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Felted Bag with Scarf Handle

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Pink Felted Bag

The pink Felted Bag with a bandanna used as the strap.

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

Pretty in Pink :

This easy felted bag is gorgeous in a bright color like the pink shown, but it could easily be worked in a more muted tone if you prefer, and in any size you like.

The handle treatment, using jump rings and a scarf or bandanna, allows you to change the look of the bag without a lot of effort any time you want. And because it's felted, you can embellish it any way you please. So many options!

Materials:

  • two skeins of Valley Yarns Northampton (I used color 21, Dahlia), or about 350 yards of your favorite medium weight 100 percent wool yarn
  • one pair size 10.5 US knitting needles
  • scissors and yarn needle
  • two 32 mm split rings, or similar rings for attaching handle
  • scarf of bandanna to use as handle

Gauge:

16 stitches and 18 rows per 4 inches (4 stitches and 4.5 rows per inch) in Stockinette Stitch. Gauge is not critical.

Size:

Before felting, bag is 12 inches tall and 10 inches wide with a 5-inch gusset. After felting, my bag was 10 inches wide an 8 inches tall with a 4.5 inch gusset. Your size may vary.

Instructions:

  1. For body of the bag, cast on 40 stitches.
  2. Work in Stockinette Stitch for 12 inches.
  3. Purl a row on the right side.
  4. Continue in Stockinette as before for 5 inches.
  5. Purl a row on the right side.
  6. Work in Stockinette as established another 12 inches. Bind off.

For the gussets (make 2), cast on 20 stitches and knit in Stockinette for 12 inches. To make sure these are the same length as your bag, count the rows. Bind off.

Weave in ends and sew the gussets to the bag, using mattress stitch or method of your choice. For ease in sewing, sew the bottom of the gusset to the bottom part of the bag, then stitch the sides.

Felting:

A washing machine is helpful for felting this project, but you can also felt it by hand, if desired.

If you've never felted before, check out the basic felting instructions; more experienced felters already know what works for their machine.

I felted my bag in a front-loading machine on a short hot water, cold rinse wash with no spin cycle (total time about 30 minutes). Your experience may vary depending on the type of machine you have and the yarn you use.

Making it Your Own:

The handle of this bag as shown is made with two jump rings stuck into the fabric of the bag and a bandanna or scarf tied on. That way you can change the handle whenever you like and use it as another way to embellish the bag.

Of course you can also knit and felt straps to sew onto the bag or use purchased bag handles if you prefer.

If you don't like a plain bag, consider embellishing with needle felting, sewing on buttons, embroidering on the bag or adding an applique. The sky's the limit when it comes to embellishing felt.

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