It's really difficult to get anything finished while I constantly add new projects into the rotation. It's so hard to find that balance between the excitement of starting projects and the excitement of finishing projects. It's not that I don't enjoy the process, because I do. I mean, you couldn't be a garment knitter if you didn't, am I right?!?!? I get a rush at each little milestone along the way. Waist shaping, YEAH! Bust increase, YEAH, YEAH! Sleeves, YEAH,YEAH, YEAH! ...Still, those little progress markers don't compare to the bliss of casting-on or cutting-out pieces for a new project. And, they don't hold a candle to the euphoria of completing a beautifully finished FO.
One used to be enough, back when I started. Then, slowly, I needed more. I'd start a project. I ride the wave of joy associated with the action. Then, I'd sneak a little 'fix' to boost me through to the end. But, it's a slippery slope. At first you just need a little pick-me-up to get by. The next thing you know, you're waking up disheveled with rogue strings in your hair and balls of yarn tucked under the pillow where you put it when you passed out knitting. And, all the while, the desire for "just one more"continues to intensify... Le sigh...
All this to say, I don't have anything completed to show you. So, here's a picture of my latest project in progress wherein I take my first stab at dying fabric. I'm also working on a sweater for which I am fearful I am going to run out of yarn; BIG SHOCK; I know. (I see you rolling your eyes!). Of course, there's this little get-up, that just needs some buttons and a zip. Oh, and I'm working on a skirt forLe Challenge. And, I really want to get some Rosy Lady Shorts finished in time to play along with SewExhausted. And, I still have some work to do before my supplies are completely organized. And, and, and...
While I search for my focus, here is some blogger fun to distract from my madness. Lovely bloggers Stephanie and Jen have nominated Tres Bien Ensemble for a Liebster award. Also, several of you listed me in the Five things meme (Sue was the only one I could track down...) So, I thought I'd combine the efforts (CHEATER) and blend all into one.
1. Tell me a few things about you and why you sew or knit?
I was lucky to grow-up a crafty kid. My mom and grandma used to make a lot of clothes for us when my siblings and I were small, and I think that had a lot of influence on me. I finally decided to learn how to knit because I was bored and needed something to fill my time, and it spiraled out of control. Once I got deep into garment knitting, sewing was a very natural and organic addition to the mix. I continue to knit and sew because I love the utilitarian aspect of making my own clothes. Also, I think it's important to be aware and conscious about the impact that fast fashion has around the world. I aspire to make my entire wardrobe.... I have a lot of work to do before I get there.
2. Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog to archive my project progress and use as a sounding board when I ran into trouble. At the time I started getting into knitting, I didn't know anybody else who did it, so it was cool to have a forum to talk about how cool I thought yarn and knitting are. Also, it seemed like everybody was writing a blog, and I didn't want to miss out on the fun.
3. What is your fashion style? Does it match your handmade style?
It's a work in progress. I see things I like. I admire fashion. But, when it comes to putting myself together, I'm all over the place. I see knitting and sewing my own wardrobe as a way to explore and develop my style.
4. Where do you get your inspiration for projects from?
All over. I love vintage. I love film costume design. I flip through online catalogs at department stores. I spend time on Pinterest. And, LARGELY, I observe YOU! I love to see what you're making.
5. Where did you learn to sew/knit/crochet?
Sewing. I learned the basics from my grandma. I also had home-ec(onomics) class in grade school, and we were required to have some fundamental understanding of patterns and sewing machine use for the purposes of the class. The rest is trial and error. Knitting: I taught myself from a leaflet titled: LEARN TO KNIT IN 30 MINUTES. No joke.
6. What is your process – for sewing do you make a muslin, for knitting do you make sure to swatch? Or do you just make it up as you go?
I'm getting better about thinking gauge and pattern adjustments through prior to starting a project. I like to place pattern pieces up against my dress form so I can get an idea where I need to make alterations to a sewing pattern. I still don't make a muslin and I rarely swatch. Naughty, naughty! This is absolutely a situation where I would advise you, "Do as I say, not as I do". You'll save yourself a lot of headaches. And, while I know that to be true, I just get too darn excited to get going to slow down and do things proper.
7. Where do you buy your fabric or wool?
Everywhere. I love to look for fabric and wool when I travel. There's no better souvenir, in my opinion. I've also gotten a lot of vintage fabric searching local classified ads. I shop online whenever I see a good sale. And, I make the rounds at Chicago stores as well (Vogue, LZ, Fishman's, Windy Knitty, Loopy).
8. What technique or item of clothing are you afraid to make?
First, Trousers. They just seem so complex. And, I know I'm going to have some fit issues dealing with my shorty legs and my big'ole butt. This one is avoidance- all the way. Second, sewing knits. TERROR. I'm so intimidated by them. With knitting, lace shawls. They seem so complicated and daunting. And, we all know how good I am at focusing.
9. What was the first thing you ever made?
The first thing I ever made was a blanket using 12 skeins of Paton's classic merino... I didn't know better (see response to Question 5). When I finished it. It was all sorts of trapezoidal. So, I unraveled and re-knit. It basically took me the whole first year of knitting to get past that blanket. Then, "somebody" put it in the washer and dryer and partially felted it.... I still have it. The dogs use and love it.
10. What is the best thing you ever made?
That's a toughie. I wear my cape more than anything else I've made. So, that might be the most obvious project to choose.
11. Do you work in a creative industry? If not do you plan to eventually make a business out of your crafting or do you want to keep it a lovely hobby?
I do not work in a creative field. I work for a trial attorney, so there are times, when we are on trial, I get to flex my creative muscles and pull together media and presentation productions, but more than anything, I'm pushing paper. I think my 'hobbies' are critical to my mental health, because I need a creative outlet in between hours in the office. I have pipe dreams of branching out in some way to make knitting and sewing a business endeavor, but at this point in my life, I refer to it as my "retirement" project.
OK. I'm supposed to choose a handful of folks to keep these virtual chain letters going. Instead, I've dropped a Linky gadget down below. If you want a Liebster award, leave a link to your blog and write a post answering the same eleven questions I have. Happy Wednesday!