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Tinker Totes

Totes made from classic tinker toy dowels.

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While looking for a dowel for her handknitted bag, this designers eyes turned to her children's toybox. Precut Tinkertoy dowels were the perfect size, plus round connectors to hold them in place with childlike style. Knitted in colorful garter-stitch stripes, the bags are worked in one piece, from the base and up to the edges. Instructions for adding a lining are also included. Wooden Tinkertoy parts can still be found at thrift stores, yard sales, and auctions, or you can substitute plain dowels.
Finished Size: Large bag: About 9" (23 cm) wide, 7" (18 cm) tall, and 6" (15 cm) deep. Small bag: About 5" (12.5 cm) wide, 4" (10 cm) tall, and 2 1/2" (6.5 cm) deep.
Yarn: Classic Elite Provence (100% mercerized cotton; 205 yd [187 m]/100 g): #2672 French red, #2673 maize (yellow), #2682 asparagus (light green), and #2626 plum, 1 skein each will make both bags. The large bag requires about 1/2 skein each of red, maize, and asparagus; the small bag uses small amounts of maize, asparagus, and plum.
Yarn weight: #3 - Light
Gauge: 19 sts and 31 rows = 4" (10 cm) in St st on larger needles; 22 sts and 38 rows (19 garter ridges) = 4" (10 cm) in garter st on smaller needles.
Needles: Size 4 (3.5 mm): 24" (60-cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double-pointed (dpn). Size 6 (4 mm): 24" (60-cm) cir and set of 4 or 5 dpn. Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauges.
Notions: Markers (m); stitch holders; tapestry needle; two 5 1/4 (9 3/4)" (13.5 [25]-cm) wooden Tinkertoy dowels; four 1 1/4 (2)" (3.2 [5]-cm) wooden Tinkertoy connectors; 1 yd (1 m) 36" (1-m)-wide fabric for lining (optional); sharp-pointed sewing needle and matching thread for lining (optional); craft felt for stiffening bottom of bag (optional); wood glue (optional).
Originally Published: Interweave Knits, Summer 2004

SKU: EP0448

Author/Speaker/Editor: Annie Modesitt

Format: eProject