Easy Felted Tote Bag in Cheery Stripes -free knitting pattern

Knitting Patterns

This duo-tone felted tote bag in oatmeal and natural brown Lionbrand fishermen’s wool yarn will match just about any outfit. What a great everyday bag! Thanks to the neutral colors but also thanks to its perfect size.  

The fact that this bag is felted means that it has become that much sturdier and shapely than it’s pre-felted version.  This Fishermen’s wool yarn is made with 100% pure virgin wool which makes for excellent felting.

Bag Felting & Measurements

Be reminded that felting shrinks your bag. After felting, you will end up with a bag that’s about 9.5 by 14 inches (24 x 35.5 cm).  That means that when you start knitting, your work needs to be about 55 cm wide. With this particular yarn, that means 86 stitches or so.

This bag knitting pattern is super simple. Essentially, it’s just 5 rows to knit of alternating color, repeated 22 times. The knitwear then folded over, seamed and handles added. The handles are just 7 stitches wide. The pattern suggests you make two 35 inch strips (89 cm), but I’d adjust that if you are tall or petit. 

When done knitting, the bag is felted. When felting, your strap will shrink in length as well, be sure to an extra 2 inches to your desired strap length when knitting.

Three TIps: you might want to felt the handles separately to have full control over the handle length if this is important to you. You can also felt the handles around a cord, for extra strength. You can leverage the stripe pattern to use up remnant yarn, and make stripes in different color. Note you can work with several strands together to keep the yarn weight consistent, row by row, although you will no doubt make your bag’s look and feel more variegated if you start mixing yarn types and brands. Be sure to only use wool, and not acrylics as the latter doesn’t felt.

Bag Construction Tips

    • Add a strip of Velcro to create a closer for the bag.
    • Sew in a few patches of fabric on the inside for handy ‘key, coin and coffee card’ pockets
    • Because it is thick, sturdy and soft, this bag is an ideal laptop/ tablet/ smartphone carrier!

Officially this bag is called ‘windy city bag’, and that is because this felt wool bag is a warm snuggler!   Just in case you get caught in the wind.

How fun.

Photo credit | free knitting pattern for the Felted Striped Tote Bag: Lionbrand

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