mama's got a brand new bag

belted galloway/ hand knit tote bag it's finished. and awesome. and inspired by cows. and I'm sorry for continually pushing the limits with the dirty felting references. (no I'm not)gawking-at-belted-gallowaysbelted-galloways-in-pasturethe first time we drove jack down to school in north carolina we passed acres and acres of farms through pennsylvania, virginia, west virginia. and in these fields were the coolest cows I'd ever seen. I'm not sure why I'd never seen them before but I love them. we called them oreo cows and I got everyone (semi) excited about seeing them. fast forward to this fall and there's a farm with two of these cows just down the street from the girls' school and I finally made Bob stop so I could get a picture (and then jack took a photo of me...) I posted the photo on instagram and my friend replied that they're actually called belted galloways. and then I loved them even more. I start every felted bag with black (or a really dark brown) with the idea that a dark color would show less dirt/wear and tear on the bottom but beyond that, I wasn't sure where I was going with it. I was tempted to make a bag like the one I just sold but I never grabbed the right yarn when we left the house. on the road, on the way to the girls' school I realized that I knew exactly what this bag was going to be. belted-gallowaybelted-galloway

gorgeous painting by the late Patricia Orr Fouraker, on loan from my parents

a few fun facts:

  • knit > felt took roughly 900 miles, one trashy red carpet pre-show and the golden globes
  • I used 660 yards of yarn - two skeins of black and one white skein (cascade 220)
  • I cast on 200 stitches and knit for a total of 21" on circular needles (size 10)
  • before washing, it measured 24" wide
  • after felting, it now measures 15" wide, 10" tall and 4" deep
  • I meant to make a smaller bag so I had no idea how it would turn out
  • I'd like to try this again but cast on almost half the number of stitches
  • the bag I just sold was made using only 132 stitches
  • I never checked my notebook before I started which would've prevented my sheepmergency last weekend
  • I write everything down. EVERYTHING.

notebookin-my-bagoh, and it would've taken me a little less time if I hadn't had the extra 'help'fenway