Need help with felted tote handles

Hi, I’m Kelly and I’m a newbie both here and with knitting. I learned years ago in home ec and recently picked it back up again. I hope to become as wonderfully talented as you ladies:) . Right now a felted bag is giving me grief.:??
I followed the pattern and attached the handles. They were lined up before I washed the bag. After I felted the bag, I was sick when I saw the handles. On each side of the bag, the handles were even, but if you ‘closed’ the bag, the handles were about two inches across from each other. Does that make sense? I did a felted bag a few weeks prior with the help of my sister in law, and it turned out gorgeous. She has no idea what happened either.
Any tips on making sure the handles will line up? I measured from end to handle and I know for a fact my stitch count was exact. I thought about felting the bag and handles separately and then sewing them on. Not the best idea, I know, but at least I’d know they’d line up.:wink:

Can you stretch them while it’s still wet to make them line up? If so, position them so they dry that way and it should hold the shape.


I’ve had problems with this too - I think the only real solution is to knit/felt the handles separately and then sew them on afterwards. I don’t like to do it this way, so I’ve been using patterns that the handle is part of the bag. If you come up with a solution - please share it with me!!

I don’t know if stretching would help. I could certainly try that. I have nothing to lose at this point.

It’s nice to hear though, that this isn’t just my knitting skills.
babsnelson, what pattern do you use that has the handles knitted in? I love how this pattern felts with the handles attached with the kitchener’s stitch, but almost dread opening up the washing machine.
When you do the handles seperately, do you refelt the bag or just leave the handles and bag as is?

Thanks for your replies.:mrgreen:

Nope, not just your knitting skills cuz it’s happened to me too and I really don’t know what else to do about it either. I do my best and chalk the rest up to one of the casualties of felting. I do think if mine were that far off though that I would throw it back in the washer and try to mold it more while wet to see if I could get them straighter.

I’m currently knitting this bag from My Bagatelle - got the pattern at my LYS. It’s EXTREMELY easy and I think it’s adorable. (Check out my blog for some pictures.)

When I do the handles separately, I knit them all and felt them all together - then go back and sew the handles in. I’ll admit that I don’t like this method as much.

I love your bags! I signed up on the bagatelle website so I can order that pattern. :mrgreen: