Saturday, April 2, 2011

Second Felted Bag - Yessssss!

I'm really happy with this one. It was knitted to be MUCH smaller (and stiffer!) but this time I babysat the felting process and it just might end up thick enough (stiff enough) to work as a disguised briefcase. If so, then YESSSSSSS!! (Much unbecoming fisting into the air).

What I started with - LOTS of knitting!!!

Finished Dimensions, unfelted:
16"W (not counting side panels)
7"D (duh... the side panels)
16"Tall, from bottom/side seam to top of i-cord bindoff.

Laid Flat:
22.5" Wide (includes half the side panels)
19.5" Tall (includes half the bottom section)

And here's what that looked like, spread out... LOTS of knitting!!

First Interim Felting Check: This is after 5 minutes.
It was still 22.25" Wide and 12.25" Tall, most of the shrinkage at this point having taken place in length. But the stitch definition is definitely blurred. This is "fulled" at this point.

Another 5 minutes (unfortunately photo taking forgotten) yielded 15"W x 9"Tall x 5.75"Deep. So now, in this second 5-minute session, I began losing width, but way more (waaaaay more) in height. On the needles, that would be your length.

Final Felting Session: Here's where I stopped. And this is PRIOR to shaping.
14.25" Wide
8.5" Tall (Whoa! That's almost 50% and I think more time would have been more lengthwise shrinkage.)
4.25" Deep

RE-SHAPED (via pulling).... to be taller, which is at the expense of width.
Now reduced to 13" Wide
Now INcreased to 9.5" Tall (actual fabric, bends included)
4" Deep

As it sits on the table, it's effectively 9" tall but that's because of bends in the fabric not being counted. That's "table height" for lack of anything better to call its effective height, sitting.

New enough to felting, I'm not yet sure whether re-shaping holds, or whether in the drying things suck back into their out-of-washer dimensions. I hope it holds because I sure didn't get as much shrinkage widthwise as I'd counted on PER the ratio of lengthwise shrinkage.

This whole bag was expected to be 11.2" wide, 3.75" deep, and 7.5" to 9" tall (depending on whether to believe 40% or 50% lengthwise shrinkage). I am REEEEEALLY glad I babysat the felting and am really hoping this will stay stiff enough to serve as its revised purpose.

This photo is where you can sorta see the value of doing an i-cord bindoff which I had never heard of, but was suggested on Ravelry's felting forum by LisKnits. I found the i-cord bindoff to be NOT as easy as the tutorial video youtube had on it, BUT that's entirely because I knit so much tighter than Judy does in her video. This is definitely a finishing technique that's worth knowing about though. Enough so that I'm including a link at the bottom of this blog post for anyone who'd like to have it in their bag of tricks! For fronts of cardigans, for tops of pockets... endless uses. Judy's Tips video shows it up close at the very end of her tutorial. And I must say, her videos have never let me down, she's a really good teacher.

The proof will be in the wearing, but it does look to me as though this might work as a "prospecting briefcase" (which I do not want to have a business look to it. AT ALL.

Planned Strap: Shoulder strap, sewn onto each end. I might make it so it widens where it meets the bag and wraps all the way around, including the whole bottom. Might add outside pockets on each end (over the strap part that covers the body). I don't think I want to add any outside pocket to the front, I like the way it looks plain. VERY un-briefcase-y.

So that's it! As I say, LOTS of knitting, but this is mindless knitting in the round - good TV knitting. I'm super happy with the result AND with this yarn for a felted bag, thanks to Vicki in Indiana for having found it!

Here's the i-cord bindoff tutorial video. Is this nifty or what!!

Well, I can't seem to link the i cord bindoff video! Go to youtube dot com, and in search box, type in " Knitting Tips by Judy: I cord Bind off "