Monday, May 29, 2006

Felted Handbag

My first attempt at a knitted-felted object is complete. I knit a bag, with no pattern, on size 15 needles (the largest I had in my circular Denise kit) out of black, white and blue Lana Wool found at Ace Hardware (the white was previously used for the baby kimono...Remember when I thought I was going to run out of wool?)
I knit a stockinette square of 30 stitches and 30 rows, picked up stitches circularly, and knit stripes until I figured I was done, cast off every other 30 stitches (for the edge) and reduced the remaining 2 sets of 30 stitches until I made a strap. Finished the strap when I ran out of the black wool.
Felting: Did a hand-felt in hot and cold water, then put through the dryer. It shrunk, but not by much. The knit stitches were still discernible, the bag still stretched when something weighty was placed in it. So yesterday I threw it in a hot/cold wash with my towels and tee-shirts, then in the dryer. It felted fabulously!
Makes me want to move onto felted slippers, felted fedora hats...

Mostly this was an experiment:
-I wanted to have more than one project on the needles. Of course, now that this is done felting, I am back to just the "Buck the Curse" socks. Must cast-on something else now... Of course, I am thinking about a zipper in the bag, so technically it is still an UFO?
-I wanted to try the technique of knitting a square and then turning the corner into knitting in the round, a technique we had discussed at our 2nd Waimea knitting meeting.
-I wanted to deliberately cause felt by abusing the wool. I am wearing 2 pair of socks with accidental felted parts now, and I wanted to use this technique for good!
-I wanted some easy stockinette in leftover wool without a pattern as some easy, stress-free knitting. Seemed I raced through that and need another...


keohinani said...

ace hardware sells wool? really?

uhoava gnu said...

The bag looks great! A zipper would be practical but, is very hard to sew on such a thick fabric.
I like the colours you chose for the bag :)

Kel said...

Haha! Yup: Only this wool, though. And the colors can be explained thus: Ace hardware had white, blue, black, and brown. That was it. Brown didn't really go well with this project.
I did end up hand sewing a zipper into this bag, and it was a bit difficult. It works great! But I am a bit worried about the tenuousness of my sewing...