How to Make an Over-the-Shoulder Bag

This felted over-the-shoulder bag will store everything you need.

What You Need

Iceland from Crystal Palace 100% wool; 3 1/2 oz. (100g); 110 yds. (109m); Super bulky weight

-- #4043 Forest (MC)

-- #7256 Green Forest (CC)

Needles and Extras

  • Size 13 (9mm) 24-inch circular needle OR SIZE NEEDED TO OBTAIN GAUGE
  • Sewing thread to match MC
  • 2 stitch holders
  • Stitch markers
  • Blunt-end yarn needle
  • Sewing needle


4 balls Forest

1 ball Green Forest

Before felting: 14 x 16 inches

After felting: 10 x 11 inches

How to Prep

Gauge: 10 1/2 sts = 4 inches (10cm) in Reverse St st (k every WS row, p every RS row). TAKE TIME TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE.

Make the Strap

With MC, cast on 14 sts. Row 1: K3; with yarn in back, slip these 3 sts back onto LH needle, k3; (k1, p1) 4 times, bring yarn to front and slip next 3 sts pwise onto RH needle. (At start of each row, yarn will be at 3rd st on LH needle). Rep Row 1 until strap measures 40".

Create Opening

Note: Opening is made by dividing strap in half, 7 sts on a side, forming a slit in the strap.

Make the Right Half

K3, place these sts back onto LH needle, k4 (the 3 sts just knitted, plus 1 more), bring yarn to front and sl next 3 sts pwise onto RH needle. Place these 7 sts on holder, marking side where knitting should resume.

Make the Left Half

Row 1: Working on rem 7 sts on needle, k3, transfer these sts back onto left needle, k3, p1; keeping yarn in front, sl last 3 sts pwise onto right needle.

Row 2: K3, transfer these sts back onto left needle, k4; bring yarn to front, sl last 3 sts pwise onto RH needle. Rep Rows 1 and 2 until Left Half measures 13 inches long. Cut yarn and place 7 sts on holder.

Finish the Right Half

Sl 7 Right Half sts onto needle; work Rows 1 and 2 of Left Half until Right Half measures same as Left Half; leave sts on right needle after working last row.

Close Opening

Place sts for Left Half onto LH needle; k1, p1, k1, p1; keeping yarn in front, sl last 3 sts pwise onto RH needle -- 14 sts on RH needle.

Next row: K3, transfer these sts back on LH needle; k3, (k1, p1) 4 times; keeping yarn in front, slip last 3 sts pwise onto RH needle. Rep this row until strap measures 58 inches from cast-on sts.

Bind off, leaving a 15 inch tail. Holding strap ends tog as if forming a circle, rotate end on right-hand side 180 degrees (to wear strap on left shoulder, rotate towards yourself; for right shoulder, rotate away); use tail to sew ends tog.

Knit Bag Down from Opening

Rnd 1: With MC and beg at one end of slit, pick up and k 42 sts along one side of slit, place marker (pm) to mark one end, pick up and k42 sts along other side of slit, pm to denote opposite end -- 84 sts.

Rnd 2: Knit.

Rnd 3: (K4, k2tog), rep to end of rnd -- 70 sts.

Rnd 4: Knit.

Rnd 5: K1, ssk, k to 3 sts before first marker, k2tog, k1, slip marker (sm), k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before second marker, k2tog, k1 -- 66 sts.

Rnd 6: Knit. Rep Rnds 5 and 6 twice more -- 58 sts. Knit 3 rnds even.

Next rnd: K in front and back of next st, *k2, k in front and back of next st, rep from * around -- 78 sts. Knit 3 rnds even.

Pocket Opening

K7, bind off 26 sts, cast on 27 sts as foll: *knit into st; leaving old st on left needle, sl new loop onto LH needle; rep from * until 27 sts have been cast on. To rejoin rnd, sl first st on RH needle onto LH needle, then k2tog; k to end of rnd -- 78 sts. K all rnds even until bag measures 13 inches from opening in strap.

Shape Bottom of Bag

Rnd 1: K1, ssk, k to 3 sts before fist marker, k2tog, k1, sm, k1, ssk, k to 3 sts before second marker, k2tog, k1 -- 74 sts.

Rnd 2: Knit. Rep Rnds 1 and 2 twice more -- 66 sts. Rep Rnd 1 four times -- 50 sts. Bind off all sts. Sew bottom seam.

Pocket Edging

With MC and beg in left corner of pocket opening, pick up and k3 sts in corner, k26 sts along top edge of opening, k3 sts in opposite corner, and k26 sts along bottom edge--58 sts.

Felter's Bind-Off

*K2tog through back lps, inserting needle from right to left; sl resulting single st back onto left needle; rep from * to bind off all sts. Sew ends of pocket edging tog.

Pocket Facing

With MC, cast on 36 sts. Work in St st until piece measures 12 inches. Bind off all sts. Facing is felted separately, then sewn to felted bag to avoid puckering.

I-Cord Vine

With CC, cast on 3 sts. *K3; without turning work, slide sts to opposite end of needle and bring yarn behind sts; rep from * until I-cord measures 120 inches. Taking care not to stretch I-cord and using color photo as a guide, pin or baste I-cord to bag, having one end begin curving below pocket opening, then curving up along outer edge of strap and ending inside the bag. Use MC yarn to loosely sew one side of I-cord to bag, then flatten I-cord and use thread to sew other side to bag, taking care not to pull thread too tightly.

Felting and Finishing

Felt bag and pocket facing following felting instructions. Set your machine for a hot water wash and a cold water rinse. Add other lint-free items, like jeans, to the load, and use soap, like Ivory Flakes or even shampoo (but not detergent). Place the knitted item in a mesh lingerie bag. Successful felting occurs when the stitches visually disappear. Felting will shrink your item from 15 to 20 percent across its width and from 25 to 40 percent in height. Remove the item when you think it has reached the size you want. You can always put an item back for another washing if you want it smaller. If you remove the item in the middle of a wash cycle, hand-rinse it in cold water. For this bag, check felting progress every 4 minutes. Pocket facing may be removed when it is thick enough to cut without unraveling; stretch and flatten it into a square shape. If strap becomes tangled or twisted during felting process, pull twisted areas back into shape. Never put a washed felted item in the dryer. After felting, press bag dry between towels, then pull bag and strap into shape. Try on bag and stretch strap if necessary for fit. When dry, trim pocket facing to fit, then use sewing thread to sew facing to inside of bag, placing facing 1 inch above pocket opening.

For felting instructions see:

Felting Basics


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