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Walk in The Camellia Garden Felted Purse

A lovely purse to carry on a stroll through the garden, to the office, to a party, or as a unique wallet.

Difficulty: Easy

My great Uncle Henry loved camellias. By the time he died, he had over 20,000 plants, including rare cultivars from all over the world. 

If I could go back in time and walk through his extensive garden, I would carry this purse. According to my grandmother, who told me many stories about Uncle Henry, the ladies from the Horticultural Society didn't even recognize his garden as a garden because the camellias were as great and grand as trees, stretching way over their heads.

In my dream of meeting Uncle Henry, after we had walked for a long time through the garden, where he showed me this plant and that, and told me all the stories about where they came from, I just know he would take me out to the cafe in town. We would have cucumber sandwiches on bread much too white, tea, some dessert. And he would tell me about all the different camellias on all the tables in the cafe - each stem in a small bud vase, the vases all different. 

And maybe, after pointing to this vase, and that one there, and the celedon green one by the window, he would get up and just start bringing them to our table, filling it to the edges, just as my grandmother said he did once when she was visiting. 

"Why Uncle Henry, you can't start taking the flowers off of other people's tables!" I would say, just as she had declared, delighted, laughing.

"Oh, I am so sorry! Would you like some more flowers?" he would ask the young couple sitting at the table from which he had just stolen the flowers? "Here, have some more." And he would pile their table with vases and blooms. 

All the while, my pretty purse would sit on the table amongst the vases: it can carry all and no more or less than I need. And even though it is a one-skein project (in fact, 1 skein can make 2 purses!) it makes a purse large enough to fit all but the largest of cell phones and there is still room for your keys, small wallet, some cosmetics, and various other small things you want to have with you.

I have put a complete kit together for your convenience. The only thing it does not contain, is the pattern. Please purchase that separately.

See the Additional Details tab below for information about finished size, gauge, yarn and other required materials, and other essential information. 


Delivery Method:
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Difficulty Level

This purse is intrepid beginner: the skills required are casting on, knitting and purling flat fabric as well as knitting in the round on a circular needle. You will need to decrease stitches, and finally bind off sts. The purse finishing requires some hand sewing and, if desired, some hand-beading.

This purse is worked using a single strand of worsted weight, feltable wool. It is worked from the bottom up on circular needles.

There are two possible styles to choose from: 1. a bag with a defined bottom and structured transition between the bag bottom and body (see image - the purse on the right, pictured lying down, features the defined bottom and 2. a purse with a smooth transition and no discernable seam between the purse bottom and body (purse on left pictured standing up). 

Once the purse is finished and felted, it will be sewn to a purse frame as part of the blocking process and then decorated as your creativity dictates or as you see pictured here with glass seed beads. 


Approximate Finished Dimensions

Finished dimensions will vary depending on your gauge, the yarn you use, even the colors you choose. Why? you might wonder: different dyes have different effects on the yarn shaft, changing those little barbs that make the fibers want to hold onto each other and matt together. For example, some companies’ black felts beautifully, while others’ resists felting. Make a generous swatch and test in your preferred felting method if you have never felted a particular yarn or color before.

Width at top of the frame 5” (12.7cm)

Height from center bottom to purse apex 6 - 7” (15.2 - 17.7cm) (measurement does not include frame) 

Bag bottom width: 5.5” (14cm)Bag bottom depth:3” (7.5cm)


Pre-felted Gauge

20 sts and 28 rounds = 4" (10cm) in stockinette 

Required Materials

Yarn Requirements

This purse is made with worstead weight, felable wool.

This project requires 1 skein of worsted weight feltable yarn, or approximately 2 oz or 125 yds (114.3m) of yarn. 

Needles and Other Necessary Materials

  • Size 7 (4.5mm) 16" (40.65cm) circular needle
  • 4 Different colored locking stitch markers to mark the side seams and beginning of the round
  • 1 Noni Architecture Purse Frame - The Renaissance Purse Frame that is pictured is no longer available
  • 1 Noni Renaissance Purse Chain
  • 1 5.25" ((13.25cm) x 8.25" (21cm) piece of Mat Board or other stiffener to structure the purse bottom
  • 4 small Noni Gumball resin bag feet (available in translucent pink or opaque sun yellow) or 1 package of 6 Noni 16mm bag feet in antique brass
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
  • Sewing needle for sewing the purse into the frame
  • 1 package of color-matched Noni Seed beads and nylon beading thread
  • Locktite Extra Time Control Glue to glue the purse to the frame


Pictured Samples

The samples pictured were made with Stonehedge Fiber Mill’s Shepherd’s Wool (worsted weight; 100% merino wool; 250 yds [229m] 4 oz [110g] skein). The purse standing up was made in Fuchsia and the other purse (lying down) was made in Zinnia Pink.

First Edition: The final stitch count after picking up stitches for the purse body was incorrectly listed as 100 sts. The correct count is 104 sts. The corrected pattern has been released as the Second edition.

Second Edition: There was a problem with the number of decreases on the short sides. Here is how the decreases should be worked: 

Rounds 14 - 44: Repeat rounds 9 - 13 9 x more for a total of 10 decreases. Decreases occur on the following rounds: 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37, 41, and 44—2 sts remain on short sides/30 sts on long sides/64 sts total. 

This correction appears in the Fourth Edition.

If you have found an error, please alert us by writing to support@nonipatterns.com.