Category Archives: Retro Bag

My husband, the human swift.

The new favorite yarn in my house is Cascade Pastaza, a blend of llama and wool that’s incredibly soft, with beautiful variations in color and a rustic look not unlike Lopi. We discovered it’s the favorite because I’m madly knitting away on a felted Bucket O’Chic for Knit One Purl Too’s Yarn Recommendation Staff (aka my husband), and every time he’s seen me working on it over the last two days, he’s said something like “I like that yarn even better than when it first arrived – it’s my new favorite yarn” or “You could make me anything out of that.”

Yes, I’ve created a monster. My husband has a favorite yarn. He enjoys operating the ball winder, and calls himself “the human swift.”. He visits knitting stores without protest, and knows the difference between worsted and DK weight. Who knew? It’s a win-win situation for us – he gets knitted thiings he likes, and my knitting has a built-in fan club.

Here, before I forget, is the finished felted bag I mentioned in the last entry – it’s so cute, and has inspired me to felt (and felt) again. It seems like magic, and it’s even more fun than I thought.

A few miscellaneous tidbits for future reference:

Kate points to a tutorial using the Magicord machine to make I-cord with worsted weight yarn. A handy reference, but I think I’m still returning my Magicord; I don’t hate making I-cord that much yet.

What other yarns can you use for the Must-Have Cardigan? Knitters in the Yahoo group for the knitalong are using Dale’s Falk, Reynolds Candide, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Patons Ballybrae (this yarn has been discontinued, but you can always look on EBay) and Elann’s Peruvian Highland Wool. Nice options, no?

This year, I want to knit something (anything!) out of hemp. My investigations revealed the following: A search for hemp yarn; there are several potential sites, like EnviroTextile, Aurora Silk, and LanaKnits (they have affordable little kits). I’m such a hippy.

And, who would not want handspun angora yarn from champion rabbits

When I offered to make a baby sweater as a gift for a friend who’s expecting, mothers at the baby shower recommended a hooded baby sweater that zips up the back (that’s for a newborn, and this pattern goes to 12 months). Apparently, this style of sweater gives the baby less to fiddle with (now where’s the fun in that?).

Have a felty New Year.

I know – two entries in three days – shocking! With time off from work, I made one of my Christmas gifts. It’s a felted tote, the Retro Bag from Designs by Shelley in Outback Wool and Outback Mohair by Plymouth, colorway 902 It’s sweet and girly, with a garter-stitch bottom, lots of mohair and contains plenty of what may be my favorite color: lime. Here’s a closeup. So delightfully fuzzy! Dig that I-cord! And here’s the glamorous “I’m blocking” shot. Thanks to Kathy Wortel’s basic felting article from Knitty, as well as the King of Felting’s great tips, I was felted and fabulous with two trips through the washer.

This pattern was easy and fun. One thing I would change next time through – the handles for this tote are stitched on pre-felting, which means, of course that the yarn used to stitch them on felts as well – and shrinks. Though the handles are securely attached, the ends of my handles curled up a bit, which I can fix with needle and thread. But next time I attach handles, I’ll make sure to stitch the ends down.

So what’s next? I have yarn for a few more hats, including a Bucket O’Chic in Cascade Pastaza (thank you, Rob), a Booga bag, and of course, the Tote Around that seems much more do-able – I think I can fake my way through knitting a flat bottom and picking up stitches (rather than torturing myself with DPNs). I have Koigu for some Crusoe socks too (thank you again, Rob), but I may just pick up my lonely top-down raglan – it needs some love.