I probably should have just tacked this onto yesterdays post ... which is why I'm calling it update 9.5. I was just being a little lazy. ;)
Here are the handles completed(ish). From the diagrams and the photos of the purse in the book, it seems that the handles are supposed to be folded over to double the crochet. I think that's a great idea. It will make the handles thick and grab-able. I'm considering stuffing the handles with rope, too, but I haven't decided for sure. Maybe I'll make some i-cord with brown yarn ...
As you can see, I haven't taken out my stitch markers yet. I always leave those in until the very last moment. Who knows what mistake I might see and need to redo. ;)
Unfolded above. Folded below.
Attaching the handle to the center edging like I did is not in the pattern. I did that on my own, which added 4 stitches to the handles on each side where they connect to the center edging.
I also did the 40 stitches of handle starting with foundation single crochet instead of a chain. I'm so in love with foundation single crochet. So. In. Love. It's amazing and wonderful and every crocheter should know how to do it. I use it every chance I get, which is more often than you might think.
I'm hoping the handles stretch just a little because I can barely get my arm through them now and I'd really like to carry it on my shoulder next summer. In the winter I'll just have to hold it because there's no way a coat-covered arm would fit through that hole.
And, yes, it's seeming a little smaller than I thought it would be when it was baby blanket-sized ... but it's still a big purse for me. I could fit a couple of severed heads in there and still have room for all the stuff I keep in my purse.
And, yes, I just stuck my head in the purse to measure it's head-capacity.