I’ve finished another felted bag – is it possible to have too many of them? – and although it still needs to be lined, I thought I’d show it to you today. It won’t look any different from the outside once it’s lined, after all. 🙂
The Sipalu bag was available from Knitpicks as a kit, including the wool, but I didn’t like that it wasn’t felted. I knew the result would be less sturdy unfelted, particularly knit of a fingering weight yarn (the kit came with Palette.) The pattern for the Sipalu bag was and is available on its own, so that’s what I bought. The pattern specifies knitting with a number of colours, but I decided to use a self-striping yarn with a contrasting solid instead. I dug into my stash and came up with my felting standby, Patons Soy Wool Stripes and Soy Wool Solids. I used Black and Natural Plum.
I did run out of black. Since the SWS yarn is discontinued, I couldn’t find any more. (I tried.) I then substituted solid red SWS, but didn’t like it in the fair isle – there wasn’t enough contrast with the self-striping Natural Plum – so I frogged that back but used the red on the garter stitch edges. The bag sat, unfinished, in my knitting basket while I tried to figure out what to do. One day I saw a very similar yarn to SWS balled with another company’s label, which gave me the idea of using the Ravelry search engine to find a substitute. Ravelry has a great search engine that lets you specify many variables – I used the content (soy and wool) and the weight (aran) , then looked for single ply yarns in solid colours. I found Gjestal Bris, with a buy link, so ordered some of that. It’s a bit thinner than the SWS, but since I was felting the end product, it worked out just fine.
Here’s the unfelted version of the bag:
You’re probably wondering about the white cording. I decided that I wanted the edges of the bag to be more round than the garter stitch alone would make them. I wanted them to be like piping around the edge. So, I bought some cotton cord at the fabric store, the kind that’s used to make piping (!), and sewed it in to all the edges. (I slip-stitched the garter stitch ridge closed on the inside of the bag, with the cord trapped inside.) Because I wasn’t sure if the cord would shrink – or whether it would shrink at the same rate as the SWS – I left the ends long. After the felting was done, I tugged the cords so that the piping was smooth on each edge, then trimmed them and secured the ends inside the bag.
Here’s the bag felted and ready for its lining. It could have been felted just a little bit less, but felting is an inexact science. The button is handmade of porcelain.
Here’s my project page on Ravelry, if you want to see more nitty gritty details.
What do you think?