Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Big Bags

Under the eyes, you're thinking? Probably, but knitted, definitely.

My friend Sandra (who recently went back to England to live), made some felted bags that were great, and I'd always wanted to do one... but 100% wool (not superwash or machine-washable in any way) is hard to find out here, and the idea of knitting something oversized and shrinking it rather put me off. However, I finally gave in when I saw some pure merino on this site, and promptly ordered some.


The yarn description was handwash, lie flat etc, so I was sure it would be perfect for felting, and the price wasn't bad, either - I thought I could still sell the finished article at a profit. So off I went, working from Sandra's pattern (using two strands of yarn) and produced this monster...

It's a lovely colour and I could see it with embroidery and a pretty lining - maybe some vintage French fabric... So, I washed it at 40º as instructed, with towels, etc. It came out exactly as it went in, so I washed it again, on 60º this time, and a longer wash... ...no change! The picture you see is after these two washes and the yarn is perfect - I highly recommend it - for anything except felting! It feels soft and silky and every stitch is perfect.

I was a bit miffed, to say the least. But not completely discouraged and, after a week or so, I started on another one, using Colourscape yarn which I know felts beautifully, because I went on a course where lots of ladies used it for making a felted bag - like this one made by Helen...

...so I thought my efforts wouldn't be in vain this time. I made about half of the new bag...

And then....

I bought this book...

It is fabulous!!!! I wanted to make every bag in it - but I knew I had to finish the current project. (I know - not like me at all!) so I decided to take a few ideas from Bea's book and I added in a couple of stripes, using a fancy eyelash-and-bobble yarn that I had previously used for making tea cosies!

So here is the bag so far....

...I changed the pattern a little and I'm doing i-cord handles so it can be worn over the shoulder, and therefore have put 4 holes in near the top to thread the i-cord through. It just needs a few more rows and the i-cord and it'll be ready for the washing-machine! Wish me luck - I'll let you know how it goes!

2 comments:

marigold jam said...

Isn't that always the way - had it been your best cashmere sweater it would have gone all felted but because you wanted it to it didn't. How very frustrating. Better luck with the next one. Bet if you did it on a 90 degree wash it would come out doll size!!

Solstitches said...

I've seen that company and wondered what the yarns were like.
They are so cheap although I suppose the postage bumps it up quite a bit.
Hard to get anything decent here in Spain so I might give them a go.
Margaret