A Plague of Ugly Purse Handles

August 11th, 2006 | View Comments

Some time last night, in the middle of the Big Brother and CSI watching and the Print o’ the Wave Stole knitting, I got bitten by a muse. It must have been Terpsichore, muse of the dance, otherwise why would I have started thinking about knitting a cute little clutch suitable for a prom?

A lace pattern in chunky yarn, maybe with a leaf motif. Something a little more advanced and a little more polished than those oft-knocked-off Margaret Nicole bags (which, in turn, may be a knock off of a free pattern). Baby blue, or maybe black. Or one of each!

I thought about using wooden rods a la Margaret Nicole, but decided I wanted something a little bit…sparkly. Prom, remember? Never mind that I’m nearly a decade too old for prom. Besides, we did have a grad student prom/glorified cocktail party this spring. So there!

And then I hit upon it. Silver rods, or maybe a silver purse frame, upon which I could hook a short, elegantly-beaded handle. It would be cute. It would be sparkly! It would be fit for a prom queen.

So I went to scour the internet in hopes of finding exactly what I was looking for. And from what I found instead, you’d think that crafters only make large, tacky purses, because why else would the market be flooded with these?

"Tortoise" plastic purse handle

Or these?

Leopard print plastic purse handle

In addition to the monstrosities above, I found a lot of awfully sturdy handles in case I want to make a tote fit for an Amazon, or Xena the Warrior Princess, and a few beaded handles that screamed “clumsy and plasticky” instead of “elegant and sparkly”.

After a few hours of searching, I gave up. I may just have to make my own.

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CogKnition posted this on August 11th, 2006 @ 2:04pm in Knitwear Design | Permalink to "A Plague of Ugly Purse Handles"


  1. Charity says:

    I hate it when I can’t find just what I’m looking for, especially when I have such a clear mental picture!

  2. Yvonne says:

    It’s times like these I often think…those replicators they have on Star Trek would be awfully useful…

  3. Lorna says:

    You have very cool design ideas and a great web site. I’ve been on a purse binge for several years (been there, taught the classes, even written a book)…
    I don’t know exactly what you want, maybe you don’t either. Here are some other ideas: In the gardening department get some clear tubing and fill it with pretty beads that match the yarns. Cover the ends of the tubing with foil and iron the ends closed, trim and punch a hole with a hole punch. Another one: Lots of colors of classy suede handles. You can’t go wrong. I’ve sewn beads on between each pre-punched hole. Or: String beads on heavy wire, bend it to shape and call it a handle. HTH. Keep up the great stuff! Lorna

  4. Yvonne says:

    Hi Lorna! Of Lorna’s Laces!

    Thanks for the suggestions, they’re very helpful. I may order some handles from Somerset for a different bag I’m thinking of. I will also check out your book, as I love knitted bags, but hate their stretchiness. And I’m really no good at sewing.

  5. Susan says:

    I feel your pain. My best source for handles are belts.

  6. lol “In addition to the monstrosities above” I’d look off-line for some handles I don’t think the internet has a market for these types of products.

  7. Joy says:

    I found great handles at labeana on Etsy – purse handles – they are beautiful and $18.00 each. Good luck I am still searching for more handles