
So here’s where we stand to date: rather than try to establish a percentage by which the fabric will shrink, I came up with my cast-on number and stitch counts by thinking about the felted gauge of the project, and then knitting loosely. In other words, I’m confident that I can make Manos full down to a gauge of 4 sts per inch, since that’s what it gets in “normal” knitting. So for a 12” width, I want 48 sts—but instead of the usual stockinette gauge on #9s, I’m on #11s, getting about 3 sts per inch.
Length is trickier, because I don’t have much idea how many rows per inch I’ve gotten on fulled Manos before, and my experience is that my stockinette shrinks more in length (height) than in width. I consulted a couple patterns and found that 20% shrinkage in length seems a pretty common assumption, so I had planned on 12.5” from base of bag to edge border in order to yield a depth of 10”. The garter-stitch border at the top adds almost another 2” right now, though it should shrink down even more than the stockinette. (Shouldn’t it? I mean, garter stitch gets more rows per inch than stockinette every other day, right?)
The bag is currently 16” wide, almost 7” deep, and a total of 16” high. I couldn't find any #11 dpns, so here's a reminder that you can make i-cord on a circular needle if you have to:
I’m committed to doing the straps next (before the pockets) because otherwise I’m afraid I’ll never get around to them.