Remember that bag I was trying to make in June last year? It was to replace the little black bag I bought for $8 in 2005. At the moment, I'm in the middle of making the Oblique cardigan, but it was getting a little tedious, so I decided to take a break and make a few little quick projects. One was a phone sock for my mobile. (I think phone socks are sort of stupid, but having broken my third clear crystal case this year, I figured it was probably better than forking out more money for a fourth. And there was no way I was going to buy one!) I used the leftover yarn from the cardigan I made Cathy:
I just knitted something simple—based on the same principle as the Booga bag pattern: you knit the base in garter stitch, pick up stitches around the edge and then knit in the round for as long as you want. This was the result:
It's pretty boring, but I was hoping it would felt up into something nice.
Now, when you're felting something with the washing machine, it's best to have something a bit bigger than that, otherwise you're wasting all that water for not very much. I thought I should really do something about that bag, but obviously the one I initially made wasn't very good. My Booga bag worked excellently, though, and I've been using it as a handbag ever since I made it. It's just a little too large, though, and I'm not too fond of carrying it over the shoulder. I just missed the black one I had. So I thought I would knit something similar, only smaller and in black. The principle is really the same: garter stitch for the bottom, pick up stitches around the edge, knit in the round for as long as you want. The result:
Then you make the handles out of a long piece of i-cord. I wanted long straps so I made 240 cm worth.
By Saturday night, I had finished these things but still wasn't ready to return to Oblique. I had this vague notion that it might be nice to make a felted flower to go with the felted bag (and felted phone sock). I found some of the yarn I used to use for plastic canvas stuff and it was in an attractive colour, so I made four of the petals using the fourth pattern in Plethora of petals. I only had enough yarn for four. Then I stitched them together:
Then all the pieces went into a wash bag, and then into the washing machine with hot water and a pair of jeans:
I put them through the agitation cycle four times. When I pulled them out, I was quite disappointed: the phone sock, the bag and the i-cord didn't felt at all. I should have checked that I could do felting with that particular yarn! Post-felting, they looked like this:
The flower turned out great though!
Feeling rather disappointed on Saturday night, I went to bed wondering what I could do with what I got. The phone sock was all right; sure, it didn't turn out how I wanted, but it would still do the job of protecting my phone. It was the bag that was the problem.
I woke up this morning and thought that perhaps the bag was salvageable—that I could still make it the same as the Booga Bag, even though it wasn't felted. So I folded up the bag at the sides and punched holes through it for the i-cord:
Using the bigger needle was more helpful for this:
I also chopped the i-cord in half (even though it would probably unravel; I figured that if it did, I could always unpick it a bit and cast off properly) and threaded it through.
Then I got some of that fabric I bought from Reverse Garbage last year, cut out the pieces and dusted off the sewing machine to sew them together. They didn't quite match (which shows how hopeless I am at sewing!) but, hey, it's the lining; no one's going to see it!
Then I sewed the lining into the bag:
I wanted to put the flower on the front as decoration, but it really needed a centre. Then I found the blue glass button I bought from the Sydney Vintage Clothing, Jewellery and Textiles Show:
I sewed that on the flower, and then sewed the flower onto the bag. That's a lot of sewing for someone like me who hates sewing!
The finished bag looked like this:
Here it is with all my stuff in it (wallet, A6 journal, pens, lip balm, mobile phone, keys):
I'm quite happy with how it turned out:
And I have my black bag back!
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