Saturday, June 20, 2009

FO: Counterpane Clutch

For some brains, it might be possible to do an orderly bloggish roundup of two weeks of huge life events in a coherent, orderly fashion. Not so much with mine. I'm currently unsure which direction is up (I suspect it's not where my socks are), so please enjoy the following handful of discombobulated posts, starting with today.

Wedding Knitting
I managed to hold myself back from knitting every single item of my wedding ensemble. (Though if I'd had the time!...) Instead, I satisfied myself with a single evening purse, the Counterpane Clutch.

pattern: Counterpane Accessories Pouch from Handknit Holidays by Carrie Brenner.
yarn: Elann Undyed Superwash Merino and Silk (silk/merino blend; about two-thirds of one skein). I can't believe more people haven't used this excellent, undyed workhorse of a yarn. It's got a snug ply and just enough sheen to qualify it for fancier projects. Bonus: it's also not that expensive. A quick look to the website shows that it might already be gone, but there's still some merino/Seacell blend.
needles: size 5
made for: the wedding
notes: Like many people, I changed up the shape by making three repeats of two scallops (as opposed to two repeats of three scallops). Makes it more functional.

The two sides knit up quickly and easily. It was when we got to the seaming and sewing that my river of silliness broke free from the dam of common sense. Some sample mistakes: I should have folded the tops over at the second purl row from the top (see it up there?) and then sewed the zipper to the doubled-over knitting, just as the directions say. I noticed this precisely after tying the final knot after a painstaking three days of hand-stitching the zipper to the knitting. Why did I hand-stitch? Because I've also had a recent tour of non-functional sewing machines (but some of them very antique and interesting) belonging to my girlfriends.

And then came the lining. I found the ideal lining, some on-sale silk that just so happens to match the groom's tie perfectly (happy accident: the tie came after, and trust me, he wasn't trying to match the purse). I cut it once before I realized I did it wrong, then had it pinned and ready to cut incorrectly a second time when finally a little logic fly whispered in my ear, "Ask your mother."

Sure enough, my mother came to the rescue, as she has in so many other ways. I shipped it up to her, and she finished it off in time for the wedding. To my mind, a mother-daughter project typically involves me as a little girl staring at the sewing machine in confusion as she works some crafty magic, but this will do, too. (She is also a total ninja when it comes to knitting, btw.)

In the end, it's an attractive, floppy evening purse that will probably never be used again.

You could say the purse functioned much like the wedding: not perfect, but none of the guests saw what went wrong with it. Which is to say, excellent.

I hold the same standards for theatrical productions.

I'd love to have a purse-in-action shot from the day of, but alas, we hired a professional photographer -- not just a wedding photographer, but a pro photographer who owns her own gallery and stuff. She has something like 17 prints and two custom frame jobs or whatnot before she can even start in on our pictures. When we do get them, say in a month or so, I look forward to showing the pictures off to everybody between here and the moon.


Kara said...

I have always loved this pattern. I have the full-size bag, but have never tried to clutch. It is gorgeous, and I love the lining. Perfect for your big day...and for many days after that.

the little owl said...

Love this clutch! It's beautiful! I just may have to add it to my queue...

NiHaRiKa said...

Wow! Beautiful clutch..I so wanna make it and since days, have been trying to find the book/pattern but unable to find it. Can you please help me out with the pattern? Thank you..I will owe u one..


Elizabeth said...

NiHaRiKa, I'd love to help, but it's a copyrighted pattern, and it would be unethical for me to send it to you. I suggest looking up the book Handknit Holidays at your public library. I bet you'll be able to find a copy that way.