Friday, 16 May 2008

Old bag!!

Just using that title for effect - a little fun poke at myself! In fact the bag that I am going to talk about is actually so new that it isn't even finished yet! I refer, of course, to the bag that I am designing for Professor Wartbobble's design competition (note the use of the present tense - and interpret 'I'm making this one up as I go'!).

As I think it is highly unlikely that anyone will try to steal this design before I've finished it I am daring to share pictures of the work in progress so that you can appreciate what I mean when I use adjectives like 'enormous'.

I started out thinking I might not enter the competition at all, given that as well as being a busy housewitch and mother, I am also very busy with sock designs for knitting witches and wizards who want to celebrate their affiliation with the various Hogwarts Houses. Indeed, I have regular contact from such persons 'just wondering' when the next pattern will be ready!!

Nevertheless, for a week or so after her aforementioned illustrious headmistressness announced the competition I pondered 'what I should do if I could', which resulted in an actual design idea. Oh dear!!

My idea was to knit a bag that incorporates the latin phrase 'adtractior magicum nunquam pictus' (which roughly translates as 'never needle a magical knitter'), and the letters HSKS (the abbreviated name of Professor Wartbobble's knitting swap). Charting these into a balanced stitch graph proved that a very large stitch count would be required in order for the letters to be visually pleasing. That meant I would have to knit an enormous bag!

Enquiries among knitting friends who are experts in felting techniques (I refer particularly to my dear friend Esmerelda Beanswallow) increased my confidence to attempt this as a solution to the size issue, for felting shrinks knitted fabric. Swatching proved that my chosen yarn for the background felts well, and that it also felts even when letters are knitted into it fairisle style with a non-felting contrast yarn. Of course, I am still nervous that a whole bag will not behave the way my swatches did!

At the moment I just have to finish the strap, and then the felting begins. The edging at the top of the bag is applied i-cord - my first ever use of that technique, and I'm really pleased with the result. Hopefully the puckering due to the tightness of the edging will be resolved by the felting and blocking. After felting I intend to embroider some pictorial elements above and below the HSKS where there are currently large blank fields. I've sketched out outlines of a hat, cauldron, and yarn ball and needles for this that I think I will work in chain stitch, again in the silver.

And here are the pictures - both sides of the bag and one of my felted swatches. While it is a little predictable, and a rather basic structure, I am still rather proud of how it is turning out.


Lavender A said...

I seriously heart your bag. Never mind that I love the phrase, but the charting of the letters is SO perfectly potter. Thanks for posting the preview! Now I can't wait to see how it will turn out...

Queen Frysia said...

Emma, I've always said you're a brilliant designer. Now you've reconfirmed it! Great work! Don't know that I could actually knit anything this elaborate, but I can certainly appreciate looking at it!

Minerva Kwikspell said...

It's absolutely gorgeous Emma!! Very nice job. I'm thrilled to see the preview - thanks for posting it! You never cease to amaze me with your crafy-ness! :D

Emma Gorodok said...

wow, that looks so great... seems like it will be a tough competition for the contest, but it's interesting to see the different approaches

Olive Bladvak said...

I think it's brilliant!

Lizzie Wychwood said...

Amazing, sis, and I know that it is even better in real life! You are truly wonderful.
P.S. When will my quidditch socks be ready?!!!

knitting by kaae eller bare Charlotte said...

That is such a grate idea for a hogwarts bag. You just keep amasing me... ;)

knitting by kaae eller bare Charlotte said...

Love the letters you are using, have you drawen them your self?
Kaaelana :)