So, this morning I popped the Buttonhole Bag in the washer with a pair of jeans. A couple of wash cycles and a trip through the dryer later, I have this:
Preptastic, don't you think? The colors, in retrospect, are actually a little stronger than I wanted (they're Cascade 220 in Flamingo and Highland). Still, I like the watermelon-y effect, and I like that it's shaped a little like my old Bermuda bag, which I kind of desperately wish I still had.
This actually is not my first foray into buttonhole territory. I made this for my sister as a little Easter treat:
That one was Lamb's Pride Bulky in Limeade and Lemon Drop, and it looked like nothing so much as a giant ear of corn before it was felted. Hmm--what is up with the fruit/vegetable buttonhole bags?
I know lots of people are making/have made these already, but if you haven't yet, or you haven't felted before, here are a few notes.
-For both bags, I held the yarns doubled on 24" size 15 circs.
-I made the handle of my Cascade bag bigger, binding off 15 stitches instead of 10. I recommend this, especially if you have bigger hands. It makes for floppier handles, but you can actually fit your hand through them, which is a definite plus with handbags.
-For the Lamb's Pride Bag, I followed the patern pretty exactly. I played around with it a bit on the Cascade bag, though, and liked the results. I increased one more time on the bottom, so it was a bit wider and longer (11 stitches wide rather than 8, and 10 increase rows). I also added more rows between the increases and decreases for the body of the bag, going maybe 15 rows rather than 10. And finally, I only decreased twice at the top, rather than three times, and I did one increase below the handle and one above. I like how this makes the top go in a bit less sharply.
Based on this project, I have to say I like the Cascade much more than the Lamb's Pride.
First, Lamb's Pride, when wet, stinks like death. Cascade doesn't smell great--I mean, it's wet wool, after all--but it's a huge improvement.
Second, smell aside, Cascade's a worsted weight yarn, rather than a bulky, and it's plied, which I don't think the Lamb's Pride is (I'm too lazy to go check right now). These two things added up to a less fuzzy, slightly thinner bag, which I preferred. It's not like any felted bag is going to be particularly smooth and tailored, but I liked that I didn't have to shave the Cascade afterwards.
Finally, I had lots of Cascade left over: I have 55g of each green skein left over, and about 60g of the pink (skeins originally being 100g). This means that you can easily get two bags out of three skeins--although obviously your mileage will vary based on how much you use of main vs. accent color. By contrast, I have only 20g of each green Lamb's Pride skein left (out of 113g) and 20g of the yellow. And the Cascade is cheaper!
No question here: Cascade's the winner for me. Plus, if I keep making bags (and Pashas) I'll have tons of leftovers to make a giant stripey French Market Bag! Yay!
By the way, if you are in need of a giggle, head over to Wendy's
--she's running a contest to see who had the most egregious 1980's fashion. I thought mine was pretty bad but then I read about the blue tinsel wig...