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I'm planning on making a felted tote bag. I've figured out the sizing, the color striping that I want and what kind of handle and how to attach it. Now I need to calculate how much yarn to order (Knit Picks).

My question is: What is the preferred method for a tote bag...to use a single strand or double strand?

If I use a single strand I'm thinking I'll use 10.5 needles.... but if I go with the double strand do I need to go up in needle size?

Thanks for any help or tips you can give me!
 

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I have mede felted totes, and used double strand. Needle size is whatever you are comfortable with, because when you felt it the stitches will disappear. It's best made in the round, and you should do all the shaping, seaming and putting it together before you felt it. Mine are indestructible, but I would never have been able to sew the handles on after felting, so am glad I thought to do it before.
 

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For a tote bag I would use a double strand of yarn. It's much more durable. I use 13 needles with a double strand, but the needle size is not set in cement. I find that the bag shrinks about one third during the felting process, so take that into consideration when you choose needle size. I check it periodicallly during the felting process to make sure it does not become smaller than I want. Last year I made a dozen market bags as gift wrapping for Christmas presents. I used odds and ends left over from past projects keeping the color for each bag monochromatic. It was a great use for leftovers and resulted in bags of subtle color and texture changes. And, the wrapping paper didn't go to the land fill. Have fun making the bag. I'm sure you'll love it.
 

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I've always followed patterns for my felted tote bags so far. Some of them call for two strands, some for only one. Depends on what the thickness of the yarn you start with is, what the size of the end result is supposed to be, and the needle is determined by the yarn, not the other way around. You need to give the knitting or crocheting room to be able to felt - so that is why the needle/hook size is slightly larger than you'd normally work with.

I've found, too, that if the finished bag is to be purse sized, then one strand is normally used, but if the finished bag will be bigger (hold more, carry more weight) then it tends to call for two strands.
 

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I've used single strand in worsted weight and single strand in bulky weight -which is what my patterns called for. The worsted weight was Lion Brand and felted up quite small compared to the Brown Sheep Co bulky yarn.
 

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I've made a lot of purses and totes, and I knit with a single strand. You might even want to use a larger needle than you usually would; the yarn "blooms" when it felts and takes up the spaces in between stitches. My purses and totes have held up fine.

Hazel
 

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I've used both and agree with all previous posts. About a 10 1/2 needle for single strand and maybe size 13 for double would work. But it's all in your preference. I learned that felting is not a science but an art... with each piece I finished, I learned something, so just experiment. Also, the amount of felting, or "fulling," you do will determine the final size and thickness. For a sturdy tote, I'd probably go with double strand.
 

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wish I had asked this Q before starting my first felting project..I used single strand..and am knitting loosely want it to be sturdy..but will probably also put in a liner..for a purse. had planned to add the strap before felting( now I will for sure)..hope to make it messenger-bag length..I read somewhere that straps do not shrink much when felted.
 

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Northernrobin said:
wish I had asked this Q before starting my first felting project..I used single strand..and am knitting loosely want it to be sturdy..but will probably also put in a liner..for a purse. had planned to add the strap before felting( now I will for sure)..hope to make it messenger-bag length..I read somewhere that straps do not shrink much when felted.
The thing with felting is if you want to be absolutely SURE of the final dimensions, test swatches first. I found the hard way that my straps felted up MORE than I would have liked (so what started out as a desired messenger length was barely a shoulder-length strap). But it all depends on the way you knit the strap (I do a three- or four-stitch I-cord, usually).
 
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