Sunday, July 29, 2007

new freeform crochet purse

Here's the finished freeform purse from a few weeks ago. I finished it last week, lined it(!), and gave it to my mom during a delicious lunch at 518 West in Raleigh.

The technique for this purse is really easy. You'll need some rug hooking canvas (mine was 4 holes per inch), some crochet hooks that will go through the mesh, and a variety of yarns. Bulky and novelty yarns provide the best coverage of the mesh, but lighter weight yarns can be doubled. I used all kinds of yarns, sometimes doubling or even tripling them.

The first step is to cut out the mesh into the shape you want, then fold over the edge and crochet all the way around (See July 12 post for pictures of start-up). I used 3 coordinating yarns so I could be sure that the mesh would not show through. It's a good idea to make the strap next so you can use the same yarns for the edging and not run out! Crochet the yarns into a chain, then use that chain as yarn to crochet a thicker chain. This makes a durable purse strap.

Then choose a yarn and pull up a loop through the mesh with a crochet hook. Pull up another loop in a nearby hole and pull the new loop through the old one, creating a chain stitch on the surface of the mesh. Keep going in whatever pattern you like until the mesh is completely covered with chain stitches.

Fold the purse in half and sew up the sides either with mattress stitch or whip stitch, whichever looks better. I made a loop and sewed on a button to help keep the purse closed. Most exciting, though, is the lining. I'm not much on lining purses, it seems like a hard job. But, this one was easy, and I'll probably go back and line some purses that I've already made. No pockets, just a simple lining.

In fact, if you have a purse I've made, give it back to me and I'll put a lining in it for you. I'm a believer.


diabolisimo said...

Can I give you a purse *I* made for a lining?? :D
Better yet, tell me the secret lining formula-- mine always seem to be a bit too floppy and blousy... :o
The purse is gorgeous! Drat-- another new technique I *must* try ;)

Pamela said...

on your free form purse, do you hold the yarn in the back and pull through the canvas? so the front of the purse would be facing you, with yarn in back? Thanks,
your purse is great!

Lisa Randolph said...

Hi Pamela,
Sorry to take all year to reply to your comment! First of all, thanks, this is a fun purse to make, and I'm glad you like it.
Secondly, you are correct. The yarn is held behind the canvas, and you pull it through with the crochet hook, forming a wandering chain stitch on the surface of the canvas. Textured yarns are great for this project because they are interesting to look at and they cover the canvas well. Hope you try one out for yourself!