Turkish Purse

Shippen purse

Turkish Purse by Sarah Shippen, from Knitting Traditions Spring 2016

This pattern is adapted from a nineteenth-century Turkish purse now in the Gawthorpe Textiles Collection. The original piece has an allover geometric pattern and was knitted at nearly 20 stitches per inch (8 stitches per centimeter)! Clever details, such as the stitched-on edging, embellish and provide shaping for the knitted piece. On my version, I limited the design and finished the purse with twisted cording. This small purse is just the right size to hold your wallet, cell phone, or a concert program; working the pattern in a thicker yarn on larger needles will result in a larger purse.

The motif used in both the original and my adaptation is the burdock, a flowering plant in the daisy family. The flowers produce round seedpods that have woody hooks (burrs). The little pattern on the purse is an abstract representation of the seed with its hooks. Anatolian folk belief is that the burdock symbol will provide protection from evil.

Finished Size 8¾” inches long and 6¾” wide, excluding strap.

Yarn Rauma Prydvevgarn (100% Norwegian wool; 656 yd [600 m]/3½ oz [100 g]): #636 black (MC) and #601 white (CC), 1 skein each. Yarn distributed by The Yarn Guys.

Needles Size 000 (1.5 mm): set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions Markers (m); point protectors; tapestry needle.

Gauge 44 sts and 54 rows = 4″ in charted patt; gauge is not critical for this project.

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