I’m Felting! I’m Felting!

Blocking the Booga Bag.(To misquote the Wicked Witch of the West.)

Water, it turns out, has a different — though no less dramatic — impact on wool than it does on witches. It turns knitted items into felt, which is a lesson knitters are taught early on, in order to avoid such things as accidentally making felt booties or dry-clean only socks.

Felting, however, can be incredibly useful when done on purpose. It makes a sturdier fabric for things like bags. Yes, that’s right, I’ve found a way to combine my lifelong love of purses with my new-found fascination with knitting. Whee!

My first attempt is this bag, which I saw displayed at the yarn store and impulsively bought the supplies to make. I intentionally selected an autumnal colorway, thinking I wouldn’t get to the project for a month or so, but this past weekend ended up being too hot to leave the apartment, so I got started. It worked up so quickly that I finished knitting last night and threw it in the wash for the felting. It’s drying now, as per the instructions, and I am hoping to attach the straps this evening. And fall-y colors or not, I hope to be carrying it tomorrow!

5 thoughts on “I’m Felting! I’m Felting!

  1. Eileen August 7, 2007 / 11:26 am

    That is fascinating. I have learned something new today. I guess I know what I’ll be getting for Christmas this year!

    Congrats. It looks like you did a great job. BTW, is there a matching IPOD cover?

  2. sprite August 7, 2007 / 11:28 am

    Hooray! I recently finished a purpley bag last week, too. And I absolutely love the colors. Noro?

  3. Sweetpea August 7, 2007 / 12:13 pm

    Dang, sprite. You do have an amazing knack for identifying yarn. It’s Noro Kureyon #188.

    And no, Eileen, no matching iPod cover. Yet, anyway. I don’t think I have enough leftovers to make one, either. I did consider knitting pockets into the inside for my iPod and phone, but I wasn’t sure how it would look with the felting — whether it would show too much on the outside. I am going to have to do some experiments to see how I need to do it, but I’m determined to figure it out.

  4. Mom August 7, 2007 / 8:46 pm

    Beautiful job, Sweetpea!! Your talent certainly is expanding rapidly. Me — I’m still on the same scarf. Not nearly as exciting as your project.

    Suggestion: Try using just a piece of linen-like fabric or chino-type fabric of similar color to make your inside pockets. Just sew with small stitches into one layer of your knit stitches to make the little pockets. It will be lighter and drag less on the bag but still give a sturdy place to stash our important gadgets. Also, the knit stitches might “grow” as you put things in/out of the pocket a million times and wind up sagging — the cloth will not “grow”. I can’t do purses without pockets for my Palm and phone! What do ye think? I too love the colors you chose 🙂 Hugs, Mom

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