Felty Wonky Skull Bag Crochet Pattern

Felty Wonky Skull BagWow – where did the time go? As it has been SO long since my last post I feel I should try extra hard to make it a good one…so how about a free crotchet pattern?

A few posts back I mentioned a stash of wool that I was giving to charities and good causes. I found the sheer amount of yarn overfaced some people and then others just didn’t know what they’d make using it. My response was to make up a simple sample to show what could be done with it and give away the pattern with the yarn to hopefully inspire the flashing of many hooks. 

Happily, this seemed to do the trick, I don’t have much wool left, but I do still have a crochet pattern for a bag so I thought I’d share it with you. As I was using 100% wool yarn I thought I’d have my first attempt at felting (probably should be called “fulling” if I’m being technical but I’m feeling strangely woolly today so “felting” is what I’m sticking with). On the whole I’m quite pleased with it, although I’m slightly worried that it is a wee bit addictive – I’m already looking around for other things I can knit/crochet only to then intentionally shrink!

  Wonky Skull close up

FELTY WONKY SKULL BAG

CROCHET PATTERN

…because symmetry is so overrated don’t you think?

YOU WILL NEED

100g Dark double knitting yarn (approx)

100g Light double knitting yarn (approx)

4.5 mm crochet hook

2 buttons

Darning needle

If you want to felt the bag, choose yarn that has a high wool content and check the washing instructions on the label; if it says “cool wash” or “do not rub” then it probably will felt. If it is labelled “superwash” or “easy care” then it probably won’t.

 

 Click here to download a Word document containing the rest of the pattern:

 

Felty Wonky Skull Bag

 

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This is what it looks like before it is felted – skull on the front, stripey on the back. This one shrank by about a third when it was felted but it isn’t a precise science and the amount of shrinkage will depend on a number of factors – the wool, the temperature you wash it at etc.

This bag is destined to be a Christmas present, although it might be more suitable for Halloween. If I get time before 25th December I might line it – it has a lovely thick felty feel to it but when I “tested” it by putting things inside it I did find that pointy things had a habit of sticking through, things like keys or pens. Maybe this means I didn’t “felt” it enough? Or maybe this is just what felted crochet is like? Perhaps I’d best experiment a bit more….(this is me just looking for excuses to shrink stuff – can you tell?)

 

  

 Back of bag after felting I’d love it if you decided to make one for yourself or as a gift, and I’d be delighted if you made some to raise money for a charity.  If you do, please credit me as the designer and don’t claim the design as your own, or sell it or the bags you make for personal gain.

If you have a go and get stuck just ask and I’ll try to help, or if you notice a problem with the pattern instructions then let me know and I’ll put it right as soon as I can.

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I have socked!

I have actually made a sock, just the one. This post is by way of celebration of my newly socked status (even though I finished it a week or so ago and have been admiring it ever since).

This doesn’t look like my Mum’s standard of knitting; her knitting is so neat and even and I can see lots of faults with mine. But if I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d get this far so soon, I estimated I’d be trying to finish them at Christmas whilst drinking Bailey’s – which wouldn’t help the finished quality of the hose but I probably wouldn’t care so much.

Solitary sock

I have a very  good friend who I KNOW would say, “Better finished than perfect” at this point. So I shall concentrate on other aspects of the sock.

It is warm and I love the pattern.

It fits my left foot better than my right somehow (I must have very odd feet)  so it shall be my left foot sock.

Perhaps the right sock will be better.

Mum has advised me NOT to try to match the pattern may by the yarn for the next sock, and I shall listen to her as usual….although I did get in a mess with some of her other advice. I’m sure she always used to maintain that it was best to find the end that lives in the middle of a new ball of wool rather than the outside end to start off with.  

To be fair, this has stood me in good stead with the albeit meagre amount of knitting I’ve done since leaving home, but a few months ago I was crocheting a simple bag using some cotton yarn in several colours.  All the colours were fine except the blue. These balls knotted up if you even looked at them. Of course this happened when I was out crocheting in public (I have trouble sitting still if I don’t occupy my hands at my son’s cricket matches), and drew a lot of comments from the other mum taxi drivers.  I’m content to tease out a little, crochet it up and then work at the knot a little more to free up another length. It usually sorts itself out like this but there is something about a knotted mess of wool that is fascinating to some people. I could tell two of them were positively itching to sort it out for me, it was really bugging them.

It didn’t stop there. I left the offending ball in the lounge while I settled people off to bed and got things ready for the next day, and came back to what can only be described as a Portugese Man O’War. Mr Topstitched had not been able to contain himself when confronted with the tempting tangle. The knotty bit was stationed in the middle of the room and there were several long streamers of knot free wool splaying out from it in various directions, for all the world like a large jelly fish. He sorted it in the end of course, but doesn’t seem interested in making any of the “controlled knots” otherwise known as crochet, ran a mile when I offered him a crochet hook (or perhaps he was confused by the menacing look on my face!). 

Since then I have been asked to help find new homes for nine sacks of assorted wool as someone needed to have a clearout. It was the leftovers from a wool shop owned by the person’s mum. It must have closed down a long time ago and the wool had been stored since then. It was a real trip down memory lane for me, the names on the labels alone took me back to when my mum seemed to knit every day to keep our family in jumpers and cardigans, and ponchos and dressing gowns (and when she wasn’t knitting she was sewing and crocheting).

There were balls of Paton’s Doublet, Totem and Bouclet, Robin’s Vogue and Gleneagle Tweed, another textured one called “Rimple” and reading some of the labels I noticed that they specifically advised starting from the OUTSIDE.

So now I’m confused, please put me out of my misery, are you an “innie” or an “outie” when it comes to starting off your wool? Is there even a right or wrong answer to this? Or does it depend on the wool and the way it is wound?  

Anyhows, I’m experimenting with what it says on the packet and I’m taking from the OUTSIDE for this crochet project I’m making with the wool I have left (the bulk of the stash has been distributed to local groups who knit for various charities and also organisations who do textile crafts with children).

(Quick aside – whilst discussing this wool on another forum I discovered I had unwittingly been a childhood niddy-noddy. I’m not sure how I feel about this but I don’t think it scarred me too deeply).

I’m making a crocheted blanket using the really clear instructions over at Attic24. I really love the colours she uses for her projects. Mine won’t look like that due to not as much crochet practice, using wool not cotton, and most of all because my colours are dictated by the “serendipity of the sack”. So far so good, I have 4 stripes (each stripe takes just under one of these “1oz” balls) and no gnarly knots, but we’ll see.

PS I really don’t know why I’m inspired to make a woollen blanket in the middle of our little heatwave – especially when I should be knitting the other sock.

Perhaps I’m just contrary.

Perhaps I’d better learn to hop.