Friday, 14 November 2008

Felt Knitting Bag, Finally Finished!

Phew, this knitting bag, has been going on for far too long. It seems like it has been brewing forever, though I know this is not true. This bag has been a bit of a challenge, to say the least, but I have learned many valuable lessons along the way.
  • Always have a plan before I start knitting
  • When felting with different, wools knit them together rather than in swatches, this way I can knit the form I want up, before felting, rather than having to sew up the swatches.
  • Either buy all the wool together or take samples of the wool, already bought, around with me, in case I want to buy some more to go with the project whilst I am out.
  • Use more than one strand of wool if a thick and firm felt is required (if the wool is not already very thick)
  • When sewing up a big project, take breaks so I don't hurt all over the next day.
  • Learn how to use a sewing machine, so I don't break it.
  • Velcro and felt do not mix, well actually they do, a little too well!
I think that is it for now, but I'm sure there were many more lessons learned that I haven't mentioned. So I guess this was quite an important project for me.

Aside from the above lessons learned (I won't call them mistakes) I am pretty pleased with this project. I love the way the colours work together, the bag is the right size and holds all the things I want it to and the strap/handle combo works well too.

This is the bag, all closed up, without the strap attached. I wanted to have handles so I could pick the bag up easily when out and about but also needed it to have a strap so I didn't have to carry it all the time. I need to have my hands free, when one of them has a walking stick to hold. As the bag may just be used as a knitting bag in future, I didn't want the strap to be a permanent feature so I put clips on so it could be removed easily. If you look closely on the right hand side at the front of the bag you can see what I am talking about.

Having clips on the strap and having four D-rings around the top of the bag, means that different lengths of strap can be created through looping. This way the bag can be carried either across the body, long from the shoulder or under the arm. I think I will like this flexibility.

As I only knitted the swatches with one strand of wool some of the felt was a little thin, and the bag lacked rigidity. I used covered boning around the top of the bag and I covered a grid bag bottom with corduroy from an old pair of trousers that I bought from ebay (they never fit right). I used the remains of the grid in each corner to give shape to the bag. This shaping is not perfect, but it is better than if I hadn't done any.

Once all the support structure was put in, I realised that the top was very open. If it rained I didn't want my precious projects getting soaked. I used some more of the corduroy to make a top to the bag. I sewed it into two pieces, attached at either long end, and a little along the sides to pull the bag inwards. If I had more material left these pieces would have been wider. I attached the top pieces together with a velcro strip.

Everything on the bag was sewed using black perle cotton using mainly blanket stitch. I liked the idea of emphasising the edges of each piece. I am probably going to call this my Frankenstein Bag because of its many pieces stitched together. In the above picture you can see the Bag Swap Bag I bought that holds all the bits that normally go in my handbag. The rest of the bag is given over to knitting, as it should be!

I also attached brass feet to the bag, to try and protect the bottom of the bag, though because the bag isn't particularly rigid I think the bottom will still touch the floor, even with the feet, but I felt I had to try.

So there you have my finished bag. It has been a long haul, but I think it was worth it, as I have a bag I can use, and there have been many lessons learned.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there "CC". Thought I recognised your bag the colours, thats what caught my eye in the first place. Thanks for the lovely comment you left for my balls up of a felted hat turned bag. I have also lost myself in craft work due to illness. I am in a bag faze at the moment. Was hats last years...made hundreds of them lol.
    You have inspired me to start a now I,ve got sometime else to soak some time up :-).
    Hope to keep in touch, Lee ...


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