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Supersize Me

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Dear Ann,
I bet you thought I was kidding when I said my French Market Bag was knitting up to the size of a Hefty bag. No wonder the lady sitting next to me at Weight Watchers was nervous. Two kids fit in this bag. Pre-felting of course. I hope to felt the living daylights out of it. Then it’ll be a one-kid bag, or perhaps just big enough for a preschooler.
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For the record, this is 3 skeins of Lamb’s Pride Bulky. Who knew? We’re not talking yardage: we’re talking acreage.
Meanwhile, Lord Kitchener is mocking me:
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While swearing like a sailor, I came up with excuses for my ineptitude. The most persuasive one is that the Lamb’s Pride Bulky is so hairy and loosely spun that it practically felts in your hands. It is VERY hard to control the tension of your Kitchener stitch in this yarn, particularly if you are as Kitchener-challenged as I. It was my first try. I want everyone to know that I understand the Kitchener stitch (she whined, defensively); I am just unable to execute it under current conditions. I’m guessing that if I ever do make socks, they’ll be open-toed. Summer socks, you know?
I’ll check back in after I’ve been to the dungeon (where the top-loading washing machines live). Please call upon the Benevolent Spirits of Hot Water and Agitation to make the Bad Kitchener melt away, and to shrink my bag down to a thick n’ cushy thing of beauty.
Love, Kay

29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. My goodness, that thing is hugenormous! If it felts down to one-kid size, no “mistakes” could possibly show — only the beautiful color! Good luck!

  2. Whoa! Can’t wait to see that bad boy felted down!! :)

  3. You’re hilarious, Kay!

  4. Isn’t the magic of felting amazing? Every time I felt something I think it will look poopy when finished and every time the Benevolent Spirits bless me with a beautiful FO. :)

  5. Thank goodness, upon viewing the first picture, I thought you were knitting a “child cozy”. Can’t wait to see that finished!

  6. Fear not, it will be glorious. Pre felting my nearly 3 yearlond fit entirely inside the maket bag I made for christmas and it came out about 10 inches cube post felting. Also my grafting of the handles was UGLY and disappeared entirely in the washer….

  7. I also made this bag but mine wasn’t nearly as big pre-felting, but my seriously messed up grafting disapeared entirely. It was so bad I wouldn’t even call it Kitchener. I’m like you I get Kitchener in theory. But every time I attempt it, with like three knitting books in front of me, it looks just wrong. Let me know if you find that summer socks pattern!

  8. That’s going to be able to carry ALOT of goodies!

  9. Did it have the same effect as putting a cloth over a parrot’s cage ?
    Didn’t think so !
    Felting = magic.It’s going to be fab.

  10. Is it possible to felt in a front loader?

  11. Oh.My.
    That’s quite a French Market Bag, or Freakin’ Market Bag, as mine was re-christened…
    I can’t wait to see it post-felt. :)

  12. I admire your adventureness (is that a word?)
    I also used a lopi yarn, but resized Polly’s pattern when i realized how big the thing was going to be.
    I like my bag the way it is (which also happen to be only half felted, from 3 runs in my front loader), but now you make me want to do a proper one!

  13. That is going to be a great bag! I had that problem with the Kitchener stitch on the heart scarf from Knitty. It looks great on the wrong side but awful on the right side. On the other hand, all the socks and mittens I have used it on have turned out great. It must depend on which side you sew it up on, or something equally scientific! I’m sure you won’t even notice it after it’s felted.

  14. kay,…. tooooo funny!,… and a great look-see for a dreary monday morn…. your sweet munchkins could use the bag for trick or treating,… rather than a pillowcase…. tres chic….

  15. The suspense is killing me! Not being a felter at all, I can’t even begin to imagine where this is going to end up, but based on the felting adventures I’ve seen of others, I doubt that your kitchener stitch adventures will have any haunting legacy.

  16. Wow, that’s much larger than mine was pre-felting. Then again, I used a single strand of Jo Sharp. It felted down much smaller than Polly’s. But, I like it for carrying a sock project. Yours will hold much more.

  17. Kay,
    I just did the kitchener stitch (i’ve given it a new naughty name… it rhymes) on my mittens…
    and with lamb’s pride as well. It was a PITA…there is no way to tighten up the stitches when you’re done(without the yarn starting to felt, like you said)…I learned to tighten them as I went, and the second kitchener came out much better.

  18. Four suggestions:
    A laminated Kitchener cheat card I keep in my knitting bag at all times (and complete silence and concentration until you feel more comfortable)
    Say the process out loud as you do it! K off, P on…P off, K on….
    Get yourself a darning egg to lay the loosely kitchenered stitches over to visualize the construct and even out the tension.
    **Three needle bind off** !! No more summer socks for you, my dear Kay! I have read that three needle bind off actually last longer for socks and for a felted item, the *ridge* would simply melt away!
    Funny, I’m making a FMG myself, too…In solid Jade and varigated Manos!
    Can’t wait to see yours finished!

  19. Damn typos…FMB, as in French Market Bag, d’oh!!

  20. Wait a minute–I can felt in those scary machines down in my building’s basement? I completely forgot this aspect of moving to a nicer building–there are washing machine’s in the basement! Add another project to my list…

  21. “Open-toed socks”? Um, Kay – I think they call those LEG WARMERS. bahahaha
    Can you hear me sing? “She’s got the whole world, in her yet to be felted bag. She’s got the whole world…” I think you get the idea.

  22. How funny but I can relate. I just finished knitting my first bag to felt last night and it looks like a sweater!! I can’t believe how big it is or how much yarn it took. Can’t wait to see what yours looks like done.

  23. I can’t wait to see that French Market Bag. I’ve been wanting to knit that pattern for a while and plan to use cascade 220.

  24. FAB new way to torture the children ….. “if you’re bad Mommy will put you in the market bag and FELT you !”
    A mother after my own heart :0)

  25. One day, I’ll show you how to do toes without kitchener. My own unvention. It involves needle acrobatics, though and I’m not quite ready to go public with it. But I don’t have to learn how to kitchener!

  26. Kay,
    I love it and you will really love it when you felt it. HOWEVER (and I will enclose my husband’s e-mail address if you want to verify the story), you will be astounded at the fiber that LP Bulky coughs up and I recommend letting is spew itself around someone else’s washer (the Laundromat, for instance). When my first washer died, the repairman pulled a fiber ball roughly the size of Rhode Island from the drain. Though I paid him good money to tell my kind and sweet husband that the fiber could not have caused my washer to sieze, we all knew better. I am now religious about using a zipper pillow case and strainer to strain out the little friends who inevitably work their way through the pillow case. I also take any big stuff and ANYTHING WITH A LOT OF LP BULKY (like the felted rug I made with the superbulky LP) to the Laundromat. (actually all my neighbor ladies here in Music City call it the Wishy-Washy, but I digress).
    Can’t wait to see the little bag when it’s fulled. How much does it weigh?

  27. Robin–LOL about the Wishy-Washy–Ann was holding back on that one.
    Post-felting pictures soon! It weighs a little under 300 grams. xoxo Kay

  28. I had a chance to look over your site, thanks for the pattern for the buttonhole bag. I’m looking forward to starting one. Also thanks for a good laugh to start my day off. I thoroughly enjoyed reading everything.

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