Bags of – well, bags

This month’s meeting was a show and tell, with a theme of bags. We’ve had some great show and tells in the past – on, for instance, rugs and shawls – and there are always things to find out, whether that’s a new technique or an inspiring way of using colour.

Members brought along a wide range of bags, woven, knitted, crocheted, felted, embellished:

felted bagand quite a few (like this one) had handles made on an inkle loom – fascinating to see, after our workshop last month.

This bag was knitted – and the straps woven – using wool from our annual dyeing picnics (the bright blue was a Kemtex dye; the others are all natural dyes).

knitted bag 1

One of the things about the dyeing picnics is that you end up with a relatively small amount of a whole load of samples. Using them in domino knitting is a great solution.

Two people brought bags which had been knitted and then felted in the washing machine:
bag lotThe bag at the back is another one using bits from the dyeing days, supplemented with some home dyeing; it has faded a lot, as many natural dyes tend to do. The striped one to the right is an iPad case, knitted in Noro Kureyon and felted repeatedly until it reached the right size. The one at the front was embroidered before felting, and shows another strap treatment: knitted and also washing-machine felted. These need lining, as they can stretch.

Another illustrated one advantage of bags: they can easily be created from a garment that just didn’t:

bag 3This bag is the perfect size for carrying a pattern book and knitting!

One thing that came out clearly as we looked at the range of bags was the use of lining. Some people hadn’t lined their bags, but most had. Lining a knitted bag can be a rather improvised experience, as there has to be enough flexibility in the lining to allow for the elasticity of the knitting – and that’s true even of some of the bags which had been felted in the machine.

Buttons gave some of the bags a real zing. Here are three examples to finish with. The first, knitted in a commercial super-chunky, shows how button choice can really emphasise a great yarn choice:

zap

Next, a beautiful button echoing the delicate colours of one of the washing-machine felted bags:

delicateThis came from one of our members who is moving away – best wishes! – but will happily be near another Welsh Guild. She goes to the States a lot, and the wool (handspun) was dyed with Kool-Aid.

Now for a small bag, with a little seashell button:

bag and buttonA really varied and interesting selection – thanks to all members who brought their bags along for us to look at (and – of course – examine closely). Inspiring!

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