Crocheted Felted Purse

This little handbag is simple to make. Choose a pure wool yarn so it will felt. Start with crocheting the bottom of the bag first with a simple rectangle. Make sure that you allow for the shrinkage that occurs while felting. When the rectangle is the size that you want for the bottom of your bag, decrease a few stitches at each corner and continue in rounds until the sides are slightly higher than you want your purse to be. Remember you always allow for shrinkage. 

You can use either single crochet stitches or 1/2 double, whichever you are more comfortable with. Make the flap separately or continue your crochet stitches on one side of the rectangle only.
A few simple things to remember. Felting is not a perfect science. How much your item shrinks is unpredictable.What you thought would be a small hand bag can sometimes emerge from the felting bag as a wallet!
I got creative with the flap on this little purse with some suede and jagged holes. If you're just starting out with crochet and felting techniques, keep it simple and crochet the flap as part of the purse. Remember to make it longer than actual size.
When you're ready to felt, place the flap inside of the purse so as to help it retain its rectangular shape. Place your project in a pillowcase or small cotton bag. Fasten the top of the felting bag with an elastic band. Place in the washer with hot water. Very hot water and lots of agitation are necessary for felting. Check your item in 5 minutes. If its felted enough, allow your machine to spin to remove the water. 
Remove your hand bag and stuff it to promote the shape while its drying.
I have been known to place appropriate sized books in plastic bags to fill out a rectangular shaped bag while its drying.
Be as imaginative as you would like with the handle. In this case, its basically a chain longer than the exact measurement you want,with single crochet stitches on either side. Felt it in a separate bag. Sometimes the handles are felted well before the bag is.
Embellishments aren't entirely necessary if the color play of the yarn that you choose is interesting. Inside pockets and elaborate closures for your hand bags come into play as you gain experience.
Try to be flexible with your results. If your first felting effort turns out smaller than the purse you had in mind, you've just made a new and original case for your  I Pad!

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