Market Squares Felted Bag

Project Stats
Pattern:Knitter's Magazine, Summer 2001 pp. 42, 75  Started:9/17/2001 
Yarn: Classic Elite Maya  Completed:6/13/2003 
Needles: Size 8 (5 mm)     

I started this project in September of 2001. I completed it a couple of weeks later...all except for hiding the ends, and felting it. I pulled it out of my craft closet in an attempt to clean out some half finished projects.

This type of knitting is called entrelac, where you create tiers of triangles and rectangles, picking up stitches along the sides when you get to the next tier. It sounds much more complicated than it is. A word of warning: the pattern calls for 2 balls of the main color and 1 ball each of the four other colors. I had to go back to buy and extra skein of each color - I've since read about this in the errata for the pattern, so I don't feel so bad anymore!

Here's the pre-felted bag:

The little things sticking out of the straps are shoelaces. I thought threading cording through the straps before felting them might make them stronger, and shoelaces seemed like they would do the trick.

The recipe:

  • 1/4 cup of baking soda
  • a small amount of detergent
  • an old towel (for extra agitation)
  • the lowest water level
  • the longest hot/cold cycle on my washer
  • amazing amounts of bravery
Mix all of these together...and voilá, a felted bag!

(Believe it or not, I also put it in the dryer, on medium, because one of the ladies at the local yarn shop said I could. And it worked!)

I finally ended up hand-sewing the straps on, since my sewing machine didn't want to behave. I'm a little worried about putting heavy things in it...when it shrank in the washer the bottom popped open, and even though I sewed it tightly shut, I'm slightly afraid it will open back up. I'm also considering putting a lining in, so when I use it for my knitting bag this fall (it's definitely got a fall feel to it, don't you think?) the needles won't poke right through!

It's very dense - I think a sweater made like this would be much too warm! But it works perfectly for a tote-bag!

Here's a close-up of the texture of the stitches before felting:

...and the texture of the stitches after felting: