Quest for the Rings
I mentioned earlier that I've fallen irrationally in love with the Dumpling Bag.
So irrationally, that I now have no fewer than three dumplings in various stages of progress. And no plans to stop.
But I may have to get over my affection for this cute little design, because it's proving nearly impossible to complete. All because of a few little rings. The Dumpling Bag requires two rings for the handle. Two small, decorative rings that can handle the felting process. The pattern calls for Lucite rings that are "available at most bead stores," but I've checked bead stores in three cities with no luck.
These are my best alternatives. The upper left package is glass ring beads - nice, but I think they're a bit two small. Upper right is some plastic rings - they're not quite as ugly as the white ones, but they're still not the attractive things I'd wanted for my bag. On the lower left is a set of rings from the Ding-a-Ling's bin of ancient beads - I suspect they may be '80s vintage. They may work, but they're a plated plastic, so I don't know how well they'll hold up, and I'm not sure the fake gold is the look I want for all my Dumplings. The last package is a set of rubber rings, which I've decided I'm not even going to try - they aren't big enough, or sturdy enough to work.
So I'm still looking. Maybe I haven't visited enough bead shops.
I have one nearly-complete Dumpling; this one using the gold rings. I think they'll work with this fairly Christmasy design. Now I have to decide if I want to felt by hand, or wait until I can get to a washing machine. Waiting would give me time to make more Dumplings, which is pretty desirable, but there's something to be said for seeing results soon. Either way, watch this spot for more knit Dumplings. And maybe the edible kind, in celebration.