Here is the Bag of Tricks when it was new -- about 10 years ago. This was my very first felting project and it came out, I think we can agree, quite well. There was a bit of a learning curve however. Notice the nice egg shapes in the body of the bag? Those are knit up of hand dyed yarn scraps of merino, cashmere, mohair, etc. The body of the bag is knit from hand dyed Maine wool. Notice how the top of the bag is kind of kerfluffled? That was not intentional. The plan was that the bag be straight and flat. I hadn't realized that the different fibers would felt so .... differently. I was not at all pleased. I loaded up the wet bag with a garbage bag full of books to block it and wandered around it muttering under my breath for a couple of days while it dried. In the process of the wandering I happened to notice a pair of old worn out linen pants that someone had given me to add to my fabric stash. The color went nicely with the bag and I thought to myself...lining? I yanked them out and noticed the worn out, tired elastic at the waist, and the pockets. Eureka!! Everything fell into place. I cut off the legs and sewed up the holes, stuffed the result into the bag and sewed the facing at the top over the worn out elastic. The result was the lovely gathered thing going on at the top which gave everything a kind of Victorian carpet bag feel. I went from Bad Mistake, to Wonderful Design Element all in a flash. Sometimes life surprises you like that.
And here is the Bag of Tricks, 10 years later, in the Siena Plaza del Campo in Tuscany. I had to replace the handle, finally, because this bag has been used many, many times to carry everything in my life that will fit into it. I had no idea when I made it that it would ever go to Italy. And I have the strong feeling that the Bag of Tricks is not yet done providing me with wonderful surprises. As you can see it is as strong, sturdy and beautiful as ever and will undoubtedly last for another 10 years. So many moments of my life are carried in the fibers of this bag and I can connect back to them easily using it in a kind of Dr. Who Tardis way. The last decade of my life is in there....and the next one too.
If you would like to stay with us this is the room we rent via Airbnb. I would love to see you and give you a tour of the studio, some quality time at the knitting table, some scones and warm drinks.