|On the left is my uh.."colorful" market bag and on the right is the felted hobo bag|
- chunky wool yarn, I used 3 1/2 skeins of Chunky Wool Blast by Filatura Lanarota. You can substitute any bulky yarn with a high wool content so long as it is not meant to be machine washable.
- size I (5.50 mm) crochet hook
- stitch markers or scrap pieces of yarn in a color that contrasts with your project yarn
- 1 button if you want to add a closure to the handbag
- tapestry needle
- sewing thread and needle if you are adding a button
Special Notes: I use American crochet terminology and abbreviations. The stitches are worked in the space between the stitches not in the actual stitch loops, this adds strength to the finished product. You can turn or not turn while working in rounds, since we are felting this bag it won't make much difference in the finished product. Don't worry too much if your counts don't come out perfect, your bag will still work out fine!
Special Stitch: dc2tog - this is a double crochet decrease stitch. Yo, insert hook in the space between the next two stitches, yo again, pull a loop through, yo and pull through two loops. Yo, insert into next space, yo, pull a loop through, yo and pull through two loops, yarn over and pull through remaining loops on the hook.
yo- yarn over
sc- single crochet
dc- double crochet
sl st- slip stitch
To begin ch 3 and join with a sl st to form a circle.
Rd1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), dc 11 times in the middle of the circle, join with a sl st in the space between the ch 3 and the first dc. (12 dc)
Rd2: Ch 3, dc in same space as you sl st join from the previous rd, dc 2 times in the space between each st around the circle, sl st to sp between ch 2 and first dc. (24 dc)
Rd3: Ch 3, dc in same space as join, *dc in next sp, 2 dc in next sp*, repeat * to * until you finish this round, sl st in sp between ch and 1st dc. (36 dc)
Rd4: Ch 3, dc in same sp as join, *dc in next 2 sp, 2 dc in next sp*, repeat * to * until you finish the rd, sl st in sp between ch and 1st dc. (48dc)
Rd 5: Ch 3, dc in same space as join, *dc in next 3 sp, 2 dc in next sp*, repeat * to * until the end of the round and join with sl st. (60 dc)
Rd 6: Ch3, dc in each sp to the end of the rd (do not dc twice in any sp), join with sl st. (60 dc)
Rd 7: Ch 3, dc in same space as ch, *dc in next 4 sp, 2 dc in next sp*, repeat to the end of the rd, join with sl st. (72 dc)
Rd 8: Ch 3, dc in same sp as ch, *dc in next 7 sp, 2 dc in next sp*, repeat to end of the rd, join with sl st. (81 dc)
Rd 9: Ch 3, dc in same sp as chain, *dc in next 8 sp, 2 dc in next sp*, repeat to end of the rd, join with sl st. (90 dc)
This is where I stopped increasing, if you want your bag to be bigger around you can continue adding rows with increases until you reach your desired size. Just continue to add one single dc between your 2 dc stitches.
Rd 10-16: Ch 3, dc in each sp around, join to sp between ch and first dc with a sl st.
We are now going to do some decrease rows to give our bag it's hobo shape. If you want a taller bag add more rows at this point with 1 dc per sp.
Rd 17-19: ch3, *dc in next 15 sp, dc2tog in next sp*, repeat to the end of the rd and join with sl st. (these will not work out evenly but don't worry about it, it will be fine once felted)
Rd 20: ch 3, dc in each sp around joining with sl st at the end of the rd. Finish off.
Lay the bag flat and fold in half with your joins making up one of the folds. Fold in half again to find the center of the front and back and mark with a stitch marker. Your handles are going to start at 16 stitches wide so using your center sp count 8 spaces on either side of the marker and add markers to each of those spaces. You can now remove the center marker. Repeat on the back side.
Row 1: Join in marked sp with a sl st, dc in each sp until you reach your other marker, turn (16 dc)
Row 2: Ch 3, dc2tog, dc to last 3 sp, dc2tog, dc, turn
Rows 3-7: repeat row 2 (row 7 should be 6 dc wide), turn
Rows 8-18(?): Ch 3, dc in each sp (6 dc)
Repeat this process on the other side of the bag.
If you want a longer handle repeat the last row until you reach your desired length remembering that you will have 30-40% shrinkage during felting. I stopped at row 18 because I wanted my handbag to be tight up under my arm.
Once you have the desired length join the two sides of the handle with a row of sc on the back side of the handle. Trim both edges of the handle with a row of sc. Fasten off and weave in all ends.
How to Felt Your Bag:
To felt your bag machine wash with warm water (warm wash and rinse), you can use detergent but do not add fabric softener. Tumble dry. My bag was perfect after doing this once but if you are not happy with the felting you can repeat again.
Adding the button:
After felting my bag was tight except for a gap where the joins were which is now the front of my bag, this meant I didn't need to add a buttonhole. You may need to cut a buttonhole in your bag if your joins were tighter than mine. I then added the button to the inside of the bag on the side opposite from my hole so when closed the button shows on the front of my bag.