Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Here they are......

Well, my new bags have dried and are ready for the finishing touches. The first is a Sophie Bag made with Cascade Quatro and Cascade Heather (one strand of each). Not sure the picture really does it justice.. it is a beautiful purple color. And I love the size. Now just to add a snap, and it will be complete!

This is a blue Sophie, done with 2 strands of Paton's Wool Merino and a strand of Elegance novelty yarn. Hard to see the sparkles from the Elegance, but it is beautiful.

Next I tackled the Vintage Bubble bag from the book Pursenalities. As soon as I saw this pattern I knew I had to make one (or two, or three.....) The first one I made double stranded with one strand of Noro Kureyon and one strand of Paton's Wool Merino.

To add some fun and to try something different; I took on the Spring Fling Bag from the Pursenalities book, which is a larger version of the Vintage Bubble bag with a fun eyelash type yarn added in. Here is what I created! I made it with 2 strands of Galway Wool and one strand of Crystal Palace Fizz. Of course, it still needs the perfect buttons....

And, finally, an introduction. I decided to move from the animals in my life to those who mean most of all... my family. I will start with the oldest, my son Ryan. This is a picture of he and I in Lancaster, England when we went to visit him in April. (He was studying abroad for the year.) He has since returned and is living here in Cedar Falls attending UNI. It's wonderful having him close! (and he now has his mother's request :-)!!) Until next time.........

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Did someone say Galena???

Well, I am off to Galena! It is my home away from home. It is also the site of my washing machine that felts my bags. (For some odd reason, my washing machine here at home is too 'gentle' and doesn't felt worth beans!!) But, as anyone knows, I am always looking for an excuse to head over to Galena and spend a little time at our 'Galena Haven' We initially set up our townhouse as a scrapbooking (Crop-and-Shop) get-away, but now that knitting is my new love, I have come to appreciate it as a great 'Sit-and-Knit' retreat!

There is a great little fiber studio, Fiber Wild downtown Galena that I love to visit every time I head over there. The owner, Amy, is a weath of knitting knowledge and has helped me as I struggled with my knits; purls; ssk; pm; etc.. etc.. She has some yarn in the shop that I have been eyeing, so I may have to pay her a visit.....

I have no new bags to show you today.. but will by the end of the week! (Be sure to check back!)

I do have a couple more introductions to make. These are not llamas, but the real animal loves of my life.. our two yellow labs.

This is our Nikko. She is 11+ years old and still acts like a puppy! She is the brains of the two.

And, lastly, there is Sumo. He is 10 1/2. He is a full sibling to Nikko (different litter). What he lacks in brains, he makes up for in love. We still fondly call them both 'puppies'. They make our house a home.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Buttons, Buttons, Who's Got The Buttons????

Well, as I have posted in several earlier posts, I have been on the hunt for the 'perfect button' for several of my bags. Then, in the back of my mind, I remembered a 'button jar' that my mom had that was just full of fun old buttons. My daughter happened to be visiting my mom, so I asked her to send the jar home with my daughter. What fun it has been going through all the old buttons!!!

Every time I pour the jar of buttons out, I find new favorites. And instead of looking for the perfect button for a completed bag, I'm starting to think of a bag that will match a fun button!! I'm thinking it's going to be very hard to turn this jar back over to my mom!! I guess I'll have to put my name on the bottom....

Speaking of completed bags, Here are a few that I don't think that I have posted yet. The first is my 3rd Booga bag. This is a fun pink!

And my first Sophie Bag. I love this bag. I knit it with Knitpicks WOTA Bulky and it felted up beautifully.

On that note, I leave you with a parting shot of Sebastian. He is standing tall and proud!

Until next time.......

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's Magic....

If you have never felted a bag, you have missed out on a magical experience. (Well, I guess if you have ever accidently 'shrunk' a wool sweater you will have experienced some of the magic in a not-so-positive way!!) Anyways, there is something about knitting a bag and then throwing it in the wash and watching it turn into something completely different! I worked on a Fling Bag (a Carol Bristol design) this past weekend and was AMAZED how HUGE it was after I had finished my knitting. I think I could have crawled inside!! Here is a photo pre-felting:

Then after a few cycles in the machine, this is what emerged! I LOVE it! (I think my daughter has 'dibs' on it already!!) The button isn't attached... Still searching for the PERFECT button... I know it's out there....

I also finished another booga bag and it is drying. My daughter also has dibs on that. Hmmmm, starting to see a pattern here.

And, finally, another introduction. This is Jericho. He was the first 'cria' (baby llama) born at our farm. He's cute enough to kiss, isn't he?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Here's looking at you.....

I'd like to introduce you to Milagro.. He is another llama that lives here at our place. He loves to come to the fence when you go out to see him and is always quite curious about the camera!! Now that I am into felting bags, I hope to be able to learn how to spin their wool before shearing time next spring! Speaking of bags, I do have a few more to showcase.

Here is the 'Runabout Bag' that I knit with Kureyon. The thing that appealed to me about this bag is that it has 3 compartments inside! I've tried to take a picture of the inside..not sure if you can really see it or not. I can't wait to carry this bag this fall!!

I've also knit a few smaller bags, which I enjoy because they are so quick and easy to do. Here are two:

And finally, my fun purple bag. I still need to find The Perfect Button for it....

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Balloon Bags and Popcorn Bags and Booga Bags, OH MY!!

These are the 4 Balloon Bags that I have made so far. They are a fun bag to make! I thank Diane in Chicago for the great pattern!

The Popcorn bag is another pattern I stumbled across created by Suzetta Williams and have made two of them so far. I created the striping pattern and was quite happy with the results!!

The Booga Bag. Everyone should make at least one! I have made two so far, and have a 3rd one on my needles ready to pick up and knit a round or two whenever!! The second picture is the bag I carry everyday as a purse. I love it! (A great pattern created by Julie at Black Sheep Bags!)

Well, that's it for today. If you have any questions about the specifics of each bag (yarn used; needle size etc...) feel free to send me an email and I'd be happy to share that with you. Didn't want to bog my blog with all the details!!

Here a LLama, There a LLama.....

Yes, We have llamas! If you have never met a llama up close and personal, you have really missed out! They are wonderful animals. So curious. Yes, they do indeed spit, but only if you try to eat their food or give them shots or do their nails etc.. They don't just randomly spit on curious onlookers!! We surprised our daughter on her 10th birthday with 'Sebastian'. (He is the dark one up close and personal!!) That was 7 years ago now. He is still her favorite. So for her 17th birthday, I took some of his wool that we had had spun, and made her an adorable little purse so she could carry him with her. It felted wonderfully! (I do think I will need to learn how to spin some of the wool that we get each year from the 20+ llamas that we shear...)
Here is how the purse turned out:

I used 2 strands of Sebastian's wool (which is the brown in the purse and the handle). The green yarn is wool that I purchased in The Shambles in York England this past Spring when we visited our son who was studying abroad for the year. My daughter loves the purse and she can't wait to carry it this fall!

Monday, August 07, 2006

To Blog Or Not To Blog

To Blog or Not to Blog... that really is the question. My children have blogs. Several of my friends have blogs. I didn't think that I had any reason to blog. But then it happened. I became a Bag Knitting Nut! A good friend told me that I should create a blog to 'share' photos of the bags that I have been creating, and I kind of chuckled. Who would want to see my bags? But as my portfolio of bags started growing and as I continued to be inspired and encouraged by visiting other blogs, I decided to take a few minutes away from my knitting and jot a few thoughts and post a few pictures. I hope it can encourage and/or inspire someone else. I am not a natural knitter. It didn't 'take' the first time. The second time was more encouraging, but I lacked motivation. I mean, how many scarves can one wear? Nothing else really interested me. BUT I am, and always will be, a BAG lady!! When it started to dawn on me that I might actually be able to create some of the felted bags that I have always been drawn to at the knitting stores, my knitting desire grew tenfold. Then, while visiting a knitting friend of mine this past June, I started and completed my first felted bag!! I was so excited. I must have checked it every minute that it was felting. And waiting for it to dry was torture.... But it was finally ready to carry and call my own. WOW! Too thrilling for words.

That was less than two months ago. Since then, I have created 12+ bags and my mind is filled with ideas for the next 10 bags at least!!

Let me start at the beginning.......

This is my first bag.... I knit it with 2 strands of Cascade 220 and added an eyelash novelty yarn in as you can see. After it felted, I didn't like the eyelash effect.... so I gave it a haircut and am MUCH happier with the result.

A very 'happy' bag!