I Feel Some Felting Coming On

Ah, it's another snowy morning in Boston.  It's just beginning to stick on the sidewalk, and seeing snow makes me think that I'm better off knitting in my PJs and slippers than I am running around doing my share of the housekeeping.  Of course, it usually doesn't take too much to make me think that.

I digress...

The latest issue of MagKnits arrived in my browser last week.  This edition's theme is bags, and (no lies here) I love all of them.  Knowing that I will never, ever have time enough to knit all of these patterns I must pick and choose.  Being the practical knitter that I am this one caught my eye immediately:


Swatch and Block by Jorun Boklöv.  It's a smaller version of my very serviceable but slightly boring messenger bag (a Manhattan Portage number in gray) which I use all the time.  Sometimes you want a little splash of color, you know?

And, because you also know that I cannot knit a pattern as written, I'm already thinking about how I can change this.  Instead of a heart (too girly) how about a star or a couple of funky flowers in one corner?  Instead of the open top, let's substitute (okay, that wasn't really my idea--Jorun suggests that in the pattern).

In addition to the felted messenger bag, I have been thinking lately that I need a new hat for my new winter coat (here, in Mountain Pine).  Since I have a scarf that matches the coat, and gloves that match the scarf (perfectly), I think that I also need a hat to complete the ensemble.  The gloves will soon be replaced by mittens.  Knitted mittens, plus a handknit scarf, plus a handknit hat equals too much knitting for one wearing.

Enter the felted hat.  Felted hats are knit, and they're nice and warm (very important around here), but they don't necessarily scream "handknit".  My plan is to knit something like Bow hat from Pick Up Sticks!  [To clarify, the exclamation point is part of the company's name, it's not a way to express my surprise at the pattern selection.]  I'm a little bit unclear on the hat's shape.  Has anyone knit this?  One photo makes it look like a bucket hat (good).  Another makes the hat look like a helmet (bad).  It's probably a sizing issue.  There is always Bonne Marie's felted bucket hat, but I have heard that some knitters have had problems with the pattern.  Would anyone care to weigh in on that?

These will will wait until after the holidays, because before I can even swatch for a hat or a bag for me, I must finish my gift knits.  Back to my scarf I go!

Remember Knitsmiths: time change, 2-5 today not 4-7.  For those of you who can't make it at that time, do check our Google group.


Oh wow!!!!!!!!!!! I love it too!!! And best of all, I met Jorun personally a couple of weeks ago. I got her a magazine while in the US and we had a great knitting chat at an italian restaurant :)

Cheers Eva

I've done the ChicKnits felted bucket and had no problems with is - what kind of problems have people had?

I had never heard of Pick Up Sticks! I LOVE the bow hat, I think I will be doing one for my daughter and one for myself. Thanks for sharing.
I like the idea of the "swatch and block" with some funky flowers in one corner.
In my part of Wyoming we have a very COLD wind, but no snow yet. I hear Park City, Utah was having a blizzard yesterday, we are in handknit sweater wearing weather.

I personally like the felted bucket hat better than the bow hat, but that's just me. The bucket vs. helmet versions of the bow hat might just be due to how they were blocked?

As far as the magknits bags, I really like the denim one: http://www.magknits.com/Nov05/denim.htm. Add that to my ever-increasing list of things to knit in 2006!

I love Bow - have it bookmarked as a future hat - I may do it without the bow, but I love the shape. Have Bonnie Marie's pattern, have not done it yet either - must now check magknits and see what new stuff is there.... hmm. Sorry to miss you again this week - my Dec is not very knitty right now. Still where I was before thanksgiving in fact. Will catch up soon!

I'd never seen the Pick Up Sticks! either, glad you put that in. I love that bow hat and yes I think it may be a blocking thing with the different shapes. I've just bought a book on felting but havent tried anything yet, although after looking at the instructions, I realised how many garments I have accidently 'felted' in my life - all those teeny jumpers....

I've not done Bow, but Caryn over at Fuzzy Noodle Knits (http://fuzzynoodleknits.typepad.com) recently knitted it a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure you could email her for any tips or suggestions on it, if you had questions on it.

Thanks for noticing the Block bag! If I had more time, I'd do a charcoal bag with black piping and a red star. I recently made a smaller, striped, version with leftovers from the original bag. I did a flap for that one, and it turned out OK but not great. The flap will shrink more than the front of the bag, so if you want the finished flap to have the same width as the front, you need to cast on some stitches. I haven't worked out how many, a guesstimate is +10-20%. (This effect can be seen in my photo of the Swatch coin-purse, http://hem.passagen.se/jorun/2005/12/magknits-november-bag-issue.html )

Plase let me know if you knit the bag, I look forward to see what others do with this pattern!

The problem I had with the pattern was once you started the decreases for the crown. The first set of decreases were fine. The second set were off. I just changed my repeats and things worked fine. So, on your 2nd, 4th, (even decrease rounds) Do K 1/2x, K2tog, *K x, K2tog; repeat from * instead of the way the pattern is written

And that Bow is a lot like Flowers on a Grave at the Anticraft!

And that Bow is a lot like Flowers on a Grave at the Anticraft!

I had no problems with the bottoms-up felted bucket hat. I think that's the version she sells now. I've knit 3 of them (2 unfelted, 1 felted), and not a single issue with any of them! it's really a very easy pattern.


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