Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Felted Market Bag

Finally finished my most intensive knitting project to date.  It is a very brightly colored bag and I love using it!

Our local knitting shop had a class for a Felted Farmer's Market Bag designed by Kristin Nicholas.  I just loved it, so had to take the class.  My mother, who is an expert seamstress, was kind enough to sew linings for the bags with a fun dotted material I found that coordinates with the wool beautifully.  She included interior pockets all the way around, so the bag is very handy to use.

Even though it has been several months, I have finally completed not just ONE bag, but TWO bags!  For my project, I selected very bright colors complemented with black.  When I realized that I would use less than half of each skein for the project, I decided to just knit two bags.  The second bag is a gift for a dear friend who is also a knitter, so I know she will appreciate the work. 

To start the project, seven colors of wool are knit into triangle shapes and then connected to complete a circle for the base of the bag.

Then stitches are picked up around the outside of the circle and 80 rows are knitted, alternating colors of wool.  When the knitting is complete, the project is very large.  These are the two bags after the knitting was finished.  For a size comparison, those are yardsticks in the photo.

Just to be silly, this is one of the bags covering my head, shoulders, and upper arms.  The knitted project was very large before felting!

To felt, each bag was put into a pillow case and then washed in hot water to shrink the wool and create the felted fabric.  Wool dries very slowly.  So, I placed a dinner plate into the bottom to shape the wool and then placed each plate on top of a bottle of wine.  These had to sit on the counter for a couple of days to dry completely.  My family was very puzzled when they saw the strange objects in the kitchen.

Leather straps, purchased from Homestead Heirlooms were used to complete the bags.  

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