Project: In the Sculpture Garden Triangle Baguette
Designer: Nora J. Bellows
Yarn: Cascade 220 in 7822 (brown) and 9407 (pistachio), Lamb's Pride, various colors
Source: Knitche and my stash
Needle: size 13 circular
Gauge: 11 st and 16 rows to 4"
Notions: Handles from Knitche
Detail of handles: the first stroke of genius in this project was taking the bag to the shoemaker to attach the handles. The pattern calls for sewing them on with matching yarn. But the bag, being felted, is already heavy, and once you load it up, it will be still heavier. The shoemaker jury-rigged a solution by making small straps of leather to insert into the narrow slots in the handles, then sewed those firmly to the bag. Much better.
The second stroke of genius, which I photographed but now cannot find the picture and wish not to spend hours searching for it, was to add a wooden insert at the base of the bag to give it some structure. We bought a piece of balsa wood at the hobby store. I made a cardboard pattern, and then my husband cut the wood into a rectangle that just fits inside the base of the bag. That helps alleviate the flopping factor a bit, though, as you can see from the pictures, the bag still doesn't want to stand up on its own.
And I'll be lining the bag, hopefully, to hide the stitches inside which attach the felted flowers and leaves to the bag. I'm wavering at this point, and it may be given away tomorrow without being lined. Life goes on, right?
If I had it to do over again: I love the colors, I'm happy with the end result of flowers and leaves . The next time, I'd use Lamb's Pride over the Cascade 220. I like the slight fuzziness of the Lamb's Pride when felted, especially for the decorations. I'd make the bag a bit smaller, and I'd take a pleat on each of the short sides to give the purse more structure. The shoemaker could sew the pleats together when he attaches the handles, to give it more reliability.