knitting

The Big Felt – Follow Up

It’s been a couple of weeks since I dipped my toe into the world of felting and I am pleased to say that I am really happy with the results of my shrunken cable bag. I wanted to post an update right away but then decided to wait until I could show the finished article, lining and all 🙂

The actual felting worked really well in the washing machine. The fibres of the wool have all melted together and although I have lost all stitch definition, the lovely cables are still there in full glory.

Determined not to lose momentum this time I splashed out on some gorgeous fabric for the lining. I used Novella – Peony in Scarlett by Valerie Wells for Free Spirit. I bought mine from my LYS but it is also available on Etsy here. Its a lovely fabric with a bold red flower pattern on a light beige background which gives it a ‘vintagey’ look.

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Now for the tricky part. I am not a sewer and I was not looking forward to the lining part, but I was determined to finish this bag once and for all! It took me a week of looking at the lovely fabric to taking the scissors to it. I have to confess I brought in the assistance of the sewing savior that is wonderweb to help create shape and hold everything together while I pinned it, but I got there…after 2 evenings of hard graft, sore fingers and a little bit of swearing…I did it, I finally finished! And here it is…

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I am so pleased with the results. And even though it was meant to start life as a laptop bag all is not lost…

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And it even gets approval from Pea too!

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knitting

The Big Felt!

So about 18 months ago I decided I needed a new laptop bag in my life. I wanted something, big and cablely and fabulous to transport my laptop, notebooks, stationary, documents, books, magazines, lunch, phone….and everything else I always try and cram into my existing one!

With a vague idea of what I wanted I started the Ravelry search and came upon this lovely design Quinn Cabled Bag by Yvonne Kao. Next stop was Hobbycraft to purchase some lovey yarn. After much hmmming and ahhhhing I settled on this – 100% merino Rowan Big Wool in the shade Champion (065)

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And here is the end result.

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The plan was to line it all with a heavyweight cotton and I designed the strap so I could find one of those things that makes it adjustable.

And then I just lost all heart…I don’t know why. Maybe it was the thought of sewing all the lining in, or maybe I realised that I was going to need a centre division to separate the laptop from all my books and files, plus extra pockets for the charger and everything else and it just didn’t seem so practical anymore 😦

So it’s been sitting at the bottom of my yarn box for the last year and a half. Every now and then I take it out, sigh, think what a waste and then hide it away again in the hope that one day I will be inspired to finally finish what I started!

And then today, as I was rifling through my yarn box I had a brainwave – why not try and felt it? I have never felted anything before, this was a perfect opportunity to give it a go.

Made from 100% wool, check. Big bag that could do with being smaller, check. Washing machine, check.

Next stop – internet ‘How to felt wool in a front loading washing machine’. Do you ever wish you hadn’t asked something? This is just some of the advice I found – Don’t felt in a front loading washing machine, use a toploader. Don’t add detergent, use wool wash instead. Don’t add anything at all. Use towels. Never use towels but you can use jeans. Put in with rest of washing. Put in on it’s own. Aaaggh! So I am winging it.

I laid the bag out to take the ‘before’ measurements and trotted upstairs to find an old pillowcase. Guess who found himself a comfy spot as soon as my back was turned….Hello Pea!

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The machine is now set on hot wash and I am waiting with baited breath.

Oh, and I added a little cube of wool wash, 1 big bath towel and 2 tea towels that needed washing anyway 😉

I’ll let you know how it goes…..