I am a knitter from way back. My grandmother taught me when I was five. That is forty years of experience right there. That is a lot of experience. I got to thinking about this recently when I decided to go back to doing my crafts as a business. I have done this many times in the past, all with relative success, but my knitting has always just kind of been for me. Plenty of fabulous gifts have been passed to my loved ones but I never really thought of it as a money-maker. I have made jewelry, done sewing, painting and chalk portraits all as supplemental income, but never my knitting. I have even crocheted things to sell, but not knitting.
I was thinking of this very thing recently while plotting out a present for one of my oldest and dearest friends. I have been playing around with the idea of starting up a new craft business to supplement our income. The thought of looking for a job while being a medical marijuana patient is daunting at best. So of course my mind went in the direction of using my talent for profit. Do what I love, stay home, make money? Win, win, win. First, let me explain just what kind of knitter I am. AVID, and I don’t mean I just really like it, I mean I knit morning, noon and night. I knit while working the table at the swap meet for my dad. I knit while waiting in long lines. I knit in church. I always have a project in my purse and several going at home. I knit while watching tv. I can knit with my eyes closed, literally. I live and breathe knitting. So while deciding on a gift for this dear friend of mine I thought, hmmm, I should knit a purse. So I did and here it is…
I had been playing around with the idea for a while, creating the perfect purse. I am always on the lookout for the perfect purse. One with a spot for my knitting, my iPad, my keys. All organized and comfy, and of course, cute! So I shopped for the perfect yarn for her taste and spent a bit of time thinking of her and her style. And then I began knitting. I actually took the time to sketch out a basic design which is new for me. I usually follow a written pattern or just fly by the seat of my pants. This time I actually designed the pattern myself with fore thought. It was daunting, and challenging. I had to consider design elements that would be beautiful as well as sturdy and functional. I started out with a few basic elements I knew had to be there. First I wanted the purse to lay flat against the body for comfort. This friend has a spirit of adventure. I wanted her to be able to lengthen the strap to wear cross body for long days out perusing festivals and such. So I used hardware that allows the strap to go from short for wearing on the shoulder to a full 46 inches for across the body safety and comfort. I also had to choose the right stitch to use for the strap to make sure it was sturdy enough to hold up.
For the basic shape I wanted it to be flat on the back side, again for comfort when wearing cross body and to accommodate a book or other flat object with ease but a full front to hold whatever needed to be held. Easily done with some increase and decrease knitting. I was quite pleased with the visual effect this gave as well. I knitted and attached two pockets. One went on the inside to hold little things that get lost like chapstick and the other on the outside back panel for easy access to things like a cell phone. I used a magnetic clasp to hold the flap closed. And for decoration and to bring the whole thing together I used a pendant of a peacock which I thought tied in nicely with the gorgeous colors of the yarn.
I used Lion Brand Yarn “Amazing” in the color Glacier Bay. I knitted the entire purse except the pockets using two strands of the yarn held together throughout. The yarn truly is amazing. The pictures do not do it justice. I used several design elements such as cables on the front where the flap lies so that when you lift the flap you get this surprise little touch of beauty that cables offer. I also added a swivel clasp on the inside to hold keys or anything else you want quick access to. I used the strap to put the front and back together to add stability and strength to the whole design. So far feedback has been wonderful. Can’t wait to give it to her and get some usage feedback.
Don’t get me wrong, this was an incredibly challenging project that required lot’s of frogging. For those of you who do not knit, frogging is a very serious and technical term. Frogging is when you have to rip it, rip it, rip it out and start again. LOL But I think you will agree, it was worth every stitch. I am already planning mine with the gorgeous Amazing yarn I got for Christmas, called Rainforest. I can’t wait to go searching for some celtic hardware to use on it. Happy knitting!