Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Last winter, as I was very first dipping my toes into the vast ocean that is the knitting/yarn world, I ordered Leigh Radford's book OneSkein with my first yarn order from KnitPicks. I'm convinced that both that book AND discovering KnitPicks are HUGE factors in being quickly, painlessly, and completely sucked into the knitting universe.

(I plan on talking about my KnitPicks love later...but first...LEIGH love!)

Growing up I will admit, I wasn't interested in knitting or crocheting mainly because I associated the crafts with big, chunky, ill fitting yarn wear, variegated afghans, and doilies. Let's just say I'm not a doily girl. And while my Mom LOVES variegated yarns, I just don't. (Yet.)

So opening up Leigh's book was like a breath of fresh air. Any of you who have seen her work know what I mean. On one hand she has some lovely "traditional" knits. Simple designs. Timeless even. On the other hand she also offers modern (yet still timeless and simple) twists that i ADORE.

(Are you getting the idea how much I love this woman's designs? Plus her book design/layout, the photography, EVERYTHING is major eye candy.)

I immediately fell in love with the Felted Striped Tote included in OneSkein. Even though I had yet to knit anything but a straight swatch of natural cotton garter stick fabric, I put the tote on my short list of future projects. In March while visiting my Mom for spring break in Nebraska, we ventured to the Brown Sheep Co. Factory store (a short 20 minute drive from my Mom's house!) and my Mom treated me to the yarn needed to make the bag. (And another book by Leigh, AlterKnits Felt. LOVE!)

After a long summer of HOT knitting (Serious, who thought knitting a sizable wool bag was a good idea for a summer project? Live and learn I guess.) and then a few weeks of stalling because I was too nervous to actually DO the felting process...my tote is done! I'm so in love with it. And I TOTALLY think I could become a felting addict.

Here it is finished, pre-felted. I wish I would have photographed it next to something to indicate it's size pre-felting. Suffice it to say just for giggles when I finished the knitting (before I sewed up the bottom) I slipped it on as a tank-top...and I'm not a petite girl.

A little close up of the knitted in handles...one of my favorite features of the design.

And the finished project stuffed full of some of my favorite things.

I'm super excited to start showing it off now that it's finally completely dry following felting on Monday. The long time knitters in the seniors yoga class I teach 3 mornings a week are very anxious to give me their critique too. (LOVE that two of my loves, yoga and knitting, cross over each other A LOT during those morning gatherings.)

I see that Leigh just put out a new book, One More Skein. Guess what will be shortly joining my already sizable library? (Books. Who doesn't love books?)

As for my next felting project...I have yarn in queue to make some of the hot pads in AlterKnits Felt. I've already warned my experienced knitters pool that I will be tapping their knowledge to help me through the instructions for making the polka dotted design and my first try at knitting an i-cord edge.



Eco Yogini said...

ouuu I had NO IDEA that felting was made like that!!!
Very cool :)

(and YAY blog-omunity!)


roseanne said...

Wow, it's beautiful! I also made the mistake of attempting to knit a wool bag for felting purposes over the summer, and I sure did sweat a lot. I made a super cute laptop bag (from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation), but it was completely impractical for carrying around my laptop! But it made a great bag, as long as I didn't put anything too heavy or fragile inside.

That was my only felting experience. While I love the outcome, I have to say that the excessive amounts of water consumption made me feel guilty about making it a regular practice. I had to run my bag through the washing machine on the hot cycle (in a laundromat, no less) 3 times.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your KnitPicks love - and I'm a little scared to click-through your link, just in case I fall in love too...

Beverly said...

Thanks for the 'heads up' about Leigh's latest book. I hadn't found it yet.

I share your love of yarn and yoga.

Your bag is beautiful! Are you familiar with She-Knits on Ravelry? She designs amazing bags, which she says are for "Adventurous Beginners".