Now that my Hogwarts pal has received her package, I can post about the bag I made for her!
The requirement for the swap is to send a kit for your pal to make something - it started with just socks, but it's expanded since some people have a lot of socks by now. Each kit has to include a handmade item for the recipient, and everything goes in a bag - or that seems to be the tradition, at least.
So I wanted a bag design that would be a little bit funky, in honor of the whole Harry Potter universe, and also thought it should be something I've been wanting to try. So I pulled out Cat Bordhi's Moebius Knitting book and made the Jester Tentacles bag for my pal.
The moebius cast-on was a bit funky to learn. It's a simple enough technique, but my needle was too long, and the stitches were stretched out at first. Too short is definitely better than too long for this project. But you only do a little bit of the moebius knitting before opening up slits to add the bag's pouches.
Here's what the bag looks like with the inner pouch finished, and the outer pouch mostly finished. The moebius band forms the top of the two pouches and holds them together. The purple and blue parts are waste yarn, marking where the tentacles and straps will be inserted.
Getting to this step took a lot longer than I expected. Finishing the main part doesn't mean the bag is anywhere close to finished - the straps and tentacles involved a lot of knitting. Bordhi has you go to two circular needles for knitting the pouches and the tentacles, but I didn't want to go buy another circular needle in a size I rarely used, so I tried to magic loop the whole thing. This worked fine for the pouches, but made the tentacles take even longer - I wound up buying a set of DPNs, which made things much easier.
Here's the bag post-felting. Felting Cascade 220 is a bit scary; for a long time there's no change, and then it seizes up all at once. If I'd paid closer attention I might have had a slightly larger bag in the end, but I'm content with the result. I stuffed it with plastic grocery bags to help it dry in the shape I wanted.
The straps didn't felt down short enough - usually I have the opposite problem, so I'd made them extra long. I felted them by hand to get a more reasonable length.
I'd thought about adding something to the end of the tentacles - eyeballs, charms, or bells - but nothing quite worked out for me. In the end, I don't think it needs anything else to help it look weird.