Thursday, March 18, 2010

Felted Clutch Purse Pattern

This is my first felted clutch bag. I wrote down the pattern. This was SO fun! Here it is for all of my Ravelry people, but also for anyone else who wants to give it a whirl.

The bag before felting:

Bottom of the bag:

Filled with goodies!!!!

Size 11 (US) straight knitting needles
Tapestry needle (for sewing seams)

1 skein (less than 1!!!!) 100% wool Stitch Nation Full o' Sheep yarn, found at JoAnn
(This is a worsted weight yarn)

Not really very important... I mean, really... It's all going to shrink rather unpredictably once you're done anyway.



Cast on 38 stitches

Rows 1-4: Knit

Row 5: Knit 10. Bind off 18 st. Knit to end of row. (20 stitches, 2 sections of 10 left on needle)

Row 6: Knit 10. Cast on 18 st. Knit to end of row. (38 sts)

Row 7: Knit across. (38 sts)

Rows 8 and 9: Knit across

Row 10: Purl across

Continue in Stockinette stitch (alternate knit and purl rows) until piece measures 10” from cast on edge, ending with a purl row.


Row 1: Bind off 4 stitches. Knit across. (34 sts)

Row 2: Bind off 4 stitches. Knit across. (30 sts)

Continue in Garter stitch (knit every row) until bottom piece measures about twice as long as the width of the bound off stitch flaps, ending with a knit row worked with knit side facing.


Row 1: Cast on 4 stitches. Knit across. (34 sts)

Row 2: Cast on 4 stitches. Knit across. (38 sts.)

Beginning with a knit row, continue in Stockinette stitch until back piece measures same as front Stockinette section, measured between Garter stitch rows of bottom and handle piece. End with a purl row.

Handle piece:

Rows 1-3: Knit

Row 4: Knit 10. Bind off 18 sts. Knit to end of row. (20 sts, 2 sections of 10 sts left on needle)

Row 5: Knit 10. Cast on 18 sts. Knit to end of row. (38 sts)

Rows 6-11: Knit

Bind off all stitches, leaving a long, long tail for sewing.


With right sides facing, sew down side seam until the bottom of the side seam is reached. There will be a hole left where the extra stitch flaps and the bottom piece are unconnected. Flatten this hole so that the bottom of the purse is on one side and the seamed side is on the other, with the sewn seam in the middle. Sew from the middle to one side, then from that side to the other side, then back to the middle. Knot and sew into the seam and cut excess yarn.

Repeat sewing for the other side of the purse, joining yarn at the top of the handle and working down. To save yourself trouble of sewing in an extra end, sew over your joining tail as you sew the side seam.

Before felting, my purse measured about 11x11.5". Yours may be more or less. It came out quite a bit smaller, but really strong and cute!


This yarn felted SO fast. You really need to keep an eye on it!

I did this:

I put my machine on the smallest load possible, used hot water, and added a bit of soap. I started the water, threw a pair of my husband's jeans in (for extra agitation) and threw the purse in once the water finished filling. I then set my timer for 10 minutes and went back, fished my purse out, and found it already felted! This may go faster or slower you, but I really do recommend starting a timer and checking every 5 minutes or so. (I waited 10 for mine because all the directions I've read said that I should check after five minutes and then notice that my knitting actually got bigger because the wool relaxes, and then check again in another five minutes. I was like, who cares? LoL. So I just checked after 10 minutes.)

Other things I've read recommended using a zippered pillowcase to hold your knitted item because of all of the fiber that's lost in this process. Holy moly, yeah... there was a TON of loose wool floating around in my washing machine. I managed to fish a lot of it out before it got sucked down my water hose, but next time I'm definitely using the pillowcase. Just pull the entire thing out of the washer and check every now and then.

I rinsed the purse out in cold water and let it dry for a while on a box form, then got impatient and threw it into the dryer with the jeans. Whether this is taboo or not, I don't know, but I was able to use my purse that day because of it. It still wasn't 100% dry, but it dried really fast (but I live in Arizona, so this could be what helped me).

Anyway, this was SO fun. I'm totally felting some more!


  1. Thanks so much for this pattern. What a nice purse blank. There will be many beautiful embellishments I'm sure!!

    SassySean on Ravelry

  2. Thank you for this "blank", as sassysean said.
    For me, what sets your pattern above the rest is the purse bottom. I do not like it when the sides come down to meet at the bottom.

    Thanks again,
    janeyknitting AT yahoo DOT ca
    (Change caps to symbols and lose the spaces.)