Walk on my brother

Pattern: Fulled Lopi Tote
Yarn: Reynolds Lopi (100% Icelandic wool), colorway Vivid Purple
Needles: U.S. 13 nickel Options interchangeable 32″ circular needle (Magic Loop and semi-Magic Loop style)

The first large plastic bag plucked off the shelf for my 2009 personal project club was #12. Inside: two balls of Lopi that I’d bought on sale at least a year earlier, with the express intention of making this little felted bag. The pattern was one of the first that I found and hoarded in my initial mania for bag knitting, back when I started knitting in 2006. Why bags? Because I was scared to death of knitting garments, that’s why.

It was a good project to come up first on my list. Big needles, quick knitting, nothing complicated. Accomplishment guaranteed. Surprisingly, I even added a new technique to my arsenal — the three-needle bind-off, which somehow I’d never had occasion to use before.

When it came time to felt (or, more accurately, “full”) the floppy, fuzzy bag, I had to resurrect the felting skills I’d neglected since I moved on past bags (much more quickly than I would have expected, thanks to the Rav). I threw it in a pillowcase, fastened it with a rubber band, got out my old ripped jeans, and put it all in the top-loading washer on hot wash/warm rinse.

Since I wanted to check the felting’s progress before it dried, I opened the washer as it was nearing the spin cycle. Uh-oh, something wrong here. Pillowcase empty, purple bag escaped, thick wool fuzz everywhere in the washer. Rubber band broken and flopping loose.

I got as much of the fuzz as I could (terrified that it will clog up the outflow hose — again — or burn out the motor), and this time secured the pillowcase by tying it in a knot. The bag went through three full cycles that night without felting sufficiently, before I gave up in exhaustion. I subjected it to one more round the next day, and this time it got firm enough for me to consider it done.

And by this time there was something to put in it: the contents of the small bag labeled #3 in my 2009 personal projects club.  Turns out it’s the perfect size for 100g of sock yarn, a printed pattern, #1 circs, stitch markers, a tape measure and a pair of scissors.  But that’s a story for another post.

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