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Felted Bag with Braided Handles

By: Kathy Perry for Caron Yarn

Knit and felt a comfortable shoulder bag with braided straps. This unique bag knitting pattern is very sturdy thanks to the felting and chunky braided straps. Instructions for optional lining are also included.

Felted Bag with Braided Handle


  • Yarn: Caron International’s Felt-It (100% wool, 1.76oz/50g, 93 yds/85 m): #0007 Evening Mist, 18 skeins
  • Knitting Needles: One pair size US 13 (9 mm) needles OR SIZE TO OBTAIN GAUGE
  • Embellish-Knit automaic spool knitter from Bond-America®
  • Tapestry needle
  • Needle and thread
  • 4  1 5/8" black plastic o rings
  • Decorative beads (optional)
  • 1/2 yard fabric for lining (optional)

Approx 23" wide x 10" tall x 5" deep 


Pre-Felted: In St st using 2 strands of yarn, 10 1/2 sts and 14 rows = 4”/10 cm

After Felting: 14 sts and 28 rows = 4”/10 cm



Stockinette stitch (St st)



BODY(1 piece)

Using 2 strands of yarn held tog, cast on 82 sts and work in St st until piece measures approx 52". Bind off.



Using 2 strands of yarn held tog, cast on 25 sts and work in St st until piece measures approx 28". Bind off.



Fold body of bag in half and sew side seams. 

Felt bag and pocket according to instructions on ball band. To get correct finished dimensions you may need to agitate body of bag (not pocket) longer because of size. Check felting frequently until top edge of bag measures approx 23-24" across. Let dry. Pocket should measure approx 7" wide and 15" long.

Turn bag inside out and flatten bottom to measure approx 5" wide. Tack corners down to inside bottom of bag.

Note: To use Embellish Knit with Felt-It, start the cord with scrap yarn. When cord shows, move weights to cord end and tie on Felt-It to complete knitting of cord. 

Braid: Using Embellish Knit, make 12 cords 32" long. Fold 3 cords in half around an o ring.  Braid, leaving ends lightly secured. Repeat this with all o rings. Tack o rings with braid in place on bag (see illustration) approx 7" apart leaving space for pocket. Leave ends loose.

Pocket: If necessary, trim sides to straighten so width is approx 7". Place outside pocket so it is centered between braid on one side of bag, wraps around bottom and is centered the same way on other side of bag. Sew in place by hand and hide braid ends under side bottoms of pocket. See illustration.

Straps: Using Embellish Knit, make 12 cords 30" long. Make 2 braided straps (with 6 cords each) to desired length. Attach each end of braid to o rings on one side. Repeat for other side. See illustration.

Optional: For lining, Measure bag and cut 2 pieces of lining to fit adding 1" extra for seams and 1" on top edge to turn under. Seam sides with 1/2" seams. Square bottom to fit and sew across corners. Place lining inside purse and tack in place around top edge with lining turned under 1". Tack lining to bottom corners to keep it in place. Add decorative beads under o rings and to bottom sides of bag, if desired.

Felted Bag with Braided Handle

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hello its very easy and simple style but corfotamble too.

I read all about felting articles. What is felting? Is this a type of knitting material? Is it felt material? I like the projects but I guess I am not up on the current stuff for knitting. Can someone help me to define "felting". I would love to make some of these felted bags that are shown. Thank you

Have you ever accidentally washed a wool sweater or sock and it came out of the dryer thick and 1/3 it's original size? Well, you felted something! There are basically two types of felting commonly used - knitting/crocheting an item with wool that's not been treated for machine washing, wetting it using water & detergent, agitating the item by hand or in washing machine, shaping if needed and dried. The woolen yarn matts and forms a fabric. The other most common type is called Needle Felting. By using special needles (long, rather thick, sharp needles that have all sorts of burrs like reversed cuts along sides added to them- there are many shapes, sizes, most are made to fit into needle felting pens but I like many just hold the needle directly in my fingers. Clover sells a nice, reasonably priced assortment to get started) It can be done by using many different types of fabric for your back ground; many use felted items like the purse above or you can use typically acrylic 'felt' squares from the craft store. I've even seen a great floral design needle felted onto a denim jacket. If your not sure, try it out. I've read that most tight weave fabrics can be needle felted upon. If you search this site for needle felted items or search the Web, you'll get lots of examples. So you need a back ground fabric, a felting needle, a piece of foam rubber or buy a special brush to put behind the fabric and you now need some wool yarn or wool roving. You lay that roving or yarn on top of the fabric (which is on a 2" thick piece of foam rubber) and you repeatedly stab the roving while twisting and manipulating it, the needle attaches it to your fabric. Watch out, because all felting is highly addicting! I know several ladies who search resale shops for anything they can machine felt. Then they make bags out of them and needle felt beautiful designs on them. If you find a wool blanket you could even make a vest out of it! Pictures are what you need next and you may soon be an expert. It's not hard and it's a lot of fun. I hope this answered your question. I'll try emailing this too you also.


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