Sunday, August 27, 2006

UFO Purses

I have a dilemma. Actually, several dilemmas. I have a couple of purses that I've knit in the past that need something to make them wonderful. But I'm a little out of my depth. Don't get me wrong, I'm a great knitter. I can figure out just about any knitting pattern, as long as it's not filled with errors. And, having been a costume designer in my past and a quilter now, I'm a pretty good seamstress, too. However, I haven't made many purses. How do I take a stretchy, uneven surface and stabilize it, without making it all bumpy and bizarre. I need to make linings and I need to make them fabulous.

The top bag is the result of my experimenting with a tile pattern and leftover Mission Falls 1824 Cotton. I believe the original inspiration came from (don't hold me to it, because I only borrowed the book from the library) Nancie M. Wiseman's book Knitted Shawls, Stoles and Scarves. I would love to add bamboo-style handles but I'm at a loss how to stabilize the bag without losing the touchability. I've tried plastic canvas but the fabric just sagged away from the plastic. I don't want an iron on stabilizer as that will just cause puckering and I don't want to "quilt" the bag. Any suggestions?

The bottom bag is one I knitted on my knitting machine. It is felted and has a built in pocket in the side panel for a cell phone. The front flap will be gathered and tucked into a Celtic knot medallion made from felted I-cord sewn to the front. The flap will be edged with more cording. I have two green metallic belts that will be used to make a shoulder strap and I would love to line the bag with a luscious dupioni silk with either a drawstring or zipper for security. I'd love to have multiple sections inside for different items, including my calendar, since this will be my main handbag during the school year. Even having a little sock knitting section with an opening to let my knitting come through would be a plus. Obviously, this bag will take some major tailoring and I'm paralyzed, just pondering the possibilities. This bag will need some major structural support and I'm, again, unsure what to use. Too much bulk and you lose valuable space. Something too stiff and you lose the connection between the fabric and the lining. I purchased one book on making bags but it lacked any practical lining suggestions. So, if anyone out there in cyberspace is listening, send some suggestions my way. I'm trying to clean my UFO closet out so I can justify digging into some of my wonderful new stash acquisitions without feeling guilty about being such a weak woman.

In related news, my Flying Purple Widdershin is progressing apace. I have turned the heel and am working on the heel flap. My goal is to finish it this week, between cleaning and other school prep activities. Since we have church today, and then my DD#1 has a sleepover tonight, I'm not sure how much knitting time I'll get today but tomorrow is our last Fiber Arts club for the summer, so I'm hoping to actually get to sit and knit there tomorrow. A homeschooling friend is also hosting a "oh no, school is starting next week" craft night this week as well, so I'll have one evening of fiber, friends and fellowship to work on UFO's before our school year kicks in.

Well, there is nothing too witty or pithy about today's post. Just perplexity and a plea for help. And a bit of alliteration. I don't know why alliteration appeals to me but it pops out without my even thinking about it much. Weird, huh.

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