1-Day-Project: Felted Knit Handbag

I did the knitting part in one day, about 6-7 hours, threw it once in the hot washer to felt, and then sewed up the pieces the next day. You could do it all in one day if you really had time.
red bag

Yarn: 1 ball Pattons wool, found at Joann’s. 223 yards.
Needles: Size eleven, circular or straight.
Assorted wool roving for felting

For the body:
Cast on 54 stitches.
Knit first row, purl second. Repeat until 55 rows are finished, and bind off.

For the bottom:
Cast on 30 stitches. Knit and purl alternate rows until 15 rows are finished. Bind off.

For the handles:
Cast on 9 stitches. Knit and purl alternate rows until 50 rows are finished. Bind off.

Throw all the pieces in a washing machine on hot to felt. This is a good time to wash your towels. I didn’t need to put the pieces in the drier, this yarn shrank right up.

To make a perfectly-fitting bottom for the bag, use a piece of yarn to measure the wide edge of the handbag body. Cut the yarn so its measure fits exactly. Use this yarn to visualize a loop on the piece of felt used for the bottom. You can make a perfectly round circle, an oblong like I did, or a rectangle. Whatever shape you create with the yarn, it will always exactly fit the bottom of your bag (match up the two ends of the yarn exactly, of course!).

The handles curled while felting, and I did not do any additional sewing to create a tube. You certainly could, it would look a little neater.

And then the next day I added needle-felting to create my design. I’m not sure what I made that bee for a couple months ago, some half-finished and forgotten project, so he fit perfectly on the handbag. I needle-felted him to attach; he seems pretty solid.

daffodil bag

If needle felting is not your thing, you could alternately embellish the bag by giving it an inch of fun-fur or eyelash yarn up at the top edge for two or three inches — remember it’s going to shrink to about half the size after felting, so give it a little more border than feels right.

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