For many years of being a knitter/crocheter, I used to be appalled at felting. Why would I spend a long time knitting something just to destroy it by throwing it in the wash!
Well last year, I saw the Market Squares Bag in the Bags: A Knitter’s Dozen and I was entrigued by the chance to try out entrelac as I always thought it was an interesting way to create a multicolored knit with a unique angle. Well it is felted. I thought further on it and realized that this would be a great way to learn entrelac and if the picked up stitches didn’t look quite right then it wouldn’t matter much because the stitch definition would be pretty much gone after the felting. So I gave it a shot. (2 new techniques in one project! )
Entrelac is done by casting on making triangles with short rows and making small squares by picking up stitches along the edge of the initial triangles. This is what makes the squares look like diamond shapes.
After making the Market Squares bag, I found a pattern called Booga Bag on the web and I altered the pattern a little in order to make it big enough to carry my large projects in.
The entrelac bag was knitted with 5 different colors of Paton’s Wool on size 9 needles. It is started at the top edge with a hem and each row of sqares gets smaller and smaller until you end up with a small ring pulled closed at the bottom. Handles are 6 stitch i-cord. All thrown in the wash in a mesh bag with an old set of sheets on hot with high agitation and then within a few minutes (really just 5-8 minutes) pull it out rinse and block. I had to shave the bag after it was dried, because I put a towel in not knowing that towels will shed. SO NEVER PUT FELTING ITEMS WITH TOWELS IN THE WASH.
The striped bag was actually really simple once I’d done the entrelac bag. It is knitted on the bottom and handles with Reynolds Lopi and the body of the bag knitted in the round with Noro Big Kureyon. Bottom was knitted on size 11 needles in garter stitch and the body on size 13 in the round. I bound off the top with an i-cord edge which gave the bag a stronger border. I don’t recommend the Lopi yarn for felting as the fibers really loosen up and make a mess in the washer. The Kureyon is fantastic though! Especially since it is self striping and you can make a great multi-colored item so easily with a great look. After making this bag, I bought the Big Kureyon in 3 additional colors as I think these will make great gifts in the smaller size Booga Bag.
I’m working on a summery colored one now with Crystal Palace Iceland yarn but I will keep you all in suspence until I’ve finished knitting and felting it.
Have you tried felting yet? Try it out with a small swatch and see what happens!