Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year Tote Bag

It's a good thing that there's an extra day in February because I just finished my final red and white wool project today. It's a tote bag with a textured gradient of red 3D dots.

I'm not a big fan of a lot of the bags on the market, they're all very similar and traditional. There are also a lot of great, fresh looking styles, but they demand a higher price. When you have the skills to do it yourself, you should. The result will always represent you better than a store bought product.
It is lined with blue twill fabric to keep the felt exterior from stretching and deforming with use. When I get a job, I'll be using this to replace my current work bag, so it has to be sturdy enough to hold 20 lbs of papers and computer. The straps are just cotton webbing, the same as on a factory made bag
The hardest part was figuring out how to do colorwork with a texture of shortrows. I treated each red lump ad if it was just a normal fairisle color shift. The strands were carried in back as I worked my way across the row. You can see that the red yarn does not continue across the row because, if it were, the dots would be connected with a thin line.

These two pictures to the left show the knit part of the project before and after felting.  I left blank spots in the textured areas so that there was a place for the straps. As usual, most of the shrinkage was vertical. I made a ridge along the bottom of the bag to add shape to the squared off bottom panel. This attempt to shape the felt did not really work and the ridge kind of blended into the felted fabric. Next time, I would add more purl rows.

Currently there is no written pattern available. It's very similar to some other lumpy patterns I'm working on, so it wouldn't be hard to write out, but I'm not sure if it really appeals to many people . If there's a response (via comments) I would consider doing the work of writing it up for the ravelry pattern store.


  1. This is an awesome looking bag!

  2. I love your "lumps"!! I would by any lumpy patterns if you made them ^_^

  3. I really like the graduation between color and size of the dots.

  4. I noticed your purse, while looking through your projects, after seeing your ravatar and thinking "wow, that's cool".
    Really love this purse, and would actually consider paying for the pattern. That's saying something - I like "free!" :0)

  5. @katjoy @mireya thanks for the nice words, is it ok if I let you know if this pattern is ever written and needs testing?

    I am aware that unlike twitter you will not be alerted that I @commented you.

  6. WOW .... it's so awesome bag

  7. I'd happily pay for a pattern for this bag too! I'd also be willing to test the pattern if you write one.


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