Well, my pal's package has arrived, so it's time to share the gory details. But first, a little housekeeping.
The pattern for the bag I just completed can be found here. You'll need to sign up, but there's no risk and only gain! They don't flood your inbox or anything, and there are some nice patterns, with more to come.
Now, I present to you, the Four-Square Mitered Square Tote, found here. It's a great book. I'd actually purchased it for the Market Squares Bag to make for me, but decided the mitered squares would make a great knitting bag for my pal. I had great fun choosing the colors, because I love greens and blues too. The purples, well... you know. The important thing is that my pal was pleased with the final results, including the colors I chose. My pal has yet to make a bag for herself, so at least now, she has a felted bag of her own. It's great fun to treat someone so selfless, who enjoys giving her own knitting creations to others.
There it is, the tote, in all its finished glory. It was done in Cascade 220. The colors are a bit tricky, as Cascade's labels feature numbers, not names. The important thing to note is that while the pattern called for only 107 yards of all colors except the main color - the dark wine/purple/whatever, of which it called for 114 yds. - I used up dang near all of every skein. I wasn't familiar with the yarn they used for the sample in the book, and felting being as forgiving as it is, I didn't sweat the details, as Cascade 220 is always good for felting, right?! Um, yeah. I'll be swatching from now on, even with felting, if for no other reason than to see how the yarn fulls. Jenny - my pal - can tell you, there's like a yard of the purple left, as I sent it along in case a handle needs reinforcing two years from now or something.
That's what one panel looked like pre-felting. In case you need a point of reference, it is oozing over and around my desk chair's back. Before felting, the panel was approximately 19 inches by 18 inches. After felting, it was roughly 13" X 12". My husband was terrified it wouldn't felt small enough to be practical as a knitting tote. Silly man. A few minutes later, he was helping me pull and tug it into shape, although I will admit that I felted the body of the bag twice. The straps, only once. Speaking of straps, I should note that the original pattern had them all one color. Um... I wouldn't have had enough yarn. Seriously. I counted the lavender stitches in the handles and the dark stitches in the gusset, and I would have come up short enough to see a difference.
Those are the pieces, pre-assembly. That was honestly the most stressful part for me. It was almost all garter stitch, save the stockinette handle. Yeah. No i-cord. Go figure. They changed a bit with felting of course, and that's always a fun yet scary part of the felting process for me. What colors will soften? Will any colors take on a different character completely? (See the bronze in my most recent post. It faded into the woodwork, so to speak.) I must say, it went together faster than I though it would. I figured eight squares into two panels, a big ol' 48" gusset and two straps would take me a couple of evenings to seam up, but I managed it all in one evening.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a sock to finish and more housework to do before my guests of honor arrive in just FIVE days!