Thursday, September 13, 2007

Got Felt?

Today I'd like to present (for your reading and viewing pleasure) a demonstration of the ability of wool to felt when exposed to heat and agitation. The pink blob you saw resting on/taking over my couch Monday night was indeed finished. It was huge. For scale, here it is on my head:

(Personally I think I look rather like the character from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids who always wore a stocking cap over his entire head.)

I decided to live on the edge and threw it in the washing machine, with a couple towels for agitation, in hot water and on the highest/longest wash setting. Roughly forty minutes later, I had a normally sized bag (although I bet I could still get it on my head if I tried). Here it is with a skein of STR for scale:

Pattern: French Market Bag by Polly Outhwaite (winter '03 Knitty)
Yarn: Patons SWS (70% wool, 30% soy), colorway 70530/Natural Geranium, six skeins
Needles: US 9 (5.5 mm) dpns and 32" circs
Started/Completed: July 17?/September 11
Mods: lengthened the body and made the handles longer

I really felted the heck out of this bag, which is just fine by me. It turned out a little smaller than I'd expected or intended, but the resulting fabric is nice and stiff, meaning this will actually sit open and I can use it to hold my working yarn. Mostly I'm just happy to have this off the needles.

You know what makes me even more excited, though? Once I finished this bag, I let myself cast on for The Mister's Seamless Hybrid:

Disregard the purple; that's just my provisional cast on (you know he wouldn't wear any color that outrageous anyway!). This is all Cascade 220 wool. The facings are leftover silvery gray from his Cambridge Jacket; the main color is a slightly heathered, muted charcoal-y brown. A tiny bit of the gray will peek out at the bottom of the hem for a bit of contrast, but otherwise this will be a very sedate sweater. And once I get past the hem, this will take the place of the French Market Bag as my mindless stockinette project. So far, it seems to have brought my mojo back to me.

(Psssst! The fall Knitty is up! I'm off to go peruse the offerings.)


  1. Love the first photo - too funny! The bag looks great. Now you just need a French market!

  2. Anonymous5:15 PM

    SJ, you SO do not look like Dumb Donald...close, but not quite!! (heehee)

    Love the bag -- it's great!!

  3. Anonymous7:02 PM

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE the bag! Great work. It came out fantastic!

  4. Anonymous7:30 PM

    Nice job on the bag. Ok, you peaked my curiosity. What seamless hybrid? is it and EZ or a BW? Top down or bottom up? Details girl, details.

  5. Thanks for the photo giggle. That is the perfect way to demonstrate the size it started out as! The finished bag looks great! The colors are wonderful felted.

    I'm going to be casting on for Seamless Hybrid soon myself. DH picked out some yarn in February and I'm yet to swatch it up yet, so thanks for the inspiration.

  6. Love the bag! I ended up frogging my market bag because I got bored. Maybe I'll have to try it again.

  7. Wow! That French Market was huge!!

    On of my swap pals knitted me up one and it is SO cute! With a flower on it and all!!

  8. I love the pink, I almost got that to make Calorimetry but the blue matches my winter coat and I am anal retentive about matching.

  9. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Love that 1st pic!!
    I printed off the Market Bag when it 1st came out several years ago and have never made it - Yours is beautiful!!

  10. The SWS was a great idea - my first FMB was a bit floppy (double stranded Cascade). Maybe I'll try it again with the SWS - it felts like crazy. :)

  11. Anonymous6:17 PM

    Hello, I was lurking about and saw your fabulous French Market Bag. I have been eyeballing the pattern for quite a while, and was very interested after seeing your results. Would you be willing to share your exact modifications, if you remember them? I am still a bit new to knitting and changing the pattern is still intimidating for me. Thanks!

  12. I so want to make a French Market Bag (love the modeled shot)! I'm a little afraid my cats would take it over and use it as a kitty bed, but, heh! The SWS seems like a great yarn for it.