About The Felted Bag. I Need Help Please.

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Now that my bag is only a few more drying days away from "finished", and before I begin "bag #2" which I am making for my MIL for Christmas, I would appreciate some help so I don't make the same mistakes!

Don't misunderstand - I LOVE my new felted bag.  There are just a couple things I would like to do better on bag #2!

I followed the instructions given in Susie Johns' The Felted Bag Book for her "Juliet" purse. And for the most part the instructions were clear and well written and beautifully illustrated. A good thing for a newbie like me!

There are so many really gorgeous bags included among the pages, I - the gal that never carries a bag - will most likely just have to make two or three more! LOVE her bags!

I would have liked instructions for joining the garter stitch fabric, but otherwise, the instructions were very thorough. The only disappointment - the strap is a bit too long and too wide and the edges uneven.

The wool I used - Brown Sheep Company Lamb's Pride worsted 85%wool and 15% mohair. I chose this wool because it is supposed to be especially well suited to felting. Oh and I used #10 1/2 needles as suggested in the pattern.

For the most part, all went well. But I have a few questions I just know some of you out there can answer!

1. Does anyone know of a good online tutorial that teachs how to seam together two pieces of garter stitch fabric. I tried Ravelry and google searches and I just can't seem to find one. Millions of tutorials for joining stockinette stitch fabrics.

Obviously, I got the pieces together. It is being felted after all,  so almost any reasonable facsimile would do I suppose, but I was hoping for some practice on something that doesn't matter so much.

2. I used a top loading washer for the felting process. I actually ran the bag through twice because the straps just were not felting. The bag felted beautifully - the fibers so densely packed it will haul a ton of bricks! But,  I ended up having to felt the straps by hand.

Why was this necessary? Why didn't the strap felt in the machine?

3. If you look closely, you can see long fibers on the surface. I am thinking that this is the mohair? Except that this stringy appearance did not appear on the surface of the inside of the bag. So - should I be felting my bags wrong side out?

The long stringy fibers did not occur on the hand felted strap either.

4. If I have to felt the strap by hand again, any tips for keeping the edges even?

For the second bag, I am using Cascade 220 - 100% wool worsted weight. I understand it felts well. Anything I need to know?

Thank you in advance for your help.

We Have a Winner!

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We have a winner!

Lizzy, my sweetie picked your name out of the hat!!

I will send your e-mail right over to Devon Bear Designs.

For those of you have not yet met Lizzy, she is a very lovely English gal who just recently moved to Switzerland. She has knitting needles in her hands almost 24/7 - well at least she did until her beautiful baby girl, Bea, came into her life just a few months ago.

Take a moment to pop over to Ruffles and Ribbons and say hello!

Congratulations Lizzy. I am sure you are going to enjoy your subscription to Bustle and Sew Magazine as much as I do mine.

May Day! May Day! Dabbler War on my Dining Table!

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Seven and a half feet of happy dabbling! (And I still have another 18" I can add if needed!)

It is chaos in my dining room right now but all good !

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Another round of Spaan ornaments drying.

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My knitted/felted bag is drying and drying and drying and drying.........

You and I will be chatting about this one in a day or so. I need help!

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My tomatoes and chile! My first success growing from seed indoors.

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And look how they have grown!

Now if our stupid PNW weather would only warm a bit I could plant them outside. They are ready. I am anxious!

And I need the space for more projects!

Most Excellent News to Share

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I could not be happier than I am right this minute!

And I just have to share the news!

Diane has just been named Editor in Chief of CRAFT.

Pop over here for the full story!And more on Craftypod here.

Diane and Natalie, I join many, many others I am sure in wishing each of you happiness and success in your new adventures.

Bustle and Sew Magazine Giveaway - Try The Magazine For 6 Months For Free On Me!

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Image from Devon Bear Designs and Bustle and Sew

I am thrilled with my subscription to Devon Bear Designs' new online monthly publication - Bustle and Sew Magazine.

I just today received issue number four. You can get a peek here! It is beautiful and packed full of original and vintage patterns including a pattern for knitting the cutest little tea cozy I have ever seen, several adorable embroidery designs including one just for the big wedding coming up in a couple days, and a most interesting article about crafting blogs today - written by Zara Saliba of SewnbySaliba. Over 50 pages of crafty goodness including 8 embroidery, knit and crochet patterns.

Bustle and Sew magazine was originally offered at the incredible price of $2.50 per issue. Remember - I told you about it not long ago!

However, beginning May 1st, the price will go up to $4.50 per issue for new subscribers. Anyone subscribing before May 1 locks in the current rate of $2.50 per month forever.

So - I have decided to giveaway a six month subscription to Bustle and Sew Magazine. Not only will the lucky winner receive 6 issues, beginning with the issue just published on April 26th, but she will be guaranteed the $2.50 per month rate when renewing.

You can read more about the magazine and past content and even find free pattern downloads just by going to the Bustle and Sew blog.

Then, leave a comment right here by midnight April 30th PST. You can leave any comment you wish but "love notes" are always welcome!

Because Bustle and Sew Magazine is an online publication, the giveaway is open to everyone world wide.

Just remember that only one person will win. So if you don't want to take any chances and want to lock in the $2.50 monthly rate, go sign up now! If you win, the 6 month subscription will be applied to your account.

For those of you who are just not into embroidery or stuffies or knitting/crochet - enter anyway if you have a friend you would love to gift the subscription to.  We can do that!

Good luck everyone.

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