Rose Reticule

mom_bagKnitting holds on to its old words.  Ganseys, gurnseys, wristers, gauntlets, gussets, steeks and, in this case, reticule.  Of course, then there are “Magic Loops” and “frogging” and “tinking”  and “UFOs” but hold that thought for now.  This is Nicky Epstein’s “Rose Reticule” pattern from the Winter, 1994 Knitters Magazine.  I knit it soon after it was published.  Fifteen years ago.  But I remember the project more clearly than I remember some non-knitting events in my recent past.  It’s supposed to have beads knit in around the rose.  I could not make those beads behave.  I still can’t make beads behave the way many other knitters can.  My mom lined this small purse in a beautiful dark cloth with small roses printed on the fabric.  She thought she was finishing it for me to give to someone else and was very pleased to receive it that year for Christmas.  The yarn is an elasticized ribbon sold by Tiber.  Fifteen years ago it was a real stretch to knit this in exactly the expensive  yarn Epstein planned for it.  But it was one of those patterns where substituting would not have worked well.

Magical Silk Reticule


It’s quite rare that I knit something in exactly the yarn the pattern suggests. But I knitted this, about 16 years ago actually, in the Halcyon Gemstone silk that designer Liza Prior Lucy suggested. A reticule is a woman’s drawstring bag, used as a carryall–that’s what my dictionary says.  This one can’t carry much. It measures about six inches long and four inches wide.  I followed Lucy’s  pattern exactly, in colors amber, deep amethyst, garnet and jacinth. I made two.  One for my mom, who taught me to knit when I was in 3rd grade.  Another for me.  I never found a use for mine, but my son did.  He played “Magic”–the card game–at the time. There were a few pieces to the game, dice I think, and my son kept them in one of these bags.  The bag does look quite magical, I think.   The design was published in Piecework Magazine, March/April 1993.  I believe my son still has his stashed away with his Magic cards.   This one came full circle.  My mom died last year and I found this in her closet, carefully laying flat in a fancy padded stationary box covered in roses.  I know she liked it.  I think I know she figured I’d get it back some day.  I’m still keeping it in the fancy box.