Since I started ahem collecting sewing, knitting and crochet patterns, I am constantly surprised by the quality of patterns offered for free. What motivates someone to release a pattern into the wild versus only offering it for money? And vice versa... I want all designers to make a buck. In fact, perhaps paying to use a design should be done via an honor system royalty fee paid directly to the designer. I.e. once you've made the item, you pay the designer. On the other hand, I've been occasionally disappointed when I pay for a pattern up front, only to find that it's not to my liking.
I'm loving the stash management tools on Ravelry. As I update and tweak my stash, I'm noticing that the first yarns I listed are missing a lot of details (i.e. I didn't enter the info). I'm slowly but surely adding tags, etc. to get a better grip on what I have and moreover, what I can make from it! Back to managing the stash...
I don't buy clothes without trying them on. I swatch. I have taken measurements from a favorite, similar-fitting garment, to determine which size to knit. Sure I substitute yarns, and maybe my gauge isn't spot on, but it's "close enough." So why do I now have two sweaters that are too tight, and one that's probably too loose? I attribute it all to a mild case of body dysmorphia (and an aversion to the math that is most likely required to successfully reknit the sweaters in question).
And yes, I do crave the result enough to figure it out. (Eventually.) =;)
Why is it that the minute I decide to buy the yarn for a pattern I just discovered, that one of the "required" yarns is nowhere to be ordered? To add insult to injury, the pattern was just published! Arrgggh...
Yarn from Little Knits will be here! I wish packages were equipped with RFID tags and they could be tracked via GPS, so instead of: on FedEx vehicle for delivery, left Benicia, CA 0734 am, you'd see: making left turn onto Water Street, 5.8 miles away from destination...at stop light on Fair Aisle Ave, 2.4 miles away from destination. And for the ultimate in package tracking, you'd be able to watch the package on a real time, clickable map. I can't be the only one who would LOVE this!
Somehow I don't see myself dyeing my own yarn (although it's tempting). What I REALLY don't see myself doing is: shearing the sheep, washing and carding the fleece, spinning, plying, and then finally dyeing the handspun yarn.
While chugging along on the front of the Louisa Harding Sloppy Joe sweater, shaping the armscyes, it occurred to me that something is off with the armscyes on the back of the sweater. I'm (not so) secretly hoping that I can simply sew up the sweater and the difference won't matter, but the closer I get to binding off the front of the sweater, the greater that nagging feeling grows...
I've almost finished the back of a sweater from Vogue Knitting, S/S 2007, model 3, "cabeled tank." But I'm stuck on binding off to shape the armsyces. I ripped back the first attempt, threaded a "lifeline" through the live stitches and started again. I don't like how it looks. The pattern requires binding off at the beginning of one row, then the beginning of the next, etc. Unfortunately this means binding off in knit stitch, then purl, etc. and I think it looks sloppy. So I'm now in search of a better way, a more polished appearance to the bound-off stitches. Which, I think will necessitate more ripping. *sigh*
The sewing empire has grown by leaps and bounds. In fact, it's burst out of the small, unconfigured space (i.e. the livingroom and "dining bridge," to be explained some other time), requiring that I declare a state of emergency in my little sewing empire.
Once I finish updating my Flash interface (final project for advanced Flash class) at http://www.sewrealistic.com/final52b.html, I might just need to call out the National Guard to help me dig out from under the avalanche of tools and materials. (Ok, bad joke. No offense intended.)
The sewing empire now includes: cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, embroidery and not only sewing with my (not so trusty) Mickey Mouse machine, but also with my (possibly more reliable?) used Elna Lock L2 serger. (An eBay score.) Strangely enough, no sewing has ever taken place IN the empire. Could be the fact that I can no longer move through the living room without turning sideways in spots... =;p
Can't say the same for knitting, crochet or cross stitch though...in fact, those stitchy activities seem to spontaneously happen, whether I want them to or not. Hmmm.
We really don't know each other that well. I've taken my machine out for a spin, in class only, twice now. I bought my machine after I was laid off...sometime last summer (2007), after I did a *bit* of research. I know that I used the "billmelater" option and my machine was reconditioned. It's a Brother SE-270D. The "D" stands for "Disney." Now, I'm not into Disney. Although I have nothing against Mickey Mouse and his ilk, I'm not a fan either. So my machine has Disney characters built in and I'll have to live with that.
I went with a combination sewing and embroidery machine because I could see myself, a year after I'd start sewing my own clothing, wanting to embellish my creations without wanting to do the work. My machine can embroider an area up to 4" x 6". Not shabby, but not the largest area possible. Without even having embroidered a single thing with my machine, I already feel inadequate. I see designs that I'd like to embroider, and of course, they're for 5" x 7" hoops. It all comes down to using what I have. Appreciating what I have, before coveting the next, new thing. I'm such a marketing pawn.
I've been crafting - cross stitching, crocheting, knitting, embroidering, oil painting, drawing, etc. now and again from an early age (five or so?). Sometimes I had a lot going on and other times, I had all but abandoned creating things. Eventually I always circle back. According to my grandma, I used her portable Singer (model unknown) around the age of seven to make doll's clothes. She claims I had helped myself to the machine, taking it out of the closet where it lived. When she asked me how I had learned to operate the sewing machine, I replied that I had read the instruction booklet. The funny thing is, I have virtually no memory of using that machine. No recollection of any doll's clothes I supposedly sewed. I do recall the glass-topped black desk with white porcelain knobs and the sewing stand which was painted black to match. The right hand desk drawers were full of sewing goodies, as was the sewing stand. I freely used whatever I found stuffed in these spots; no one was using any of these goodies.
Around the time I was twelve, my aunt and I sewed a dress with reversible vest for me. She let me pick out the pattern and the fabric. I thought I was a designer! Of course, in retrospect, the color combination was awful. One of the fabrics was chocolate brown with small cream flowers sprinkled randomly all over, the other was the same colorway - reversed, and the third was a fine pinwhale corduroy in cream. I'd love to find a photo of me wearing this dress, but I'm afraid none exist. (At least, none that I'm aware of.)
I also tried my hand at sewing small plush animals. Did I sew more than one? I don't know.
This time around, I was inspired to start sewing for a variety of reasons: 1. to cover my couch, 2. to hem my own pants, 3. to finally escape the frustration of shopping for ill-fitting rtw clothing that falls apart right after the first wearing.
For a loooong time now, I've wanted to write a blog. If I'm not mistaken, this blog will be my third attempt. First it was, "walls2windows.com" - back before blogging was hip and back before everyone and their brother had a blog. But I didn't know what I wanted to post. I thought I'd showcase my photoshopped photos, share my list of recommended Palm OS apps... I still own the domain, but the site no longer functions, and I haven't decided what to do with it.
Second attempt was, "quotidian bits" on blogger. But, I wasn't posting on a quotidian basis. Post layoff, my life had not expanded to fill the freedom that being unemployed afforded me.
Which brings me to this, my third attempt, at blogging. Over the years I've come to conclusion that the best blogs focus on a passion with daily life served up as a sidebar to that passion. So, what is/are my passions?
Many! So many, that I've struggled with naming my blog and narrowing the focus. Therefore, I'm going to start blogging about learning to sew, which is my *latest* passion. From there, I'll get to the other passions.
Next post: building my sewing empire. (I'm someone who buys ALL the tools long before I've stitched a single thing. Which is why I'm amazed when I read in someone's blog that after 15 or 20 years of sewing, they've just now discovered the joys of using tailor's hams. Wow.)