Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Make a Simple Felted Crocheted Purse


If you read this blog with regularity, you know I've kind of been obsessed with felting this fall.  I've recycled used, wool sweaters by felting them and turning them into iPad cozies, and I've also been crocheting and felting handbags of various sizes and shapes.  In the course of doing the latter, I've come up with a design for a very simple, one skein, felted crocheted purse ... so, I thought I would share the pattern and a photo tutorial for anyone who would like to try it.

The good things about this pattern:
  • It only takes one skein of yarn.
  • You only need to know a couple of stitches: chain (ch), single crochet (sc), single crochet two together (sc2tog), and slip stitch (sl st).
  • The bag is crocheted all in one piece, strap and all, so you only have your beginning and ending yarn ends to work in.
  • It's versatile, because you can embellish it anyway you'd like.
  • Felting is a very forgiving technique, so perfection is not required for good results. 

Simple Felted Crocheted Purse

Materials:
1 skein Paton's Classic Wool Worsted (100% wool, 3.5 oz/100g, 210 yd/192 m)
1-inch button (or size needed)
coordinating sewing thread for button

Tools:
Size K crochet hook (gauge is not really important to this project unless you are very particular about your finished bag size)
Yarn needle
Scissors
Washing machine
small amount of dish soap

Instructions:
Chain (ch) 31.


Foundation round: (Basically, this round will be worked in both sides of the chain, working around the chain.) Work 3 single crochets (sc) in 2nd ch from hook.

Work 1 sc in each of the next 28 ch.

Work 3 sc in the last ch.

Then, working down the other side of the chain: Work 3sc in the other side of the 1st ch (same one in which you worked the last 3 sc).

Work 1 sc in each of the next 28 ch (corresponding to the sc you initially worked on the first side of the ch).

Work 3 sc in the the last ch (same as the beginning ch in which you initially worked the first 3 sc), and join with a slip stitch (sl st) to the first sc. (68 single crochets total)

This is the finished foundation round.
Body of Bag - Rounds 1-28 (or until your piece measures approximately 8 inches from the foundation chain to the top edge):   For each round, ch 1, sc in joining (first) sc and in each sc around. Join with a sl st to the first sc in the round. Total of 68 sc in each round. (Note that at the beginning of each round, you will be chaining one and doing a single crochet in the first stitch. The chain does not count as a stitch, nor does the slip stitch.  You should always be working into the 68 sc of the previous round.) .  Do not fasten off.




Bag Flap:
At this point, lay the body of the bag out flat, right side out.  You will notice that the place where your last round ended is not even with the side fold of the body of the bag (see photo below).

Before, working the flap, it is important to bring your hook and yarn over to the side fold of the bag.  To accomplish this, with your hook still in the loop from the joining sl st, turn the bag and work a slip stitch in each sc back to the point where your hook with the loop on it is even with the side fold (i.e., where the side seam would be if there was one), as shown in the photo below.  For me, this took 4 slip stitches, but it could be a bit more or less.  Just be sure you are at the fold when you begin your flap rows.


Rows 1-11 - Flap: For each row, ch 1, work 1 sc in each stitch, working across one side of the body of the bag (Total of  34 sc.) Turn.




Row 12 - Flap: Ch 1, sc2tog in first 2 sc, sc in each of next 30 stitches, sc2tog in last 2 stitches.


(32 stitches total).  Turn.

Row 13 - Flap: Ch 1, sc in each sc across (32 sc). Turn.

Row 14 - Flap: Ch 1, sc2tog in first 2 sc, sc in each of next 28 stitches, sc2tog in last 2 stitches. (30 stitches total). Turn.

Row 15 - Flap: Ch 1, sc in each sc across (30 sc).Turn.

Row 16 - Flap: Ch 1, sc2tog in first 2 sc, sc in each of next 26 stitches, sc2tog in last 2 stitches. (28 stitches total). Turn.

Row 17- Flap: Ch 1, sc in each sc across (28 sc).Turn.

Row 18 - Flap: Ch 1, sc2tog in first 2 sc, sc in each of next 24 stitches, sc2tog in last 2 stitches. (26 stitches total). Do not turn. Do not fasten off.
Completed flap viewed from back of bag.

Side of flap.
Edging, Strap, Button Loop: From where you left off, turn the bag sideways and begin slip stitching down the side of the flap.

Continue to place slip stitches evenly along the edge of the flap, keeping it flat, until you reach the point where the flap meet the body of the bag.


Strap - Row 1:  Slip stitch into first sc beyond the flap, on the side top edge of bag's body (right at the side fold, i.e., where the side seam would fall if there was a side seam). Then work 130 chain stitches.



Attach the last chain stitch with a slit stitch to the top edge of the body of the bag meets the flap on the other side, creating a strap.

Strap - Row 2: Ch 1, working back across the strap, work 1 sc in each chain.


 

Join with a sl st in the sc at the top edge of the body where you began the strap chain.

Continue edging: After attaching the sc row of the strap with the slip stitch at the side, continue to work slip stitches evenly across the top front edge of the bag .(Note: You are now working toward the side of the flap that does not have the sl st edging).


When you reach the spot where the strap is joined to the bag, continue evenly working slip stitches past the strap and up the edge of the flap.


When you reach the top edge of the flap, continue with the slip stitches around the corner and work 13 slip stitches along the top edge of the flap (bringing you to the center of the top edge).

Loop for Button Close:  Ch 16, join with a slip stitch in the next sc on the top edge.


Finish Edging: Continue to work slip stitches in the last 12 sc.  Join with sl st to first sl st of the edging.



 Fasten off.  Work in yarn ends.


The photo above shows the finished bag before felting.  The dimensions are: Body is 8 inches deep and 10 3/4 inches wide; flap is 4 3/4 inches long; the strap is 55 inches long and about 5/8 inch wide; the button loop measures 2 1/2 inches, top to bottom.

Felting:  Put the finished crocheted purse in a lingerie bag or pillow case with the opening tied shut. Place it in your washing machine with a pair of jeans, or some other heavy piece of clothing to provide improved agitation of the fibers.  Add a small squirt of dishwashing soap, and set the machine to its hottest water temperature and lowest water level settings.  Turn on the machine and let it run through the complete cycle.
When you remove the purse, it will look significantly smaller and will be felted!
Just out of the washer.

Another photo, just after the purse was removed from the washer.
Dimensions after felting:  The body of the bag is 5 3/4 inches deep and 7 1/2 inches across; the flap is 3 7/8 inches long; the strap is 32 inches long and about 3/8 inch wide (has taken on a rounded shape); the button loop is 1 inch, top to bottom.

Completing the purse:  Manipulate the damp fiber of the bag to achieve the desired final shape and dimensions, and let it lay flat to dry completely.

Once dry, you can sew on your button, and add any desired embellishments (maybe a crocheted flower, or some embroidery?).




Easy peasy. Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Just finished this purse, it's in the wash now. Thank you. Your instructions are fantastic.





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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I am so glad you found the instructions useful. Let me know how it comes out -- and please post a picture if you are so inclined. I would love to see it! :)

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