5/25/11

Purse Handles, Knit, Felt, I-Cord, Crochet, Macrame - a variety of Strap Options

I've pulled together a collection of some my purse straps in pictures.

Pottery embellishment on this drawstring i-cord closure.
 The i-cord is the most common strap I knit for purses and bags.  I also have used my loom to weave straps and closures.

For small embellishments I use crochet or Macrame to finish a purse.
Handwoven (on loom) strap.  Sewn to the rings on a sewing machine.
 Another interesting concept is to add the strap to the bag while knitting.  It isn't difficult, but it takes planning.

I've embellished my purses with stones, pottery, polymer clay, buttons, and jewelry pieces.

Embellished with needle felt.

One of my first knit felt purses. I-Cord handle

Strap sewn to bag after completion, knit/purl rows with an added knit and tucked trim.

Strap knit as a part of the purse before felting.

another i-cord bag.
Over time, I've found the purse strap to be the biggest challenge when planning and knitting a felted bag.  The strap should be the first step, because you want enough matching yarn put back, or the strap created first, in order to match the bag

13 comments:

florc@gci.com said...

Google took me to this site, and I really liked it. I am stuck in making the last part of my bag -the handles. Your pictures and descriptions convinced me to try i-cord. Now to learn how....

M-I-L said...

I have a youtube video that teaches how to knit an i-cord. Here's the link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXJIZIDN_dY

Cranberry Morning said...

I also found you on Google, doing a search on felted i-cord. Soooo, here I am, knitting my first wool bag to felt. I'm done with the bag, but don't know how long I should make the i-cord for the handles. I've been using size 15 needles and working 4 stitches on Lopi wool. How much does it shrink down when felted is my actual question, so that I can figure out how long to make the i-cord before felting. If I want the finished handles (each) to be 15 inches, how long should they be before felting?

LOVE your bags, by the way. I also want to needle-felt a heart onto the front of my bag. One thing at a time, I guess. :-) (I've never done that before either.)

Thanks so much.

M-I-L said...

Wow, I was having designer's block when you emailed. I can actually fee the urge to knit and felt again

Its been a few weeks.

... You made the right choice on making an i-cord strap. They are pretty simple, did you find my how-to video on You-Tube?

If each strap ends up 15 inches, I'd go for 20-22 inches as it does shrink 25 to 30% depending on how much time you felt it.

How will you attach the i-cords?

It gives a kind of a drawstring effect to make one extra long cord and feed it through 4 holes in the bag - two holes on each side of the bag. Then you can sew the ends together and make it a continuous cord. The pink purses on the side bar (right) of my blog are examples of a continuous strap. It's hard to sew them to the bag and make them look right, and even if you're doing two, you might as well do one and cut it (yep, just cut the length you want) so make it extra long.

Felting is so awesome, depending on your washing machine you can be done in 5 minutes or 15. I felt in a pillowcase tied shut with a pair of jeans in hottest water.

The first thing that happens is your wool gets very loose and baggy stretchy, but after 5 minutes or so it starts tangling and eventually makes a very strong tight fabric. Luv it!!

I'll read through your blog later today. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I love all the purses. But I can't find any instructions on how to make them. Do I need to join something to get the instructions? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,
Jo

M-I-L said...

Hey Thanks for looking at my blog. I've designed most of my bags and certainly plan on writing the patterns. In the meantime:

Here is the link to a free pattern for the "Coco" Bag.

I made it, then went off on my own designing bags. I'm willing to help you via email with any questions as I have made many bags over the last 3 years.

http://feltedhandbagworkshop.blogspot.com/

Jean Weingartner said...

I need some advice. I did my first bag with LOTS of color changes and carried the yarn on the back--should I cut and tie all the loose ends? Will they shrink and pull tight and make the whole bag bunch? The color changes go from every other one to every 10 stitches and almost every row changes. (What was I thinking?!!)

M-I-L said...

Jean - YES. You will need to cut the yarns on the back, It should work fine, just tie little knots in the loose strands that are close to each other, after the piece is felted you can trim all the knots as they will felt also. Make sure you felt the bag tight, and tie the knots as evenly as possible. If you simply cut the strands and work them in to the piece they could work themselves loose during the felting process.


The piece will stretch first - I mean big time, loosey goosey stretch, then begin to felt, depending on the yarn you used. Just keep washing in an agitating washer inside a tied or zipped pillowcase, along with a pair of jeans for more agitation. Hope this helps, let me see a picture, email me at judycockrum (at) gmail (dot) com.

Patrick & Alisha said...

Is there a way to add purse straps after you've knitted the bag? I've already knit my bag. I followed a pattern where they want me to knit the front, the back, the flap & the strap separately. But the strap they provided on the pattern, I don't like & I fear it'll stretch too much, so now I have my 3 separate pieces for front, back, & flap, that i need to knit the seams together & I wanted to add a braided I-cord strap to the bag so it doesn't stretch so much. I'm just not sure how to attach the rings I bought that hook to the strap, to also hook to the bag I already have. Help! :)

M-I-L said...

Is there a way to add purse straps after you've knitted the bag? I've already knit my bag. I followed a pattern where they want me to knit the front, the back, the flap & the strap separately. But the strap they provided on the pattern, I don't like & I fear it'll stretch too much, so now I have my 3 separate pieces for front, back, & flap, that i need to knit the seams together & I wanted to add a braided I-cord strap to the bag so it doesn't stretch so much. I'm just not sure how to attach the rings I bought that hook to the strap, to also hook to the bag I already have. Help! :)

September 4, 2012 10:35 AM
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In response to this question, there are many ways to attach a purse handle when felting. I prefer making it a part of the bag itself if at all possible, but that takes a lot of pre-planning and experience.

In the case of a bag already completed with the exception of a strap, I would sew the pieces together according to the instructions, make an i-cord strap that is suitable for the piece, and make holes in the fabric large enough from grommets, (although they are not necessary they really add pizazz) and either use rings to attach the i-cord or feed them through the grommets. I'll post a new blog post with several examples of "attaching purse straps."

Mona Knight said...

Definitely,what a fantastic blog and enlightening posts,I definitely will bookmark your website.Best Regards! Cord Strapping

Ms. V. said...

I got here while researching the amount of shrinkage I can expect when felting knitted i-cord.

You saved me from knitting a bowline for the QE2; THANK YOU!

Ms. V. said...

I got here while researching the amount of shrinkage I can expect when felting knitted i-cord.

You saved me from knitting a bowline for the QE2; THANK YOU!

You can buy this poster.