Thursday, December 30, 2004

Little Brown felted purse

I used Waterspun Merino in brown because I have so much of it. Knitted with 6mm circular needles. Not sure how much yarn I used as this was frogged from a sweater I decided not to finish.

Main Bag:

Cast on 40 stitches using backwards loop. Don't join. This part is knitted flat.
Garter stitch 4 rows, flat knitting.

Pick up 2 stitches along the short edge, 40 stitches along bottom edge, and 2 more stitches along the last short edge. This will give you 84 stitches. You can knit this with DPN's but I used a circular needle. If your cord is too long, no worries. Pinch out part of the cord to form 1 loop of the magic loop. If your cord is really really long, pinch out 2 loops.

Knit stockingnette stitch in the round until the bag is 1.5 times the width.

Garter stitch 4 rows. For this you will have to knit 1 row, purl 1 row, etc. Bind off 42 stitches loosely. This will be the front of the bag.

On the next row with the remaining stitches: K2, P1, Knit to 3 from the end, P1, K2.
Next row: K3, Purl to 3 from the end, K3.
Repeat these two rows for a total of 6 rows.

Next row: K2, P1, SSK, Knit to 5 from the end, K2tog, P1, K2.
Next row: K3, Purl to 3 from the end, K3.
Repeat for a total of 10 rows.

The next row is the buttonhole row but I can't remember how many stitches...bind off the middle 2 (or 3) stiches, following the same pattern decrease. On the row after the buttonhole bind off, when you get to the bind off, cast on 2 (or 3) stitches, using the cable cast on. Continue to end, following the decreases, etc.

Follow pattern decreases for another 2 rows.
Next 3 rows: garter stitch

Bind off and weave in the ends. Don't make it too tight as the fabric will pull funny when it's felted.

Front Pocket:

This is optional. I placed the pocket off to the side and an inch up from the bottom so I didn't have to worry about the pocket being slightly off centred.
Pick up 20 stitches. It's easier if you pick up these stitches with a crochet hook and then transfer them onto your knitting needle.

The pocket is done in garter stitch. Knit across. Pick up 1 stitch on the side, just above your last stitch. If you place your needle flat on your knitting, it should be just right there.
Next row, knit the pick up stitch and the first stitch together. Knit to end.
Next row, repeat the above until the pocket is about 3-4". The sides of the pocket will be secured by the picked up stitches. You won't have to sew the pocket on. When your pocket is high enough, bind off loosely. Remember that it will felt roughly to 1/3 the size.

For pocket flap, pick up 18 stitches above the pocket the same way. Knit to end. Next row, don't pick up fabric stitch but knit the flap without attaching the sides. Knit 2 rows following the stitch pattern for bag flap. Decrease the same for 4 rows. Make button hole and knit 2 more rows. Garter stitch 2 more rows and bind off. Weave in all the ends.

Don't worry if the bag looks funny. Felting is a wonderful thing.

Felting the bag:

There are all sorts of felting directions on the internet. The quick and easy way I do it is in the washing machine with a hot wash and cold rinse. Wet your bag thoroughly and place it in an old pillow case...preferably one that is similar in colour to your bag. You don't want to pick lint off your bag. Tie up the bag securely. Wash with a regular load of laundry. Take the bag out and check. I usually only need 1 cycle of hot wash and cold rinse. If you need to, do a second cycle.

Lay the bag flat and shape it by straightening out the edges. Let the bag dry and attach strap. You can sew a fabric liner inside to protect the bag from your keys poking through. I'm planning on putting my cell phone in the front pocket so I'm going to line that too.

I'm going to try and post pictures tomorrow when my bag is dried.

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