Here's the bag, finished but before felting.

Here's an up-close shot of the symetric decreases, to create four points that join together to form the handle of the bag. Basically, what I did was make four consecutive necklines.

The finished bag, with handles attached.

Up close shot of the flower detail on the bag. It's just Rowan biggy print in the blue colorway, looped around to form flower petals, then Rowan big wool in pink French knots to form the center of the flower. Not rocket science.

I learned how to properly felt up in Yorkshire, at a Rowan workshop. I thought felting was just a matter of throwing your nice knitting into the washing machine, but I quickly learned that there's more to it than that, especially if you want a very dense felted fabric. The basic process was to wrap your wet and soapy knitted object around a rolling pin, then wrap that in plastic bubble wrap, and then start rolling. I found it was important to also turn your knitting inside out and felt the inside in this way, too.

While up in Yorkshire for the knitting workshop, I took a stroll in the countryside. What's more beautiful to a knitter than tagged sheep in a Yorkshire field?

I also took a little sidetrip (which some might call a pilgrimage) to the village of Haworth, to see the Bronte Parsonage, where the Brontes lived.

From there, I hiked up to the remains of the home said to be the basis for Wuthering Heights. Being up there really gives you an idea of the isolation and chill of the moors.

I do love interesting graveyards. This one is outside the Bronte Parsonage. In the foreground, notice the gravestones are laid flat, with no trees around at all, and in the rear the gravestones are upright, with trees planted around. In the 1850-1860s, there was an interest in solving the sanitation issues in the town, and it was felt that trees and other foliage would aid in decomposition and drainage. Apparently.

Emily Bronte wrote in Wuthering Heights: "I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth."

Knitting specs:

Green felted hand bag with flower embellishment and faux tortoise shell handle, knit with Reynold's brand lopi lite yarn, purchased while on a trip to Reykjavik, Iceland. Knit with Holz & Stein brand ebony wood circulars.

My own design, knit in the round, from the bottom up. Knitted bags are not very practical in my opinion, and so I urge you not to make a bag like this. But if you insist, this is what you do.

First, knit a big garter st rectangle. Then, pick up sts all around that rectangle and start knitting in the round upward. Eventually, separate knitting into four equal parts. Create four separate necklines, as it were.

Say a prayer and throw your perfectly good knitting in the washing machine. Attach a nice handle (wooden or otherwise) to the top of the bag. Embellish the bag with flowers or something.

Click here for next item

Click here for next item