I envy those people who can sit down and knit a pair of baby booties in an evening. I am quite a bit slower than that. I was hit with a spate of baby showers recently, and my last-minute Saartje Booties in the Round took every evening after work for a week.
So, insane person that I am, on May 2 I decided to make a felted bag for Mother’s Day. I brought the yarn to my sister’s Rock the Lawn college spring concert that afternoon, and was able to knit by the reflection of the light effects bouncing off the ceiling in the auditorium rain location – then kept going pretty much every spare moment since then. I finished crocheting the lilies of the valley the night before, and attached them and felted the bag the morning of. Meaning of course the bag was still a bit damp and smelling nastily of wet wool when it was gifted. 🙂
The bag is of Cascade 220, based on the Cascading Fuchsias Market Bag No. 114 from the Noni Spring 2007 collection. The flowers are taken from Belinda Carter’s Crochet on the Edge, done double-stranded on an H hook. The stems are 3-stitch icord with 2 rows of 2-stitch icord extensions to the bells. It worked really well to leave a long tail when I picked up the stitches to run the small stems – then I could weave it in down to the base of the flower, tie a knot, and hide the ends inside the bells. I did lose two flowers in the wash, assembled before I figured this trick out. The felting worked best where I tacked down the stems right at the base of the flowers – it held the length of the icord a bit better. Also, I should have moved the rightmost stem perhaps an inch upwards when attaching – the crocheted flowers didn’t shrink as much as the knitted bag, so the bell of the lowest flower drooped past the bottom of the bag and had to be tacked further up with sewing thread.
I love the shape of the bag after it was felted – nice and sturdy – but I think I prefer the look of the flowers and stems before felting. If I do this again I will probably attach the flowers afterwards. I tend not to do most things again, as there are so many lovely patterns waiting for time (darn you Ravelry!), but I probably will repeat this one. I’m finding I can’t have enough nice tote bags to store the projects I’m currently working on.