When I first wrote about my adventures in felting with my friend, Andrea, I fully expected my mother to tell me she wanted a bag like the one in the picture, but I was on a quest to not buy any yarn for awhile, I didn’t know if I had what I needed to make it, but I was determined that if I did, I would make it by making do with what I had.
My mother’s birthday was nearing, and I was certain she would identify the Rose Garden Tote as her present of choice. To my astonishment, she said almost nothing other than to comment that it was a very nice bag.
Inspired by the results my friend Andrea had achieved using yarn that she had available, and undaunted by my mother’s uncharacteristic muted response to anything with flowers, I moved forward.
I wanted to make the bag, but I also wanted to experiment with yarn whispering and using only materials that I already had. With a huge selection from which to choose, I settled on vintage wool from the late 1960s and early 1970s that I had purchased from my son’s trumpet teacher:
and supplemented with scrap yarns from previous purchases and projects.
The first day, I worked on the tote I got off to a good start and was seduced into thinking it would go much more quickly than it did:
From there, things slowed considerably as I drove my son to his various lessons and practices, did my best to keep up with my houseguests, and worked on other projects so that I would have something to blog about.
As I closed in on finishing the body of the bag, I awoke one morning to find the cat, in flagrante, delicto. working on the project:
I was eventually able to wrest the project from her and finish the body of the bag:
By sunset yesterday I had also finished two straps,
three large roses,
four small roses,
and seven leaves:
Before I sat down with my Clover chibi and all of pieces that needed attaching, I laid it all out to get some idea of how it would look:
After one episode each of The Office, Parks and Recreation, and Thirty Rock, the pieces were attached and the bag was ready to felt:
One late night and one early morning later, the bag was felted (if not entirely dry) and ready to give to my mother:
A large part of what made this tote fun for me was that the yarn that had languished for so many decades was finally transformed into an object that could be used as something other than moth snacks or insulation. And maybe (just maybe) the tote holds some vestige of the original purchaser’s hopes and ideals.
This project was totally worthwhile, and I have every intention of making another just as soon as I find out what yarns I have that are ready for and in need of a transformation.