Knitted Purses

I really like to knit, but it takes a long time for me to finish anything.  I started making scarves more than 3 years ago.  I have made 5 scarves total in 3 years.  I had a plan with the scarves.  I was working through the different types of basic patterns: Garter, Stockinette, Ribbed, etc., etc.  One day, I was working on a seeded scarf.  It was taking so long, I was getting so discouraged, and I knew I would never finish.

I laid the knitting down and it kind of folded over itself and made a little pocket.  I was inspired.  I knitted just a few more rows, folded it in half, stitched up the sides and made a little holder for my credit cards and license.  It was too cute.  From that point on, I was over scarves.  Now I make little purses because I feel like I’m moving so fast.  I’ve made two in year!  I know this is still not a very quick turn around, but compared to my scarf production, this is like lightning…

So the formula now is, knit half of a scarf, fold it in half, braid a handle, and you have a tiny purse.

It’s tiny, but big enough for my iPhone.  That’s all I need.

I love my pink purse.

Since it’s knitted, I had to make a liner.  (If I hadn’t, all my hard knitting work would sag.)  For this pink purse, I used some pink jersey fabric that our pillow cases came in.  I sewed it by hand, more than once, because I don’t really know anything about sewing by hand…or any other kind of sewing actually.  My seams kept popping loose.  It’s better now.  I got the hang of it after reading many, many blogs about sewing.

For the cord, there are probably a lot of things you could do that are better that what I’m doing now.  I read about knitting something called an I-Cord, but I couldn’t get my head around that.  I saw that some people use strips of fabric and sew a strap that is the same color as the purse, but a) I don’t own a sewing machine yet, and the strap is much to long to sew by hand, for me and b) It would drive me crazy if my purse was a different texture than my strap.  So I decided to braid a long strap using several pieces of yarn.  This was hard to do because the ends of the yarn kept getting tangled.  But perseverance is good for you, right?

Then, a woman at church saw my purse and said she wanted one.  I told her I could get it to her by her birthday, which I happened to know was in 10 months.  Well, then, everyone in my family was sick for more than two weeks.  I ended up home with my kids for two days straight and I got to knock some items off my to do list, including: Diana’s purse:

It’s reversible.

On accident.

I started by knitting whitish yarn and some fun teal yarn together.  The teal yarn was the kind you normally use to decorate the end of a scarf or the brim of a hat.  It mixed in with the white and made a nice pattern.  Then I got some remnant fabric from Joann’s for the lining of this purse.  When I bought the remnant, I could only see the “wrong” side, so I didn’t realize it had those awesome blue sequins.

I cut the lining the same size as the knitted purse (instead of a tiny bit smaller), so when Diana goes to the grocery store, she can use the knitted side, but when she goes to dinner, she can have sequins.  Who doesn’t like sequins?

And now, I have a half yard of awesome blue-sequined fabric, and no ideas for it at all…

Okay, so in case you want to make your own cute iPhone purse, this is what you do:

Decide how big you want your purse to be.

Knit a rectangle to a bit more than the width and double the depth/height you want your purse to be.

Fold knitted fabric in half.  Right now, you want the prettiest part of your fabric on the inside.  We’ll flip it out in a minute.

Stitch seams up the sides (I think I use a mattress stitch.  There are probably lots of ways to stitch up the side of the purse.)

Right now, your purse is inside out.  Flip it so the seams you’ve just made are on the inside.

Take 6-8 long pieces of the left over yarn and braid a strap. Tie knots on either end of the strap.

Secure the strap to the purse with *a lot* of thread.  When you think you have used enough thread, use a bit more.

Cut fabric for the purse liner. (Lay your fabric on the purse and cut just inside the width of the purse.  You can cut out one long rectangle if you’d like, just like the long rectangle of knitting.)

When you work with your liner, remember that if people see it at all, they will see the inside of the liner because the outside will be back to back with the purse.  If your fabric has a “right” side, make sure it’s on the inside.

Hem the top edges of the liner.

Stitch a seam up the sides of your liner.

Attached the liner to the inside of your new purse by stitching it to the top inside of your purse.

Enjoy your work.