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Playing Hooky

January 6, 2005

Well, I’m supposed to be working on a sweater for a friend’s brother, but I’ve had some fun yarn calling to me, and I just don’t want to do “have to” knitting right now. Maybe it’s the end of the holiday season; maybe it’s the new year; maybe it’s just general laziness. In any case, I spent a chunk of my winter vacation playing around with a couple of things. The first is a Sophie bag from Magknits. I’ve made a couple of these already, and I really enjoy the pattern. It’s well-written, economical of yarn, and a quick knit. Coincidentally, the Yarn Harlot has been making them with beaded handles, too. Very chic. My version is knit from some of my handspun from about three years ago. I got the roving from Greenwing (Dyeing for Fiber) on Ebay. The colorway is called “Maine Woods,” and the fiber is New Zealand Romney. It’s a little too scratchy for even my rhino hide, so I thought it a good bag candidate. Here it is in its pre-felted form:

I liked the way the colors lined up, and hoped for some definite striping. This is what I ended up with:

Initially, I was a little disappointed, as I’d hoped that the color runs would stay more clearly defined. As you can see, they muddied up a bit. You can still see some striping (though it’s hard to make out in the picture), but it’s definitely not a Booga bag. I wasn’t sure I cared for it at first, but I gave it a shave and contemplated it for a few days. I did like the fact that the yarn felted up with an almost boucle texture, and in the end, I decided that it just needed a fastening loop and a smashing button – sort of a Charlie Brown bag (all it needed as a little love). A field trip to Weaving Works yielded a Czech glass button that I think complements the bag well. A little two-stitch eye cord and some sewing left me with:

I like it much better now. The photo is taken at an angle and so the button and loop look off-center, but they’re not. Oops. The loop is a trifle too long, though, so I’ll shorten it a skosh.
Next, in preparation for my local spinning guild’s St. Distaff Day spin in, I thought I’d dye up a little fiber to contribute to the door prizes. I’ve been in a very red mood lately, and so got out some Southdown cross roving, some Gaywool Tomato and some Cushings Egyptian Red. I did some sprinkle dyeing in my crockpot and came up with this:

I like this so well that I’m going to have to do another batch for me. Now, would someone please crack a whip over my head and tell me to get back to that sweater?

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9 Comments
  1. vanessa permalink
    January 6, 2005 8:29 pm

    screw the sweater- i LOVE the colors of sophie and your dye job!

  2. January 6, 2005 9:10 pm

    Sam, I really like the color that you came up with for the roving. Dee-lish.
    It is funny how the felted knitting ended up looking like a boucle. Is this just a trick of the camera or did you beat the living bejesus out of it to make it look that way? It still AMAZES me that anyone would felt their precious handspun…boggles the little pea that lives in my skull. I know…scratchy wool, yatta yatta yatta.
    Oh yes, and that other thing…three plies of gnats eyelash yarn…ON PURPOSE. Oy. You are killing me. :o)
    Lisa S

  3. January 7, 2005 7:05 am

    Hm, I have some of that romney, perhaps in the same colorway. It’s on the bottom of the spinning stash because I want to try some romney sometime but it’s not my color. Now I can see the perfect use.
    I love that Sophie pattern, it’s so endlessly useful.

  4. Sam permalink
    January 7, 2005 7:42 am

    Thanks, Vanessa! The sweater had to take a break while I email some photos to the recipient anyway – just not sure about all that double moss. And girls just wanna have fun, right? πŸ˜‰

  5. Sam permalink
    January 7, 2005 7:49 am

    Thanks, Lisa! It is weird, isn’t it? I’ve had it happen a couple of times with handspun, but only 2-ply. It’s gotta be a yarn structure thing. Then again, I *did* beat the living bejesus out of it in the washing machine. Maybe I should be kinder to my felts? πŸ˜‰ And as for felting handspun, well, not everyone sells the scrumptiously soft roving that you do! πŸ˜‰

  6. Sam permalink
    January 7, 2005 8:04 am

    Thanks, Caroline. I have another hank of that color, and a couple called “Everglades.” I’m thinking that maybe the other stuff wants to be a felted vest, but I’m not sure. Then again, maybe I’ll just end up with a line of Sophies. πŸ™‚ It is a good pattern. I like Stephanie’s grommet/handle idea and might just play with that, too.

  7. joan permalink
    January 7, 2005 9:12 am

    The bag is scrumptious! I’ve been dithering about making one (same problem – felt my handspun???) but you’ve made up my mind. The button clinches it, but it was gorgeous naked as well…

  8. Sam permalink
    January 7, 2005 9:52 am

    Thanks for the nice words, Joan. I think it was easy for me to felt my handspun because it’s what I did with a lot of my first stuff that wasn’t that great. Felting cures a multitude of consistency ills. πŸ˜‰ Now it’s just seems like a natural for stuff I want to spin, but don’t necessarily want right next to my skin. I hope you blog so that I can see yours when it’s done!

  9. January 8, 2005 9:14 am

    That BUTTON absolutely MAKES that bag!! Love it! I still like the color even after felting πŸ™‚

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