Jessica, I made slippers. Here's what I did re felting: I put through the washer like they said and used a bit of Woolite and took out before the spin cycle. Nothing really happened. Did that twice. Then put in wash tub with HOT water, more Woolite. I thought they were done. Rung them out with towel and tried to form them - they were still a bit big, sloppy, and I could still see the knitting stitches. Read more. Then realized wasn't right. Did the wash tub thing again, etc. Tried to form. Still could see a bit of the knitting stitches. Then I saw where they really scrubbed the fibers together! So I got a metal rack out of my microwave, put in wash tub and rubbed the slippers hard on it for a bit and then rubbed them together a bit. Rinsed, rung them out with towel, and put on my bare feet to form. THEY ARE PERFECT! When I take them off, it looks like my feet are sitting there on the floor!! I LOVE THEM!
I think now all I have to do to clean them when dirty is wash in cold water, ring in towel, slip them on for form. And then let dry again.
Anyway, good luck. I know your purse will work out great. By the way, I used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride and only used one strand instead of double like most say to do. But I think the double would make them really really great!