Nov 12, 2013

D203-7: Secret Purse!

A wonderful friend of mine is getting married soon.  She's so wonderful she reads all my blog posts, even with the crappy photography.  So, while I've been preparing a gift for her I haven't wanted to reveal it here*. On Sunday night, however, it was completed and now that I've been able to hand it over all can be revealed.

Both sides of the purse

The clasp and ribbon

Well, not quite all.  I didn't take photos as I was going, but if you hold you hand over part of the pictures you'll get the same effect.

This friend has carefully and diligently made beaded purses for her friends during their engagements, so I've been looking forward to returning the favour.  Once I knew she was having bridesmaid dresses with a rose pattern I had my heart set on echoing that in this purse.  I'm not sure it was the most sensible decision.  I feel the last beaded purse I made was smoother, maybe more elegant.  It was certainly much quicker, with the purse's shape being built by simply sliding more beads as you went down the purse rows, while knitting the same number of stitches.  Maybe I should've just done another of those...

I am frustrated with the few loose rows. They were hard to detect while I worked and it took me half a side to get my groove, I think.  I kind of hate that this precious gift is not as even as I'd like.  Time was not on my side, however, so redoing parts was limited to only the frame being resewn, and only once I knew I had time.

I recommend keeping a set of pliers on hand when knitting beaded purses.  Use the pliers to break and remove any beads that are thinner than usual.  There will certainly be enough beads to cope with culling the irregular ones.
This was a step I did with the first purse and it was worthwhile for a design that used so much repetition, where unevenness is easily spotted.  In this design it makes for a bead that flips it's direction more easily than the rest.  While the regularly sized beads all sit in the same direction, the thin ones flip from side to side.  If you're feeling particular, get rid of the thin ones as you go and you won't feel the need to (uselessly) fiddle with their arrangement later.

The ribbon is secured with little beaded stars
Before I started I had a choice of beads and thread colours (the other set shall be used for another's wedding - my friend has kicked off the tradition in me too!) and a few patterns to choose from.  I even considered getting enough beads to do this pattern in reverse, with the blank parts being beaded and the beaded stitches being plain.  I thought it might build a cleaner picture of the roses however, having never done this pattern before, I thought it prudent to stick to the instructions.

I am glad to have chosen a larger purse too; I want my friend to be able to use it for lipstick, tissues and an atomiser should she want to.  Or for some other thing like, oh I dunno, storing her silk stockings ;)

One thing I have hesitated to share here is the big mistake I made.  It may be hard to see at first, but it is so very clear once you see it.

I was fairly pleased with the letters, as much as they could be done on such a small scale.  I spent some time, too, considering the symmetry and balance of the initials. (See it yet?)  I share an initial with the groom, so we were even able to make jokes about how the purse is about my friend and I - a ha ha!
So I was a bit miffed, to put it mildly, when I realised that I hadn't thought how the reverse knitting of the pattern (while fairly inconsequential for flowers) would change the letters.  True story.

At the start I was glad to have symmetrical letters because they were easy to plan.  But now I wish there's been an E or something so I could've seen it happening before I was finished! Ugh! Amateur lament!

Glitches and dumbfoolery aside, I do think it looks quite vintage and pretty (naive at the very least).  I hope my dear friend has a use for it in the future.
All my best wishes!

*I'm writing the post before having given the present. I won't be the least bit surprised if she's already figured out what it is!

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