Thursday, May 3, 2012

Handbags and Pouches

As you may know, I love a quick project to take my mind off of whatever is taking me forever to knit!  I am still knitting the same sleeve on my Corduroy sweater pattern from A Fine Fleece.  Yes, I can hear all of you including Olive saying “just get on with it already!”

But I did, I put the Corduroy sweater down for the weekend and started to make another bag.  I only have 5 handbags with me currently:  a blue bag that my friend Christina knitted for me about 7 years ago, a purple felted handbag that I made a few months back, a really worn red leather shoulder bag, and an orange leather shoulder bag and big orange travel bag that has 2 big compartments – one side for stuff, the other for knitting!  My rational to The Shaker is this:  the red leather bag is very used and just needs to be put down.  Plus, I don’t have a green one – but I do now.

Front of bag

This is the back and I added a small loop
and button to secure my phone.
Yes, I am bit paranoid about loosing my phone

First of all, I use Cascade 220’s worsted weight yarn for almost all of my felted projects.  I have use Patons Classic Wool as well and I like both yarns equally.  They both felt up beautifully after washing because there is minimal shaping after you remove your felted item from the washing machine.  There is always a little shaping afterwards, but honestly, I have felted with other yarns and I have found that I am pulling and tugging and shaping for a longer than need be, and, honestly, this is time where I could be knitting. 

The handbag pattern is called “Sweetwater Hipster Bag” by Julie Finocchiaro and the pattern instructions are fantastic!  If you have never knitted a bag and/or felted one and you are thinking about it, check out this pattern!  The pattern is $6.95 and totally worth it.  It comes with detailed instructions, which I like.  I am one of those knitters, the more clearly written instructions the better the outcome and, probably, I won’t have to rip out any stitches – which in itself is a bonus.  Plus the pattern comes with instructions to fabric-line the handbag. 

I haven’t lined any of my felted handbags but maybe you want to; Ms. Finocchiaro provides fabric-lining instructions with the purchase of this pattern.  Now I haven’t lined my handbags because I have made a ton of this little pouches from Kimie Quilts designs.  I did an Internet search of this pattern to include in this blog post - but I had the hardest time finding it!  I bought this pattern before I knew Olive; that is how long I have had it.  I think I bought it back in the last millennium – the late 1990’s!  I have stuck with the original pattern design, but I have now made the pouches in fun novelty fabrics and no longer make it with the fusible patterns that it shows in the photo.  I have even added beads to a few of the pouches.

I made the small one from scraps of a dress that Vermouth
wore when she was 3.  It was my favorite dress.
The Martini Knitter

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