Monday, February 21, 2011

Knitting a Felted Bag

I was trying to replicate a little felted bag my husband had bought for me at the farmers' market last summer, so I bought some inexpensive Lopi Icelandic wool at the local discount store and a pair of size 15 knitting needles. I already had a crochet hook.

Having knitted the bottom in a garter stitch, I set that aside (which is not how I'd do it another time) and knitted the body of the bag, adding in a couple stripes of a plum color. I finished off the top with the plum color crocheted in, and made two 28" handles of I-cord.

The bag at that point was 13" tall. I was hoping it would shrink down to about 7 inches. I threw it in the washing machine along with a couple pairs of jeans on hot wash and added a little Gain detergent. I had been told I should run it through maybe as many as three cycles.

After felting

I ran it through EIGHT cycles and the thing didn't felt down like I'd wanted it to. I was so annoyed. Not only didn't I get the dense, thick bag I'd wanted, but using all that hot water didn't help our electric bill either!

I showed the bag to my friends at Bible study the other day and they all commented on how wonderful it smelled! At least it smelled like Gain detergent and not dog, which is a nice change. Gail offered to take it home and run it through her washing machine which has a heavy agitation action. I'm hoping that will help. But then again, maybe I'm expecting too much out of that yarn. Maybe my needles were too big. And I really hope Gail doesn't run up her electric bill trying to solve this problem for me.

I do like the cool I-cord handles...

...and the garter stitch bottom

Believe it or not, I'm eager to try a felted purse again, but I suppose I should stick to a pattern and use the recommended wool and recommended needles. Sigh.

I'm still battling this stupid headcold/sinus problem and trying to avoid going to the doctor. Sleeping and knitting seem to be the only things I have energy for right now. Yesterday afternoon I worked on a hat and after making the body and then decreasing for about 6 rounds, realized that somehow I'd dropped a stitch a few rounds back. So I guess it's time to learn how to pick up a stitch. And that's why there's

Hope you all have a good week!

Author, Second Chance - A Tale of Two Puppies
Check out my handcrafted soaps at Soap'n'Such


Anonymous said...

I hope you are feeling better soon :) My mother has started knitting again but this time for a premature baby unit that requires jumpers and cardigans.. she googled 'knitting for charity' and found so many sites that she really 'into it' now.
I don't envy you your snow :( I think I would rather put up with cold hands.. I can't believe that you pay a £1 for a daff!!! they are coming through in my garden but probably will not flower until the middle of March.. take care, Judyx

Anonymous said...

oops and I forgot to write that I do love your bag especially the colours!! :))) xx

Unknown said...

I know nothing about knitting (or even sewing) I can't give you any pointers...but i can always give encouragement: I think the bag looks great! I love the colors!! :)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

The bag looks great! i've not tried felting yet, its on my hit list :) Love the colors you chose, they're great!! I bet the lack of felting is from the yarn, was it 100% wool? If there's any acrylic in it I *think* that it would affect the feltability. Either way its a great bag & now I want to make one too :) Picking up a stitch is easy, just get your crotchet hook & bring it up the ladder. No biggie :) I"m an expert at picking up dropped stitches after dropping many on this last hat I"ve been making :) Happy Knitting!!

Cranberry Morning said...

I'm glad you all like the colors I used in the bag. So do I! In fact, my original plan was to make a blue bag with plum accents and a plum bag with blue accents. And it is 100% wool. I'm really thinking maybe I'm expecting too much shrinkage. Then again, if I were trying to carefully wash a wool sweater, it would most likely shrink up to doll size!

Heide said...

What a fun project when you are under the weather!

Well, you did three things right! Wash with jeans, use a little detergent and knit with big needles. It might be your yarn. If it is spun tight it will not felt al well, if it has too much lanolin(natural sheep oil) in it that could be another problem. Then too, it might be your washer, some don't agitate enough. Have you thought of throwing it in the dryer? That might help. Oh, another thing, icelandic wool in not as good at felting as a "softer" wool.

Felting is such a variable thing! It can be fusterating. But it is fun!

Hope you feel better soon!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Oh I loooove the bag. Thanks for your kind words about Guinness. It so helps to hear that from people who really understand. It's been so long since I lost a pet. I forgot how difficult it is.

Happy Presidents Day!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner?

Cranberry Morning said...

Hmmmm. I didn't know that about Icelandic. It was a really stiff wool, probably why it was so cheap. :-) I did throw it in the dryer. I'll try one more bag with smaller needles and then if that doesn't work, I'll move on to a different wool. Thanks for the tip!

Rachel said...

I love the bag! I think it looks great! I have some friends who knit. I barely have the patience for cross stitching, not sure I could learn to knit or not. Maybe one day...

I'm sorry you are still feeling under the weather. :( I had a lot of allergy/sinus issues this past fall/early winter. They are no fun!! Praying that you are 100% again soon!


Unknown said...

GO get a Z-Pack! Silly girl! Don't you hate it when you think outside the box or go off the map and it doesn't quite turn out? Actually, having an adventure is fun! Keep creating the way you do!

George The Lad said...

Oh mom has the sinus's, sometimes she says its like being kicked in the face by a horse, not sure I want to find out how that feels.
So that's how you make felt, I did read the small print!! au de cologne of dog is ok :)
Hope you feel better soon
See Yea George xxx

Judy S. said...

Looks good to me! Maybe a sz. 11 needle would help? At least that's what I used on a felted purse with good results. Love the colors!

Karen Harris said...

Learning how to knit is on my bucket list so I don't know much about it but your purse looks awesome to me! I love the colors. I hope you're feeling better.

Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Love the bag! :)

Hope and pray you feel better soon. Last week I was fighting the same thing..

Linda Stubbs said...

Good morning!!!!!! I love this!!!!!!!!! How adorable and it would be a fun sitting project. Thank you so much. I love to knit and crochet.........cute cute cute!!!!!!!

Blessings to your day!

Midwest to Midlands said...

Why do things never shrink when you want them too and shrink when you don't want them to? I like what you did anyway. Hope you are feeling better. I am doing better than I was but hubby is going to the Dr. today. Wonder what he will find out. At least you are being productive with your crafting!

Tiffanee said...

I love this bag! It is so cute. Sorry you are still not feeling better. Hope it goes away soon! Take Care!

partialemptynester said...

LOVE the handle, too cute! Hope you're feeling better!

Candace said...

I hope you are feeling better! The bag is really cute.

SomeGirl said...

I LOVE that bag! If you want to make even more, I'll gladly review one for you. ;)

Btw, have you tried drinking apple cider vinegar with water for your head cold? It works wonders!


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