Due to the travel prep, traveling and settling in at Mom's in the past week I've only completed the joining prep on one of the five remaining strips. This is the middle strip for the panel that forms the back/top/front flap. I call it the loops strip because that is the name of the stitch it showcases. There are four more strips to join to this one--two on each side. Each strip with a different stitch.
It was New Year's Eve when I finished joining the three strips for the front panel that wraps horizontally around the front and sides of the tote and began prepping this strip for joining its mates. That prepping entails a round of single crochet followed by a round of six-chain loops. These loops on the edge will be woven to the loops on the edge of the neighboring strip.
I will begin the prep on one of this on'e neighbor's soon.
The loops that give the stitch its name tho are not those on the edge but those on the interior. Every forth row as the color changes a twelve-chain loop was created every forth single crochet stitch. After the entire 11 square strip was finished I then started with the bottom loop of the far left column and pulled the loop above it through and then the loop above that through the second loop and so forth to the end of the strip, repeating eight more times for the rest of the columns.
This strip was by far the most time consuming with each 4x4 inch square taking over 5 hours to crochet. Which does not count weaving the loops up the 44 inch columns. That took 20-30 minutes per column. In spite of the time consuming aspect of this stitch it was one of my favorites and I hope to use it again for something some day. I think it'd make an awesome scarf or afghan or pillow cover.
This is still the same Secret Santa project that I've been reporting on since last summer. Obviously it did not get done in time. I'm pressing hard to finish it by the end of February tho I can no longer do those 8 to 12 hour days as I did between December 1st and 25th. But I'm really motivated to finish this before March so I can begin the two baby afghans for a niece and nephew both expecting their first in June.