Gift Giving Friday VII
The gift idea for today is...Felted Bags! I have made several Felted Bags in the last couple of years and the ones I gave as gifts were definitely hits. If you've never tried felting before, basically you knit something on really huge needles and the something must be really huge itself. Then you put this huge knitted thing in the washing machine with hot water and soap and turn on the machine. What you end up with is a smaller item, that has become a dense, thick piece of felt. You have to knit the original piece in wool, or another natural fiber that will felt (no superwash wool here either) and I highly recommend that you put the knitted piece into a pillow protector before tossing it into the washing machine since felting also makes a lot of "wool rats" (linty furballs) that you don't want in your washing machine.
OK, so where to go for patterns: Mason-Dixon Knitting has the Buttonhole Bag. BlackSheep Bags has the BoogaBag. MagKnits did Sophie a while back. I found some fancy bags over at Elann. The French Market Bag at Knitty is also a cute one. For patterns to buy,Fiber Trends has written a bunch of patterns for felted bags. KnitKit has some wonderful patterns for felted bags. Also, books about felted knits almost always have a bag pattern in them. One of the really great things about making a felted bag is that they knit up really fast. They are nice gift ideas for almost last minute things (I say almost because it takes a little while to dry the bag once its felted) and of course you can make them in whatever color you want to. A felted bag could also be a wonderful way to wrap a gift. You could do a little iPod cozy (the new iPod Nano is so tiny you could make it a home in no time at all), a cell phone tote, or even a glasses case if you wanted to. Don't forget about little girls, most like to carry tiny purses just like their mom.