A Reticule is Born.

Photo of early Victorian woman carrying a reticule

Photo of early Victorian woman carrying a reticule in her left hand

I finished knitting my reticule a few days ago. I would have posted this earlier, but somewhere around midnight my computer suddenly decided that it had never, ever seen my neither my xD card nor my card reader before. It has a twisted sense of humor. And will probably find a way to punish me for writing that.

I made the reticule for used at the Dickens Festival at the end of the year, so it’s about as basic as one can get – black, minimal decoration, no beading or embroidery. It’s pretty small – big enough for my keys, driver’s license, insurance card, debit card, a handkerchief, a bit of money and a tube of lip balm. No need to carry anything else. Here it is:

Reticule in basic black

Reticule in basic black

I didn’t have a pattern, so I just started knitting. The base of the reticule has rings where I hid the increases. The sides are straight stitch with a top edge that allows the drawstrings to glide easily, yet are snug enough to keep the reticule closed. It’s nothing fancy – I figured it’s going to get bumped and beaten at the Dickens Festival so the tassel is as wild as I went.

Next to an antique Victorian reitcule

Next to an antique Victorian reticule

Here it an authentic Victorian/Edwardian reticule I recently purchased. Look at those teeny, tiny crochet stitches on the antique. Plopped down alongside, mine looks as if it was knit from an extension cord. It looks fine by itself, but it’s no match for its cousin. On the other hand, I can pummel it to pieces and just make another.

Here are some more close-ups of the detailing on the antique:

OK, the stitch size is somewhat different.

OK, the stitch size is somewhat different.

And one of the tassels is a tad more "relaxed" than the other.

And one of the tassels is a tad more “relaxed” than the other.

And someone took the time to finish off the ends of the drawstrings. (I'm workin' on it.)

And someone took the time to finish off the ends of the drawstrings. (I’m workin’ on it.)

I know I can get an authentic reticule pattern from the Schmetterlingtag shop on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/schmetterlingtag.  Maybe I’ll give it a try, even though those original, vintage instructions can be a nightmare.

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