Monday, August 15, 2005

Show N Tell: Cindi's Entry

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I design and make felted purses. I'm sending my favorite style - all attached purses are the same pattern, just knit with different yarns. The picture titled "June Purses" is especially cool becuase I picked the hairy yarn (I think it's called Color Lash) up in Iowa on a trip in May. I found a bunch of remnants in a bargain bin at this yarn store. I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was. I go by yardage and I was finding 150 yds for $2.

Okay, back to the "June Purse" I knit a lot with Fun Fur and knit in the round. When I knit with this hairy yarn, I purled in the round since the hairs come through more on the purl side than the knit. Then prior to felting, I pulled all the hairs through to the right side of my work. The yarn is more like thin crochet cotton with long pieces every inch or so.

Also, on that same purse, check out the beads. They are from old necklaces I picked up at a local flea market. I bought a box of old jewelry that a lady buys at estate sales. She wanted $.50 for each necklace. That's right fifty cents. When I first saw them, I thought they would work great for beads on my purses. So I told my husband to hold out his arm and I picked out the ones with colors that would match my yarn. When he was holding about 8 necklaces, he asked how many I was going to get. (Not that he cared). The lady said to him, "I haven't made her a deal yet." I asked how much she wanted for the whole box. (The box was a large shirt box - the kind you would wrap a shirt in at Christmas and it was heaping with necklaces.) She said, "$10." I said, "I'll take them." When we got home, we counted 35 necklaces and most had 3-4 strands of beads. I felt like I'd won a million bucks.

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My husband, Ben, knits all the bottoms and the handles of my bags.  He also knits some of the bodies. When my sisters/ nieces found out, they all wanted a purse that he knit. I call it, "Bodies By Ben" or "Bottoms By Ben". He made the maroon and black "Patty, Kathy, Delaina Purses".

He only wanted to learn the "knit" stitch - so I cast on, he knits the number of rows I ask him to, then I pick up and knit for the body onto circular needles. If it's a plain bag, he'll knit the number of rounds I need. If the pattern requires any dec/inc, he has me do that particular row then on he goes again - I bind off the stitches. It's a hoot!

You can see by this picture that he is not a small guy and it was real awkward for him at first. He had me take this picture as a joke (like I caught him sleeping on the job) when our families kept saying they wanted to see a picture of him knitting.

I retired a year ago July 31st (early out at the age of 46). Ben retired this Dec. at age 55. When people asked him what he was going to do once he retired, he'd answer, "have Cindi teach me how to knit." It started out as a joke at first, then the more he said it, the more he wanted me to teach him s he could knit our son-in-law to be a scarf for Christmas. And he did! ow, when I get an order, I send the picture of Ben and say, "I've got my best guy on it right now."

Hope you enjoy my purses. To see more of my work, visit my website at

Lakeview, Michigan