Experiment with combining knitting and needle felting and make this cute and quirky bag
It's easy to forget that wool is not just for knitting – it has a variety of applications and needle felting using wool roving is one of them. Quick and easy to master, it creates a wonderfully professional finish that will wow your friends. This cute purse from Amanda Walker is a great first project – simple knitting and a little needle felting combine to create something great.
? Cast on 36sts
? Work in st st until work meas 10cm from beg
? Cast off and press, making sure stitches are equal
Side gussets (make two)
? Cast on ten sts
? Work in st st until work meas 12cm from beg
? Cast off and press as before
• From a piece of spare paper cut a rectangle meas 20cm x 40cm. This will become a template from which to cut the felt for the main body of the bag.
• Fold the paper rectangle in half, to create a 20cm square. Along the top edge, mark 15mm in from each side. Using a ruler, draw a line from these marked points down to the folded corners of the paper and then cut away these side sections to create the bag’s angled shape.
• Draw a rectangle, 2.5cm down from the top edge and positioned in the centre of the panel. Make the rectangle 2.5cm deep and 7cm long. Curve the corners of this shape and cut through both thicknesses of paper to create handles.
CUT OUT MAIN BODY
• Lay your prepared paper template onto the felt and mark around the edges and within the handle aperture. Use a craft knife and ruler to cut through the felt and to cut out the handle. Using a hole punch, make 28 small holes along each side edge at 1cm intervals, starting and finishing 6cm from the top edges.
• Lay the knitted Base Panel across the centre of the felt shape, tucking all yarn tails underneath. Place the felt onto a punch mat and using the needle punch tool, poke through the knitting and into the felt, along the edges. This attaches the knitting to the felt without the need for stitching. Once the knitting is anchored to the felt, continue to punch through the whole area of the panel.
• Mark the central point of the bag, 3.5cm up from the edge of the knitted panel. Place a circular cookie cutter onto this mark. Put the felt back onto the punch mat and fill the cutter with pink felting wool roving. Using the singular felting needle, punch around the inside edge of the cutter. Once the wool is anchored to the felt, remove the cutter and continue punching the wool with the needle tool to create a spot. Repeat this process to build up rows of spots, 5cm apart, as shown.
• In the same way, make a green felted spot in the centre of each of the knitted Side Gussets. Gather the bottom edge of the gussets by threading the cast-off yarn back through the last row of sts and pulling slightly.
• Thread the tapestry needle with a length of pink yarn, and tie a knot in the end. Attach the knitted gussets to the sides of the bag by stitching through the punched holes on either side; stitch through the first two holes twice to secure.
Make heart motif
• Place the heart-shaped cookie cutter onto the felting mat; fill with pink felting wool and felt with the singular needle as before. Turn the heart over and continue on the other side.
• Add a small green dot to the centre of the heart and attach a short length of pink yarn to the back, again using the felting process. Cut another length of yarn and add a green felted ball around each end.
• To attach the heart motif, make a hole in the top left hand corner of the bag. Thread the loop of the heart through and pass the motif under the loop to secure. Thread the centre of the remaining piece of yarn through the hole, pass the balled ends through the loop and tie in a bow to finish.
• Roll a piece of green wool roving in the palm of your hand and place it on the punch mat. Punch the ball several times. Cut a short length of pink yarn, make into a loop, and place one end in the centre of the felting wool ball. Draw and stab the fibres of the felting wool over the end of the loop and continue punching into a ball shape. Make a hole in the centre back of the bag (below the handle) and thread the loop through the hole. Make another ball in the same way but this time attach a short length of yarn to the centre of the ball, instead of a loop. Make a hole in the same place on the front of the bag, and thread the yarn through. Tie the yarn ends in a double knot to secure.
19cm (width) x 21cm (height) x 8cm (depth)