The story of a Bag

June 21, 2006

This is a little story about a bag, a version of Dawn's Well Traveled bag.  First, I crocheted the bag using Dawn's pattern, however I did it all in HDC.  The reason is because I was crocheting the bag in one single color, so I did not need a thin stripe and since I was felting it I knew it wouldn't matter if it was single or half double.  

So, I finished crocheting it with the yarn that Deneen gave me and that I had dyed with Kool-Aid and food coloring.  I got this lovely colored bag.  I absolutely loved the colors.  
Then, came a HUGE PROBLEM!  I felted the bag and the colors faded to pastels, and icky pastels.  I couldn't handle it.  I stared at the bag and just could not deal.  So, in a fit of rage I got out the dye pot and threw the bag in there with the only dye I had, red colored Kool-Aid.  This happened so quickly, I did not take a picture, but I guarantee it was a fugly sight.

Out of the dye pot came this pukey raspberrry colored thing.  You could still see the icky throwup orange underneath the red color.  It sickened me.  No other colors.  I had no other dyes.  What was I going to do?

Then, my head thought of that purple color, you know, that color that stains everything when your child has thrush.  Gentian Violet.  Now, I have wondered in the back of my head if you could dye yarn with it.  This isn't a new thought for me, and I was desperate.  

So, I took the raspberry fug and put it back into the pot with the hotest tap water I could get (enough to cover the bag) and added way too much Gentian Violet that I had mixed with another packet of strawberry Kool-Aid.  My though was the KA had the citric acid.  I was out of vinegar.  

One thing about Gentian violet is that it is alcohol based.  So, I was kind of afraid of heating my dye pot.  My fear was too much heat could cause a fire, yet I really do not know this for sure.  Knowing my luck it would happen and then Raspberry fug would be scorched. 
I let it sit in the dye for about 30 minutes, it got kind of milky, but it never exhausted.  I have a few theories why it didn't exhaust.  The first is that I didn't have the stove turned on.  The second is that I think I used way too much Gentian Violet.  I think it doesn't take very much to get a nice rich purple.  The third is maybe I didn't wait long enough.  I don't know.  

I rinsed the bag in the sink with dish soap and hot water.  I then threw the bag in the washing machine on hot water and added some synthrapol.  

Here is the final results of dyeing the bag.  I am very happy with the purple that I got.  You can still see some undertones of the red color, but I think that is a nice part of the bag.  Pardon the lint on the bag, it isn't a finished product as I need to clean the lint off, line it, add purse clasps, add grommet holes, and add a purple leather strap.  All of that dyeing and washing really felted the bag.  The dimensions of the pattern after felting is  7”x9”x4”.  My bag's dimensions are 7"x7"x4".  At one time the bag was longer and I think it was 9".  Oops…

This purse will be auctioned off at my mother's club, to raise money for the local children's crisis center.   (Thanks Dawn for giving me permission to use your pattern for this.)


  1. Great save!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Great color! The things we can do when desperate!

  3. OK You know I am loving that purple!
    Great save!
    Nice looking bag!

  4. That was a lot to go thru to get your bag. It looks really, really good!

  5. I agree with everyone else. That color is great!

  6. I couldn’t bear to give that bag up after all that effort…it is so totally gorgeous, hope it raises lots of cash!

  7. that’s genius! i would have never thought to use the violet – just so happens i have a bottle… i’ve been struggling to get a nice purple with different wiltons colors and kool aids – no more!

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