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Felted Satchel

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Felted Satchel

Felted Satchel.

(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Casual Carrier:

I don't know if it's possible to have too many bags; in the case of this felted satchel there is definitely room for one more. This simple to knit project is a great way to hold books, a lunch and other necessities, or simply your knitting projects.

Make it your own by customizing the strap and choosing a closure of your choice, whether that's Velcro, a button, a snap or a toggle.

Materials:

  • 3 skeins Plymouth Boku, or about 300 yards of your favorite medium weight feltable wool yarn
  • one pair size 10 US knitting needles
  • crochet hook
  • supplies for felting
  • strap and closure materials of your choice

Gauge:

About 17 stitches and 21 rows per inch in Stockinette Stitch. Gauge is not critical but should be somewhat open.

Size:

After felting, bag measures about 8 inches wide and 11 inches tall, with a six-inch flap and three-inch gussets. Your size may vary depending on how long you felt the project, the yarn you use and your washing machine.

Knitting the Satchel:

Working the Front:

  1. Cast on 34 stitches.
  2. Work in Stockinette Stitch 14 inches.
  3. Bind off and weave in ends.

Working the Back and Flap:

  1. Cast on 34 stitches.
  2. Work in Stockinette Stitch 19 inches.
  3. Bind off and weave in ends.

Working the Gusset:

  1. Cast on 15 stitches.
  2. Work in Stockinette Stitch for 36.5 inches (or the length of the front sides plus the length the bottom of the front is wide).
  3. Bind off and weave in ends.

Finishing and Felting:

Using the same yarn and a crochet hook of appropriate size (I used a 7 US), single crochet the gusset to the front and then the back of the bag. Try to get the sides even, and if your gusset piece turns out to be too long, just felt it with a tail hanging off and cut that piece down once the felting is done.

Using a washing machine or felting by hand, lightly felt the bag until some stitch definition is gone and the bag is firm (I used a front-loading washing machine and it took three cycles to get to this point, but it should happen much faster in a conventional machine).

Adding the Strap and Closure:

Once you've felted the bag to the size and shape you like, fill it with towels or old T-shirts and allow it to dry.

Finish the bag with a strap of your choice (mine is webbing from the fabric store) and, if desired, add a closure for the flap, such as Velcro, a button (cut a slit out of the flap for your buttonhole) or a zipper.

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