Yes, felting has been subject to
excesses—big bags, with a zillion colors and novelty yarns.
But, excesses aside, knitting and felting is a great way to make
handsome, sturdy bags for every purpose.
camera bags you can buy tend to be stiff and chunky, and a
little harsh to wear or to carry—enough that lots of camera
owners don’t have their cameras with them when they want them.
Commercial cases are made that way because a dropped digital
camera can quickly become a broken digital camera. A firm
felted wool case, however, will pad in wool will protect your
camera reasonably well, and it’s is comfortable; you don’t need
the stiff Kevlar models unless you’re a combat photographer. If
you’re giving a camera as a gift, this is the perfect way to
wrap it, and is the work of just a couple of evenings.
My first try with a camera bag was the one
on the left, which I made from of leftover Noro and Nashua yarns
in a heavy Aran weight, so a friend could wear his camera
comfortably around his neck or over a shoulder, on his morning
walks with his dogs, or on our hikes in the foothills of the
The one on the right is my own, made from
largely from Cascade’s Ecological Wool, with bits of silk from a
bag of not-much-more-than-strands. I allowed more room for
edging, and made the straps in a four stitch cable, four rows
apart, with a purl edge. It is this bag from which the
instructions are derived.
This should be obvious, but your yarns for
this should be wool or other feltable fiber. While it will felt
properly with a little strand of silk here or there, it won’t
felt properly along with more than that.
Smaller, and it would hold a cellphone. In
a luxury or novelty yarn, perhaps with some beading or felted
embellishment, it would make an evening bag. Patterned to match
a ski sweater, it’s perfect for attaching a lift pass, and
holding lip balm and sunblock, a credit card and a little cash,
a handkerchief, and a cellphone.
You will need for this project:
About 75 gms (3 ounces) 100% wool knitting
Size 10 double-point needles, set of 5; two
#7 double points for the straps.
Two D-rings, purchased after felting, and
sized to the felted width of the straps. You can purchase these
at any hardware store.
Needle and strong thread, and a thimble;
stitching on felting is tough.
Gauge is not important for this project. What
is important is felting it far enough, but only far
enough, to fit your camera, which means making it to your
camera’s proportions, allowing for slightly greater shrinkage on
the length of the knitting than on the width. It has to be
felted hard, and stiff.
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