Sunday, July 01, 2007

Baby did a bad bad thing

A few months ago I won Elspeth's WIP it out competition and scored amongst other things 120 grams [ 4 and a bit ounces ] of frogged Noro Silk Garden in just my colours... but what to do with it?

Silk Garden comes in THE most luscious colours but is more than a bit itchy scratchy. 120 grams would be enough for a hat or a scarf but I'd go nuts with them next to my skin and so would DD or DDIL. So what to do?

Then the light came on.
A bag. A felted bag ... yes my darlings I was seriously contemplating felting $14.50 a ball Noro.
Can never have too many bags, right? Tell me that Elspeth isn't going to have my guts for gaiters. [ Stop that. Conniptions are unbecoming in the mature Blog reader ] Okay already, I'm hanging my head in shame. It's right up there with sloth and gluttony. I am a bad person. Can we move on now?
Bags don't make you itch... and they're practical.

120 grams won't make you a very big bag though, so I had a rummage through the tubs and

I gathered together a collection of similar weights in black, teal, green, purple. Amazing really just how much I had in those precise colours that was feltable : BMW Alpaca, Rustic, Colonial and Charisma plus some other odds and sods. The unknown odds and sods got swatched and test felted to be on the safe side.
So onward and upward. I double stranded on 8mm needles and just knitted till it looked about right. The base was done in garter stitch then picked up all round and transfered to circs until I got to the flap which was back to garter stitch. So far so good. Up to this point it was all stash but I really only had pale-ish colours left which wasn't all that practical for the strap so I had to fork out for a couple of balls of dark green Panda Woolbale which was about all that I could find locally. Anyway one strand of that and one of purple came out sort of greyish. I only used one ball so there's an extra ball of green added to the stash. Oh well.

Then into the machine. Felting with a front loader is part science, part good luck. This time I lucked out. It is luxuriously thick and sturdy... and about a quarter of its original volume.
Now this is my terrifically sophisticated method for drying extremely thick felt in the middle of winter. Two towels in front of the woodfire. Towels changed frequently.

Sophie thought that some added weight might help. She's so generous that way.

and 2 days of drying later, it's not 100% dry but patience is not my middle name so after the manipulation of the biggest. sharpest needle I could find, the strap is on.

Oh and to prove that anything is possible: Ms Sophie [ mine ] and Suki [ Nadie's ].


crazyhaberdasher said...

Looks fantastic Susan, you are clever! ....and what a dear photo of Sophie and Suki!

catsmum said...

Well Maz, that band of pale aqua green is the BWM Charisma you gave me the last time you were up. So it wouldn't have looked as good without you :]

Bells said...

I think one of the reasons I've not ventured far into felting is because I have a front loader. But your results are encouraging. I think it looks great!

RachelW said...

The bag came out GREAT! Love it! I've been known to felt a "too nice" wool on occasion - and I'm going to be using your excuse from now on: bags don't itch.

Sheepish Annie said...

I'm never against a good felting. But even those who are couldn't argue with those results! And the bag is so wonderful that it sent out happy vibes to the entire household...hence the kitty love!

Yarn is good. Very, very good.

Tanya Brown said...

This is really beautiful! Like a sunset you can drape over your arm.

The kitties aren't bad, either. 8>)

Rose Red said...

The bag looks great - I too was a bit scared about felting Noro, so I bought some of the Cleckheaton Vintage Hues yarn - hope it turns out as well as yours!
(Cats are sooo helpful, aren't they!)

Queen of the froggers. said...

What a greatbag, well done! I always use a front loader with no problems for felting.

Caitlin O'Connor said...

YUMMALICIOUS bag! You are so clever! I didn't know you couldn't felt in a front loader - I've been intentionally felting all the dog's blankets all winter in mine- they're really yummy and thick now! I hot wash with detergent and they seem to take a couple of goes through but they work....

AAAAAAAAAAAND - I've taken the plunge into knitting - and YOU are part of the bad influence, you wicked woman you!

trek said...

I might've done a tiny bag or something with the Noro - that is if I could've forced myself to knit it. I can't stand the feel of it in the slightest (even if it comes in pretty colors) so I am 100% behind you on the felting.

Mandie said...

Great bag - LOVE the colours!
Are you counting the sleeps 'til Bendy?

catsmum said...

nope but I'll be there bright and early on the 20th. Maz [ Crazy haberdasher ] is hopefully coming up and I wrote myself a Bendigonia exemption from my Knit From Your Stash rules.
Which day are you going Mandy?