Thursday, February 22, 2007

Smile like you meant to do that...

I've been watching others come up with fabulous felted (OK, fulled) handbags and I decided to use the concept to make a hot water bottle cover. First I had to find a traditional hot water bottle that I could use in my electricity-less, heaterless travel trailer. This is harder than it sounds, since most folks have apparently switched over to microwavable pads. I eventually found one in the traditional ugly-pink rubber. I dug into my stash and found some hand-painted blueface leicester roving left over from a previous project. For maximum speed and fuzzyness I left the roving unspun and knitted it up as is. Unfortunately I didn't have quite enough. Knowing it would probably be too short, I threw it in the wash anyway. Here it is after a single run through the washer. It was, indeed, too short. On the plus side, it would make a fine bag. But I was out of roving. I did have a ball of the yarn left over from the original project. I hunted it down and blew the dust and cat hair off. Even if the texture would be different, at least the color would match. I knitted the ball of yarn into about 3 yards of 5-stitch I-cord. (For any non-knitting sorts reading this, I-cord stands for Idiot cord, because after a few feet the knitter tends to turn into a raving idiot from the boredom.) I decided to send the I-cord into the wash and also threw the now-bag in for an extra go-around to further merge the colors. I meant to only agitate it a little while, but there was something interesting on TV, and, well.... 2 hours later I remembered to pull it out. Bit of a mistake.

The bag was now smaller, thicker, and the rim of the opening was oddly uneven. Hmm... how to recover? Should I just cut my losses and consign the evidence to one of my multitudinous totebags in hidden corners of my fiber room? Taking a lesson from my cats, who firmly believe you can pull off any ungraceful misstep by looking like you meant to do that, I created a braided strap from the I-cord, leaving a longer bit at each end. Then I sewed the longer bits onto the rim in a coiled pattern that emphasizes where the rim bumps up unevenly. Viola! It is now interestingly irregular rather then mistakenly uneven. Just as if I meant it that way.

So I started out to make a hot water bottle cover and ended up with this nifty bag. Life is full of surprises.


Birdsong said...

What a great title... I think your unintentional bag has turned out just great and the colors are wonderful.

Sharon said...

What a great iPod holder - a shoulder strap so you can listen while you work.