This is take two on her birthday bag. I originally bought some nice, multicolored wool yarn at the yarn store, bought a pattern that looked great, and went to work. However, once I finished and felted the bag, I wasn't a fan. The bottom was wider than I wanted, and it made the bag look strangely proportioned. In my frustrated state, I also ripped a part of the top while I attempted to stretch the wet felted yarn. Realizing the bag was determined to keep its shape, I resolved the start over with a new pattern and see if it treated me any better (I might try to do something else with that "fail" bag, we'll see).
This pattern, by Amanda Silveira, didn't turn out like the picture, either, but I was expecting it since I chose the smallest size and felting can have a mind of its own. The cables don't pop as much as some of the other projects I looked at, but I think it's because of the light weight of the yarn. Since the handles were not showing cables well, I let them roll in felting. I also made them significantly longer than I needed to - I expected them to felt more than they did - so I trimmed them down to minimize stretching.
While I was in Eau Claire visiting J, we stopped by a sewing shop and picked out the bag lining (okay, that was all him), thread, and needles. The hardest part of the whole process was opening the rotating needle case that would not budge. I sewed the lining sides by hand and then attached it to the bag during J's work shift. I bought some magnetic bag snaps, but they were heavier and thicker than I wanted, so I braided the closure loop with six strands and added the button - I mean, who can resist buttons?