There's a hot new item in my gallery:
Finally! I finished the pink felted bag. This will be a gift for someone who may or may not read this blog on any given day, so I have to be a little bit careful. I think that person is so busy right now it's very doubtful she'll bother to check this out, but just in case, shhhhhhhh. Don't tell her it's for her.
The bag and the handles were finished before Rhinebeck. My compatriots at the inn all got to see the bag then. The holdup has been to get some hooks that would work appropriately to attach the handles. That has been a bit of a journey. My biggest problem was that I jumped the gun a bit and went ahead and installed grommets.
I originally bought D-rings, thinking I could pry them open enough to slip them in. Nope. Welded and totally unopenable.
Then I thought I had outsmarted even myself and found the hooks in the bottom center of the photograph. I found them at www.bagworks.com. They are sweet, and I was so excited to receive them I could hardly wait to tear open the package. I thought, "these are perfect!" But alas, they also did not work. The spring mechanism opens almost, but not quite, wide enough to properly fit through the grommets. I actually tore the bag around one of the grommets a little, trying to force it to work.
I will, however, use these for a purpose-built bag, so called. I will knit some tabs into the next purse I make, install the hooks through the tabs before felting, then felt. I will then hold my breath and hope to hell it works out the way I think it will.
But yesterday I received a package from Universal Mercantile Exchange. And friends, we have a winner! The setup on the right bottom of the photo. They are part number HK-R34-nickel. Two pieces. The rod on the bottom screws into the hook on the top. Just perfect! (add a drop of glue to hold it from unscrewing, the instructions say)
They also come in goldtone, and they come in different sizes and shapes. This one is the 3/4-inch size. If you go to their site, it is rather challenging to navigate, but I think I eventually found and clicked on "handbag hooks." It took a while to find it. They sent a catalog, and that is much easier to understand than their website. They are really in business for large orders, I think, and they sent me minimum packages of 10 of the two types I ordered. I think I read something in their site that they limit these "sample orders" to a small number of orders before they require you to order a big wholesale-type order. But anyway, I've got what I need, and I highly doubt I'll be making more than 10 felted bags as gifts.
Anyhoo, here's another photo of the finished product, with a Coke can shown for scale. The color is actually the exact color of rose quartz, if you are familiar with that semi-precious stone. In fact, some of the beads in the handle are exactly that, I believe.
I was very excited to find out that, with this attachment, the handles are just long enough to be able to fit over the shoulder and look really sleek and urban-chic. I was kind of worried that it would only be a true handbag. I'm really a shoulder bag kind of gal, and I think that is more practical when you're shopping. So I was very, very pleased to find out that it will work over the shoulder.
I'm thinking of further adorning the purse with a button closure or something, but I might just leave it plain. What do you think?
Pattern: Sophie. However, I doubled the yarn to make a more substantial fabric. The handles, I was warned by their maker, are rather heavy, and they require a more stiff fabric. Before even receiving the handles, I took a chance and doubled the yarn I used, and it came out JUST the way I wanted it. I wondered if it would felt properly and small enough, but to quote Baby Bear, "It is jussssst right."
Yarn: 2 skeins Patons Classic Merino, Color 210, Petal Pink. I used every last string of the yarn, and there would NOT have been enough to make handles. If you intend to knit and felt the handles, you will need another skein. This yarn is the same weight as Cascade 220, so to make this purse I would also recommend doubling the Cascade.
Highest recommendation: Abigail came home from school. This was sitting on the front hall table, even before I attached the handles. "I want one JUST LIKE THIS!!!" she said loudly and repeatedly. And throughout the weekend, it was stated LOUDLIER AND REPEATEDLIER. (Yesterday Claudia reminded me that I am creative with language, so ..... )
Also an aside on "why we proofread and/or edit": My No. 72 from yesterday: "I have one lovely child, a daughter." After I reread that, I thought it looks like I have one lovely child. Who knows how many hideous children I have. Yes, for those of you wondering, we have Abigail, and then we have ogre children. But we don't usually let them out of the attic.
So one pink bag with beaded handles is on the way for her birthday present, JUST LIKE THAT! Poor kid has the unfortunate luck of having been born on New Years Eve.