Can this bag be saved?

Regular readers may remember that last March I made this bag for my mother:

My first rendition of Michele Wilcox's Rose Garden Tote

I made the tote using vintage yarn purchased from my son’s trumpet teacher and Michele Wilcox’s pattern, Rose Garden Tote, available at no charge from Red Heart Yarns at their website.

One of my ravelry friends decided to give this project a whirl. It was her first ever felted project, and I was anxious to learn how it came out. She updated me with the following message:

Hi Leslie,
I had to toss it…it just wasn’t right!…it was kind of like baking a cake that flopped…

then she posed this question:

…have you ever tossed a project?

I have known both success and failure when it comes to felting, my most memorable failure being a hat crocheted from wool that refused to felt.

Instead of shrinking the way I expected, it grew larger and larger until it looked like a huge, red fishing net. (Note to self: Do not (I repeat: Do not) try to felt superwash wool.)

Recalling the many hours I attempted to felt that which would not be felted, I could not help but wonder, was the bag as bad as her description suggested? Was it truly a lost cause? I found it hard to believe that there wasn’t something there that could be salvaged.

I needed to get my hands on that bag if I were ever to learn the answer, so I asked if she would be willing to let me attempt a felting rehab, and to my delight, she said yes. Several days later, this arrived in my mail box:

The package of mystery arrives in the mail

Through the Tyvek, it felt salvageable. I got out a pair of scissors and carefully cut the package open and found this:

The felted tote in need of rehab

It was evident that someone had already invested a lot of time and care into getting the tote to this point. While some of the joins were not as secure as they needed to be:

Some of the pieces in need of additional tacking down

after a thorough examination, I determined that the tote is an excellent candidate for rehab.

I got out my collection of Classic Elite felted roving (as I know from an incident with a washer that it felts very well) and began the process of securing the roses, leaves and curliques in preparation for the final felting.

As of today, I am about 2/3rds of the way through the tacking down process.

My plan for tomorrow morning (after a strong cup of coffee and some breakfast), is to finish securing the pieces and adjusting the placement of the handles. This will leave the afternoon to finish the process of felting.

The tote-to-be rehabed after some of the pieces were more firmely secured

It is my hope that when the sun sets on Monday, this tote will have achieved its rightful glory.

So, can this bag be saved?”

I think it can.

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10 thoughts on “Can this bag be saved?

  1. Maybe it’s just me but I would have been using it as is! As soon as I filled it with stuff it would have looked perfect.

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