I have seen spinning mentioned on knitting blogs since I started reading them almost two years ago, but I’ve always thought it looked a bit silly, kind of like making your pasta from scratch. However, the spinning pictures on the {by elin} blog have finally pushed me over the edge. I have ordered a learn-to-spin kit, but it will be a little while before I get it. In the meantime, I have been experimenting with a crude homemade spindle and some needle felting fibre I found at a hobby store. The fibre is not ideal for spinning, as it is short and very curly, so it’s almost impossible to draft it well. However, I was determined to see if my first two handspun lengths of yarn (about 10 grams each) could actually be used in a project. It’s a good thing I’m stubborn, because this was just about the most unpleasant knitting experience I’ve ever had.

My first handspun/felted coin purse


Project: Felted coin purse, my own pattern.

Yarn: Two strands of Sparkjøp Safirgarn in brown and my own handspun “yarn” in colours red, sunflower yellow and grass green.

Needles: Knitpicks Options 7 mm. I could have used a larger needle, which would probably have eased the felting process a little.

The handspun was quite a lot thicker than the commercial yarn, so the purse is a little bumpy, but mainly the rose design sticks out a little, which is an effect I kind of like.

Do you have a few yards of lumpy handspun you’d like to use? You, too, can have a felted purse:

You need some handspun (colour B) and some commercial yarn of a different colour (colour A), both should be feltable. Needles of a large size for the yarn’s gauge.

Using A, cast on 42 sts and join to knit in the round. Follow the below diagram* (shows one side of the purse).

eight petal rose chart for felted purse


(click the diagram to go to the Flickr photo page, where you can find larger versions).

After completing the diagram, work a three-needle bind off to seal the bottom of the purse. Work a round of single crochet (UK: double crochet) around the open edge to avoid curling.

Lightly secure ends (felting hides a multitude of sins) and felt/full the purse in your washing machine. I had to use 60 degree water and wash it with a load of towels to achieve proper fulling. Remove from the washing machine as soon as the program ends and shape, lay flat to dry.

* I didn’t have enough handspun “yarn” to work the diagonal lice pattern, so I worked only the eight-petal rose design, placing it according to the diagram. This isn’t ideal, because the floats on the back get a little too long and unmanageable.