b r o o k l y n t w e e d
  "The Murse" (Man Purse)
A couple of months ago, my roommate got this crazy look in his eye as he was fondling an old project of mine. Inspired, he expressed interest in designing and commissioning a small project for me to create for him. The exchange went something like:

M: "hey jared... i've been thinking a lot about a project we could collaborate on, and i've decided that it should be a European Carry-All."
J: "...........(long pause, confused expression) um, a what??"
M: "A European Carry-All. You know, a small bag to carry stuff around, just a couple of things. Cause you know i hate having things in my pockets all day."
J: "Oooooh... you mean a Man Purse? A Murse."
M: "No, not a Man Purse..... a European Carry-All."
J: "uhhh.... right. Yeah sure we could do something like that......."

Weeks later, after many hours of resolving "creative differences" ... the Murse is complete.

Murse 1

: The Murse (My Own)(+ a liberal dose of creative input from M)

Materials: Manos Del Uruguay (Brown), and an Unknown Wool/Alpaca blend (Tan) (Yarn band was promptly thrown away upon purchase by said Roommate) 1 ball of each.
Needles: US 6, 8, 9 (Bamboo Straights)
Completed: late June 2006
Measurements: didn't take exact measurements. Its sized to fit a large pair of 'studio' headphones and mp3 player and wallet snugly.
The Strap: A 4-piece braid. I used 4 long strands of Manos held double. Its much less stretchy than a knitted strap, and I like the look.

Murse Back
the backside panel

Lessons Learned: Be wary of collaborating on a design project with a non-knitter. In this case, knowing the limitations of the craft is VERY important (even on such a seemingly simple project... you'd be surprised).

Other notes? Basketweave stitch sucks ass and takes forever. Although I can't deny that it looks freakin' awesome when completed. This project did drag on much longer than I anticipated because of this stitch (cable crossing every pair of stitches on every row, RS and WS).

Was it worth it? Of course. You should see how much he adores this thing. Its really entertaining.

Murse 3 Murse 2

Short notes on other things
: Sweater progress has been stunted because of the heat. Sweater projects have grown too large to drape over the lap. I'm in search of something small to keep me busy, but not a lot of knitting is happening in general. This should change over the weekend.

it looks great, although i can only imagine the "fun" of the basketweave.

did you braid the straps? i like how flat it looks compared to i-cord.

The "murse" looks good. It's funny that he refused to call it a man purse eventhough that's what it is. Sounds cooler as a European carry-all.

I understand your dilemna about the heat. I've stalled on my Urban Aran b/c it's just too hot. How about some lace to tide you over. I know how you love lace.

love the manbag! It may have taken forever, but that basketweave stitch is amazing.

That's fabulous! I think you should submit the pattern so we, the knitverse, may all rock a version of it =)

The pain in the ass basketweave stitch looks SO worth it.

Cute! Why can't guys just call a purse a purse? :P

hahahah.."murse" that's funny:) Isn't rewarding to see someone actually enjoy and adore your own handmade stuff. Those basketweave stitches are so interesting. By the way, did you sew some lining to the bag too?

I like the colour combination ... and yes the basketweave stitch is lovely. I think the fabric made from it would be stronger than usual knitting stitches too ... which is good for a bag.

I love it! The colors, the stitch pattern, the style - all perfect. I've never seen basketweave stitch before, and I have to say that even hearing how much a pain in the ass it is, I'd still knit it just so I could look at it. My vote for a summer project is Trellis. You know she's just hanging out waiting for you to look her way again. I started and have stopped to wait for the new yarn to arrive.

The basketweave stitch works so well in the bag. Cabling every danged stitch every row, yeah, not so fun.

Love it...Love it....Love it.....and I have tried that basketweave once (and only once) before.....came close to jabbing the needles in someones eyes....but it does look awesome. Also...in New York that Murse would work...in Oklahoma....I would be killed! LOL

ha, too funny! The basketweave stitch looks awesome though. AND I have just the project for you ... dare I say S_ _ _ _?

So nice! It reminds me of a bag I wove for a guy friend out of jute a long time ago. It was very primitive/manly.

Your murse is awesome. Next your roommate is going to want a knitted Manziere (it's a Bro!). Hey, maybe that would be a good summer knitting project for you :)

If I'm not mistaken, there was a Seinfeld episode about this. Too bad they missed the chance to inject some knitting into the show. European carry-all. Ha. Reminds me of Freedom Fries. Call it what it is, man! A satchel. Matchel. Whatever.

Murse, Matchel, whatever you call it it is great and I found myself laughing out loud at the exchange!

That basketweave stitch makes it look all nice and...woven :D

Simply beautiful...Beautiful in its simplicity. Bravo.

Wow. That basketweave stitch might suck to do, but is awesome to look at. Just beautiful.

Loves it.

I was thinking about making beg for men use!! I mean "men purse." Now,lot of guys wearing purse..I wil say vintage or emo looks!!! I love the color you choose!! Looks so great!!! If You make a this patern for sell!!! I wish i will buy the patern right away....start to knit!!! Cna You tell me pattern for this?...PLEASE

like all your other things, this is gorgeous. kudos!

tee hee european carry-all - never heard that term used over here! ;-) it looks great though - love the basketweave.

Love the basketweave stitch. I can only imagine the whole process. You left all the interesting stuff out! ;)

Looks great as always and the customer is happy. What more can you ask for?

Brilliant! I love it. I'm with you on the heat; my alpaca hourglass is just dreadful in this weather. I've resigned myself to baby hats and socks for the next few weeks. A bag is great for these horrid hot days too!

Love it... love the name and the pattern/textures are great. Did you use any interfacing on the inside of the bag or line it at all?

Didn't they just add the word "murse" to the dictionary? You're totally cutting edge over there!

that's the best man purse Ive seen! Does the basketweave (which I can't stan either) make it stiff enough that it doesnt stretch when there's an mp3 player in it?

stay cool!

ps I wrote this yesterday but blogger wouldnt let me comment

Hm, in my circles a murse is a male nurse! Your version looks great.

I love it! I think men are very shy, and they dont have the enought personality to wear something like a purse... but maybe if it looks more like a small bag, it would be easier for them... maybe one straight colour... but nothing with much stuff... something more plain... That's what at least would be a chilean man's thought about it.:)
Congratulations from Chile :)

I totally know the suck-fest that is basketweave. My mom wanted a net grocery bag a few years ago and it took me a month to figure out how to do it properly because I didn't have a good book to refer to. The "European Carry-All" looks fantastic. Congrats on it!

That is a lovely bag! I will be waiting for photos of your roommate with his purse on the Sartorialist.

the murse! haven't used that word in awhile but my friend has dozens of murses. that stitch does look cool, even if was a pain in the ass.

What a cute story! I love that basketweave stitch, too!

Very cool! I love that stich, I must give it a try. Love the colour choices, perfect for a murse.

love the murse, also i totally hear you on the non-knitter output, oy.

you know, i have always wanted to knit a pint-sized ice cream holder, kind of like those cardboard holders around coffee cups, so that i could enjoy some ice cream with my fiber.

maybe a good knitting project on a hot day?

Such a lovely prjoect for a man! And I know several I could make them for. I never thought of making a Murse! Sorry, a European Carry-all.

I must have one. Where is this yummy pattern?????

Um...I was the anonymous...it wouldn't let me put in my email/blog....sorry.

That amount of cable crossings does sound awful - but what an awesome finished product! I love its simple complexity (or do I mean complex simplicity?). Plus it's fun to say "murse"!

dear jared,
nice "murse". totally cool. good job. i will be contacting you via email in regards to a question. so look out....

as always, keep up the good work.


dear jared,
nice "murse". totally cool. good job. i will be contacting you via email in regards to a question. so look out....

as always, keep up the good work.


your projects are impeccably knitted, the colors and the photographs are just as nice. any chances you might post the murse pattern for your followers.

tres European!

I love the color combination and basketweave stitch.
and your Jarrett is so cool !!!

well, that is quite the murse you got there, but i think you have to consider whether this is a murse for a murse, or just a murse. for, you see, murse is what we sometimes call the male nurses, (much to their dismay, i'm sure).

The murse is so cool! I agree on collaborating with non-knitters -my husband for example asked for felted slippers with, oh, maybe a design like a deer or, say, a turkey... er, yes, I _could_ do it, but do I want to? I think the slippers will be plain. ;)
I like your photos, by the way. And all your work -so very nice!

Well done!!! Please post the pattern!!!

that basketweave sure does look nice!

It is a handsome bag er manpurse indeed but I have this thing that all things manly must be big so when I made one for my son, things got out of hand, literally, and I may have to repossess it... He's says it's too big.

I love the blend of colors and stitches, it looks authentically woven.

I LOVE THIS! i would love to make one for a friend of mine! Do you have a pattern available for sale? :)

Awesome bag! Love the basketweave. looks great. I'm sure it was a pain but I bet it holds up extremely well.



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