Letting It Go…

I haven’t done a craft post in a while, and it is indeed time for one. As you know dear readers, knitting is one of my main passions in life. As a person who loves craft, I have been trying to also learn to sew. The combination of these two hobbies lead me, about a year ago, to complete a knitted and felted bag with a sewn-in fabric lining. It was pretty easy to make, took very little time, and got a LOT of compliments. Compliments that went straight to my head.

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This and other photos by David R. Greenberg

Last year’s women’s seder at Temple Beth Torah included a silent auction to raise money for the Temple. I thought it would be great to donate another bag like the one I had already made, but this one would be knitted to the specifications of the winner. Good idea, right? WRONG! The person who won the bag paid a good amount of money for it, making me feel like this bag would need to be PERFECT.  I was excited to get started.

I should have documented in photographs the disaster that followed over the course of the next year. I knitted three different versions of this bag, each ruined in the process of attempting to line it. The lining that the winner requested was far more advanced than the one that I had made for myself (including a pocket sized for a cell phone and a zipper pocket) and the handle attachments that she wanted were different too.  I was excited to learn how to incorporate these embellishments.

I returned again and again to the store to buy more yarn, fabric, and bag making hardware. I know I spent more on the bag than it was worth!  I ripped out attempt after attempt to make this bag work. Each effort was a tremendous learning experience in knitting, sewing, and bag making. Each time sitting at the machine was a lesson in patience and good will.

I offered to give the woman her money back. The bag was taking too long and wasn’t coming out as nice as I had hoped. But she said that she would be patient. So continue I would…

As Passover approached yet again, I knew that I couldn’t allow this bag to take me OVER a year to complete. I set out with renewed vigor to finish this bag. And I did. It’s not perfect. It isn’t designed exactly the way that I had wanted. I had to admit defeat on a few things, and I am concerned about how well the bag will hold up under heavy use. But, I can honestly say I did the best that I could.

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Now a new problem comes… How do you let go of something that you have worked so hard to create?

Goodbye dear bag! Good luck and remember – try to hold yourself together!!

P.S. For this year’s silent auction I am offering – knitting lessons. Let’s leave the sewing to people who actually know how to do it!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Sally, I know your pain EXACTLY! I offered a chuppah as a silent auction item once. I didn’t realize that the bride wanted me to make it out of used wedding gown material. Specifically, scraps of wedding gowns from 3 generations. I am NOT a quilter – not in the SLIGHTEST! It took so long, and the wedding was approaching. By some MIRACLE, I finished it. But at that point, I’d spent easily 10x the man-hours I’d planned. The family got a bargain, and, yes, an heirloom. But I swore NEVER AGAIN to offer to make something to their specifications EVER again.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Miranda on April 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    It’s beautiful nonetheless! You always do magnificent work Sally!

    Reply

  3. Posted by janet levitt on April 8, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I saw felled bags at the ny gift show they are beautiful, and I did think I can do this, your bags are beautiful.

    Reply

  4. Posted by beth levine on April 8, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    It looks beautiful and I would be honored to own one similar to it if I had the opportunity!

    Reply

  5. Posted by Julie on April 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I totally get it…

    Reply

  6. Posted by Julie A. Weinstein on April 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Wow! The bag is beautiful!!!!

    Reply

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