Knitted "Felted" Tote

Way back in March I started knitting this tote bag. Well, after making small dents in it over the past few months, I sucked it up the last 2 weeks and got all the parts knit up. I even bought nice bamboo handles for it:

Fig. 1: All the parts knitted, ready to be felted.

As the caption for Figure 1 says, all I had to do was felt the pieces, then sew them together. One felts a piece by putting it through a hot cycle in a washing machine. This causes the stitches to blend together and the piece to shrink.

Usually a top loading washing machine is recommended, but I have a front loader. So, I Googled how to felt in a front loader, followed the directions, and after four permutations, nothing was happening to my bag!

After posting my mishaps on Facebook and Raverly, asking advice from my knitter friends, I figured out that I had used the wrong type of yarn. Apparently acrylic yarn can’t be felted – one is supposed to use, you know, real wool. Duh.

Well, I certainly wasn’t going to let almost 8 months of work go down the drain. So, I decided to knit up the bag as-is, but with knitted handles (I figured I would save the nice bamboo handles for when I totally don’t screw up a project). Figure 2 below shows the final product – not bad, I suppose. It is cute, but it’s not very sturdy. So, I will have to figure out what I can tote around in my tote bag that’s not too heavy.

Fig. 2: The “finished” product (or as finished as it will ever be).

Next project: a baby hat for Baby G, using this pattern as recommended by Wool Free and Lovin’ Knit!

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Comments on: "Knitted "Felted" Tote" (7)

  1. It still looks very cute! I am sure you will find a use for it.
    I still haven't touched any knitting needles 😦 It may become 2011's project …

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  2. It's very cute!! I like those colors together a lot.

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  3. Cute, I like the colours. Could you use it as a diaper bag, i.e. carrying extra diapers with you when going for walks with your baby? 🙂

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  4. Very cute, even if it's not felted. I tried something felted once and it failed even though I used 100% wool yarn. Yarn isn't very heavy, so maybe you could use it for a knitting bag. 🙂

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  5. Great job on the bag — it could store your next knitting project?

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  6. Thanks everyone!

    Nina – I hope you decide to pick it up soon! It's a great hobby 🙂

    Becca – thanks! I've always been a big fan of brown and blue for some reason.

    Pika – that's a good idea!

    EGF – it's weird how felting does or doesn't work. I hope your project still looked okay even though it didn't felt properly.

    Wool Free – that might be a good idea too!

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  7. that is so nice. awesome for taking baby/toddler books back and forth from a library!

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