Tatting doesn't make a solid fabric like your purse is, but when I learned how to do it, it felt really natural because it feels the same as the knots used in friendship bracelets. Here's a thread about tatting, there's a really awesome looking bookmark by sbub. http://www.craftster.org/yabbse/index.php?board=22;action=display;threadid=3595
I learned from a combo of books and the sites that are listed on that thread. I've made a few things, mostly chokers and doilies using tatting. Dover books has the most books about tatting that I've found, but they're harder to learn from because they're mostly reprints of antique pattern books. Feel free to message me or comment in my blog if you think I could help more!