At the start of February last year I posted that I had had a go at felting a sweater with designs on turning it into a bag. I had purchased it in a charity shop for the princely sum of £1. It had a lovely cable pattern to it, and it reminded me of the sweaters my Mom used to knit for people for some extra money. I remember being in awe that she could complete a sweater within a week, not being a knitter I assume now that this is not really an awe inspiring thing after all……..the wonderful innocence of youth! When they were finished she would put them under the seat cushions on the sofa for us to sit on and ‘press’. She tried to teach me to knit but I don’t know whether it just didn’t sink in or I was too young to be bothered, I think it was probably the latter…….
The sweater went in on a 40 degree wash, just to be cautious, and it didn’t felt enough, so I did a second wash at 60, still not good enough, so it went in again at 90, luckily it had felted sufficiently at that point as I didn’t really have anywhere to go from there!
So then I had a felted sweater and I couldn’t figure out how to re-figure it into a bag shape. Luckily I have a friend who is more of a sewer than me and she helped at this point, by cutting it in the correct places to maintain the pattern in a symmetrical way, and sewing it up using un-ravelled wool from the arms. She also made a clever deep internal pocket by utilising one of the cuffs. I am sure I would have just hacked at it randomly, she thinks deeper and in a more practical way than me.
I wanted the bag to be an over the shoulder, sitting on your hip type of length and unfortunately the arms were of no use for this. I came up with the idea of a bead/felted ball type of handle and sourced these lovely wooden beads online, and made forty felted balls, I think I used Corriedale wool.
I had made the balls pretty tight, so it was a bit of a struggle to push a long, strong needle through them all, using wool salvaged from the sweater. I didn’t line it as I wanted to see the cable pattern on the inside too. Here is the outcome.
Or I should say, it was the outcome for a short while…………I used it a couple of times then one day I had just arrived at a car park, I put the bag over my shoulder and SNAP! one of the lengths of wool sewing all the beads and balls together broke, and there I was scuttling around the car park trying to retrieve my wooden beads that were rolling in every direction! laugh? nearly!!
Now this is a sweater that has felted beautifully and I do want it to live life as a bag so Plan B is necessary.
I did like the felted balls with the addition of the beads. However, if I am being really honest, the design didn’t sit the best on my shoulder……I really wanted a handle to compliment the soft, natural colour and pattern of the bag.
I thought maybe of producing a length of felt and encasing it in a pretty fabric, as I did here for my flower meadow bag that I made a while back.
Or perhaps I could use a twisted cord such as these but in a much better colour. These examples are white with a blue fleck, black and a nice cobalt blue. Or maybe two twisted together for thickness ?
If I could knit, one solution would be to buy more wool and create some handles that way, but this is not an option unfortunately as I do not have the desire to learn.
Those are the only ideas that I have come up with this far, so it’s over to you please, do you have any bright ideas to make my ex-bag into a loved bag again?
What would you do?