Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Felted Knit Purse or Bag: Fur-Tacular

***Picture HEAVY Post***

It is no secret that I love Fun Fur Yarn..really, it is not limited to just the brand Fun Fur, I am in LOVE with all brands. The more tinselly or furry or sparkly the better :-)

I know, I just lost some of you who detest the stuff...but, hang in there with me!

You know what, I really don't know why I love this acrylic wonder...why don't we probe Marly's mind here for a bit? Let me think,

why DO I love this lovely novelty stuff that makes my heart go pitter patter?

Of course it is not necessarily because of the high quality content of the yarn nor is it because of the historic connection it has with my ancestors from being sheired off a sheep (could you imagine a fun fur sheep...LOL). So, what is it?

I think it is but because it is such a simple thing that packs a punch! You can hold it alone and make a simple scarf and muggles will think you are a genius! Or hold it with another yarn on any project and make it look like you are a visionary (okay, I might be stretching a bit but you get the point).

And let's face it, it is all about how you are perceived to those non knitters, right? (joke)

For me, I like the simplicity of it. I often add it to the purses I make, in an attempt to really create something funky...with minimal effort! Time, people, time is something I we don't have a lot of and when I am making a purse that I want to be an eye catcher without being too much work...Fun Fur to the rescue!

There it is...we just discovered why I love it so much! That is my secret...I love fun fur because I am lazy :-) LOL!!! Okay, enough about that...too much self discover can be scary! LOL

Anyway, why talk about all of this? Well, I knitted up my first purse or bag design and of course I added fun fur to the wool so when I felted it I would get a fuzzy effect. I have lots of pictures to show.

I named her Fur-tacular!

I plan on posting the pattern to The Purse Workshop as a free pattern for all of you out there who have a lot of this furry novelty yarn and want to use it up! (Don't be shy, I know you are out there)

Okay, so here are some pictures and a few details...

To me, my first try at fair isle should be on a felted item. That way, any mistakes I made would be just felted away!

The funny thing is that I made NO mistakes! Can you believe it?

I did put one color in each hand which was AWESOME! I felt like some sort of a knitting ninja! It was so much fun...I made John take a picture of me doing it! Even he was impressed.

This is just a gratuitous shot at the bag and the stripes of fur.

I worked the bag from bottom to top. The color changes were purple fur and black wool, multi color fur and black wool, and pink fur and pink wool.

I love the rich depth of the black wool with the fur but wanted the pink to really stand out so that is why I used the pink wool with the pink fur.

I tried my best to get a shot of the bag pre-felted.

Because it was not very structured in it's normal state I stuffed it with a blanket for the following pictures.

But, I wanted to make sure I got across the size of the bag before it was felted.

This is my little girl holding the bag to give you another idea of the size.

Actually, now that I am looking at the pictures, it would have been really cute in this state as well.

I guess at the time I was so engrossed with the thought of felting it and wondering what it would look like that I didn't notice that then.

But, I do notice it now!

This is the bag stuffed with a blanket before I added the handles.

The handles are a sort of Crocheted I-Cord
that I came up with and LOVE!

They are faster than knitting i-cord and thicker as well!

Time To Felt!

NO... (p.s. clean your glasses, would ya?)


This is always the scariest part for me.
I set the washing machine to Heavy Load which
makes it run for 15 minutes on agitate.

This is the bag after the first 15 minutes...still too much
stitch definition for for another 15 minutes.

Okay, this looks good to me. The fabric feels solid
and all the stitch definition is gone from the Crochet I-Cord handles.
Now, let's pop it in the dryer.
Why? To FLUFF it up of course!

Let's get a
of the bag
post felt
pre felt.

That is always amazing to me! Look at the built in structure it now has. And the FLUFF, you can't miss the FLUFF!
Okay, let's check our list, shall we?

  • come up with a design...check

  • decide on the colors...check

  • knit the bag...check

  • felt the bag...check

  • line the bag...oh...

Now that the bag is made I can really see how irritating it would be to have to root around in it for your keys with all that fun fur on the inside (you know that it is on both sides right?). So, I decide I need to line this puppy!

I have NEVER lined a bag before and to top it all off, I have a brand new sewing machine I got for my birthday 5 years ago that I have NEVER used. This should be fun!

I called for reinforcement. My friends JP and Tara came over to keep me company while I worked on the lining!

Where to start? Well, I knew I wanted to add something between the bag and the lining to help keep the structure of the bag. So, I came up with using a plastic canvas you can get at the craft store. It is the perfect size for the bag!

I started by placing the plastic canvas out on top of the fabric.

I figured that since the plastic fits perfectly inside the bag I could use that as a starting point for the size of the lining.

I was worked out well.

I just cut approx. 2 inches from the side of the plastic. No stinking measuring :-)

Then, I folded the fabric in half length wise and pined the sides and folded the
raw edge at the top down and pined that.

Then, I placed it in the bag in order to adjust it for the right fit.

Pretty comes the sewing machine.

Did I mention that I hadn't used it before?

Thank GOD this is on the inside and will NEVER be seen!

I am not sure what happened but I am sure it was my fault.

When I was done sewing all the sides up with the sewing machine I hand stitched the lining to the bag.

I have no idea what kind of stitch this is but it seems (no pun intended) to be working well.

The stitches are not perfect by any means but hey, it is hand made! I think I did a pretty good job!

And that is it...I added a little chain with a hook to the handle
so my friend (she is getting this bag...tell you more about this next week)
can find her keys easily.
Tara is modeling the bag for me...

See how the bag stays standing up on it's own?
Also, see how it stays open when you spread the handles? That is
because of the plastic canvas between the liner and the bag!
Pretty ingenious huh?

Okay, hope you all like it!
Actually, I hope you all can see it considering how
many pictures there are.
My dial up friends might be out of luck!



Knitting Novice said...

Hi Marly,
I love your fur and all.
I really like the colors.

tina said...

VERY cute! It is a tres chic happy little bag. Great construction (I'm a sucker for that!) and good directions as well. Your friend is very lucky to have you!

amanda said...

You go girl - no mistakes in your first fair isle attempt??? Nice work!

Jean said...

Great job! All hail the purse queen!

StarSpry said...

Great job, Marly!

knitting2relax said...

Glad you're happy Sherlock! Fun fur must make the back feel all better. LOL

Valerie said...

What a great bag! Is that you, all sexy in black holding the purse?

kaoticorchid said...

It's ok, Marly, we love you despite the fun-fur. (Really, though, the purse is really lovely. I love nice big purses, even though I can never use them because I actually want to FILL them UP!) Tht was your first attempt at fair isle? Bravo! It does make you feel like a knitting ninja, doesn't it. The muggles look at you like you're a GENIUS when you walk around doing that.

5elementknitr said...

Great job Marly! I have a shite (rhymes with kite) load of fun fur and fun fur type yarns! Wanna trade! Come to my house and let's see what we can do!!!

Yarn Thing said...

Ruth, 5elementknitter

Thanks for the wonderful offer but I think I might *winks* have enough fun fur to last me till the end of time...MIGHT :-)



blackpurl said...

tooo cute!!!

rose said...

So glad you are feeling better and back to the podcast. I look forward to listening to you!
Thanks for doing your show.

Hilari said...

What a fun fluff of a purse!! Thanks for sharing the photos!

KAREN said...

i just knitted a rather large bag in the round so there are no sides to sew up and i will probably end up tacking a liner in by hand. i am also going to use some magnets and purchased leather handles to close rather than the knitted i cord suggested in the pattern. i am a new knitter and love your blog. my instructor told me to have no fear when i placed it in the washing machine and it shrunk from 27 inches to 15. i am so pleased with myself i am grinning from ear to ear. if i can figure out how to photograph it, i will display. thanks again!!

Stacy Dykes said...

Another awesome tutorial. You are a wealth of inspiration!