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3 Step Knit Project
3 Steps to a Finished Knit Felt Purse
Like a carpet bag. The fabric of a knit felt bag is so dense it reminds you of Navajo rugs or horse blankets. The finished piece can be 3/4" thick depending on the yarn you use and the felting process.
Felting is simple. If you have an agitator washing machine, or can be done by hand, you simply wash the piece in hot water continually moving the piece, using a small amount of soap to make the water wetter.
Knitting is very basic.
Start by knitting a rectangle but use circular needles and knit back and forth.
Pick up one stitch in each stitch around once the rectangle is the size you prefer for the base of the purse.
Then begin knitting in the round till the purse is the height you're wanting before felting.
Felting shrinks 30% in height and 25% in width. Height being rows, Width being stitches across.
Step 1 - Knit Every Stitch
Knit holding 2 strands of wool yarn together throughout. I've added a third yarn to the mix to get this "sparkle" effect.
Start by casting on and knitting 28 to 38 stitches, turn and make a nice rectangle about twice as long as it is wide.
The finished purse base will look like the one in the photo, or you can embellish it, covered in a step below. So many options.
Wool Yarn, Embellishing Yarn and Place Markers
A Variety of Knit Felt Purses I've Made
I knit, I felt. Here are some photos in a video format.
Step 2 Just Keep Knitting in the Round - You knit in the round till the piece is the height you like.
Knitting in the round is simply continuously knitting. I like have a place marker at each corner of my rectangle base and moving those place markers throughout the work. I use one of a different color than the rest so I know my starting place. This helps with shaping if you want the bag to have the "lunch sack" effect.
The featured pattern in these instructions is not shaped other than the special "tuck" pattern I added to the base, just getting a little fancy here.
I personally prefer bamboo needles, but any of these brands work great. In fact I started making knit felt bags with the plastic needles and those bags were great finished pieces.
Step 3 - FELT Your Bag - Knit Until the Bag is 30% Taller than Finished Size
If you want your bag to be 10" high you need to knit a 13" high piece.
The felting process shrinks the wool 30% in height and 25% in width. So starting with a width you know will be shrinking. A 12" wide base will end up being 8 or 9" wide, max.
I place my bag in a zip close pillow case. Place a pair of jeans in the agitator style washer, throw in the bag in the closed pillow case, and wash in SMALL load with HOTTEST water, and a small amount of soap about 1/4 you would use for a small load. Let it wash about 5 to 8 minutes, then check the bag for felting progress.
3 Step Knitting - 1 read the pattern, 2 knit every row, 3 felt and shape
Yes it is that simple.
The pattern only has one stitch, and there is only one change. First you knit back and forth to make a rectangle base for your bag, then you begin knitting in the round. The transition is a matter of picking up stitches - putting the circular needle into each stitch around and pulling the working yarn into a loop and onto the right working needle. Once you have all the stitches on the needle you work in the round till the bag is finished height before felting.
The base on this one is embellished by "tucking" the last 5 rows before beginning the circular knitting step.
I've included a video on how to do the "TUCK" stitch HERE.
A Video Shows You How to Knit the Tuck Stitch
If you are not a knitter I have very detailed step-by-step information on my Step-by-Step how to lens