|Source: A Lady. The Workwoman's Guide. London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co. 1838. Click to enlarge.|
By the time I had finished knitting, I ended up with this tube with a hole in the middle. Unfortunately it's not actually as long as it should be, as I had mislaid the instructions while working on the opening and ended up knitting only half the slit length that the pattern called for.
|The long green tube.|
I figured this could be a form of Miser's Purse (or if it were longer maybe you could tie it up??) so I added some soldered jumprings from the jewelry store to slide the purse closed.
|Now it looks like a candy!!|
I got a chance to try it out this weekend at a big multiple house yardsale that happened on my street (hopefully I'll have more on that later!). It worked very well- provided that you only use coins and sort your change really well before you put it in... maybe not that useful on an everyday basis, but in a yardsale context it's decent. I also got a lot of compliments from neighbours on this funny little purse.
|An action photo- my purse with money in it.|
****So now for the Historical Sew Monthly stats. The challenge: Literature.
What the item is: A knit miser's purse.
Challenge: I remembered as I was knitting this about a particular chapter in Thackeray's Vanity Fair. When I went back to the book, I realised that there is an entire chapter called "The Green Silk Purse", where Becky Sharpe and Joseph Sedley flirt while Becky knits a green silk purse during her stay at the Sedleys' family home. There's even an illustration!
W.M. Thackeray, "Mr. Joseph Entangled", 1861.Source: http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/thackeray/4.1.html Scanned by Gerald Ajam
'this arrangement left Mr. Joseph Sedley tête-à-tête with Rebecca. at the drawing-room table, where the latter was occupied in knitting a green silk purse...as he talked on, he grew quite bold, and actually had the audacity to ask Miss Rebecca for whom she was knitting the green silk purse? He was quite surprised and delighted at his own graceful familiar manner.
Materials: My purse is made from cotton crochet thread, rather than the silk in the book, but it was what I already had in my stash, so I figured I might as well use it.
Pattern: "For A Purse" from the Workwoman's Guide, in the section on knitting (the very top pattern on page 267).
Year: 1838. This works rather perfectly, because not only were these kind of purses used throughout the 19th century, but this is actually also a reasonable in-between date to bridge the 1810's, when this scene is set, and the 1840's, when the novel was written.
How historically accurate is it? I followed the pattern fairly precisely, and the dimensions of the purse correspond decently well to examples dated to the early 19th century on museum websites, although mine is a bit too short because I accidentally ommitted several repeats of the pattern. I also used mercerized cotton, which would not have been available yet at the time that this pattern was published.
First used: May 27th, in the local laneway yard sale.
Cost: Part of a leftover from my stash, but originally the entire ball of yarn cost $7.