Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Felted City Bag

This cute bag will take you from daytime to nightime in record time.

2 hanks (100 grams each) Caledon Hills Worsted Wool (color shown: CH841)
Size 10.5 U.S. Circular Needles (24")
4 Stitch Markers
Tapestry Needle
Magnetic Snap Closure or 1” Button for front closure (as shown)
Sewing Needle & Thread if using button
Optional for Convenience: Size 10.5 U.S. Straight Needles & Double Pointed Needles

Felts to approximately 80% of original size -- Gauge not vital for this project

Finished Size: Approximately 12" x 6" x 4" after felting.

Pattern Notes:
1. Hold 2 strands of yarn together throughout.
2. Bag will be at a loose gauge until it is machine felted.
3. Special thanks to Elizabeth Zimmermann for I-cord.

PM = Place Marker
K2tog = Knit two together as 1 stitch (creates a right leaning slant)
K = Knit
P = Purl

1. For Bag Bottom & using double strand of yarn and size 10.5 circular needles, cast on 45 stitches.
2. Knit every row for 16 rows (8 garter ridges).
3. For Bag Body, place 1st marker (PM) at end of row.
4. Pick up 8 stitches or 1 stitch for each ridge along side & PM (2nd marker) at side edge.
5. Pick up 45 stitches along bottom edge (1 for each cast on stitch) & PM (3rd marker) at end of row.
6. Pick up 8 stitches (1 stitch for each garter ridge) along side & PM (4th marker) to designate end of round -- 104 stitches total.
7. Work even by knitting every round for 7" or 28 rows.
Please Note: The first round or 2 may be a bit tight on your needles.
8. Begin decreases as follows:
Decrease round 1: Decrease 8 stitches evenly spaced knitting two stitches together (K2tog) across bag front between markers 4 and 1; 37 stitches remain. K2tog between markers 1 and 2; 4 stitches remain. Knit 45 stitches between markers 2 and 3. K2tog between markers 3 and 4; 4 stitches remain. Total 90 stitches.
Knit next round even.
Decrease round 2: K2tog between markers 1 and 2; 2 stitches remain and between markers 3 and 4; 2stitches remain. Total 88 stitches.
Knit 3 rounds even.
9. For Bag Flap & beginning at marker 3, bind off all stitches between markers 3 and 4, markers 4 and 1, and markers 1 and 2 -- 45 stitches remain.
10. Knit 3 stitches, PM, work to within 3 stitches of end of row, PM, K last 3 stitches.
11. Knit first 3 stitches, slip marker, purl to within 3 stitches of end of row, slip marker, knit last 3 stitches.
12. Repeat rows 10 and 11 for 6" or 22 rows.
13. Knit 3 rows.
14. Bind off all stitches as if to knit.

Bag Closure:
Note: You may choose to omit the buttonhole (below) by simply working all rows, omitting the buttonhole and using a magnetic closure that can be attached to the bag under a decorative button.
1. Using double strand, cast on 10 stitches.
2. Knit all rows for 20 rows or 10 ridges.
3. To start Buttonhole, K 3 stitches, cast off 4 stitches, K last 3 stitches (including the stitch remaining after casting off the 4th stitch.)
4. To complete Buttonhole, K 3 stitches, cast on 4 stitches by using backward loop, K 3 stitches (10 stitches total).
5. Knit 5 rows.
6. Bind off all stitches as if to knit.

Bag Strap (I-Cord):
1. Using double pointed needles and 2 strands of yarn held together, cast on 5 stitches.
2. Make EZ’s I-cord by sliding all stitches to opposite end of needle and knit.
3. Repeat until strap measures approximately 36 inches but be sure to save enough yarn for finishing.

1. Securely attach I-cord strap to bag at each side of the bag body, centering over the 2 stitches at each side.
2. Center bag closure on bag flap, about 1 ½ to 2 inches from flap edge and with buttonhole (if applicable) centered at the front of the bag body.
3. Whip stitch closure to bag flap, securing along all edges.
4. Darn in and trim any loose ends.
5. Place the bag in an old pillow case or lingerie bag to protect your washing machine from lint.
6. Fill machine at low level on hot water/cold rinse cycle. Add a drop or two of detergent such as Joy liquid soap,
and run normal cycle.
7. Check bag every 5 minutes or so to be sure strap is not twisted and that bag is felting to desired size.
8. Stop machine after most water has been drained, but before the spin cycle has completed to prevent deep
and sometimes permanent creases from forming in the felt.
9. Remove bag from machine and shape bottom, sides and fold flap over front of bag. If not sufficiently felted, repeat machine cycle again.
10. Allow bag to sit on a flat surface until completely dry. Since the felt is thick, this may take up to two days.
11. You may wish to lightly stuff the bag with plastic bags or bubble wrap to maintain shape. To aid in shaping the bag bottom, cut to size a piece of Styrofoam or foam core board.
12. Check your bag regularly as it dries, stretching and shaping as needed to ensure desired shape.
13. Attach button or magnetic closure if desired.

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