felting my bag

(you should know that a few years ago a couple friends deemed this phrase 'dirty' and I've had enormous fun with it ever since.) 7 years ago I was knitting almost every day and now I'm pretty sure I have something akin to knitting elbow. I've since slowed down a bit but it's still my portable therapy - color, texture, pattern - it's like painting but without the mess. some time back I made myself a small cross-body bag that I often wear to the rink and in february, my friend leslie h. decided she wanted one of her own. I hadn't knit anything since the fall (truth: it's impossible to knit while web designing or reupholstering a chair) and it was nice to have a reason to pick it up again.

a few facts about me and my knitting:
  • my friend Liz and I learned to knit sophomore year in college at the "stichin' post"
  • I made giant lopi sweaters for christmas gifts that year, complete with twigs
  • I'm lousy at reading patterns and I'd rather not purl
  • there's no purling in circular knitting
  • I like to hijack patterns and make them easier
  • grown up sweaters take f o r e v e r
  • I lost interest until I had kids
  • knitting baby/kid things = instant gratification
  • I whipped up 2 (different) snowflake sweaters during the week we moved in 1997
  • I used graph paper to map out the snowflakes
  • those sweaters were part of card art '97
  • they reappeared in card art '02 (see above)
  • there's only so many handmade sweaters you can force your kids to wear
  • I lost interest again
  • 'make a felted tote bag' (country living, july (?) 2003) changed my life
  • shrinking your favorite wool sweater beyond repair in the wash = felting
  • I make all my own patterns (make / guess - same difference)
  • all the mistakes come out in the wash when you felt
  • not all 100% wool is created equal
  • guestimate: things turn out 1/3 narrower and 1/2 as long
  • I can knit while riding in a car but cannot read in the car

stick around and I'll show you how leslie's bag turned out along with a fun side project