I Can Almost Taste It

Just checked in at Ravelry and I’m almost there:

Found you!
You signed up on June 24, 2007
You are #10856 on the list.
56 people are ahead of you in line.
18999 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far

I can smell it!

It’s really sad that I signed up for Ravelry at the beginning of my summer vacation, and I’ll get my invite at the end of my summer vacation. I would have had SO much time to play there and now I won’t have much time at all. My real life, especially now that a new school year is starting, really gets in the way of my knitting. It’s a problem. (For the non-knitting-obsessed, Ravelry is a new website – billed as a knit and crochet community where you can organize, share, and discover. Val from SnB is in and loves it, calling it a time sucker – but in the best possible way.)

This week, I’ve been getting ready for school – organizing my classroom, putting up bulletin board frou frou, putting the kids names on all of their folders, booklets, clothespins, and craft sticks. It’s a fun and easy part of the job, but it takes up a ton of time. That’s the reason you haven’t heard from me for over a week.

A little while ago, I felt I was finally done with my room, had everything all set and ready for kids to walk in on Tuesday morning. I went to a great workshop today led by one of my former grade partners and current principal of another school in town and I was all charged up for a new school year. I came home to enjoy my l-o-n-g last weekend and made the mistake of listening to my messages.

Hi! It’s Joanne from school. Just wanted to let you know that we had a parent come in this afternoon to register a new student and . . . you’re getting him. His name is E… (mumble something unintelligible). Have a great weekend!

Rats. Nothing against this delightful young boy, but couldn’t his mama have registered a little sooner? Doesn’t she realize that I don’t have clothespins, craft sticks, folders, booklets, nor a birthday sign with her son’s name on them? Her boy will feel terribly left out if I don’t hustle my not-used-to-getting-up-at-6AM rear-end into school early to scramble and get this stuff done. It’s a big deal. I don’t just write the kids’ names on things. I write the kids’ names in a cutesy fancy way so that they feel special. Oh, and this young man needs a desk with his name on it. Maybe even a chair. At least the chair doesn’t need to have a cutesy fancy name.

It could be worse. One year, on the first day of school, my principal decided to bump a child from another class to mine because she thought it would be a better fit for him. She told me this at 8:10 AM and that gave me exactly 10 minutes to do all the cutesy fancy things that would make this bear cub feel welcome. I started the day with a racing heartbeat, frizzy curls around my face, and the unpleasant odor of someone who just ran a marathon. I couldn’t stand myself that day. Sticky and stinky. I’ll pace myself on Tuesday so that I don’t race, frizz or smell. I hope.

I have been lucky enough to find time for knitting. I’ve been working on wallet-size felted purses to sell and/or raffle at our upcoming Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society. My team is all about breast cancer (that sounds like we’re for it, but we’re really against it), thus the pink. Here are the befores:


And the afters:


The purses were identical when they were knit, following the same pattern, but the two yarns felted so differently, leaving the purses a different size and shape. The light pink is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Pink Cheeks. The bright pink is Patons Classic Wool in That’s Pink. The Knit Picks yarn shrank/shrunk less in height and more in width, while the Patons did the opposite. I like them both. The bright pink purse will hold a checkbook, while the other size might be a better fit for makeup or money/ID.

I came up with the pattern myself, based on some of the purses in the book Felted Knits by Beverly Galeska. It’s a quick and easy knit. An easy quickie? Here it is:

Lil’ Felted Purse

*100% wool worsted weight yarn (not superwash)
*Size 11 circular needles – 16″
*Stitch marker
*Crochet hook (size H/8 5.00MM works for me)
*A pretty button

Gauge: What gauge? We don’t do gauge here. This is the anti-gauge purse.

Cast on 60 stitches (I use long-tail cast on method).
Join round and knit 30 rounds in stockinette stitch (knit every stitch). I don’t use a stitch maker to mark the beginning of the round, since the tail left by the long-tail cast on shows me where the round begins, but you might want to place a marker before joining your round.
Round 31: (decrease) K4, [K2tog, K3] 4 times, K2tog, K34 (55 stitches remain.)
Round 32: P25, K30
Round 33: B/O 25, K30 (30 stitches remain) (The bound off stitches are the opening of the front of the purse and the remaining 30 stitches will form the flap).
Row 34: (WS) K3, P to last 3 st, K3 (We’re no longer knitting rounds – we’re knitting rows.)
Row 35: (RS) K all st.
Rows 36-43: Repeat rows 34 and 35 four (4) more times.
Row 44: Repeat row 34 once more.
Row 45: (decrease) K4, [K2tog, K3] 4 times, K2tog, K4 (25 stitches remain)
Rows 46 & 47: K all sts.
Bind off knitwise.

To add a button loop, I add a row of single crochet: Single crochet in each of first 12 stitches, chain 10, skip one stitch, single crochet in last 12 stitches. Finish off and weave in all ends.

Before felting, the purse should measure roughly 9 1/2″ W x 7 1/2″ L, with the flap being about 4″ L. But then again, it just doesn’t matter. After felting, it’s anyone’s guess. My bright pink purse is about 7″ W x 4 1/4″ L, with a 2 1/4″ L flap. The light pink bag is about 5 3/4″ W x 4 1/2″ L, with a 1 3/4″ L flap. Not that it matters.

I felt my purses in a hot water wash with an eensy drop of laundry detergent. With both of the yarns I’ve used, they felt well in about 10 minutes. Speedy quick and they don’t take forever to dry – a few days at most.

You might choose to finish your purse differently. You can skip the crocheted button loop (although it’s so pretty), felt the purse as is, and cut (!) a button hole in the flap. I’ve done it, and as long as your yarn is tightly felted, you’ll have no worries. I think. Maybe. You could also knit a button hole by binging off a few stitches in the center of one of the last few rows, and cast the stitches on again in the next row, using a backward loop cast on.

And one last thing: In absolutely-not-necessary-but-greatly-appreciated payment for felting a hand-knit bag belonging to my SnB friend, Barb, I’m now the proud mothe . . . owner of a skein of Opal sock yarn!

Isn’t it the cutest thing you ever saw? It’s a self-patterning yarn, so I’ll be entertained as I knit a simple sock. Can’t wait to use it.

I’m not sure what color it is, because I can’t read the language of the Germans. (I can occasionally pick out the words bratwurst and Volkswagen. ) This is what I see: Opal 6-fach, Farbe 1251, Partie 3. It also says: Nur Garn aus einer, and Partie verwenden. Whatever it says, it sounds good. Thanks again, Barb.

Hi Mom.

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2 Responses to “I Can Almost Taste It”

  1. Jen Says:

    Hi Knelley,

    Best of luck for your new school year!

    As far as the yarn, or should I say garn (translation courtesy of Knit.1), it looks like the pattern is going to be really interesting.
    I’m so jealous!

  2. Sheila Says:

    What cute felted purses. I was wishing I knew how when I looked at them, then saw that you shared your pattern so we don’t have to think about it. the button colsures are very cute too. BTW: I got the BSJ pics up right after your comment. Have a great year at school. You can catch up on Ravelry another time. I’ve ahd my invite for a while, but have had no time to devote to it. Too bad we could not have traded.

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