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Knitting An Heirloom (in just two weeks!)

Apr 22, 2009

Note from Sandi: The staff projects are always one of my favorite parts of the new issue! I love seeing how each staff person takes a single idea and interprets it in her own way. In the Summer 2009 issue of Interweave Knits, the assignment was to "knit an heirloom"--not an easy assignment! The first of these staff heirloom projects is today's Bride's Sachet Purse, designed by Laura Rintala, Knits' managing editor. Here's Laura to tell you the story behind her family's new heirloom: 

Bride’s Sachet Purse
by Laura Rintala

When the “Let’s do an heirloom knits staff project” request came just days after the “I’d like to marry your daughter” phone call, my brides-and-babies vision of heirloom, and conflict of which to focus on, was already settled. As the “something old, something new” verses rolled through my mind, along with visions of gossamer and slightly iridescent lace shawls, a new challenge was added to the project.

The U.S. military’s personal request to have our future son-in-law comfortably stationed on a base over 5000 miles away, and on another continent, expedited the engagement to a fraction of what any knitting mother should have to work with. The wedding date was set a scant 2½ months after the engagement—those 2½ months being the busiest in our year: the Christmas holidays. Considering several other deadlines, my knitting time was about two weeks.

So the ideas of a lovely knitted lace shawl for the bride, phfft! Out the window—along with any notions of something for the bridesmaids. But it had to be lace! It was for the bride, on her wedding day. The only girl we’d be giving away, ever. How fair was two weeks—particularly when you’re already over your head with impending Christmas projects?

But there are two things in life that just don’t wait… love and the U.S. military’s personal requests to its employees.

My shawl ideas turned to lace: lace that would be necessary for the wedding day, and still feasible within the time constraints. A little pocket for the bride in which to carry those few little necessities (something old, something new at least!) on her wedding day. The knitted lace purse (complete with beaded cinching wrist strap and iridescent beads at the tips of the lace edging) is worked in the round from the bottom up to the lace edging and features all the elements of the shawl I’d have liked to make. This heirloom came together in a fraction of the time and went down the aisle tucked into her hand, under a bouquet of stargazer lilies and a radiant—nay, dazzling—smile. Ah … young love.

-- Laura

Download the free pattern for the Bride's Sachet Purse

Sandi Recommends: Knitted Lace of EstoniaWant to make your own family heirloom, and have a bit more time to plan ahead?


There are few books better for creating your own lace heirlooms than Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush. Each shawl and scarf in this book is rooted in generations of tradition from the Estonia people, and Nancy brings them to life vividly, with gorgeous color photographs, extensive step-by-step instructions, and an entire illustrated section on the techniques that make these shawls so special. Since getting my own copy of Knitted Lace of Estonia, I have already completed one of the beautiful stoles for my mother--the Leaf and Nupp Shawl--and have started on a second. (My sister is not-so-subtly hinting that maybe she'd like one too.) Knit the bride in your life the shawl of a lifetime; or a new babe a christening blanket to pass down through the generations.


Ask for Knitted Lace of Estonia at your local yarn shop, or purchase it online here. 


Sandi Wiseheart is the founding editor of Knitting Daily. She is now the author of the popular Knitting Daily blog: What's on Sandi's Needles.

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on Aug 4, 2010 10:26 AM

I can't wait to try lace knitting. I have recently bought a great and popular book. I just wish I had a clue what i was doing! I love this bag too!

Angeluna wrote
on Apr 24, 2009 11:45 AM
Sandi, please help. I couldn't find any other way to contact you and the FAQs didn't address the problem. For some reason, the last issue of your e-mails I received was February 16. There doesn't seem to be any reason they stopped. I checked all of my profile information. Nothing in my spam filters. Was going through a pretty tough time with two deaths in the family. Coming up for air, I realized I hadn't had an e-mail in quite a while. Any ideas? Thanks. I'm missing you. meduse(at)charter(dot)net
Danielle wrote
on Apr 23, 2009 1:42 PM
Another reader tried this for her uploading issues: Try this Firefox users:
You need to choose button #4 (bypass PDF download) from the dialog that comes up when you start the download, and it will work. I'm using FF 3.08 and the first 3 button choices confuse the download as there is extra code attached to the PDF download. OR, you can change your 'download PDF' settings. Go to TOOLS>PDF DOWNLOAD OPTIONS choose the OPENING PDF 'tab' and then choose "use PDF plugin". Again, I'm using FF 3.08, the latest version, and this is accurate. 2. The problem may be with an Add-On on Firefox called "PDF Download." If you have that add-on, either disable it or choose to ignore it and your problems should be over. I had the same problem until I disabled the add-on and then then problem disappeared and I was able to download the patterns. Hope that helps.
LorraineL wrote
on Apr 23, 2009 10:57 AM
To Nancy Have you tried Sheep Street in Morgantown or Cottage Knits in Columbus? I know that there are a few yarn stores in Indy and at least one in Bloomington but I don't know their names. I do know that Cottage Knits has some cotton for the bridal sachet. I'm considering an off-white bamboo.
NancyG@2 wrote
on Apr 23, 2009 6:42 AM
I love the pattern Heirloom, where con you buy the yarn . Found it in Italy. would like to find a store near Martinsville Indiana N C Gray
Trudy@3 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 5:08 PM
Thanks for the lovely lace patterns!
on Apr 22, 2009 3:52 PM
Firstly thank you. It's such a lovely purse for the bride.....and would make a lovely heirloom. I have one request regarding it Can you please do a editorial piece on "how to preserve" such a lovely heirloom. In all weathers please as I live in tropical North Queensland Australia Kind regards Mary Cunningham
Paula@3 wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 12:17 PM
I had no problem downloading the pattern. The pattern is quite lovely an I am looking forward to making one.
EllenF wrote
on Apr 22, 2009 11:28 AM
On this same newletter you listed a book, Feminine Knits. In reading the information about the book, mention was made of translation software for knitters. I have a knitting magazine my son brought home to me from Italy that has some wonderful knits I want to make but sadly I know nothing about Italian. Where can I find translation software to help me with this? Thank you, Ellen Foley PS LOVE your newsletters!