Friday, May 6, 2011


How fitting that I should finish a pattern called Brainwash while in the heat of finals.  Law school finals are absolute hell and anyone who tells you otherwise has either never taken one or is flat out lying to you... probably because they're trying to recruit you to go to law school.  It's a common phenomena among law students to reach a point during finals where you've crammed so much information about the law into your head that you can recite verbatim sections of the united states code, but can no longer perform simple daily tasks or remember things like "bra goes on under the shirt." 

In a hopeless attempt to stay sane, I do a lot of knitting during finals.  I showed you the front panel of this bag a while ago.  Here it is completely knit and assembled pre-felting.


It's pictured next to my criminal law notebook for scale--both are huge.  The picture doesn't really covey just how floppy and unstructured the unfelted bag is.  I put a book in it and it stretched from hanging at my hip to hitting the floor.  After 3 trips through the washing machine (apartment only has front-loaders) and some spot felting by hand to even it out, it looks like this.


It's quite a bit smaller now and much firmer.  It can actually have things in it without stretching and becoming completely useless.  I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted held double because it's cheap... why would you ever felt expensive yarn?  The dark green is Forest Heather and the light green is Pampas Heather.  Both colors are gorgeous with tons of depth from the heathering (sometimes Knit Picks heathers look pretty solid) and the depth remained even after felting. 

This project wasn't that fun to make (maybe that's finals talking) because I found working the intarsia with all the bobbins and dangling ends a pain.  Also, since you're knitting on huge needles to help the felting, the project looks like a big holey ugly mess as you're knitting it.  I think I would like felting more if I had access to a top loading washing machine (and if I didn't have to pay $1.25 for each wash load.)  After the 3rd time through it was mostly felted.  I filled up my sink with really hot soapy water on one side and really cold clear water on the other.  I used a carpet scrub-brush in the hot soapy water to agitate the spots that hadn't quite felted enough, then dunked the thing in the cold side to "shock" the fibers and help them contract faster.  There's no stitch definition left on the bag at all.  I love it.


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