Pattern: Valois Bag

Also available as part of an eBook, Whitework: Accessories inspired by medieval illumination

The motif used on this sturdy felted tote was adapted from the background of an illumination depicting the Christian god dividing the Earth with compasses. This image is part of a French-language bible from Paris, about 1320-1340. The scribes of this volume were the Fauvel Master and the Perceval Master, and it contains an inscription indicating that the owner of the bible was the Countess of Valois.


  • Small: about 10.5” wide, 12.5” high, and 1.75” deep
  • Large: about 14” wide, 16” high, and 1.75” deep

Skills required

  • Knitting, purling
  • Stranded knitting flat and in the round
  • Chart reading
  • Icord (explained in pattern)
  • Felting (pattern points to resources)

Materials needed

  • Yarn: Worsted weight, feltable, as follows - model shown is size small and used 156.5g of Briggs & Little "Regal", 100% wool, 272yds/113g, colour 218, and 186g of Diamond "Galway", 100% wool, 219yds/100g, colour 8 White
    • Small: approximately 430 yards of main colour and 440 yards of contrast colour
    • Large: approximately 670 yards of main colour and 700 yards of contrast colour
  • Needles:
    • Two 4.5 circular needles, 29" long
    • Two 7.5mm double-pointed needles (icord)
  • Stitch marker
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends


  • One chart pattern repeat (28 sts and rounds) to 3.5" after felting
  • Prior to felting, gauge on sample shown was 29 sts and 29 rounds to 5.25".

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