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Knitted Felted Bag Pattern

Updated on October 10, 2014
Photo by Seattle Image Design
Photo by Seattle Image Design

Need a new bag today? Knit and felt this bag FAST

Did you lose track of the date and suddenly realize you need a gift for tomorrow - a birthday, anniversary, or a promise to your daughter that you totally forgot about? You can knit this bag and felt it in only one day. Knit along with me today and I'll prove it!

All you need is a hank of 100% wool yarn, a button, knitting needles, a washing machine, a tiny amount of laundry soap, and about 5 hours of your time. That's it!

I'll share the basic pattern, which you can then make bigger or smaller as you wish. The bag has one handle; you can make two if you wish, and make them any length you want. Short for a hand-held purse, longer for a shoulder bag. I love purses and bags with two medium-long handles because sometimes I want to get the bag totally out of the way and can wear it on my back like a backpack. This one however has one short handle for a reason, explained below.

All photos are by Seattle Image Design.

This is the bag before felting

Knit Felted Bag without Button Closure

Without the button and buttonhole, this looks less like a purse and more like a bag with infinite uses - knitting bag (of course), gathering bag (with a liner of some sort - paper or plastic?) for gathering herbs, berries and such - or maybe a tiny shopping bag.

Step-by-Step Process - Let's do this one together!

Total time required to knit and felt the bag: about 5.5 hours. I dry the bag overnight. If it is still damp in the morning, I put it into the dryer for a few minutes.

  1. Materials.

    What I have on hand is 1 - 4 0z. skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, which was just enough to make this bag with none left over. The yarn is 85% wool and 15% mohair. I broke my first rule already, which is to use 100% wool. I'm confident this wool will felt well because I've used it many times before. I'm using size 7 and size 11 circular needles, size 11 dp needles and also have a one-inch button I'll use to close the bag. If you want to make the bag a little bigger, or make two handles, or one longer handle, buy two skeins. The finished bag measures approximately 9" deep and 11" across, and the handle is approximately 21" long.

  2. Casting on .

    Cast on 65 stitches with the size 7 circular needle, fewer for a smaller bag, more for a larger one. I like to cast on felted projects by making a slipknot and placing it on the left hand end of the circular needle. Then I knit into that loop and instead of pulling the loop off the needle, slip the new loop onto the left end of the needle. Now there are two loops there. I knit into the new one, then place that loop on the left side, making three stitches. This is much easier than it sounds, so I'll include a video below and you can just see it done. Much easier. 5 minutes

  3. Knit 10 rounds as follows.

    Join the cast on row into a circle by holding the yarn in back and slipping the first stitch onto the left hand side, yo, slip the stitch back onto the right hand side, then begin knitting. These 10 rounds are the border. On the fifth round, bind off 4 stitches for the buttonhole, then continue knitting around. On the next round, cast on 4 sts. when you reach the bound-off sts.

    30 minutes

  4. Change to size 11 needles.

    1st round: [Knit 12, inc 1 in the next st] five times. 70 sts. Knit 30 rounds; fewer for a smaller bag, more for a larger one.

    3 hours

  5. Shape the bag.

    [K8, k 2 tog] around. K 1 round even.

    [K7, k 2 tog] around. K 1 round even.

    Switch to the dp needles.

    [K6, k2 tog] around. K 1 round even.

    [K5, k2 tog] around.

    [K4, k2 tog] around.

    [K3, k2 tog] around.

    [K2, k2 tog] around.

    [K1, k2 tog] around.

    [K2 tog] around.

    Thread through the remaining sts and tie off end, Weave in ends.

    45 minutes

  6. Handle.

    Cast on 4 sts onto a dp needle and knit an I-cord until you run out of yarn. My cord was about 28" long. Sew the handle and the button onto the bag, about 1/2" down from the top edge.

    45 minutes

  7. Felting.

    Run the bag through the hot/cold cycle in your washing machine. Be sure to use a full cycle, not a short one. Add a little laundry detergent. If your machine does not have an easily-accessible filter, put your bag inside of a pillowcase or lingerie bag before washing, to prevent clogging of the filter. The bag should shrink about 1/3 in length and 1/4 in width. Run the bag through a second wash cycle if it isn't felted as much as you'd like. This is where you are in control of the final size. Take it out of the machine immediately and shape it. I stuff mine with tissue paper and let it dry with the paper inside.

    Finished Size: approximately 10.5" wide and 9" deep; handle is about 20" long.

    If the handle is too short, hang the bag to dry with something of moderate weight in it. For a bag this size, I would choose a small ceramic bowl.about 5" in diameter. Just enough weight to apply a little bit of tension to the handle as it dries.

Knitted Cast-On

How to Knit an I-Cord

Before you leave... - let me know if there's anything else you need to know

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    • bikerministry profile image

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      Great job! Blessings. I've been knitting and felting bags for a few years. You can find my designer handbags and instructions in my lenses. I like your style!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens. Like the knitted felt bag, if I had some spare time I would knit one.

      But these days all my spare time is spent on Squidoo. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kathryn Beach profile image

      Kathryn Wallace 5 years ago from Greenbank, WA, USA

      @Elyn MacInnis: Wish you were here, elynmac, we could have a turtle race. My biggest problem is not that I can't knit at a reasonable speed, but I can't seem to "just knit". I'm constantly interrupted by life, and then there's the mind that moves along faster than a speeding turtle. I'm sitting there calmly knitting and my mind is racing off on its own - oh I forgot to send that email, that rug under my feet really needs vacuuming, there's an unfamiliar birdsong - must go check and see what it is - and so on.

    • prikazen profile image

      prikazen 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing. Great info. I like it :)

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Love what you have done here. I wish I could knit faster. I am slower than a turtle. Thanks for this great project!