This little leather pouch…

Using leftover pieces of leather from the wall hanging I created for a school auction, I fashioned a small pouch to carry the essentials like an ID and credit card. The body of the pouch is one long piece folded onto itself and handstitched with artificial sinew. The tri-color macrame that adorns and lengthens the front flap uses two colors of natural alpaca wool yarn and a dark brown cotton embroidery floss.

But that is not how I first envisioned this project, of course. This is another blog post about working with frustration, changing or releasing expectations, and, in the end, not giving up. Because creativity is finding the work around when you think you have failed.

The macrame was an idea that came to me in a moment one day after seeing some modern macrame images online. I’ve done a little bit of macrame before, but never anything like a friendship bracelet – which is what this most resembles. Eight year olds make friendship bracelets all the time. I actually thought it would be easy. 

I found a pattern I liked, but decided to double it to 36 strings to fit the width of my pouch. My first mistake. Not drawing the wider pattern on paper – second mistake. I tied all the strings onto the short leather flap and just charged ahead, thinking I’d be able to figure it out as I went along.

I spent as much time undoing knots as I did tying them. I almost gave up on the project. I definitely put it aside for many days. Then yesterday, I decided to undo everything. I considered maybe starting over using different strings since the natural alpaca yarn was irregular in thickness and would sometimes unravel or fray in the process of tying knots. But in the process of undoing, I slowly worked back to a row of dark brown and stopped. The simple chevron seemed just right, imperfections and all. I trimmed the strings as tassels to match the length of the pouch. The thin leather strap was attached by threading the ends through two small slits cut in the crease of the leather flap and simply gluing the ends to the inside of the pouch. 

I am pleased, relieved actually, to have completed this project rather than tossed it aside. Giving up or quitting lingers on as regret. Creativity is the bridge between the vision and the actual execution; between giving up and trying again – and finishing.

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