September sun & a felted bag

I have no idea what is going on with the UK weather, usually September is the start of the weather I love. Autumn is my favourite season, with cooler days and nights and the start of a few rainy days and of course all the Autumn colours. (Autumn = Fall for my US friends)

But it has been unseasonably warm here this week, with the kids back at school without their coats and hats and mittens seeming like a distance concept still. I suppose I shouldn’t complain when the weather man says highs of 29C next week, but to be honest I’d rather it was a bit cooler and I could get on with some DIY with sweating!

So instead I’ve spent this week getting back into the work groove after 6weeks of school holidays off. During this long holidays I keep up with customer emails, Ravelry and knitting on current design ideas, but the actual hard work of designing and teaching gets set aside.

I’ve updated the blog and added some of my patterns to the pages here, which used to be available through my web shop, which is now closed. So I thought it would be helpful to have my designs all in 1 place here. So I’m nearly done with that. 

I’m re working one of my oldest patterns and that will be tech edited and rereleased in the next few weeks. 

Spinning, oh how I love to spin to relax after a busy day at the computer. 

With these 2 bobbins of slightly slubby chunky merino 2ply yarn finished, I settled down to make a felted bag for my Flatiron wheel. I like a bag to store the whorls, oil bottle, spare drive band and brake band and any other bits like WPI gauge. I decided to make this bag slightly bigger as I know I will take this wheel out to events and it would be nice to be able to tuck a spare bobbin in as well. 

For knitting that will be fulled (some just call this felted) I don’t bother finishing the yarn first, I find this makes for firmer felt fabric. So I lazily knitted straight from the bobbins. As soon as the knitting was done I went to the sink to felt it, and once it was wet and soapy, I thought “oh no, you silly woman! You should have taken a photo.” Before felting this bag was very loose and shapeless and obviously much bigger!

My method for felting knitting is as follows; 

Run a bowl of hot as I can get it warmer from the tap and top up from the kettle. I wear thick rubber gloves to prevent scolding myself! Add detergent I find dish washing liquid (aka Fairy Liquid) works well to the hot water. 

Soak the item in the hot water until it’s wetted through, then start felting. 

You can either run a 2nd bowl of cold water and refill it often so it doesn’t get warm, or use the cold tap running.

Aim of the game is to put the hot wet soapy knitting into really cold water, over and over. This is the quickest and least energetic felting process. 

I agitate the item in the hot soapy water, rubbing it between my hands and scrunching it up, then move it quickly to the cold move it around until it’s cold, squeeze the cold water out with my hands and return it to the hot water. Squeezing it out helps stop the hot water going cold and saves having to refresh the hot water. 

Repeat, repeat until it is firm and I’m reasonably happy with the size. This method works well and prevents sections getting stuck together or creases forming which is quite common if you just throw it in the washer. 

I was only at the sink about 15mins. It’s probably quicker if you are really vigorous and use a sink plunger or something, but I’m too laid back for that. 

Rinse all the soap out thoroughly, pull into shape. Then I put mine in the tumble drier as this firms the felt up really well. I put it in until it’s almost dry.

Then stretch over a form of some sort until fully dry. 

Finally a use for all the different shapes and sizes of tuppawear I own!

The finished bag hanging on my Schacht Flatiron. 

The bag has a row of eyelets around the top. I added extra twist to a length of the yarn and folded 4 strands and let it twist back on itself, making a cabled yarn. I then threaded this through the eyelets to hang up. It also has a small side pocket for the oil bottle as this is probably the item I use most often from the bag. 

Still loving my Flatiron. 

Schacht sent me these great pin badges, so I will share some with my fellow Schacht wheel owning friends.

Sewing a Recycled Denim Jeans Bag

Our local knitting group is hosting an Autumn swap, so it’s time to make some gifts. It’s our third swap and the last two were very popular, so we are all looking forward to opening our gift bags on the day.  Each swapper has to buy a different item for six different people, 1 yarn, 1 pattern, 1 accessory, 1 hand made, 1 edible and 1 bag.  So everyone in the swap  gets 6 gifts all from different people, lovely!

For the bag some people choose to buy a nice shopping bag, others will knit a bag and some of us decide to sew a bag.  So I spent too much time surfing through bags on pinterest, when I found this bag tutorial for using an old pair of jeans.  I’ve been collecting my torn/worn/too big/too small jeans for a while to make some aprons and project bags. So it was a no brainer.

Demin Bag

I made some minor changes to the pattern;

  • Where it mentions cutting off the pointy corners, I cut the corners to make a bag bottom instead. (tutorial here)
  • Added a regular sewn on pocket instead of a zip locket.
  • Instead of leaving a gap at the top of the bag for turning, I left a gap in the bottom of the liner, machined the liner to the top of bag, turned through then stitched the gap in the liner closed.
  • It’s worth noting that I didn’t use a pair of flared jeans, because the bag panels are made from 3″ wide pieces you should have enough fabric in a pair of regular jeans.
  • For the lining you need 2 pieces of fabric approx’ 13″x13″ plus extra if you want a pocket.

Denim Bag

The finished bag is approx’ 12″ x 12″ x 2″ with a 26″ strap, a nice size for a small handbag or project bag.  I hope my swap partner likes it!

Denim Bag



Sock Yarn Blanket wip4

I managed to do 4 squares from the donations of yarn I received last night, and there will be many more!
I finished my first big square (counting as 4 squares), taking the running total to 22 (+ the 1 lost in the sofa…).

From bottom right, Grey-Light Brown is from Katrina’s yarn, Brown-Black and Cream are from Bea’s Yarn, Blue-Green is from Tanya’s yarn.

Tonight I’m going to try and do some of my Stained Glass Fan Bag which I really want to get finished so it can be my knitting bag 🙂

Freedom Spirit Bag Felted

I had a rethink about the socks, unpicked the half sock, and made a felted bag, which has come out brilliantly.

I felted it in our washing machine, which keeps going on and off (so ended up dragging it out and dismantling it twice before managing to felt anything).

Felted front loading washer, in a pillow case, with a pair of jeans, 60C, short wash, fast spin.

It probably could have been felted more, but I didn’t want it to shrink too much or my knitting needles won’t fit in it!