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More Kitties

March 3, 2008

The kitty bag is finally done.

I felted it a third time to get the grey handspun to fall into line better. It sort of worked. I considered the ideas Donna gave for cleaning up the outline of the cat, and I embroidered around the edges of the head where it had become hard to see the shape of the ears, but I decided the rest looked ok and I left it alone. The butterfly is a little too big but it wasn’t worth taking it off to cut it down.

I didn’t get a photo of it, but the best feature of this bag is the top. When the bag is wet after felting, you fold the top sides in like a brown paper bag – I used clamps from my toolbox to hold it in a nice tight fold. And you put dowels through facings at the top edge of the bag before sewing on the handles. This makes a firm bag that doesn’t sag into a pouch like most felted bags, and the top opens nicely like one of those old carpet bags Mary Poppins carried. It is a most practical bag.
The only problem I ran into was that the facings tended to felt shut – you fold them in and sew them down before felting, and then when you are done felting they are sort of closed. I had to ram a huge screwdriver through them so that I could get them ripped open again and get the dowels in. I don’t know if there is something like a long strip of plastic that you could feed through the facings before you felt the bag.

I also started the socks from the Kitty Knits book. They were so cute I just couldn’t resist. I decided this was a good opportunity to try Knit Picks Merino Style.

I totally played havoc with the colors, but I just can’t leave a brown color scheme alone. So you kind of lose the gingham effect she was going for in the leg – I didn’t realize that pale blue was going to be so lavender. Oh well, they are still cute and cozy. I like the yarn so far – there is no telling how it will hold up with wear, but the consistency of the yarn bodes well – it is very firmly spun and plyed, and I am finding it does not split as I knit it.

I was also afraid that two-color stranded socks would not be elastic enough to fit me, but I seem to have been wrong. The first time I put these on, all the slack in the stranding spread nicely out and they seem like they will fit fine. Maybe there are more two-color socks in my future.

One small issue with the pattern that could trip you up if you don’t happen to be alert right when you get to it – the pattern gives you chart B (the kitty face) right side up and tells you to knit rows 1 through 11. If you do that without thinking, your cats will be upside down (unless you happen to be knitting toe-up). You need to turn chart B upside down to get your cats facing the right direction if you are knitting top-down.

If you missed our blog interview with Donna Druchunas about the Kitty Knits book, scroll down to last Thursday’s entry and catch up on the fun.

The other project I started was the Brushed Lace cardigan from the winter issue of Interweave. Without the color stripes in the lace border, thank you very much.

I’m using Valley Yarns ‘Florence’, which is 50% fine merino plus kid mohair and nylon – it’s a brushed yarn that is feather-light and seemed like a good substitute for brushed alpaca. And on size 8 needles this is a fast knit so far – I am almost up to the armholes on the back piece and I have only been knitting on it for a week.

I seem to have a weakness for feather and fan sweaters – I tried to make up a sweater with a feather and fan border a couple of years ago and it was sort of a flop. I made the ‘Tailored Scallops’ sweater last year. Now this. Maybe when I finish this I will be satisfied and will be able to quit.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2008 10:40 am

    Love the look of that feather and fan cardi. The yarn looks incredibly soft!

  2. March 3, 2008 9:35 pm

    That’s a great cat-lover’s bag! I love feather and fan, particularly in a yarn with a halo. The sweater is going to be very pretty.

  3. March 4, 2008 5:21 pm

    I love your kitty bag!! It is so beautiful!

  4. Esther permalink
    March 4, 2008 8:05 pm

    I love reading your knitting updates! They are always so interesting!

  5. March 6, 2008 7:09 pm

    Cool kitty stuff, girl! I love the work you do, you are so fast too, it blows me away! Thanks for the comment on my blog too! The gloves are Caryn’s favorite colors. . .

  6. March 7, 2008 11:17 pm

    Love the bag and the sock(s), and your Brushed Lace cardigan start looks lovely!
    I really enjoyed your interview with Donna (and the wonderful pictures of her and her cats – they are super cute!).

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