Crochet Me! has put together a free e-book collection of seven crochet patterns that are perfect for handmade gifts. The collection includes a hat, juggling balls, hat & scarf set, market bag, baby cardigan, lace bracelet, and nesting dolls.
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Eliza’s Felted Bag is a Tunisian crochet bag that is crocheted in one flat piece, including the body of the bag, the handle and the closure. The sides of the bag are created by using an entrelac-type technique. There is no cutting and rejoining yarn to change colors. Just carry the unworked color along the side of your work and switch when instructed.
When felting this crochet bag, I recommend using a hot water wash cycle. I put my work inside a pillowcase and tie the end of the pillowcase closed. This keeps little felt balls from clogging your washing machine. The felting should produce a THICK and HARD fabric. If your bag is still soft, do another wash cycle.
After the crochet bag is felted, the bag is pin blocked to the correct dimensions while it is still wet and the side panels are folded inward to create permanent creases while blocking. When the bag is still slightly damp, fold it in thirds to create permanent creases that will become the edges of the bottom of the bag. I like to put a heavy book on top and weights on top of the book. Let your crochet bag dry completely.
Once the crochet bag has dried, I dampen the folded creases. Then I cover with a pressing cloth (or towel) and use an iron on wool with steam setting to press along the creases. This gives the creases nice crisp edges. This completes the blocking.
Now, it is time to sew the side triangles together to make the sides of the bag. With wrong side facing, use a tapestry needle to seam each triangle to the next triangle along both sides. Be sure that your stitches do not show through to the right side of your bag. Fasten off and weave the ends into the fabric of your bag. Turn your crocheted felted bag right side out and enjoy your new crochet purse.