I have been admiring the lovely fulled and felted purses that Sharon, Mim and Allison have made. Although I have made several knit-than-felted bags, none of them were of a suitable size and shape to carry as a purse. In my continuing quest to use up the stash bits leftover from other projects, I paired up the leftover handspun from my green shawl and a blue sweater I made years ago. Both are approximately 50-50 wool-mohair, so they should felt up fairly consistantly and very fuzzy. Sharon's lovely purses are always an interesting, yet subtle combination of colors. Very elegant. I decided my personality lends itself more to funky stripes. Perhaps I lack subtlety. Hmmm...
I knit the bottom, plus about an inch up the sides with 2 strands to add a bit of strenth to the bottom. Then I knit up to the top with one strand, knit 1 row with 3 strands, then cast off with 3 strands. This gave it a fat lip, so to speak. I made a patch pocket for the front to hold either my iPod or my cell phone. The strap was a bit trial and error. Since I wanted to use it as a shoulder strap, it needed to be a bit thick for comfort, yet still be able to thread through the sides to cinch the bag shut. After trying several combinations of stitches and strands, I ended up making 4 stitch I-cord using 3 strands and size 11 needles. I am very pleased with the result. Here is the pre-fulling bag with a book for scale (I am rereading book 6 in preparation for book 7).
After putting both bag and I-cord through the wash for a couple cycles, and blocking it around books in a plastic bag, I put it outside to dry.
With our current heat wave still in force, the bag dried completely in about an hour or so. I strung the I-cord through the bag's sides and grafted the ends together. Since the I-cord is now a circle, I can use it as either one long strap or 2 short ones.