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Muahahaha

It actually worked. I can't help but feel a bit smug - it's just so damn pretty.

Before:

After:

It shrunk from 19" x 9" x 7" deep to 15" x 7" x 5" deep. The fabric is wonderfully firm and dense, and my lazy end-finishing (that is to say, none at all) seems to have been completely masked. Just as everyone else who's made this found, the suggested hand-felting instructions are total bullocks; it took two cycles in the wash for the magic to happen.

I blocked it on a padded portfolio pilfered from a long-ago conference, bent and folded to accomodate the flare of the sides:

It needed some rather aggressive pulling and shaping and pinning to even everything up, but it seems to have resulted in a perfectly flat, smooth, heavy-but-drapey felt. Backed with interfacing, it'll be perfect.

Lining shopping today, and then some investigation into sources for some of the hardware I need (hint: Googling "leather straps" does NOT give you purse and handbag supplies, gah).

While the wash ran, I gave some more attention to The Fair Isle Project. I've come up with a pattern:

based on a jumper in the Shetland Museum:

I am completely besotted by this sweater, totally and wholly in love with it. I've taken some of the motifs from it, and am planning to work them as shaded bands of dark-pattern-on-light-background on a natural white canvas, punctuated with threads of currant red for a little visual wink. The yarn is wound:

and swatching has begun:

That edge is the product of cutting a tubular swatch. They're telling you the truth - it won't unravel. Could it be a real possibility to scissor gaily away into an unreinforced sweater, without madness or a mind otherwise diseased? The idea is starting to flirt rather dangerously with my brain.

Comments

I've just discovered your blog and have enjoyed its contents immensely. Well done on the bag! Looking forward to seeing its final touches, as well as the outcome of your FI project.

Wooohooooo! The bag looks AWESOME!

Wow, it looks great. You have certianly earned the right to be extremely smug. :)

OH. MY. That bag is absolutely beautiful. It came out gorgeous. Too right, feel as sumg as you can eunny, you deserve to. Well done!!

How great is that!! Love the bag and the two toned shades.

Oooo, I love how that bag turns out!! Very pretty!

totally, totally beautiful!! you are a genius! i love the felt bag. and, the fair isle thing you got going is gorgeous.

how do you like that book? i ordered one from sheila mcgregor, i hope it is a good one.

The bag is AMAZING. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Great call on pulling the sides in at the top. That definitely adds sleekness. It came out beautifully.

Wow, that bag is absolutely stunning. Enjoy using it!

Wow--that looks great. Can't wait to see the lining and straps (heh--leather straps) added on....

Beautiful bag! Can't wait to see what lining you choose!

It looks fantastic!

Haven't read the comments to see if anyone else suggested it but you should be able to find any leather stuff you need here:

http://www.tandyleather.com/

More specifically try this link:

http://www.tandyleather.com/Belts.html

I'm thinking the belts would be the best bet.

More specifically try this link:

http://www.tandyleather.com/Belts.html

I'm thinking the belts would be the best bet.

wait, so what kind of stuff did you find with that search?

I can't wait to see the fair isle swatching. Are you going to start cutting random sweaters everywhere now?

The bag looks great!

I look forward to future posts about the FI sweater.

That bag is gorgeous! I absolutely love it. Great job. :)

You're right - your bag IS so damn pretty! I'm going to say it for the millionth time, but I am so impressed with your wicked knitting skills! I can't wait to see your fair isle sweater - looks like it'll be a fun project.

Your felted bag looks great and I greatly enjoyed the information on the Norwegian stockings - I'm going to have to buy that book now!

The bag looks "pretty damn good," as we say in this house when we want to offer the very highest praise. Everything you do is such an inspiration -- your knitting is an amazing combination of precision and creativity and wit.

Love, love the bag. I may shamelessly copy you, it's so gorgeous.

Beautiful bag! And I really like it two-toned instead of with all the cutesy colors.

Have you tried M&J Trimmings for your purse notions? (Don't remember exactly what the website is, but I'm sure googling will bring it right up.)

I LOVE that the cutting turned out the way they said it would. I mean, sure, I believed them, but it was on a faith basis, not a seeing basis. ;)

Bag looks absolutely fantastic! Can't wait to see it finished!

You are a great source for inspiration, thank you, thank you! Might have to get into that whole felting thing, too.

The bag is beautiful! Congrats on such a fine job

ditto to all of the above! and lol on the leather strap googling. oopsie! that bag is going to be gorgeous. and i'm looking forward to seeing your next fair isle project. that piece from the shetland museum is amazing.

I love the bag and am looking forward to seeing your design and execution of the sweater. I have all 3 of the Fair Isle books and wanted to also recommend Knitting Fair Isle Mittens & Gloves by Carol Rasmussen Noble. She has some interesting historical info.

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