Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Kool Aid Dyed Felted Fair Isle Knitting Tote

This is a fun project and a great way to use up all that wool you have dyed with Kool Aid or food colouring. In response to a question on Ravelry: Does Kool Aid dyed wool fade after time?
I give you my Kool Aid Dyed, Felted Fair Isle Knitting Tote
Ta Dah! Dyed and knit the summer of 2003 and washed non too gently since. It has been dragged through the snow and sleet of winter and the sand and sun of summer. It is still as bright as the day I made it.

I used chunky wool ( 12-14 sts = 4") and I think a 7mm needle. It is crucial that you knit loosely to ensure that the yarn will felt nicely.

Cast on however many stitches you want (I think I did about 24" worth) did I mention this is a very High Tech pattern? *snort......... NOT

Proceed in garter stitch until you have a rectangle. This is the bottom. Switch to a circular needle, if you aren't already using one, and pick up the stitches down the side across the cast on edge and up the other side. Continue knitting in the round in a simple fair isle design of your choice. Don't get to fancy the details will be lost in the felting.When you have 3 feet or so of knitting completed evenly insert eyelet holes (YO, K2tog) in the next round. Knit another round or two and then finish off the edge with an applied I cord. This will give a good solid edge when it is felted.
Knit two I cords for the handle. Make them long after they are felted you can cut them down to a more manageable size. Unless of course, you want shoulder straps. Thread the handles through the eyelet holes and tie off.
Agitate the daylights out of the bag in a washing machine with hot soapy water. Check every 10-15 minutes to see how the felting process is coming on. Oh and you will be scooping wads of wool barf out of the machine at the same time. ( Thank you Sandy for letting me use your machine, good thing Ernie isn't reading this *wink) Don't panic this is normal. When the bag looks about the size you want. Put it on a rinse cycle to remove the soap residue.

Yank it and bash it into a nice shape. If you over felt this can be a real chore. Pack it with towels to help remove the moisture. Change these towels frequently. Leave it to air dry for a day or so you can finish it off in the dryer.

Depending on the quality of the wool you used ( I used the good stuff..ole champagne taste strikes again) you may have to pick bits and fluffies off the finished bag.

When felted the "floats" disappear...see inside? I cut a rectangle from some of that white/plastic/ cardboard (name??) and use it to maintain the shape in the bottom.

Idea!!!!!! The ultimate in a recycled bag. Make different sized ones for Christmas/Birthday wrapping.
Have fun.

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