Today I made the single crochet row all the way around the 96 inches of the third strip for the panel that will form the back/top.front flap and made it more than half way up one side with the six-chain loop row that is for joining the strip to it's neighbor. With two of the strips for that panel already having those rows complete that leaves completing the loop row on this (left vertical strip in pic) and both rows on the two outer strips before I can join the strips into the panel. I'm hoping by this time next week.
After that the bulk of the work will be in the Mobius strip that will form the bottom/sides/carry strap. I have that about three inches wide now after adding nearly a third of an inch in the last two days and am aiming for twelve. That will probably take another month because not only do I estimate another sixty hours in the Mobius the thread I ordered for it right after Christmas is waiting for me at home where I won't be until mid February. Though if I use up the two Twig I have with me I may go ahead and try to buy a couple more while still here at Mom's.
I really, really, really want to be done by early to mid March. February 25 will make it two months past due and I would like to be able to have it done by then but I won't be back home until February 13th or 14th which would leave me only 11 days for what will probably be another 50 hours of work including all the finishing touches I have planned--joining the Mobius to the panels and adding pockets and buttons and tucking all the stray tails.
I want to finish sooner rather than later not just because this Secret Santa project is shamefully overdue already but because I won't allow myself to start the two baby afghans I need to finish by mid June until I have finished this tote bag or at least done all I can do until I get back home.