I finished the Embossed Leaves socks just before Easter, and as we were going to visit my parents for a few days (unlimited baby sitting!) I felt needed a project that would work up fairly quickly and not require a whole lot of thought on my part. Relaxing knitting.
Enter a pattern I have long wanted to try out: the French Market Bag. Added bonus: it requires felting which I have also long wanted to have a crack at.
So here it is:
Yarn: Lincraft Cosy Wool (dk), 2 strands held together throughout
Sticks: 6mm straights
Mods: I ignored the yarn weight and gauge recommendations - the finished measurements had the bag quite small, and I wanted mine bigger. I knit the base flat according to the pattern, and picked up the body stitches as stated, but then just knit and knit until I thought the sides were high enough.
Here it is before felting:
Felting: having a front loader machine, and being a felting novice, I wanted to be able to control the process, so I opted for using the dryer. I soaked the bag for an hour or so in warm water with some wool wash added, rinsed it cold water, wrung it out in a towel, tied it in a pillowcase and put it in the dryer with a few beach towels on hot.
I checked it every 20 minutes or so, rewetting it after about an hour and a half. It took about 2 and a half hours to loose stitch definition and get a tight fabric.
I wasn't sure how the Cosy Wool would shrink. It seems to have shrank quite a bit more vertically (the base went from 36 cm wide x 32 cm long to 28 x 22; height went from 30 to 19 cm). Although I had added extra height to the bag sides, I made the handles to the pattern and they seem too short. Lots too short. Even in the unfelted version, I cant see how they would come out as long as those in the "model" bag from the pattern (hindsight is a wonderful thing).
I am considering (credit to Beloved for this idea) knitting and felting two straps, then cutting the existing handles and sewing in the pieces. It may make the handles weak though - your thoughts are welcome!
And finally, this pic is especially for 2paw, who also cant take a photo without the obligatory Lab supermodel hogging the limelight!