The two balls of Noro Kuryeon arrived last week and Saturday I finished the handles for the French Market Bag. A couple of people on Ravelry had mentioned that they would have liked the handles a bit longer, so I added a couple of inches to mine. According to the websites on felting that I consulted, knitted items tend to shrink more lengthwise so I thought two more inches ought to be just about right.
As you can see in the picture below, what I ended up with was a large, rather shapeless bag. What the pattern calls for is a large square, knitted from the center out. At the point where you have 200 stitches on your needles you quit increasing, and that next part is the sides of your bag. I continued to knit up the sides two inches past what the pattern called for in order to increase the depth of the bag.
Then I filled up the washer with hot water, took a deep breath and threw it in. I wasn't quite sure what to expect. After five minutes agitating in the water, it seemed as if it were getting BIGGER rather than smaller. I kept checking it every few minutes, and after 15 minutes I could see the stitch definition disappearing and that it was getting smaller and firmer. Those websites were absolutely correct; there was dramatic shrinking in the length, not so much in the width.
I spun out the excess water, then stuffed it with plastic bags to shape it and set it on the heating vent to dry (a suggestion from my LYS).
I love it. It's thick and soft. The yarn has a lovely hazy look to it, like autumn colors seen through a mist. Did I mention that I love it? It's just the right size for a take along knitting project, with plenty of room for a pattern book and a notebook.
4 skeins of Noro Kuryeon color #185 for the body
approx. 3/4 of an additional skein for the handles
I used the original pattern for the body, but added 2 inches of depth and 2 inches for the handles
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm trying to chase away the mid-winter blues by celebrating my 200th post with a surprise package give away. Anyone who comments this week gets their name in the pot. I'll draw a name tomorrow, so stay tuned!