Inspired by Marvie, tested by Heather and now Annie Modesitt approved. Here's the pattern (this is also available as a Free Ravelry Download found here and includes instructions for using Lambs Pride Bulky wool and other pictures):
Marvelous Felted Mini Tote Bag
3.5 ounces of worsted weight 100% wool (not superwash). Paton’s Merino Wool is a perfect example.
Size K crochet hook
Blunt needle for weaving in ends
Washing machine for fulling/felting
No sewing involved
Bag size after felting/fulling is 8” across and 10” high from bottom to tip of handle.
You can try using a J hook if you are a loose crocheter or hold two strands of yarn together with the K hook for a stiffer bag.
Chain (ch), slip stitch (ss), single crochet (sc) and half double crochet (hdc)
Chain 4, join with sl st to form ring
Round 1-Ch 2, work 9 hdc in ring, join with sl st in top of ch 2 (10)
Round 2-Ch 2, hdc in same space, work 2 hdcs in each st around, join with sl st to to of ch 2. (20)
Round 3-Ch 2; hdc in same stitch, hdc in next stitch (2 hdc in next st, hdc in next stitch) repeat around, join with sl st in ch 2. (30)
Round 4-Ch 2, hdc in same stitch, hdc in next 2 sts. (2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 2 stitches) repeat around, join in sl st in ch 2 (40)
Round 5- Ch 2, hdc in same stitch, hdc in 3 sts(2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 3 stitches) repeat around, join in sl st in ch 2 (50)
Round 6- Ch 2, hdc in same stitch, hdc in 4 sts(2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 4 stitches) repeat around, join in sl st in ch 2 (60)
Round 7- Ch 2, hdc in same stitch, hdc in 5 sts(2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 5 stitches) repeat around, join in sl st in ch 2 (70)
Round 8-Ch 1, hdc in each stitch around in BLO (back loops only), join in 1st hdc. (70)
Round 9-22 – Ch1, hdc in each stitch around and sl st to first hdc (70)
Round 23-24 - Ch 1, sc each stitch around (70)
Round 25 – Ch 1, sc in next 13 stitches, chain 15, skip next 9 sc and sc in next sc from the skipped 9 sc (10th stitch) (this is the handle), sc in next 25 (total of 26 sc), ch 15, skip next 9 sc and sc in next sc from the skipped 9 sc (10th stitch) and sc in remaining and sl stitch to first sc (should be 13 sc).
Round 26-29 – Ch 1, sc each stitch around including handles
Round 30-Sl st each ch around., fasten off, weave in ends
I also did a slip stitch around the inside of the handles to make them sturdier.
For two colors, I did my changes in round 10, round 17 and round 23
Place bag in a mesh sweater washer bag, tied pillowcase, etc. Fibers will clog washing machine.
Use hottest water setting and set control for small load. Add a splash of some laundry detergent or vinegar (this changes the pH and allows fulling to happen). Toss in a couple towels, canvas sneakers, pairs of jeans (that you want to wash in hot water) and run through cycle. Check back. If not fulled, run through cycle again til bag is felted/fulled to your liking. Allow to air dry a day or so.
I found if I had trouble fulling wool, I add double the soap needed for a small load. This helps, but then you must run through another cycle to make sure it’s fully rinsed out.
Two color fulled bag using Lambs Pride Bulky
Single color fulled bag (photo courtesy of Heather Balletto)
Pre-fulled bag (Photo courtesy of Heather Balletto)
Copyright 2005 to Deneen St Amour. This is my own pattern, not to be posted (unless linked back here), sold or distributed by anyone but myself and all that other good stuff. Basically, don't steal it as your own or I'll have to come and beat you with a rubber hose!
Updated on 08/25/09