My friend’s birthday was coming up, and she’d hinted heavily that she wanted a bag like the one Erika made me from a pattern at our LYS. She knitted a fabulous, salsa-colored handbag for my birthday, decorated with a black tassel and fancy stone button, which nets me compliments all the time.

I fear the felt, since I’ve only done it twice, with a 50/50 chance of ending up with something unusable. But that’s what Ms. A wanted, so I resolved to try again.

I started with a Yarn Swap skein of Brown Sheep Bulky in brown, and, as you can see, the dye lot is….different than what’s available now.
But I pushed on, hoping for a retro-two-tone effect. Mistake #1.

When felting time rolled around, the bag went in the washer, without a protective pillowcase. Mistake #2.
To my horror, it felted just fine–on the top. The bottom seemed as before, only wetter and smelling like a dirty sheep.  Was it the position in the machine, the different yarn (the same brand!?), an angry sprite?
My neighbor, the kind and accomplished knitter, lent me a washboard so I can rub the heck out of the bottom, hoping for something good, but with my felting history, I’m not expecting much.  Maybe the felt just senses my fear like an attack dog, maybe it knows that I think it’s a waste of a lot of yarn and effort.

Maybe I can just sew her a bag out of felted thrift-store sweaters.

Speaking of sewing, I know spring arrived last week when my urge to sew blossomed like an insistent crocus. This always happens in spring, when I start feverishly cutting out and stitching clothes. Promising myself to finish old projects first, I completed this skirt last week, a  plain corduroy A-line with pockets I had sewed two years ago and decided to jazz up.Img_0043

The plaid-bow detail was inspired by something in a knitting magazine–they always show the models in couture skirts to make the sweaters pop. Sometimes the skirts look totally over-the-top, which I love. The ruffle I added because too much is never enough for me.  It’s a sandwashed corduroy fabric with plaid flannel; I lined the ruffle with white  slippery fabric to prevent it sticking to my tights. 
When I put it on, though, the ruffle looked out-of-proportion for me, so I’ll probably shorten it.  Next–finish Belle’s polka-dot skirt and my Russian skirt altered from a 70’s dress my mom handed down to me. Oh, and cooking aprons for the kids and dishcloths with pompoms.

And gardening, and editing the zine, and finishing the two auction scarves, and writing, and, and, and…sigh. I’ll let the optimism of spring take me as far as it can.

March 25, 2007 by Knitcircus

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