In the midst of all this blog tour frenzy and book promotion, let’s talk about something different.
Let’s talk about knitting.
In fact, let’s talk about recycling other people’s knitting. I stepped away from my computer and from my desk this weekend to create something. Here it is:
The bag is a gift – for someone who almost certainly doesn’t read my blog, so it’s safe to show it here. It’s made primarily from a Gap sweater, which was a crew neck pullover with raglan sleeves and lovely fair isle patterning. I got it at the thrift store for a buck, because someone had tossed it into the washing machine and started the felting process. It probably hadn’t fit the person after that. I brought it home and tossed it into the washing machine again to felt it even more. I really liked how colourful it was and knew it would make a great bag.
The bag itself is made of the body of the sweater – you can see the ribbing from the hem at the bottom of the bag. I often cut that off, but this sweater had shrunk a lot and I didn’t want to make the bag smaller than it could be. (It’s about 12″ deep finished and 13″ wide.)
As far as shaping goes, I used the body of the sweater up to the underarms. The flap is actually the front of the sweater. I cut the raglan seams open on either side of the front and kept all of the front, shaping it at the neck to have a nice curve for the flap. Then I cut straight across the back of the sweater at the underarms – the fair isle pattern made it easy to do that straight! – and removed the sleeves.
The sleeves will become another small purse. I’ve cut the pieces and all that will go in the trash from this sweater is the neck ribbing. 🙂
Then I dove into my fabric stash, which is quite considerable. I chose a colourful check for the contrast piping and cut it on the diagonal, making piping with cotton cording. The lining is the same cotton. The bag is lined with a drawstring top, contrast piping all around and nylon straps. I like the button a lot. I’m less happy about the straps but handles are always an issue for these bags. I have bought leather handles in the past, but they’re expensive and I haven’t seen any locally for a while. I used the handles and lock strap from Grayson E. on this bag, for example, but the set cost over $100. It was fine for a special project – I had actually knit this bag myself – but is not something I’ll do for every bag.
The tapestry bag also has feet, which I didn’t put on this newest little purse.
As far as the purse goes, my only regret is that I didn’t put a zippered pocket inside – I usually put one in the lining but just forgot this time.
What do you think? Do you recycle anything to make it into something else?