Learn to Felt – Nagel Purse

Ah, the 80s, and those rad Nagel prints. The design of this bag (and the colors I used) were inspired by his artwork. The finished size of this bag is appropriate as a larger purse, or a smaller knitting bag.

In this tutorial we’ll learn how to felt, as well as how to complete the unique shaping of this bag. That includes picking up stitches on both the knit and purl sides, working the handles, and tricks for keeping your count just right to keep the bag sides symmetrical.

This pattern includes links to six instructional videos to guide you through the new techniques you’ll learn.

Size: (felted measurements) 18” wide and 9” tall
Needles: Size 7 US circular needle in 24” OR 32”
Yarn: Any felt-able worsted-weight yarn, for example: Patons Classic Wool; 2 skeins Black, 1 skein Plum Heather. (You’ll need 300 grams yarn total, 200 grams in one color for the bag bottom and top, and 100 grams in a second color for body of bag.)
Additional Materials: tapestry needle, scrap yarn
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch in stockinette

Pattern + links to 6 instructional videos $8 US via PayPal

23 comments on “Learn to Felt – Nagel Purse

  1. Thanks for another neat pattern/tutorial… I’m wondering how soon it would be before the ladies top down sweater will be available… I remember you talking about it and I am getting antsy waiting for it! LOL!

  2. Hi,

    I would love to felt but i Live in uk and have a front load washing machine so i cannot stop and start the wash cycles. I have tried to felt the old fashioned way but was no good so am unable to felt anything.

  3. Hi Sue – there are several tutorials online that explain how to felt in a front loading machine. I just googled “felting in a front loading machine” and came back with several hits. I know it can be done!

    S t a c i

  4. I have a Miele front loader and make lots of felted bags. I put them on quick wash at 140 degrees and let them run the whole cycle. I remove the bag immediately and shake it to see if I like the result. I usually put it back in and run the same cycle again and it comes out perfectly, My machine adjust the amount of water that it uses according to what is in the machine , so there is no water wastage.

  5. Ooh. This looks like fun
    What a great project for me to practice my Contintinental knitting. No penalty if it’s not perfect!

  6. Thanks, I’m trying it! I haven’t found a good sweater pattern–too heavy for 100! And looks like this would be a good felt project to learn.

  7. I am making this purse right now and just to make things a little easier when doing the sides of the purse, I am slipping the first stitch of every row on the bottom piece so that I can see where I knit into every other stitch. Have you tried this? I’m just wondering if there is a good reason why I shouldn’t.

    Thanks for the pattern and all your help!

  8. I purchased this pattern and couldn’t wait to begin. I’m a little beyond a beginning knitter…made and corrected a few mistakes (mine!). This morning I felted it (at first by hand in a bucket of hot water and almost an hour of agitation. I wasn’t happy so I dumped it in a sweater bag in my front loader on quick, hot setting. IT IS GORGEOUS!! I can’t wait to make another. Thanks so much for great patterns and wonderful teaching!!

  9. This looks like a great project. Thanks for all your wonderful tutorials. I have learned to knit your washcloths and am now working on a baby blanket!

  10. To: Staci

    Hi… I’m a new “student” of yours and LOVE learning to knit from you !!! I’m working on the “Nagel Purse” now.
    So excited to actually make something useful and beautiful at my skill level ! I do have a question… when you are working up the sides and picking up every other stitch … are the ones that you skip.. the ones that were the K2tog (or SSK) ?? They are thicker so I thought they were the ones to skip. Just not sure 🙂

    I would also like to be included in your fantastic Give Away !! I have been looking at that exact circular needle set as my dream set!!! It would be so fantastic to win it!

    To answer the question for the give away… I have to knit all year long to make Christmas gifts!! I am pretty new to knitting and that makes me pretty slow ! I just love it though 🙂

    Thank you for all of your kind and informative tutorials !! You are the GREATEST teacher !!



  11. Judith – regarding the picked up stitches…it isn’t meant to be set up so that you skip the decreases. It sort of depends on where exactly you start with your picked up stitch. If that’s the way it’s working out for you, I guess that makes it pretty easy!

    S t a c i

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