After a rocky start and much swearing, I'm pleased I persevered with this project and finished it. My first tote is now complete and was passed a test run to the shops this morning. I've learnt new techniques with this project, I-cord and Kitchener stitch. The latter I need to practice on.
I'm now on my second tote. Having learnt from the first, I'm using a different yarn this time, Rowan Cotton Denim. I've also added four rows of garter stitch at the beginning (and will repeat at the end) and two garter stitches at the beginning and end of each row. I'm hoping both this modifications will make the next bag a little less wonky. I'll also make the handles shorter.
This could become habit forming. . .