And so the days are filled...

10 March 2006

A feeling french market bag

I have had this sort of FO for a while now... I wasn't sure if it was actually finished or not, but I've been using it and enjoying it for a few weeks now - so I figured, even if it's not 100% finished, I may as well garner the satisfaction of posting an FO now, rather than later. Let me explain.
You might remember a long time ago, I mentioned that I felt guilty about felting. That whole issue of drought, diminishing supplies in the Sydney water supply system, felt a little bit selfish to run a whole load of laundry just for, like, an accessory! Lots of useful advice was received from others facing similar guilt trips, assuring me that felting would not be the end of the world, so I forged ahead and knitted the French Market Bag. I finished it way back in 2005. (well, December) Here it is unfelted, with a favourite coffee cup for scale:
I must pause here to reiterate that this pattern is what sucked me into blogland. About a year ago, I looked up this Knitty that I had heard people talking about so much. Browsing the archives, the French Market Bag immediately leapt out at me and I followed the link from the biography to the wonderful world of All Tangled Up. I checked back in every day, eagerly hoping for new posts. Eventually realising that Polly was a mere mortal and not some blogging machine tied between her knitting and her computer, I went in search of more blogs to fuel the fire... and then, since it's no fun watching people having fun without giving it a go yourself, I started this here blog up.
Now, back to the matter at hand. Felting. Would you believe that my stupendous and marvellous photographer Ashley recently sold me his amazing and fantastic washing machine???? (Unfortunately, this is because he is moving overseas and will no longer be photographing my knitted items for your viewing pleasure...but that's a post for another day.) This washing machine does everything - it even plays a little song when the cycle is finished. One of its myriad tricks is that it allows me to re-run the wash cycle without going through the draining and rinsing part! Perfect for felting, and no excess wasting of the beloved water.
Unfortunately, Ashley wouldn't let me take possession of his washing machine until early February. Finally the day came when I got to felt my bag. I put it through the wash cycle four times before being satisfied that a decent amount of felting had taken place, took it out of the washing machine and set it out to dry, using some various pots and pans and lids and things to give it the shape I wanted.
Here it is after its initial felting, with a football for scale:
I know what you're thinking, the whole point about scale is that you're supposed to compare things to a single scale to understand their relative sizes, and a football and a tea cup are not useful for this. Hmm, well, the fact is there hasn't been much shrinkage between the unfelted and felted versions, which is why I'm calling the current condition of the bag feeling (rather than felted).
I think this baby could use a few more rounds in the washing machine before I'm perfectly happy with it. But in the meantime, I have been quite happy toting various goodies and groceries in it. I will now just use the bag until it is slightly grubby, then chuck it in with my next load of hot laundry for some more felting.
I couldn't be happier with the pattern. It truly is the amazing bottomless bag - I can never believe how much stuff fits in it, nor how un-empty it seems when there's just my keys and a coinpurse in it. I even got a compliment on it from the so-hip-it-hurts 16 year old girl at the Virgin Megastore! Now I know knitting has made the big time.
More project details here.