With so many areas putting a moratorium on plastic & paper shopping bags, I think that knitted bags will be great gifts.
I finished knitting the handles on my French Market Bag this morning. I made a few modifications to the pattern. I made the bag 12 inches from the end of the increases so it would be a little deeper. I also decreased every 8 rows until I had 17 stitches then every 4 until I got to 9 stitches on the handles and ended with 8 rows of Stk St instead of 4.
I think it turned out kind of nice. The colors did not contract quite as much as I thought they would in the store.
Now I got to felt the bag. This was my first foray into felting. I took an old pillow case, put the bag in it and used a garbage bag tie to close it up. Put the washer on hot and small load, tossed in the pillow case and a couple of old towels and let it agitate. I checked it every 5 minutes or so. First thing I learned is that garbage bag ties do not stay on during agitation. Second is that felting is hot. There was a hint of wet dog smell, but that very possibly could have been me. I checked the bag to see how things progressed. It was like making a soup.
A very disgusting "Sheep Soup".
When things looked done to me, I set the washer on spin to get out a lot of the water. Per Maya's advice (from Babetta's Yarn and Gifts - my favorite LYS!) I let the spin work out until the water was down to a trickle then I opened the washer and removed the bag. O then rolled it in an old towel and pressed out the remaining water. I then blocked the bag by hanging it on a hanger and filling it with old plastic bags to held shape it and hung it at the end of the porch to dry. Its in the 90s today so should not take too long.
I must say I am pleased with the results! This one will probably be a Christmas gift, but I think I might make one for me in blues.