yes, RedThread, the plastic canvas idea is from stitch'n'bitch, but i couldn't think of a more plausible way to uphold the structure. i mentioned the process in the post and all that good jazz. was it not clear enough? >_<
& ohmystars, thank you so much! your work is uber-inspiring, so i'm really flattered. the whole bag is knitted on size 7 straights, the handles were knitted with size 9 straights. i can't wait to see yours!