GL CRAFTS: Phoenix Bess, Knit Your Own Purse!


Get crafty—and get a new bag out of it! Not too bad, right? Phoenix Bess, the 15-year-old knitting designer, put together a fabulous pattery just for us. Make the perfectly pretty paisley purse following these instructions. And to learn more about Phoenix, head to

Easy Paisley Purse

Pre-felted 11inches x 20 ½ inches
Felted 7 ½ inches x 16 ½ inches

Worsted Weight Yarn (100% Wool): 200 yards
Knit Picks: Bare (100% Peruvian Wool; 220 yd/100g). Color: Bare, 1 skein. (Also suitable: Lion Brand Wool in Winter White or Patons Classic Wool in Winter White)

Size US 10 ½ (6.5 mm): 10" straight needles.

Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye (Purple)
Tulip Cool Color Spray (Royal Blue)
Tulip Soft Fabric Paint (Azalea, Caribbean Turquoise)
Tulip Metallics 3-D Fashion Paint™ (Black)
Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue
Snap, thread, sewing needle, paint brush, tapestry needle, ½ inch strap, 8mm sequins

14 sts and 13 rows = 4 inches

Pattern Notes
Can’t knit? Visit for free video lessons.
Your rectangle may be smaller or larger than the model, depending upon how tightly or loosely you knit. Many beginners knit very tightly, so don’t worry if your rectangle comes out the wrong size. A rectangle of any size will still make a cute purse after felting and sewing.

Cast on 38 stitches. Work in garter stitch (this means a knit stitch every row) for 20 ½ inches. Cast off.

Step 1: Felting and Dying
Soak the knitted fabric in hot water until it is saturated and transfer to a washing machine set on hot wash cycle. Wash with two loads of clothes (jeans, sheets, and towels work best). While still wet, apply Tulip One-Step Fashion Dye and Cool Color Spray to fabric in any pattern you’d like, then place in sealed plastic bag for 4-6 hours to set dye. Remove from bag and continue to wash fabric until tightly felted (your stitches and rows will disappear and the fabric will get thick and sturdy – the dye will become much lighter) and it shrinks down to the final size. Lay wet felted fabric on flat surface such as foam board or cardboard and gently pull or push edges till you get a nice even rectangle. Pin edges to board and leave to dry.

Step 2: Sewing

Turn fabric with right sides facing and fold, leaving 4 inches for the flap. Thread tapestry needle with pattern yarn and seam sides together, leaving a ¼ inch seam allowance. Turn right side out and fold flap down to determine position for snap. Sew snap in position with sewing needle and thread. Snap flap and lightly mark with a pencil the curve on flap corners. Trim corners, following pencil line to ensure you don’t cut off too much. Follow photo to see how much to cut. Lift flap and sew strap inside corners of purse, ½ inch from top edge.

Step 3: Embellishing

Now’s the fun part! Cut out paisley shapes and lay on lower right corner of front of purse following spacing shown in photo of purse. Trace around the shapes with a pencil. Fill in with Tulip Soft Fabric Paint and allow to dry. With Tulip Metallics 3-D Fashion Paint™, outline paisley shapes and apply dots. Allow to dry completely. Glue sequins inside paisley shapes, using a generous blob of glue for each sequin, and pushing sequin down onto fabric firmly with a chopstick or pencil eraser. Allow glue to dry before wearing purse.

7/13/2007 10:53:28 AM