Christmas Eve Deliveries

I’m not one to praise the United States Postal Service, but Christmas Eve impressed me.   Our Postmistress was out delivering, and my mail ran right on time.  The Knight was taking out some trash at 8pm at his grandfather’s, and THAT mail carrier (another lady) was still making sure as many last-minute packages and cards arrived before Christmas.

The first package was from Devon .  I don’t know that I would have EVER turned the heel of my first sock without her!  She spent part of a Sunday afternoon knitting along with me, telling me row by row how many stitches should be on each needle.  A friendship was born, just like that. 

There’s my first Christmas pickle, a lovely ornament that will have a tiny version of the dogs’ Christmas photo placed inside, and a lovely, handmade pin that will look great on almost all of my coats!  Thank you so very much, Devon.  Your friendship has certainly been a blessing this year!

Then, my package arrived from my FFBE pal!  I couldn’t get a group shot because we were heading out as the mail arrived.  I’m already carrying the bag.  I know Karen stressed over the colors, and they couldn’t be more perfect!  The flash made them a bit more vivid than they are, but you get the idea.  I love it!

There were lots of other goodies too.  Look at that Baywood yarn!  Yum!  And honey spoons, a pretty, HUGE tin of assorted teas, and the most wonderful smelling soaps are in that festive box, in a fir scent.  (LOVE fir scents.  Didn’t know I did until I was gifted some fir candles and now, this incredible soap.)  In the upper right is the very yarny card Karen sent too.  It was a lovely package, clearly put together with me in mind.  It certainly has been a grand season for swaps for me.  Thank you, Karen!

I apologize for the delay in getting this post up.  I started yesterday afternoon, and had internet problems at home.  I tried again in the middle of the night when the internet was working, but Sissy wanted to get back in bed; she just whined and fussed and wouldn’t settle on the sofa.  I put her back in the bed, and she stomped up between the Knight and Mugsy, sighed and went right to sleep.  Now, after I get my coffee, I’ll work on a doggy post for the day! 

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Anne’s Sleeping Bag

DSCN0620After weeks of photoless whining and teasing, I can finally share Anne’s Felted Bag with you. She knew I was her spoiler as she was the lone hostess for this swap , and it feels as though a lot of October has been devoted to this project. I had hoped to have it done so it would arrive in her hands on her birthday, but such is life, and lucky, the Bag Lady knows how these things go.

Firstly, I must apologize to my friend. The bag did look better when it left here, but the photo on Anne’s blog just turns my stomach. chan1 Pout. I hope she knows I honestly wouldn’t have sent her such a train wreck of a bag, and I hope her Bag Lady skills will allow her to restore it to something more akin to what left here. Obviously, my concerns about it still being damp within somewhere were well-founded.

We’ll start at the end and work our way back. DSCN0621 There’s the finished product, which pleases me more than I thought it would. This is the Plymouth blah blah pattern, and let me be clear; I CANNOT recommend this pattern to anyone. Awful ain’t the word. There are errors in the chart and no errata to be found, although I think I was able to figure out how to make the assorted cables mirror each other, within the rows and top to bottom.

The little pop of green at the top? Yeah, well, pictured on the pattern photo, but NOT written into the pattern, so I kinda’ guessed, and made the green wider than I really wanted it, but it’s all good. The straps? Um, yeah. I made them THREE times as long as the pattern called for. Who on earth does a 35 row strap on a felted bag?! Also, a bag this size really should be done in a bulky yarn or two strands of worsted, and I’ll know better in the future, not that I’ll do this pattern again. No way. I hope Anne finds it acceptable and can use it to store yarn in or something, but it’s not even worth trying to modify for future use.

The details:

Yarn: Patons Wool. Six balls of dark grey, and two balls of bottle green, with the last ball of each barely getting used. I did have to buy an extra ball of the grey, as the pattern called for five, and I have this annoying habit of knitting VERY loosely for felted projects. Loved the way this felted up, with more heft than I would have predicted, but DANG this stuff sheds. In desperation, I did run it through the dryer on no heat for a few minutes, which helped tremendously. I also ran one of those shaver muh-bobs over it.

Needles: Knitpicks Options, in both metal and the sweet Harmonys. My knitting did tighten up some with the Harmonys, and I’m liking those very much. Size #10.5, 32 inch circs.

Pattern: Plymouth Celtic Felted Tote, #P635

New skills: You can’t see it in the final product, but I will likely take the time (and it is laborious) to do an i-cord bind-off on all my felted bags in the future. Great little trick, that.

This is also my first cabled project, and I enjoyed cables, but not the way this pattern was written. The bottoms and tops of the diamonds were sloppy, and I don’t know that I did anything wrong. (Really don’t like this pattern, just in case you missed that.) I’m looking forward to doing a cabled headband and other cables very soon.

I also had to do an infinite amount of seaming. DSCN0617 Each corner and each cable, inside and out, had to be drawn together to give it that little bit of texture. I like it, and had the bag not felted from 34″x 24″ to 17″ x 13″ , I think it would have shown up a bit better.

DSCN0615_edited-1 The handles were a neat trick. Each one is two straps, with different yarn-over patterns, so that they easily weave together. The end result is beautiful, I think, and it makes a solid, double-thick handle for this still very large tote.

This monster was truly a labor of love, and I’m sorry to tell any future felted bag pals that I don’t think you should count on a tote. I enjoy smaller bags a lot more. DSCN0614 Mugsy was kinda’ hoping it would be his new bed, and had it not felted better than expected, that was a serious possibility. Some orthopedic foam shoved in there with the top stitched shut, and he would have had labor-intensive dog bed.

Also, can anyone tell me why most of my bags have such a floppy, stretched-out top? We didn’t tug on this one much at all, except to widen it at the center, where the cable drew in so much, but all of my felted bags have this ruffly top, to some degree.

The promised how big is it really shot. DSCN0619_edited-1 Folks, I’m 5’3″ if that helps you wrap your mind around how big this was prior to felting.

Anners, I wish it had turned out more like the photo on the pattern, and I hope again you can restore it to what it looked like when it left here. Pout.

FFBE Final Question and More Again

Have you noticed that it’s feast or famine with my posts? Hope that doesn’t bother anyone. It’s a matter of time, and it’s a rainy, boring day in the working world.

How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the bag you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!

Well, I just sent out my pal’s package yesterday and haven’t received mine yet, so there’s little to report. My upstream pal has been in touch and has asked questions so I know she’s reading up on me, which will lead to a great bag, I’m sure! My downstream pal has been a royal pain in my rear, trying to solicit information about her bag from mutual friends… Oh yeah. Wait. That’s YOU, isn’t it Miss Question-asker? SNOL!! Seriously though, I had great fun spoiling you, although I do think YOU have more fun when you have a co-host, so I’ll be mindful of that next time I decide at the last minute to be less than helpful.
I will of course, go on and on when my package does arrive. But you already knew that, didn’t you?
And since I keep forgetting, I really need my SNOL button out in plain sight!

Also, if you’re like me (forgetful), you need a reminder that the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap is open for registration. Get that questionnaire posted though!

FFBE #4

Winding down, the fall felted bag exchange is. (Yoda, anyone?? Where did that come from?)

So, one last question for Anners, only I’m answering both options.

What was your favorite Halloween costume ever – for you? for your kids, if you have them? Why did you enjoy it so much? Do you still dress up now? Chat a bit about your traditions for dressing up on All Hallow’s Eve!

I’ve never been into Halloween, not even as a kid. The only non-store-bought costume I recall was around 5th grade, when I just had to be Athena, my goddess hero. I had a sheet toga, and I remember raising cane about my sandals… Obviously, it’s only my favorite because it was the only costume that required more than a trip to the store. I do enjoy carving a pumpkin, but that’s about it.

It’s a crisp, cool, sunny Sunday in October – the sky is clear, there’s a bit of a breeze, and the leaves have already started to change. How would you spend your day to best celebrate and enjoy the season? Are you at home curled up with tea and a book and a window open to enjoy the breeze? Do you head out on a long drive and hike through the mountains to see the trees? Go find pumpkins and colored corn to decorate? Tell us about your special day!

Wait – are we assuming the NASCAR race was on a Saturday night? If that’s the case, first things first! I’ll pull on my walking shoes and Mugsy and I will head out for a few miles. Then, when we get home, we’ll see if the Knight wants to ride across the mountain (FOOTHILL Anne, I know…) for any ol’ reason, so we can look at the leaves along the way. When I get home, the crockpot of pinto beans will be ready, so I’ll just whip up some cornbread and call it supper. If I have the energy, I’ll make apple or pumpkin bread pudding for dessert.

Noro Clarification

For my FFBE spoiler:

I wanted to love Kureyon, and I have some Silk Garden from a swap pal I hope to knit up sooner rather than later. I love the stripes, and I think now that I know more about felting, my first two bags – Chan and Booga, in Kureyon – would have been a bit tighter and thus, I’d be more excited about the results. So, it is indeed the KNITTING with Kureyon that I hate. I also can’t imagine wearing the stuff, or curling up under it. I hear Silk Garden is far better in the knitting with and touchability in the final product, so I do want to give it a whirl.
In fact, I can’t stop buying striped yarn, especially the self-striping kind. Part of its charm is my lack of confidence with color work, but it’s also just a little Chan will never be a dyer mystery, watching the colors ooze into stripes while I just do my thing with the needles.
A shorter answer? If you’re willing to knit with Kureyon for me, I’m sure I’d love it.

FFBE #3

This is such a post-heavy day. Sorry, but if I try to spread them out, I forget. Friday should be a light or no post day, as I have my standing stamp & scrap group meeting. I’m stamping, because I owe thank you notes and I feel wasteful and lazy when I buy cards.

The questions from here:

How often do you change the purse or bag you’re carrying?

No moreso than I have to. I don’t carry much, but it’s still a pain. If I do change, it’s for the event in question, and then I go right back to the favored bag of the moment.

Do you change based on seasons? Outfits? Something else?

Well… yeah, I guess I do. I decided my cream, pale pink and light green Sidekick was too summery, so I whipped out another one. I do also change based on outfits, if the situation warrants it. For instance, if I’m going to a conference, I carry black portfolio, bag, etc. and wear black shoes too.

My “mission” matters too. For air travel, I carry a big tote as a purse AND knitting bag. For shopping, I carry as little as possible, perhaps a wallet on a string or wristlette.


What’s your favorite bag in the world (and it doesn’t have to be a knit/felted one!)?

Hands down, my classic Coach. Black, sized just right. Timeless, traditional, conservative and yet still indestructible.

FFBE #2

The colors of fall tend to be oranges, yellows, crimsons, and other ‘leafy’ colors – what is your favorite “Color of Autumn” and where do you see it?

My favorites are maroon and gold. I do love all of the colors of the changing leaves, but I prefer to look at them rather than wear them, save the dark reds. I’m not sure where I’ll see them this year, as I suspect the continued drought will make the leaves rather muted.