Back in March, 2015, Alison invited me to join a KAL her Knitting Guild
was sponsoring. The ladies in her group chose to knit
"Anne's Carpet Bag" in the book, Green Gables Knits by
I grew up reading the Anne of Green Gables book series by L. M. Montgomery. The photos of "Anne's Carpet Bag" brought back fond memories of the beloved book character, so of course, I jumped at the opportunity to knit this project.
The bag in the book was knit with 3 colors of Brown Sheep Company "Shepherd's Shades" yarn. The Stitchin' Den does not carry this yarn, but Susan agreed to special order it for the KAL participants. With so many color options available, choosing those three colors was difficult, but I was very happy with my choices when the yarn arrived...
And the knitting began! The slipped stitch pattern, bulky yarn and Size 10.5 needles made this a very fast and enjoyable knit. The bag is knit in the round, so no finishing! And all went well. My bag looked VERY large, but I knew it would shrink in the felting process. I really liked the colors I chose for this pattern.
It was time to go to the laundromat for the magic of felting. I stuffed old jeans in with the bag to increase the agitation that would make my bag shrink to the size shown in the book. After periodically checking the progress of the felting process, I was confident the bag was sufficiently felted and pulled the very heavy, very wet project out of the machine and put it into a trash bag. I felt very proud of my accomplishment as I spread the wet bag out on my kitchen table to dry.
But, I must confess, I had a niggling bit of worry as I tugged on one corner to even it out...This story turned into a saga the next morning, when I realized that troublesome corner was NOT going to pull out evenly. I explained it by deciding that one corner got stuck in the washing machine, which pulled it out of shape. And that was my explanation to my knitting friends. When the bag was dry, this was the lopsided result:
A few months later, I pulled out the bag. Perhaps I was hoping for a miracle, but the bag was as wonky as before. Acknowledging that the cutting option was essential was one thing, but actually snipping was another. I brought it back to the shop, where Donna cut my project into two pieces, while I stood shaking in the next room. The bag did NOT unravel!
Next, the two pieces needed to be attached....but, how? I got several suggestions from my coworkers, but none made sense to me. The fabric was so thick sewing it by hand was impossible. The bag went back in the closet....
Months later, on a mission to finish some UFOs in my closet, I pulled the bag out and brought it back to the shop. This time someone suggested I take it to our local seamstress, who would have an industrial strength sewing machine that could possibly sew through those heave felted layers. I did just that, and it worked!
Attaching the handles and sewing in a couple pocket was easy. My saga is over and I love my new bag:
I'm thinking Lamb's Pride Bulky for my next bag...