Sashiko Project Bag by Christina Hadderingh

Sashiko Project Bag

April 2018
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
21 stitches and 25 rows = 4 inches
in single crochet (US)
3.5 mm (E)
4.0 mm (G)
827 - 875 yards (756 - 800 m)
37,5 cm wide (flat) x 40 cm high
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This pattern is available for free.

Sashiko is a centuries old Japanese embroidery technique which was originally used as a necessity rather than to make something pretty. Farmers spun and wove their own clothes, but often times it wasn’t strong enough to endure the hard labour and the fabric would rip and tear too easily. Sashiko was used to strengthen the fabric, as well as mend holes with new patches of cloth. The indigo dye was also meant to make hard wearing clothes that would supposedly also repel insects and snakes. It was not all pragmatic though. The embroidery was also said to prevent evil spirits from entering the body and sometimes they even stitched some secret symbols inside the clothes to protect the wearer. I hope the embroidery will protect our projects too <3 

The stitch that’s used for this bag is called ‘kaki no hana’ stitch, or ‘persimmon flower’ stitch. We are going to make a project bag, but while the bag is for practical purposes and the stitch gives it extra strength, I confess that the main reason I chose the stitch is purely because it’s just so darn pretty. And as a cherry on top; doing the embroidery is a whole new level of calm. It was so relaxing to do row after row of simple running stitch and to see the pattern emerge from under your fingertips is just magical. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Yarn and notions

Scheepjes Catona 125m/50g:

  • Main Color: 4 x color 527 
  • Contrast Color : 2 x color 105

NOTE: I did not have any yarn left at the end, so if you need to order online, it’s a good idea to order one extra ball of both colors. 

Notions for the crochet part

  • 3,5 mm (E) & 4 mm (G) hook or size to obtain gauge
  • Thread clippers 
  • Darning needle 
  • Two markers
  • Optional: Little embellishments for the drawstring, like buttons, tassels or pompoms

Notions for the lining part

  • Simple canvas bag with handles of 37 cm/14.8” wide (measured flat) x 40 cm/16” high to use as lining
  • Some sewing thread that matches the Main Color yarn to attach the lining
  • Sewing needle