Paper Bag Purse
My friend Dara gave me a gift of what I call a Paper Bag Purse and the idea of crocheting and then felting in the washing machine. At the time Dara was traveling the country teaching crocheting, felting and beading using my 2 and 4 ply wool yarn along with other commercial yarns. She talked me through the process and I haven't stopped since. I switched to the 50/50 as I love how it felts.
Basic Paper Bag Purse Pattern
By D'Elin Lohr
Size: Instructions for one Small 5 x 6 1/2 x 2 _ felted purse.
Size K Crochet Hook
4 to 5 ounces of Drop Spindle Hand Dyed 50/50
Mohair & Wool Yarn.
Chain 18, turn, *Half Double Crochet(HDC) in third chain from hook and in all the other chains, chain two, turn*. Continue from * for 19 rows or desired height. Make two, one for front and one for the back.
At top edge, chain two, *turn and HDC 2 or 3 across, chain two* continue from * to desired length for handle. Attach to other side with tapestry needle with whipstitch.
Sides and bottom:
Chain 9, turn * HDC in third chain from hook and in all other chains, chain two, turn*. Continue from * until size needed for both sides and bottom, measuring carefully as you go.
The side-bottom piece can be attached to the front and back by either sewing together with the tapestry needle or crocheting them together with SC (Single Crochet). I've done both, sewing them looks better before felting but they look about the same after felting and I find crocheting them works up faster. After all pieces are attached, go around all top edges with the button whole stitch or SC. If you choose to SC I suggest using a finer yarn.
Make each side a different color. Do the SC and or button whole stitch in a contrasting color. Add a closure.
My current felting procedure is the put a layer of towels or jeans in the washing Machine. Lay the items to be felted in then another layer of towels and jeans on top. Run the wash cycle with soap and hot water. Remove towels and jeans. Take the felted item and hand block into shape. Repeat two more times. I do a small hard wash or on my machine "Cottons" with new towels and jeans each time. Warning from experience, do not use rags or items with frayed edges, they will become imbedded into your felted item and cannot be pried out. The 50/50 felts beautifully with 3 washes, the 2 and 4 ply wool took about 7, but you can stop at any point that you like the look of.