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Author Topic: Shamrock Purse  (Read 4652 times)
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MCBurbage
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« on: May 24, 2016, 12:12:48 PM »

I finished knitting a beaded long purse.  It's based on a crocheted purse in the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but since I don't crochet and knit purses existed, I modified it for knitting.

Here's the original:

http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/157823?sortBy=Relevance&when=A.D.+1800-1900&ft=miser%27s+purse&pg=2&rpp=20&pos=21

Here's my version:










I made it with size E silk beading cord and somewhere between 3500 and 4000 size 11/0 seed beads.  It's knit on size 5/0 needles (period size 19).  The ends are knit in stockinette, and the center is "A Long Purse Knitted from Side to Side" from page 189 of Esther Copley's The Comprehensive Knitting Book of 1849. (https://books.google.com/books/reader?id=lFkEAAAAQAAJ&num=13&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PA189)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to admit that I haven't seen any heavily beaded knit purses from the period or patterns for them.  I have seen patterns for less heavily beaded knit purses and have seen both patterns for heavily beaded crocheted purses and pictures of extant heavily beaded crocheted purses.  Additionally, I have generally seen the beaded knit patterns worked flat rather than in the round, but I have read recommendations to knit purses in the round in books (including the one I took the center pattern from), though the advice doesn't mention beads one way or the other.

After finishing the purse, I suspect that women put the rings on the centers of these purses as they were working them.  If you wait until the end, rings that are big enough to fit over the beadwork are too small to stay put in the unbeaded center section, and rings that are small enough not to shift around a lot are too small to fit over the beadwork.  Since I've never seen any pictures that make the rings look like they're split, I conclude that they may have been introduced while working the purse.  This would be particularly easy with crochet.  I'm not thrilled with the rings I found (and put on after the fact), which are in fact spring clip earrings.  The other suggestion I saw of adjustable toe rings didn't work out very well for me.  I'm greatly hampered on this purse by wanting something with a gold color rather than a silver color.  Silver is much more popular at present. 

Does anyone know whether there's anyone making reproduction purse rings?

Ravelry page:  http://ravel.me/MCBurbage/m1clp
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Mary Burbage
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« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 02:18:24 PM »

Wow! Caveats or no, that is a beautifully accomplished object.
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 03:05:11 PM »

This is giving me a new reference point for 'exquisite'.  Well done!

Button Baron carries purse rings, but they appear to be silver-colored rather than gold.  It still might be worthwhile to contact them about gold ones.
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Anna Worden Bauersmith
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2016, 08:39:12 AM »

Very nicely done.
In addition to those at the Button Baron, there have been occasional rings on Etsy.
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Anna Worden Bauersmith
http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
Straw & Winter Millinery - Available on Etsy
Fanciful Utility: Victorian Sewing Cases & Needle-books
From Field to Fashion: The Straw Bonnet
Ginny Hardcastle
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 09:47:53 AM »

Beautiful!
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MCBurbage
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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 04:39:40 AM »

Thank you all.

I will definitely check out the offerings at the Button Baron and poke around some more on Etsy, though I wasn't having much luck searching there.
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Mary Burbage
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2016, 12:03:51 PM »

Wow!
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Materium Superbat Opus-Ovid
Simple yet complex...-Mark Baldridge, Art 101: The Principles of Design
kellydorman
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« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2016, 03:59:19 PM »

Very nice!

Something that would help to reduce the "heaviness" of the beading would be to use size 15/0 beads - they are readily available in a variety of colors these days and while a bit fiddly to work with, they will give a nice look.

Do you have to have shiny gold rings? Brass might work well, and can be readily found. Also, while not as common as metal rings, I have seen simple metal rings covered in silk with a buttonhole stitch (or crochet).

Regards,
Kelly

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MCBurbage
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2016, 09:35:44 AM »

I thought about using 15/0 beads, but the original I was working from has a heavy look to the beading so I thought the 10/0 more appropriate in this case.  I think that the next time I do something like this, I'll try out the 15/0 beads.

I really don't care whether the rings are shiny or antique as long as they're the gold color (which brass is).  I wound up finding some much smaller adjustable toe rings at Walmart and put them on.  The problem for me of putting something that isn't a split ring on at this point is that anything that can be worked over the beads will be too loose on the center.  I will know better if I ever make another of these!
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Mary Burbage
EKorsmo
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2016, 12:05:20 AM »

I just discovered that Lacis carries miser's purse rings (5/8" in bone, 1/2" or 3/4" in gold & silver), if anyone's still looking for them.  Listed under "ring, miser bag"
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Mrs.HRay
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2016, 06:08:05 AM »

 Shocked I am so impressed!  That is a lovely bag, and the detailing is exquisite.

 How did you get the beads into the knitting?  Do you thread them all on the yearn before beginning or do you add them as you go?
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MCBurbage
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2016, 04:50:44 AM »

Thank you.

EKorsmo:  Thanks for the Laci's link.  That one didn't come up when I was searching.

Mrs.HRay:  All the beads are threaded onto the cord before the knitting starts.  It's a bit of a pain moving 3200 beads along the thread as you knit, but as the project goes along, it becomes less and less of an annoyance as the beads are used.
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Mary Burbage
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