Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Somebody send me a lifeline

There has been a bit of crafting here at the Bunnie hutch. I started another Booga Bag a couple of weeks ago and hoped to have it and a sister bag in another colorway finished before the beginning of Spring Break, but I got hung up on getting Tallulah finished and off in time to go to Jamaica. After finishing another bear (well...almost finishing. Still have some seaming to do), I pulled out the stops and mostly finished the Booga Bag (all but the pocket and weaving in ends, which I hate). I immediately wanted to cast on for the second bag so I could felt them both at the same time. The Sophie bag was actually supposed to be another Booga Bag (BB), but I had the two patterns in the same pile of papers, and I'd already cast on, knit the bottom of the bag, and was picking up stitches when I realized I was knitting the wrong pattern. It all worked out well. The Sophie bag started this weekend and both it and the rest of the demanding work on the BB were finished this afternoon and evening. I felted them this afternoon, and after a dry on fluff in the dryer, Sophie is ready for her debut. The BB is still drying, so it won't be ready until tomorrow.

I bought two sets of magnetic bag clasps a while ago, and I thought I'd try one out on this bag. It was a bit of a trick trying to figure out how to hide the clasps and how to have it hold securely. I also wanted to figure out a way to sew the pockets on more smoothly without the seams puckering the material on the outside of the bag.

So here are lots of progress shots (me = camera happy today) and the final product. Details on pattern, etc., are at the end.

I wanted to put pockets in this one like I did the last, as pockets in a purse are really an essential, particularly if you don't want to have to use a separate wallet. The last time I did pockets, I had a hard time seeing where I last picked up the bump on the wrong side while doing my whipstitch. Phyl just posted today about using a lifeline in her lace knitting, and while I've yet to do that (not that I haven't had to rip lace back...what a pain in the arse), I thought something similar might work here.

I took some contrasting (bright yellow) waste yarn and figured out where I wanted the pocket placed. Then I did a running stitch one row outside where I needed to be using the bumps straight up for the sides of the pocket and across for the bottom of the pocket. Voila! A straight line to follow. Then it was much easier to whipstitch the pocket to the bag.

A closeup of my lifeline....
So now the finished pocket:
And the finished bag from the outside (sans magnetic clasp) sitting on a book for scale to be used later. These were in afternoon indirect light from the front window.

Then I put the clasp in the tab hanging from the top, folded the tab over and sewed the sides so the back of the clasp is hidden. Don't be like me and forget to put the little washer thingy on. Threw her in the front loader in a pillowcase with a few pairs of jeans and a few large towels and a squirt of dishsoap. Then I used a couple of Priority Mail boxes (free from the post office) and cut triangular pieces for the sides and a rectangular piece for the bottom so the purse will sit flat. Stashed the cardboard in plastic grocery bags in the purse and filled the empty space with more bags...took her outside for another photo op. Smile! This is afternoon sun in my back yard. You can still kinda tell where my pocket ended up, but it's not too bad.

Then I stuck her in the dryer on the sweater platform thingy (I'm full of technical jargon tonight, bear with me!) so she could rest flat and wouldn't be tossed about and dried her on low for a few hours. I had to go back at this point and use *gasp* scissors to cut the tab open so I could put the darn washer on, since I forgot it and then sewed it back up with same color floss.

And now the final product! Same book as the above picture. See how she shrank (shrunk) smaller?

Tada! And the inside...the pink at the top is one of the pockets. The other pocket is on the inside opposite and can't be seen in this photo.

Pattern: Sophie
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, color #74 (I think...or it may be the BB is 74...), 2 1/2 skeins including pockets and extra tab.
Needles: size 10 1/2 bamboo double pointed and long bamboo circulars.
Modifications: I added two pockets to the inside of the purse and the magnetic clasp. Other than that, I pretty much followed the pattern.
What did I like/what would I do differently: I like the idea of the magnetic clasps, but I think I need to use some kind of stablizer between them and the knit fabric, as the tabs on the clasp want to poke through the material. The lifeline worked well, and I'll use it again. My felted material never gets felted enough for my liking. I'm not sure what I need to do differently. Likely it has something to do with the fact that I have a front loader. I may need to do more hot/cold transitions. As it was, the bag went through 4 or 5 20-minute cycles on hot-enough-to -singe-your-skin on high agitation. More research is required.

If you've made it this far, congrats...and feel free to comment with suggestions! Details on the BB will follow soon!

1 comment:

Sourire11 said...

Very cute!!! I love the magnetic closure - I've made several sophie bags and they alwasy just sort of hang open... where did you buy the closures? Sewing them on pre-felting worked ok? I so need to try this....