Saturday, September 6, 2008

Christmas Celtic Tote

Why 'Christmas' Celtic Tote? 'Cause I'm knitting gifts for Christmas this year. Really, I'm trying to knit something for everyone I usually buy for. Partly because we're trying to cut back our costs at Chez Disco. And partly because my stash runneth over.

I have 6 teacher gifts to make. A book club gift. My boys. Their 8 cousins. A mother and a MIL. Hubbs and her boys.

That's actually quite a lot of knitting. So I'd better get on that if everything's to be completed in time.

This is the first of the stash of gifts. I'll decide nearer the time who the recipient will be. Most likely a teacher. Or my mom.The main body of the bag is made with Brunswick Yarns' "Germantown Knitting Worsted". A yarn that a friend gave me a while ago - she had inherited it from an aunt with a stash the size of Brunswick!. I have a good 8 skeins of this stuff. You can tell it's old - there are lots of breaks in the yarn, especially where the ballband has rubbed against it.

Trying to be more positive about life, I saw this as more of an opportunity than a disaster. I learned to spit-splice. I had very recently seen an old episode of Knitty Gritty where Vicki Howell demonstrated how to do this. I had read about it previously, but never attempted. She made is look so easy. And it was. I must have spit in a good thirty or forty inches of yarn used in this bag. I guess I can really say I put a lot of myself into this project ;0) Lovely!

I was really looking forward to 'fulling' the bag. I believe that term means 'felt slightly'. So I put it on a gentle/warm cycle. Apparently, this wool washes well - it hadn't felted in the slightest. So I tried another cycle! The wool washed really well! Then I just decided to put it in with some towels I had to wash anyway, on a hot cycle. Of course, then I got to doing something more interesting, like vacuuming, or cleaning a toilet and completely forgot to check on the bag.

So here's the fully-felted end result. I have to say, although the stitches aren't discernable, I still love the effect. The stitching round the cables still makes them stand out.
And the finishing touch...... a wooden button.

I absolutely love everything about this bag. It is a great handbag size. The straps are cute (cabled). The celtic cables on the front are beautiful and not too difficult to knit (if you can follow a chart).
It's so long 'til Christmas that I may even have time to find the perfect fabric to line it with - but let's see if I have time to make the lining.
Felting ROCKS!!!


IrishgirlieKnits said...

That is just gorgeous Disco!! I love the cables and the color and the button is just perfect! Good for you for starting the Christmas knitting already!! I was thinking of all the things I wanted to knit for me and realized Christmas is right around the corner. Better hold get started!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Big hugs!!

Bezzie said...

I had forgoten that that bag was felted. I wasn't sure what I was going to say if the first picture was the final FO!! But it felted beautifully!!

I'm telling you those silly market bags make great gifts and are FAST!

Zonda said...

Very nice! Great use of the ole' stash too! :) Hmmm now I wanna knit one ;)