Maine, United States

Making No. 6 / Black & White / Making Bag
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Making No. 6 / Black & White / Making Bag

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Fall is in the air, and despite the warm weather where I live, the spirit of fall is here. Children have gone back to school, the days are getting shorter, and there's a sense of drawing near to home blossoming in me. Summer, for me, is a time of exploration and adventure, and as much as I love those activities, more than anything, I love to be home. While summer gives me a great sense of excitement, fall seems to ground me. It helps me to remember the important things, namely the people I love and meaningful activities that happen within the place I call home. The truth is that for most of my life, I've considered summer to be my favorite season. But as I've grown older, there's been a subtle shift, and fall has quietly taken first place for my favorite season. 

Seasons are such beautiful gifts, and as this new one approaches, I've started thinking more about the projects that will characterize and embody it. As the air begins to chill, and the earth starts its retreat toward slumber, I want to make things that feel like home. You know that feeling, don't you? That sense of home. Whether it's of your childhood home, a grandparent's home, or your own home, it's a feeling that instills a sense of comfort, safety, and love⁠. The feeling of home is a treasure, and fall is a wonderful season to cultivate it.  

During spring, I picked up a craft I hadn't worked on in some years, crocheting. Before I even started sewing again as an adult, I crocheted. I loved making those sweet headbands with flowers on the side and giving them away to family members. Crocheting, like sewing, is another craft that's been in my family for generations. My great-grandmother, Hortensia, was very fond of crocheting and I've heard stories of things she crocheted for my grandmother like hats, and teeny doll dresses. I love that I have this craft in common with my great-grandmother. Even though I never had the opportunity to meet her, I feel connected to her, just as I feel connected to my grandmother through the craft of sewing.

I started crocheting this year because I wanted to use my hands for something productive while sitting on the sofa to watch a favorite show or listen to a podcast. It started with learning and playing around with basic knitting stitches, practicing the knit stitch and purl stitch. Making rows and taking them out, not making anything in particular but merely enjoying the feeling, and frustration, of being a beginner at something again. One day while I was over at my grandmother's house, I noticed a granny square blanket, brightly colored with yellow and red. I asked my grandmother about it, curious where it had come from and who had made it. She told me that my great-grandmother on my grandfather's side had crocheted it. This discovery made me realize that both of my great-grandmothers had a love for crocheting, which is what made me think of taking it up again. I decided then and there I wanted to make a granny square blanket of my own, so I gathered up the supplies and got started. It was amazing how my hands, though out of practice, seemed to know what to do, they remembered. To me, granny square blankets are one of those sweet old-timey things that give me all the feelings of home. So I started my blanket this spring and have been slowly accumulating a stack of imperfect granny squares.

Little progress was made on the blanket this summer, but as fall approaches, I intend to continue my work on it. I'd been using a thrifted basket to house my crocheting supplies, but it's rather bulky and challenging to move around the house. I've been wanting something a little smaller and more convenient for storing a few supplies that can be taken with me to the living room or beyond. The Making Bag by Anna Graham in Making No. 6 / Black & White has been on my wishlist for some time; I've even had the fabrics selected and waiting. This fall, I knew I had to finally make it because it would be the perfect bag to house my crocheting project. I hoped that by creating a beautiful home for my supplies, I'd be inspired to continue making progress on my granny square blanket. I'm excited for the day that I can cozy up under my blanket, that it will give me that feeling of home, and remind me of my great-grandmothers. And when I'm done with this project, I'll continue to fill my Making Bag with all kinds of meaningful treasures. 

The Making Bag can be found in Making No. 6 / Black & White, pages 36-43. I used a lovely hand-colored twill from Merchant and Mills for the exterior fabric and lined it with a stunning Nani Iro Linen in Harbe Gray Metallic from Purl Soho. For notions, zipper pulls were created from Leather Cording in the color Warm Millet1" Hemp Webbing was used for the handles, and both zippers were purchased from Anna's shop.  

For my granny square blanket, I'm using Purl Soho's Granny-Square Blanket Pattern, along with their Super Soft Merino yarn in the colors Heirloom White, Rose Granite, Oyster Gray, and Artemisia Green

In the next post, I'm talking about gathering supplies for bag making, and then later, my sewing notes and tips for making this beautiful and functional bag.