This purse has been in the works since I finished the clutch
. I've been on a mission to design a better purse. Now that I've finally finished it there are so many things I want to talk about. I should have been blogging about it at every step so there would be several shorter entries instead of this long monster ...Seamless Design
As I mentioned in May, I do not like joining crochet pieces, especially when one side is upside down. I decided to come up with a seamless purse. Countless swatches, prototypes, and complete failures were produced over a couple weeks while I tried to come up with a way to crochet my purse without seams.
I didn't use in-the-round because the fabric is twisty and doesn't lay flat like I want it to. I finally came up with a back and forth system (like you would normally crochet) where I joined the ends of the rows as I crocheted. The 'seam' part is on one edge of the bag and is barely distinguishable from the rest of the stitches. I've never seen this in a crochet pattern. Does anyone know if this is a common crochet techique? If there is already a right way to do this I would really like to know.Compact Shape
The shape of the clutch is long and shallow. The problem with that is it hangs crooked in your hand if the contents aren't perfectly balanced on each side. My purse is just a little wider than the handle so it never hangs crooked. Since I lost a little space horizontally, I made the purse a little deeper.Where the hell are all the owls?
The third dilemma was embellishment. The owl on my clutch kicks ass. I love that owl. I went to every thrift store in the Philadelphia area looking for crazy-old-lady jewelry to embellish more bags. I found nothing. No owls. No cats. No peacocks. No ladybugs. No leopards. Nothing. So sad.
One day, after visiting a particularly oogie thriftstore, Andrew suggested that I embroider "something cool" on the bag. He recently saw some work by Ghada Amer (she doesn't seem to have a site - google her to see some of her great art). She embroiders on paintings. Very cool. I thought it was a great idea, but I wasn't sure how embroidering on crochet would look. Then I remembered that Marci embroiders on crochet
all the time. I tried some radical, weird designs like Ghada's, but I couldn't get them to look good.
I love the way the branches and blossoms came out. I'd spread out a bunch of different sequins on the purse over the branches and asked Andrew which ones he liked best. He said, "All of them." And he was right. :) The circles are really cool. They are transparent with an iridescent sheen. As the purse moves they look like leaves flickering in the wind.Finishing
I used a purple paisely cotton for the lining. I hand-sewed the lining into the purse and added a single sew-in snap to secure everything. It's the right size to hold my wallet, keys, cell phone, and some other odds and ends.
I was so pleased with the purse that I made a new home for my owl. This is the purse I use on our almost-nightly 2-hour walks (no kidding). I really wish there was a craft I could do while we walk. Since there are no walking-crafts, I entertain myself by trying not to fall into holes, making up funny names for the people we pass like "Mr. McStinkles" or "The Squinty-Eyed Shuffler", and, on extra hot nights, getting a freezing cold water ice