Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Bunch of Grapes

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Here's another bag from the elegant edibles collection (the bunch of grapes pattern). I used size 10.5 double pointed needles and the yarns provided in the kit (2 balls of amethyst heather, less than 1 ball each of jalapeno and avocado). I actually already had some amethyst heather WOTA in my stash (left over from the "Long Live the Queen" mohawk hat).

I went through a LOT more yarn that I had expected... I needed to remove one repeat of rows 1-8 to complete the bag without having to buy more yarn. The kit should have provided 3 balls of amethyst heather. It is strange that there is so much extra of other colors, but not this one. If I had not had some amethyst heather in my stash, I would not have been able to finish the project!

The yarn that remained after knitting the bag (left) and after sewing up the holes in the bag (right).

There are a lot of bobbles in this bag. Rather than turning the bag for each bobble, I decided to knit backwards, eliminating any need to turn the work!

So knitting this project with size 10.5 needles... the "bobbles" are ending up pretty flat. The stitches pull such that there is nothing that bobbles them. I therefore decided to sew up the holes before I felted the bag. (I was afraid that if I did not sew up these holes the bag would loose all of the grape texture.)

Right: The holes between each bobble. Left: same picture, but showing how I was sewing up the holes. I would stitch the top of the hole to the bottom, leaving the sides alone so they could "bubble" out.

Towards the bottom of the bag, I have started sewing up the holes. The holes towards the right of the picture are currently unaltered.

When I sewed up the holes a bit I reduced the length by 6 inches, and the bobbles are now more pronounced.

The bag before the holes were sewed up.

The bag after I sewed the holes up.

I had a slight problem with knitting the lid. You picked up 5 stitches so it would be attached to the bag. I would have preferred to knit the lid, and then sew it to the bag after the fact. I felt like I was stretching out the bag, as it kept getting twisted around the junction. The instructions have the leafy bits on the cap of the grapes be knit in garter stitch, but I did stockinette since that's the way the rest of the the bag is.

The finished lid

The bag didn't shrink that much during the felting. But thankfully it did keep it's shape! There are a few small holes left in the bag, but most of it closed on its own. This was the easiest hand felting I've ever done. I put the bag in a mopping bucket with hot water and a little dish soap. I then stirred the bucket with a wooden spoon, changing the water twice. I didn't want to use my hands to rub the fibers like I would do on an oven mitt because I was afraid to loose the definition of the grapes.



The cap of the bag is smaller than the body, so I cinched the top of the bag a bit so the cap fits better. I also still need to purchase snaps for the bag. I decided to sew the cap on so it would be connected to the bag by more than 5 stitches. This way I won't need more than one snap to keep it closed.

One more funny note about this project. I misread round 8 from the way my directions are printed... but that ended up being the correct way! what I had printed said to K3 at the end, which would end that row early. I did the K9. That is a good whoops, since I was over 2/3 done with the bag when I found the errata.