I ended up casting on 120 stitches. Then adding a total of 78 rows, best I can count. 21 rows of brown, 7 cream, 4 grey, 3 cream, 9 black, 5 grey, 3 brown, 6 cream, 7 black, 5 grey, 9 cream, 2 brown. The cats seem rather fond of 100% wool.
Once the bag was done, it was time to start on the handles. I cast on 7 stitches of two threads and made an I (eye?) cord. I chose grey and made the handles about 33 inches long, a total guess, since I have no idea how much these are going to shrink up. A book I got at the library suggested knitting up a sample, measuring it, felting it, and then comparing the old size to new size for a ratio on how big to make the actual project. That sounds like wasted time and yarn to me.
I was told I would need 3 skeins. If I had done a solid color, that would have been true. I wanted 4 colors in my bag so I went with 4 skeins. During the making of the handles, I ran out of grey. I have to buy a 5th skein. I would have had plenty of yarn had I chosen black or cream for the handles. I have both of those left and will just have to make something else... when my wrist is better.
Time to felt! The finished bag pre-felting was 13 inches wide at the bottom and 16" wide at the top. This is because of the corners I added to give it some width. It is about 15 inches tall. I felted in a pillow case in the hot cycle of my washer. I was told to add a few drops of dish soap. I am not sure of the reason, but think it was something in common with the few drops of dish soap I added to the cloth diapers in the wash when they needed 'stripped.' It took 1 and 1/2 trips through the wash cycle before I was happy with the result. The pieces were then laid out and stuffed with towels to dry. I stitched up a pocket piece at some point too.
I am really enjoying my new bag! I am excited to have a very neutral bag that should not need changed out all winter long.
My new bag and I went to the yarn shop (heavenly angels singing.....) today and bought really nice yarn (my bag was jealous) for the next bag. This yarn was so fancy (to me- who is a cheap shopper) that it wasn't bound, they had a big wooden spool thing that they used to spool it up for me. The kids and I were rather impressed. They had a big sign by the white and cream colored yarns that said "does not felt well". Guess that answers that. This one needs to be done by Christmas, so I'd better get at it!