We bought some simple, white Shaker style shelves for Maisie's room before she was born and I always had the idea that I'd like to make some sort of toy storage to hang off them. I've been experimenting quite a bit with felted knitted recently, so I decided to spin some merino yarn and design something myself.
I've been pretty absent from the hand knitting scene for several years, so I only discovered 'Magic Loop' knitting late last year. Before that I'd been struggling on 4 pins, but getting myself in a tangle and it all seemed too much like hard work. Since then, my motivation to create circular pieces has dramatically increased and knitting on 4 double ended needles seems so unnecessary to me now.
I knitted a bag all in one piece, with an integral handle that's created just by a roll over edge. The only sewing involved is much later on in the embellishments...
I shaped the top a little using some short rows or partial knitting.
Then I knitted 8 little flowers to embellish the top - I would have made more but I ran out of pink merino, and I desperately wanted to see it finished. Maybe I'll add more at a later date.
I then put my bag and my flowers on a 40 degree wash and waited for the shrinkage to occur...
It's now that I realised my school girl error. I should have stopped the wash before the spin cycle. Maybe the spin added to the felting, but it also created creases and lumps that I'm not overly happy about... You live and learn... At this point, the bag was too dry after the spin cycle to mould and shape, so I plunged it into some water and rolled it gently in a towel. I was then able to shape it by filling it with plastic bags until it started to look a lot more like my desired shape. I hung it to dry and 'set' for a little over a day and then I took the bags out to let it dry completely.
I'm really pleased with how my flowers came out. I moulded them a little while they were still wet to give them a bit of an organic shape and then left them to dry overnight.
I decided I much preferred the purl side of the flowers.
I love how after felting, the bag has form and structure all of its own.
I embellished the sides with flowers and buttons.
It shrank by about 10% width ways and 20% longways. I could have put it through another wash, but I'm happy with the size of bag I've achieved.
I can't decide if it needs more flowers...
I think I'm going to make another one in green to complement the room. Possibly slightly bigger and definitely more flowers next time!
Here's the link to my finished felted bag pattern -
|Maisie's Toy Bag|
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