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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Felt/Nonfelt Bag design Inspired by Boutique Knits by Laura Irwin

This is such a great book with every page including a great detail, I want to make it all!

With Boutique Knits, you can make your very own knockout accessories. If you love showing your personal style with the “it” handbag, funky scarf, or the hat that makes heads turn, then this book is for you.

Author Laura Irwin designs knitted accessories for the trendsetting indie designer fashion boutique Seaplane in Portland, Oregon, and is particularly known for her felted hats and stylish bags. In Boutique Knits, Laura presents designs for knitted accessories that stand out from the crowd.

Boutique Knits includes:

Patterns that cover a variety of knitting techniques in varying degrees, including felting, intarsia, Fair Isle, lacework, and cables
Advice on incorporating non-knitting tools and techniques to transform your knitting to achieve that one-of-a-kind boutique feel: pliers, hammers, a sewing machine, use of millinery techniques, and handsewing techniques.
Unique adornment inspiration, such as buckles and bolts borrowed from leatherwork close an intricately cabled belt, a chain handle finishes a felted bag with circle pockets, leather lacing dresses up a knitted bag, and grommets finish a half-felted handbag.
Inspiration from vintage lace, beads, ribbon, and fabric-covered buttons!
Knitting and felting techniques to create effects like ruffles, shibori-style pleats, and clever shaping.
And more!
This collection of modern, stylish patterns will inspire beginning and intermediate knitters with its uncommon techniques and materials. Transform your knitting with Boutique Knits!

This just floored me when I saw it:

It combines felted and non felted knit sections!!!

Well, I don't have time right now to knit this baby up, but I do have time to perform some Sweater Surgery! And now to share it with you.

Here is my "before" wool sweater. Not felted yet.
The first step was to cut off a part of the sweater that was not going to be felted. This was a first for me to not felt a whole sweater as I have only done projects that were either all felted or all non felted.

After one washing of the top part you can see how much it shrank. But I wanted it a bit more sturdy so back for another wash and dry.

And here are the two parts, the felted one even smaller and thicker.Now I took the non felted parts at the side seams.
I then cut the felted section to make the body of the bag.

I then sewed the non felted sections to the felted body section of the bag.
I then sewed up the bag along the bottom edge. To gather the ends I used a matching ribbon on a large needle and went in and out along the ribbed ends.
And here you have it:

I should also mention, since I was designing as I went I wasn't sure what kind of strap I was going to use before hand. What I ended up liking was a fat matching ribbon. I simply opened up the seam and sewed it back up with the end of the ribbon between the two sweater pieces.

So whether you grab a copy of the beautiful Boutique Knits and knit yourself a great felted/non felted bag or do it Sweater Surgery style try working with the combo-I highly recommend it.

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