Did you know that Red Heart offers free knit and crochet patterns right on their website?! While browsing through their hundreds of patterns I came across this crochet Posey Purse. I instantly fell for the bag. It looked cute, simple, and big. Since I tend to carry my whole life with me wherever I go, those are my three basic requirements for a full-time purse. I even had a skein of Red Heart Super Saver in Orchid that I had been dying to use. Even though this is technically an intermediate-level pattern, I decided to try it out since the instructions looked simple enough for a beginner.
The whole body of the purse is made up of rows (and rows, and rows) of single crochet. The single crochet stitch is very basic, so I had no problems whipping up the main part of the bag. I think I can even single crochet in my sleep now! Just as I was wondering why the pattern was marked as intermediate, I got to the part where I had to do the edging. At that point my bag looked like a huge rectangle, however, the finished purse is gathered at the top. The edging is what gives the purse its trapezoidal shape.
The instructions said to ‘evenly space’ a row of stitches across the edge of the purse body to create the gather. Being new to crochet I had no idea how to go about doing this. Were there specific places on the edge of the piece that I was supposed to stitch into? Was this some super-secret crochet technique that I hadn’t learned yet? Since I wasn’t sure what to do I asked the experts on Ravelry. As it turns out I was WAY over-thinking things. There isn’t really a “right” or “wrong” way to evenly-space stitches – you just have to be consistent.
Once the edging was done the handle flaps were really easy to complete. I decided not to use the bamboo handles that are recommended in the pattern though. I like the way they look in the sample photo, but I wanted to keep the whole purse crochet. I also prefer longer straps on bigger purses. Something about threading my arm through a tiny handle just to have a bag crammed into my armpit doesn’t really appeal to me. Insane, I know.
The purse itself was too basic to just add any-old-strap to it. Considering I only know a few basic stitches, I figured I would have to learn something new if I wanted to make the bag unique. A while back I came across this tutorial by Sandra from Crochet Cabana on how to crochet broomstick (or “jiffy”) lace. At the time it looked way out of my league, so I bookmarked it in my ‘Attempt MUCH Later’ folder. Desperate for a new and interesting stitch, I dug up Sandie’s tutorial.
I was a little disappointed when I saw that I would need a special “jiffy” needle in addition to my regular crochet hook to make the lace. I don’t have a jiffy needle or even a knitting needle like Sandie used in her tutorial. I really didn’t want to buy a special tool, especially since I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to pull off the stitch, so I improvised. I used a big highlighter instead of a needle, and the handles turned out great!
I’m so happy with with the finished purse! It’s even bigger and better than I thought it would be! Now it just needs a pretty posey or two! What are your requirements for an everyday purse? Do you carry your whole life with you or do you like to stick to carrying the essentials?