Masa Bag in Felt

I’ve loved this pattern ever since Lisa published it, and have wanted to make it for quite a while. It’s a big drawback, not being able to crochet. We’re trying to gather another proficient crochet designer into the AA family, but until she gives me lessons, I’m hoplessly lost.

But hey, the rectangle can be made with anything, can’t it? Not just crochet, any fabric – felt will be fine!

This one’s made from a charity shop jumper, already felted hanging there on the rail in the Salvation Army shop, unappealing to everyone except me, and an amazing bargain at only £1! I rushed it home and washed it again, in the machine, at 40 degrees, and with  couple of pairs of jeans.

If you haven’t got a charity shop from which to find a suitable jumper, you could knit yourself a rectangle of the correct proportions, and felt from there. Make sure you use 100% wool, and not superwash, or it wont felt. Cast on with bigger needles than called for, and knit loosely until it’s approx 1/3 as big again as the size you want for your bag.

To use a jumper: cut off the arms and collar, and cut up the sides until you’re have two rectangles, what were formerly the front and back. Lay them flat, and using your favourite method, sew the two rectangles together. These were sewn overlapping the ribbing that was formerly the bottom of the sweater.

You then have your basic Masa rectangle. Using Lisa’s instructions, fold down the corner at either side, and then fold the whole thing in half across the diagonal. You will end up with roughly a square shape made of two overlapping triangles. Try it, it’s  very easy.

Take a good strong bodkin or a rugging needle, and some strong yarn. That ball of red acrylic hiding in the bottom of your stash will do nicely. Well, maybe not red unless your jumper’s red too. Stitch through both layers of fabric along that diagonal, and do that on both sides of the bag.

The pretty fairisle snowflake was oversewn using a basic satin stitch, and then attached a length of what once was the collar, as a closing flap. It’s probably not needed, but for shopping, in this wild seasonal weather, gales and rain and all things frosty falling from the sky, it will help protect my wine and chocolate. A button or toggle? I’ll let you know when I find one. Pompoms too, I’m thinking.

The handle is one of a set of two from Kemps Wool Shop. They do come in pairs but the Masa only needs one. Or you can make and attach a chunky iCord. Here are some instructions:

Perhaps make one with five stitches, though, in a complementary colour. About 2 feet of icord will be plenty, but do it as long as you think you’ll need – you can always cut some off if it’s too long, and remember it will shrink when felted. And if you have remembered to use feltable wool, pop in the washing machine with your next load of jeans, et voila!

Attach by punching a hole through the side about 2-3″ below the upper point, pull through your icord, and knot on the inside or the outside, whichever you like best. Do that twice, once for each end.

One great suggestion for a bag handle, was a long garter stitch length of say 4-10 rows lengthwise, with an attached icord along each long edge, to add stability and strength. Then, felted in the normal way. That sounds great, definitely worth a try. Let us know if you do one like that.

Please send us links to your finished Masa bags, especially if you’re not using Ravelry. And if you’re not, why not? Ravelry welcomed its MILLIONth member only last week. Here’s the gallery of Masa bags from Ravellers – 180 so far!

Enjoy.

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