Thursday, June 12, 2008


With apologies to Shakespeare's Hamlet, that really is the question.

I made this striped purse from all of last year's leftover Lion wool. It was a pattern I just sort of made up - I think I cast on something like 60 stitches in brown and then knitted 30 rows in garter stitch for the bottom. Then I arranged the colors from the bottom up and just knit in the round with the different wools until I reached the top. I mixed two different colors for each strap and felted the whole thing. After it dried, I lined the bottom with a piece of plastic canvas. Finally I sewed a couple of purple triangle buttons to the bottom to attach the straps there and then used four different colored square buttons to attach them to the top.

It's a darling purse - much cuter, actually, than it looks in this photo. But I think it needs to be lined. And I may have the perfect material to line it.

This is a lovely light cotton print that contains almost every color in the purse. My problem is, I'm not quite sure how to go about lining the purse. Do I cut a big round? Or a big square? Should I use the machine to do a blind hemming stitch or should I sew it by hand?

Help, all you wonderful experienced knitters!

And thanks.


PS I haven't fogotten the extra sock yarn my LYS lady promised me. Just haven't had time to get there yet. But I will. I promise!

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Blogger Nephele said...

I'd use the machine to sew a box shape the matches the shape and size of the bag as closely as possible (lay the bag on the cloth and mark it out in chalk). Then hand stitch it into the bag along the top edge.

While you're playing with the sewing machine, you might want to throw a patch pocket two on there, they come in handy.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Domie's Mom said...

Line it. It is beautiful and will be very useful:)

2:29 PM  
Blogger Cindi Myers said...

I agree with nephele -- and her idea about patch pockets is great!

The purse is great -- I love the colors and the big buttons!

10:23 AM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Okay, you've convinced me, ladies. I'm going to sew a box shape to line the purse and see what happens. If it works, I'll turn it inside out for a photo shoot. Thanks bunches!

9:15 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Fran, that purse is fabulous! I love the colors--you used your extra yarn to amazing effect. I'd never guess it was made of leftovers since it looks totally planned. The novelty buttons add a wonderfully fashionable touch. You have a real eye for design.

What's plastic canvas and where do you get it? I'm thinking my Rather Huge Noni Bag might benefit from some of that.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Plastic canvas comes in kind of square pieces, Nancy. I've found it's great for the bottom of purses - I just hand sew it in around the bottom and it allows the purse to sit when I set it down.

I'm not sure exactly what plastic canvas is used for - help, knitters! - but it's really cheap and I usually find it hanging on a peg board in the needlework area at my local JoAnn's.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Thanks, Fran! I'll look for it.

12:36 PM  
Blogger Nephele said...

"Officially" plactic canvas is for making rather cheesey needlepoint decorations. My aunt made a 3-D Christmas house. It's either tacky or kitschy depending on your mood. Craft stores usually stock it. I've seen it at Walmart too.

The great thing about using if to stiffen the bottom of a bag is that it survives getting wet, unlike the more typical cardboard stiffeners.

Another useful needlepoint thing is the regular canvas. Not for the bottom of a bag this time but to help stiffen and support the sides. This isn't usually necessary in a felted bag but if you make one that isn't felted it adds a just enough support without making the bag too stiff and boxy.

6:04 PM  

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