Nearly there… Doni’s Deli bag

I spent a few hours sewing the seams of my Doni's Deli bag. It's a little tricky, but I pinned it together and suddenly it all made sense. I decided to sew the handle edges together, but I'm uncertain about how it looks. I may tear out that seam and leave it. I had left enough fabric to create an inside pocket, but I also like letting it drape over the top. If I added a big button, it'd look pretty cute!
What's left? Maybe re-doing the handle, maybe making a pocket/adding a button, maybe adding a liner. This is one big project!


Fabric, drying

Fabric, drying

Here's the full fabric for my Doni's Deli bag, drying outside in the hot sun. I have a front-loading washing machine, and I was hesitant to wash this alpaca, wool, bamboo mixture, so I did it on the hand wash cycle. Some of the loopy selvedges did even out (as promised by the experts on Ravelry), but overall, the fabric was the same. So, I got brave and tossed into a regular load on warm. It came out exactly the same. 

So, although I didn't notice the words "Super Wash" on any of my yarn, it obviously doesn't want to felt. The good news is that I have a long enough piece to try to add a pocket to my bag.




Doni’s Deli bag fabric

It's been over two months since I warped my Emilia and started weaving the fabric for a bag like the one at Doni’s Deli. Why two months? Well, I made some beginner mistakes, which I don't have to list, but the main one was I chose sock yarn for both the warp and weft. With a 12 dent heddle I probably would have been okay, but I only have a 10 dent heddle, and it took a gazillion rows and hours (at least!) to finish the fabric, which measures 100".

Now for washing, hemming, sewing… Later. For now, I'm content to watch it come off the loom a couple dozen times. (Note, this short video is uploaded to Flickr):

When I neared the end, I ran out of my main sock yarn and also my patience, so I dedicated the final few inches to experimenting with the clasped weft technique. If you're interested, there's a short tutorial available here, and lots of lovely examples posted on blogs.


A Lesson in Frogging


I wanted to make a bag out of my Bollicine Victor yarn, and I had trouble coming up with a design, so I decided to start from the bottom and work my way up. I chose the green loom, and stated with the woven technique from the Provo Craft backpack. Another KK loomer has done this and she's outlined the way she created the woven bottom here. This was hard. I used one strand of yarn and by the end of six hours, my fingers were aching and I had an elbow cramp. No matter, it was done. It looked like a green plate.

I then had the decision of what stitch to use on the sides of the bag. I liked the bottom because it was a tight weave, and I could imagine actually using this bag to carry my knitting projects to and from work. After a little bit of trial/error, I ended up using a flat stitch with two strands of yarn. This started out just great, but then, about ten rows into it all, something strange started happening. The sides of the bag were caving in, almost like the cuff of a sock. I switched to my blue (Sky) yarn, and kept on going with the flat stitch. After just another five rows, I realized I wasn't making a bag, or a backpack. I was making a bowl!

Bowls are fine, but one out of rather floppy yarn looks interesting but isn't strong enough to actually hold anything unless it was felted. My yarn is 70% wool/30% acrylic and I decided I wouldn't risk trying to felt it, so I taught myself how to "frog," or how to unravel the rows so I wouldn't loose them all. This is easy at first, but gets harder when you try putting the loops back onto the loom.

I frogged all the blue and then got down to the final two rows of green. I fished out my stitch holders and looped in all the loose stitches I could find, and then I put the whole thing back onto the loom. This was only truly difficult near the end, where I was pulling really hard on the yarn to get it over the final few pegs. I highly recommend a stitch holder for any newbie like me who's trying to frog. It lets you salvage your work without too much swearing.

So now I'm using an e-wrap and it's a looser stitch, not like with the flat stitch when it turned into a rolled cuff. I really have no idea how this will turn out, which is one of the reasons why I like knitting. I always learn something new.

I still need to make myself some slippers! It's actually cold out, and I'd love to make a felted pair but I'm a little stumped with how to size them. I'm guessing I'd use the red loom, but maybe the green. I'm also thinking about making a cowl, although minus the pom-poms. Saaski here on Vox made one, and it's pretty neat. Something else I've discovered is that people often salvage yarn from thrift-store sweaters. Not only is this frugal, it seems like fun. Ashley Martineau has created a tutorial that is very detailed and helpful. This may be a good (but also time-consuming) way to acquire wool if you don't mind the work.