How to Make a Modern Felt Purse

Knit and felt a modern gray purse with a fuchsia thread design.

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Materials and Tools:

24" #11 circular needle
#11 straight needles
crochet hook size K
#10.5 double pointed needles
needle felting kit
pasta machine
clay blade
needle-nose pliers
needle
navy thread
3 skeins (220 yards each) of Cascade 100-percent Puruvian Highland Wool, color #9414
3 yards of bright fuscia spun wursted weight wool
polymer clay, fuchsia and navy
18-gauge wire

Steps:

1. Using #11 circular needle and two strands of wool, cast on 75 stitches.

2. Knitting every row, knit in the round 60 rows.

3. Bind off tightly.

4. Using #11 straight needles, pick up 36 stitches from the bind off edge.

5. Knit in stockinette stitch for 41 rows. This will be the flap.

6. Bind off.

7. Set the purse flat on the table with the front facing up. Using crochet hook (size K) and single crochet stitch, close the bottom edge, the cast on edge.

8. Count in 14 stitches from right side of the flap at the bottom edge, make a slip knot, insert the crochet hook into the 14th stitch and pick up the slip knot.

9. Chain stitch for 7 stitches.

10. Attach chain to the 14th stitch from the left, using a slipstitch, ch 1.

11. Single crochet back into each stitch of the chain. Bind off.

12. To make the handle, using two double pointed needles and one strand of wool, knit 6 stitches. I-Cord until the handle measures 40 inches long. Note: I-Cord refers to a knitted "tube" which is used in this case to make the purse handle. Bind off. Cast on 6 stitches, Knit every stitch. Slide the stitches to the other end of the double pointed needle. Knit every stitch again. Slide the stitches back to the other end again. Continue until the cord is the desired length. Bind off all stitches.

13. Attach the I-Cord strap by making a small hole in the felt at the topsides of the purse, insert the I-Cord and tie a knot at each end.

14. Felt the purse and I-Cord in the washing machine. Set on hot water and longest agitation cycle with one tablespoon of detergent. Check periodically to make sure the I-Cord hasn't become twisted.

15. When the purse is felted to the desired size and thickness, allow to spin and remove from the washing machine. Allow the purse to air dry. Some shaping may be needed when the purse is still wet to manipulate it into the desired shape.

16. When the purse is dry, needle felt the mod-block design into the flap of the purse using a needle felting tool and following the kit directions.

17. Condition polymer clay with a pasta machine. Create a button using fuchsia and navy polymer clay. Copy the design to resemble the stitched design on the purse.

18. Attach two button shanks by bending wire into a U shape with needle-nose pliers and inserting them into the back of the polymer clay button.

19. Bake the clay button according to manufacturer's instructions.

20. When the button is cool, sew to the front of the purse.

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