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View Full Version : The Ultimate Knitters Tote (hopefully!)


KellyK
02-26-2006, 12:24 PM
I based this bag on MANY patterns, namely Maggie's Tote (fibertrends), the Oregon Tote, and the FT clogs (I knit a "cuff" around the top of the bag so it would be extra-sturdy).

Im hoping to end up with a square-bottomed BIG tote with an inside, flat pattern pocket against one side. :pray:

Its felting RIGHT NOW! :shock:

Ingrid
02-26-2006, 12:29 PM
Drumrooooollll. . . . . . .

javede
02-26-2006, 12:34 PM
Oh, I :heart: the color combination.
Can't wait to see it felted :thumbsup:

gardenmommy
02-26-2006, 12:46 PM
Oh my, you could fit many, many Howies in there prefelted! :rofling: Can't wait to see the finished results!

mintdee
02-26-2006, 12:53 PM
I love the colors! I can not wait to see the finished product!

KellyK
02-26-2006, 12:56 PM
We're on our 5th agitation cycle....I had to turn the (wet) bag inside out inside the pillow case to get the pocket better, and reposition everything in general because one half of the bag was still pretty loose.

Jenelle
02-26-2006, 01:43 PM
Oh Kelly those colors are wonderful!!

Can't wait to see it! :cheering:

KellyK
02-26-2006, 02:10 PM
OOH! I just had a scare....I let it rinse in cold and then drain so I could REALLY check its progress...

THE POCKET HAD FELTED TO THE INSIDE OF THE BAG! :shock:

Now....I guess I knew this was a possibility, but I figured that if the FT clogs and any other felted thing I had ever made had NOT done that, there must be some mystical or scientific reason that it doesnt happen. Well, it DID.

Now my nailbeds hurt from prying it apart. OUCH!

There are spots that arent felting evenly....I imagined that would happen because its SO big that its hard for it to move around & get even friction against the other things in the washer . I keep turning it, and I changed the lint filter (read: doubled knee high panty hose on the drain) and took it out of the pillowcase. :pray: I put that pillowcase inside the pocket to provide a barrier. :figureditout:

I hope this thread helps some of our newbie knitters who are afraid of felting. Because, Im still not worried! Everything WILL turn out okay in the end. :thumbsup:

bjc1050
02-26-2006, 03:00 PM
Very pretty. Hope it turns out better than YOU hoped.

Vendie
02-26-2006, 03:00 PM
How's it looking now? Is it evening up any?

kitkat
02-26-2006, 03:19 PM
Watching its progress......as I will hopefully shortly be doing the same for the momstrosity tote......hope to have it finished today!!!

itscryttle
02-26-2006, 03:32 PM
Oh I love the colors!

Can't wait to see it after the felting.

KellyK
02-26-2006, 03:44 PM
My plan worked! (BWAA HA HA.)

It was fuzzy as all getout, but Ive also discovered an INGENIOUS way of removing nasty lint fuzzies....I used a stiff nylon-bristled hairbrush and make tooth-brushing motions all over the thing, while picking off the fuzzies. The brush either takes them off or raises them just enough to make it easy to pick.

First, I thought you'd all get a tickle out of my compiled blocking device. That's 2 Surf boxes, each on top of an Anne Rice Novel, next to 2 12 packs of Coke. :thumbsup:

Then....Le piece de resistance!!

Ingrid
02-26-2006, 03:50 PM
:cheering: :cheering: Wow, Kelly! That will hold everything, including Howie! Great job, the colors look wonderful. I'm so glad it worked out!

Angelia
02-26-2006, 03:50 PM
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

It was very dramatic reading through the felting problems--but the drama was replaced by joy at the sight of the bag!! It felted just lovely, Kelly!!

I love the boxes, btw...isn't it fun going through the house, sizing up boxes to serve as the "molds"? :rofling: :rofling:

Jenelle
02-26-2006, 03:50 PM
Ahh that came out BEAUTIFUL!!! :cheering:

Good thinking on how to block it too :thumbsup:

itscryttle
02-26-2006, 03:55 PM
:inlove: absolutly lovely!!

KellyK
02-26-2006, 04:13 PM
Tanks, guys!! :mrgreen:

(And, Ang....Ill never be the writer that oh, say, PHM is ;) , but Im glad you enjoyed the saga! :thumbsup: )

gardenmommy
02-26-2006, 05:02 PM
What an awesome Surf-Coke-novel tote, uh, I mean KNITTING tote!

On a side note, when I was at Fiber Guild, we made bags/purses out of felted sweaters, and one lady recommended using plastic canvas as a reinforcement on the bottom of bags if you have a square/rectangular bottom bag, since it is washable (if your bag itself happens to be washable) as opposed to something like cardboard.

Jan in CA
02-26-2006, 05:13 PM
It's gorgeous! And HUGE! :shock: You should be able to get an entire afghan project it it! :cheering: :roflhard:

Angelia
02-26-2006, 05:19 PM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

Plus a few pillows. And Howies!

aylaanne
02-26-2006, 05:38 PM
What an awesome Surf-Coke-novel tote, uh, I mean KNITTING tote!

On a side note, when I was at Fiber Guild, we made bags/purses out of felted sweaters, and one lady recommended using plastic canvas as a reinforcement on the bottom of bags if you have a square/rectangular bottom bag, since it is washable (if your bag itself happens to be washable) as opposed to something like cardboard.

Hmm. I wonder if you could use plastic canvas to keep your pockets from felting to your bag, as well?

CateKnits
02-26-2006, 07:07 PM
Yay, KK! :cheering: :cheering:
You should take the "hopefully" out of the topic title - it IS the ultimate knitter's tote!

Tammy6071
02-26-2006, 07:18 PM
OMG, it is so cool looking!

kitkat
02-26-2006, 07:24 PM
Oh it looks great!

Working on my i=cord now - will post pre-momstrosity felting pictures....the bag is ENORMOUS.......it could be used as a coat for Cooper (who equals probably 12 Howies)......

Amber
02-26-2006, 07:54 PM
It turned out fantastic!!

KellyK
02-26-2006, 08:07 PM
What an awesome Surf-Coke-novel tote, uh, I mean KNITTING tote!
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard:

You should take the "hopefully" out of the topic title - it IS the ultimate knitter's tote!
AWWWWW! Thanks, Cate!! :heart: :heart: :heart:

I am considering what to use for the bottom, IF I feel like using anything. I was thinking about going to Michaels and having them cut some plastic (like the stuff in cheapo picture frames) for me, but, yeah! plastic canvas would work perfectly and I could cut that myself! (would the edges snag my yarn???)

Thanks SO much for all the kudos, everybody! :heart:

gimmesanity
02-26-2006, 08:08 PM
Wow, great job, chica! :thumbsup:
Looks fabulous - now, we need a pic of said bag in action...

Yvonne
02-26-2006, 08:40 PM
You could put something on the cut edges, like masking tape, to keep it from snagging your BEAUTIFUL knitting, Kelly. You know what else? Because of the meshlike quality of it, you could tack it down in a few places with sewing thread to keep it from moving around.

wildforyarn
02-26-2006, 08:46 PM
Wow, love the drama that unfolded and then to see the bag out of the washer. I can't wait to see the totally finished product! It is HUGE!!!! ;)

Angelia
02-26-2006, 09:00 PM
We need perspective--put Howie next to it again!

margie
02-26-2006, 09:38 PM
love it, kelly!!! :cheering:

Hildegard_von_Knittin
02-26-2006, 10:17 PM
great!

KellyK
02-26-2006, 10:41 PM
We need perspective--put Howie next to it again!

Ask and you shall receive....
I must add, he wasnt too happy about this. :|

Also, the bag is inside-out here, so the pocket could get some air.

CateKnits
02-26-2006, 10:42 PM
Awww, smooches for the grumpy Howie. :heart:

mks22300
02-26-2006, 10:49 PM
Looks great and it looks like it will hold quite a bit!

Jenelle
02-26-2006, 10:53 PM
Aw howie looks like he's mad :shock: :rofling:


The bag is starting to look good! :thumbsup:

Ingrid
02-26-2006, 10:54 PM
Poor Howie! Maybe he thought you were going to put him in the washer, too.

earthchick
02-26-2006, 11:25 PM
AWESOME job, KK! :thumbsup: :inlove: :inlove: :inlove:

Angelia
02-26-2006, 11:44 PM
Thanks for the photo!!!

I do wish Howie were a little more pleased, though :( Poor fella--hugs to Howie! :heart: :heart:

Pixywhispers
02-26-2006, 11:45 PM
KK! Its beautiful!

Have you written th pattern yet? "First go to Sam's, purchase the largest box of detergent you can find." :rofling:

You did a great job!

KellyK
02-27-2006, 12:09 AM
:roflhard:

Amber
02-27-2006, 01:37 AM
Poor Howie -- being a model can be sooo trying.

He certainly has the pout down perfectly! :lol:

Marni
02-27-2006, 03:45 AM
Way to go... Cool tote! It's good to see that the felting process worked out too. (Makes it seem less scary to us newbies ;) ) I was wondering about the handle; was there a reason for not attaching it before and felting everything together?

Andrea
02-27-2006, 06:16 AM
The troubles of being a small dog.... :D I :heart: my little Howie!! :heart:

Looks fab Kelly! Hopefully it won't take a week to dry!

Lana
02-27-2006, 07:17 AM
I don't need no stinkin' Anne Rice novel!
I just read this entire thread.

I admire your tenacity felting that. Can't wait to see it with a project (or 2 or 3) in it.

I have one question:
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO DRY???

AidanM
02-27-2006, 07:46 AM
Will it really hold it's shape, even with blocking? It seems so...big that its own weight would make that really difficult.
Also, unless the plastic canvas has changed since I was a kid and my mom used it...plastic canvas is really rather flexy. I don't know if you'd want your nice rectangular bottom to get all rounded from the weight of its contents.

This is why I usually advocate liners. :blush: You can put interfacing on them to help the sides stand up and the bottom won't get deformed from the weight of the contents because the liner will support the brunt of it.

KellyK
02-27-2006, 09:27 AM
Marni....I felted the handles separately because Icord felts alot faster than that big-ol' bag. I knit buttonholes right under the "cuff" so it would be easier to insert the Icord later.

ITS DRY!!! Im using it TODAY!! :cheering:
(I stick my felted items in the dryer. Im a REBEL! :twisted: )

Aidan, darlin', if I could sew, Id be lining everything! :rofling: Actually, Im thinking about finding a class. BUT....I am off to Michaels after work today to find something to stick in the bottom of the bag. You are right.....its pretty droopy.

Finished measurements:
17" wide
14" deep
15" tall

Its not all THAT ridiculously huge, is it??

Angelia
02-27-2006, 09:30 AM
No, not really. My big knitting tote is about that size, though not quite as wide. Photo of you sporting said bag??

Lisa1216
02-27-2006, 09:33 AM
Kelly~I think it came out great!! I don't think the size is too big. I love the bag I did, it goes everywhere with me just in case I can get a minute to knit. Yours looks awesome!!

lisa e
02-27-2006, 10:54 AM
Holy schmoly that is fabulous!! Give poor Howie a cookie for being such a great model, pout and all.

I hope you write your pattern up. I would love to make that for carrying my stuff back and forth to the ball field all summer long. It's the only thing that keeps me sane!

I :heart: :heart: :heart: it!! Great job!!!!!!!

KellyK
02-27-2006, 12:01 PM
Photo of you sporting said bag??

Im gonna have to ask you to subsidize the replacement of my digicam batteries if you keep requesting pics, Ang! :lol:

Ill take a pic after I get SOMETHING to make the bottom sturdy. (Wish I could take something to make MY bottom sturdier! :( :oops: )

Thanks, Lisas!! :lol:

I guess I could write up the pattern..... :thinking: Im gonna have to make myself a blog to keep it on. (Like I need another addiction!)

lisa e
02-27-2006, 12:24 PM
How about this to make the bottom more sturdy:

A piece of thin foam, then a piece of heavy duty acrylic plastic.....like plexiglass...then another piece of foam on top of that. Wrap the whole thing in a pretty piece of fabric and safety pin it all together on the bottom so the cover stays put. Voila...instant firm bottom that you can remove and shake out dust bunnies etc.

The foam pieces would keep the plexiglass from piercing the knitting sides and pad the bottom.

KellyK
02-27-2006, 12:28 PM
AND that's a no-sew kind of solution!! Ill see what I can find at Michaels!

lisa e
02-27-2006, 12:30 PM
You can always use quilt batting instead of foam too. And, if you cant find plexiglass at Michaels, you can always go to Lowe's or Home Depot. They can even cut it to size for you.

knitqueen
02-27-2006, 03:39 PM
I've used that plastic needlework canvasy stuffy for the bottom of bags and it works great! I cut the piece to size, lightly sewed it in place with a needle and thread, knitted another piece out of the same yarn, felted the piece and sewed that in over the plastic canvas. Voila! :thumbsup:

KnuttyKnitter
02-27-2006, 05:08 PM
That is SOOOO good! :thumbsup: I really wish I had the courage to felt a knitted piece :oops: Well, I like seeing the stitches, anyway! :XX:

Jenelle
02-27-2006, 05:59 PM
So how much knitting stuff can you fit in that thing KK?? I'm curious to know because to me it looks like you can fit A LOT in there! :rofling:


And a question.... Does drying a felted item in the dryer shrink it any more?

KellyK
02-27-2006, 07:01 PM
It does shrink a little more, but you dont have to worry about that with bags....although, Ive done that with my FT clogs, too. I just felt them until they are ALLLLLMOST done. I like to live on the edge, see?

Andrea
02-28-2006, 01:32 AM
I bought some really thick felt at Michaels to put on the bottom of all my felted bags I made for Christmas, I think it really made a difference...

Ronda
02-28-2006, 09:02 AM
I've been waiting for the big finale. Do we get to see it right side up and outside out and on your shoulder? So far it looks great!!! Howie, of course, stole the show though. He is just the sweetest thing. Can he come over and play with my little Maggie for a while? She has nothing but big huge boxers and mutts living around her so she has no one to play with (being an 8-pound mini poodle).

KellyK
02-28-2006, 09:05 AM
I promised Angelia I would take a pic after I got something to flatten out the bottom of the bag. Right now it looks a bit DROOPY.

Poor Magola! Howie'll be right over! :lol:

Lana
02-28-2006, 10:29 AM
(I stick my felted items in the dryer. Im a REBEL! :twisted: )

Oh, that's your secret!
I was thinking it would take a week for that to dry.

kemp
02-28-2006, 11:17 AM
It looks fantastic! I can't wait to see it on your shoulder sans droopy bottom!

lisa e
02-28-2006, 12:16 PM
Gee.......I wonder if I stick MY bottom in the dryer it would get less "droopy"?? heheheh!

kemp
02-28-2006, 12:17 PM
:roflhard: If we could figure out how to do that, we'd be rich!

CarmenIbanez
03-01-2006, 12:53 PM
Um, WAITING. Still!

KellyK
03-01-2006, 01:41 PM
waiting for what?? :??

Jouf
03-01-2006, 01:43 PM
Uh, a picture on your arm filled with a project!!!

KellyK
03-01-2006, 01:47 PM
:roflhard: OH fer cryin' out loud! :roflhard:

kemp
03-01-2006, 02:01 PM
Yeesh kelly! Go ahead and quit your job already so you can entertain us all day with your pictures and witty charm! We can't stand waiting to see the new bag on your shoulder!!!!!

Stonington
03-01-2006, 02:11 PM
Yeesh kelly! Go ahead and quit your job already so you can entertain us all day with your pictures and witty charm! We can't stand waiting to see the new bag on your shoulder!!!!!

You do, ya know! Entertain us I mean. :cheering: If it were not for all of the escapades on this site.. work would be just plain awful! Thank you!

anne
southern maine