Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sew Cool!

So, sewing. Yep, I've been taking lessons at the Sewing Arts Center in order to round out my fiber and fabric skills. Sewing is basically the final frontier for me with regard to all things fuzzy and soft. I've got the crocheting, knitting, weaving, spinning, embroidery stuff down for the most part. So, it was a logical next step to begin tackling my fear of sewing head-on.

Oh yes, I did say fear.

You see my peeps, I am a fudger of fiber. Oh I know it looks as though my works are technically sound, and for the most part, this is true, BUT (and this is a big but), I tend to not get too hung up on perfection as I like to finish objects born of my crafty pursuits on a regular basis. Getting caught up in the technical minutiae seems to be my own personal precursor for project abandonment, and I hate having lots of WIPs cluttering my world. I'm kinda big on the whole beginning-middle-end type o' process.

With this said, I believe that the fudge component in sewing to be relatively slim as compared to the other needle arts. I mean, once the fabric is cut there is no going back and mistakes? Yeah well, they become a bit of a challenge to hide. If you are sensing that I suffer from a slight case of sewing neurosis right about now then you're right on the money.

My cure? Classes with Russell at the Sewing Arts Center! Yes, indeedy. He's an awesome teacher! Lest we forget my apron foray...Well, after feeling more confident post apron, I decided to take my needle and threading to the next level and try the skirt class. After 4 sessions I finished this lovely A-line diddy...

I even set in a zipper...

I can feel your ooohs and aaahs right now.

Really though, I haven't felt this accomplished for a long time, and I have a ready-for-Spring Squid Skirt to show for it! Yay!

This month, I'm taking a quilting class...may the force be with me.

P.S., Many, many thanks to everyone for your kind comments on my last post. I'm in for a trying year and it's a comfort to know that you guys are out there sending me good vibes. Hugs all around!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Drama Queen

Nothing like beginning a year with massive life changes. I cannot bring myself to go into detail right now, but let's just say that my path to the future has gone off road. Needless to say, I have no words for the experience right now, but I'm sure I will again have the ability to string plenty of apt phrases together after gaining a bit of distance from the whole debacle.

Personal drama aside, I have finished another Danish Tie Shawl. Like it's predecessor, this delightful example of shawl-dom was knit from my own hand-dyed fingering weight yarns.

I am also quite close to finishing the pattern testing for the Pie-rets. Let me tell you all that I must have been drinking when writing up the lattice crust version of said hat. Uh, yeah. Pattern testing has been nothing short of an adventure. Wow. Anyway, I'm almost there. Should be finished with the final version of the Pie-ret patterns this week. Stay tuned!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

There and Back Again

Whew! I have been swamped these last two weeks with prepping for travel, actually traveling and organizing my life post-travel. Turn-around trips are exhausting to say the least. The one positive, however, is the fact that I get lots of knitting, crocheting or embroidery done while interned in my coach seat for 5-6 hours at a time. As such, you'll all be gleeful to hear that I finished the motherload of pattern testing on the Pie-rets while to-ing and fro-ing to New York. Yep, expect those patterns very soon...

Despite my current schedule, I found a few spare moments to make a pair of fuzzy boots for myself! I figured New York would be frigid and therefore my toes would need a bit of extra warmth, so I got to crocheting before leaving on a jet plane.

Purty purple booties, no?

And check out those blue soles! Found 'em at The Woolery.

I've got a tell you peeps, most of the stuff I design for Crochet Today is not exactly stuff I would make for myself. Don't get me wrong, I think that I've done a good job with the designs and each one definitely has the "LadyLinoleum touch", but how many throw pillows can one have? With that said, I am a big fan of both the fuzzy boots and the lumberjack hat (need to work one of those up for myself as well).

Speaking of designing, I have come to a very important decision. This year I will offer more patterns on my website/blog than I have in the past. I have felt a bit inhibited when designing for publication as of late. Sure, I am immensely thankful for the opportunities designing for publication has provided me (i.e., reaching a larger audience), but I feel as though I am watering down my weirdness. As a result of this realization, I have decided to free my caged aesthetic for a while and pick up the craziness factor a bit. So, you can expect Pie-rets and then some in '09!

*Insert evil laugh here*

Let's put the Monster back into Monster Crochet shall we?

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Seamingly Simple

So sorry for the lapse between posts peeps. I'm traveling to New York next week to spend a few days in our Manhattan Cube Farm. As such I've been busy prepping for my meetings. There's nothing like the inception of a new year to fool my mind into thinking I will get a handle on the unhandleable (my NY practice). Oh well, I will flex my muscle nonetheless!

Oh, but I haven't just been sacrificing trees to the gods of paperwork this week! No, I've also been basking in the glory of my sewing sensei, Russell, of Sewing Arts Center fame. Yep, through the end of March I am spending one to two nights per week with said sensei in order to hone my sewing skills via a variety of classes.

January is all about the skirt and last Tuesday was my first class. Needless to say it was illuminating. My classmates and I spent the evening modifying our patterns (if needed), cutting out our pattern pieces and fabric pattern piece doppelgangers as well as embarking on a bit of sample seam sewing. Russell demonstrated a couple of seam techniques that we will be using on our projects: (i) the French seam and (ii) the flat fell seam. His contention is that fine finished seams are easy and a must for novices to learn. And after completing sample versions of both seams, I agree with him. I am a big fan of the private side of my home sewn garments looking just as fine as the public side.

A less than perfect example of a French seam. As is my way, I began this particular seam on the wrong side of the fabric instead of the right side as I was told to do. What can I say? I have a long and very familiar relationship with my seam ripper.

An almost perfect flat fell seam. Fortunately I didn't screw up two types of seams in one evening!

My next class will be all about seaming and pressing my garment. I haven't decided which seaming technique I will use to assemble my skirt. However, I have a week to mull it over while in New York. Exciting stuff!

February, I am tackling quilting! Wooo hooo!