Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Take One Old WIP and Stir

I may have mentioned that I have a hankering to knit a felted rug. Last night I decided that the colors of Lopi I had on hand weren't colorful enough - it's spring, give me lime green and delicate pinks and sky blue - and I thought: ah ha! I can frog that Classic Elite Fair Isle pullover that's been a WIP forever and use the Lamb's Pride Bulky to make a good thick rug.
So I dug this out. This is a Kristin Nicholas design called Scandinavian Family; I had completed most of the body up to about the armholes I'd say. It was Lamb's Pride Worsted, not Bulky, but close enough, I say.

Well, I couldn't do it. Sure, I could steal the rest of the skeins for another project, I could abandon this WIP mid-stream (hell, I had abandoned it for maybe 10 years already!), but I couldn't bring myself to rip all this work apart. Note the hem; I'd already sewn it down on the inside. I had woven in most of the ends. It's Fair Isle - nope, couldn't do it.

But I did have this mischievous idea creep into my head. What does this pullover look like to you?

You got it - a felted knitting bag!

Quick as a wink, I knit four more rows of purple on the top and bound off. I took the hem out, cursing my tidy little stitches all the way, and resewed the hem to itself all across the bottom, then folded and sewed down the corners inside to make a neat, squared-off bag bottom.
Off to the washing machine! with a quick stop en route at a few felting patterns, since the only felting I've ever done before was a smallish Lopi swatch that was just thrown in with the sheets. This time I slipped the nascent bag into a pillowcase, boiled a large pot of water to add to the washer's hot cycle, agitated for 20 minutes total, checking at 10 minutes, nope, not done yet, rinsed briefly, spun even more briefly, and voila!
Tomorrow's escapade: finding a zipper and strapping to match, and sewing them on.

I am well pleased with myself tonight. That doesn't always happen, you know.


Joanna said...

Great idea!! I don't think I'd be able to rip out such beautiful fair isle either... and now you get to enjoy it without it languishing as a WIP any longer. The finished bag is so pretty too! :)

bradyphrenia said...

what a charming bag and a wonderful use of um, alternative finishing. maybe i should do something similar with all of my half-finished sweaters.

Jen said...

That bag is so fun! And it kept a lot of the stitch definition, which is great.

(I couldn't have frogged that sweater, either.)

bitterknitter said...

What a brilliant idea. It makes such a darling bag that looks like a perfect size! I love the colors and pattern, beautiful.

Annie said...

I am so impressed! Fantastic! Really beautiful work (all your work is though- I'm jealous!), and the felted bag looks fantastic!!

Linda said...

This is just beautiful. I think I like the pattern better felted anyway! Gorgeous!

Zonda said...

So glad you didn't frog it, beautiful work. Great idea for a bag! Now you can enjoy your hard work even more! BTW, do you still have some yarn left? Can you maybe make a strap, felt it, or purchase handles. Can't wait to see the final result!