I thank you for your support during these hard times. I am slowly getting my life back, it is not quite the same as before, but good enough for now. Things have improved (knock on wood, please) from the worst, but they are not back to the state they were. It has meant me a lot to know that you are all there (here) with me. Thank you.
And now... where was I? I don't quite remember but I will try to catch up with this post. (Now, please remember that I am writing this from my "crafting point of view" of my life, and there are many other points of view too, but I am not going there.)
So I spent some time working on my fabric sculpture, I made small hands
and small feet
and the head,
and spent some time trying to make a new pattern for the body, but could not get it right. The other bits I made every time there was some extra time,
but figuring out the shape of the body would have required hours of quiet time and I did not have that.
I was lost there for a bit and would just come to my room and sit at the desk and wonder what I should do.
I made one journal page (it is in Finnish) and wrote there that I will keep sewing patches (mending) until all is in one piece again. Now that I look at the page, it does not say all that much, but it was good therapy then. (I could not knit at that point, I felt that my hands were shaking too much. I did not feel the tremor doing anything else, but could not knit or crochet.)
Last summer I bought this sturdy cotton fabric in order to make me a dress from it, something easy to wear in my everyday life.
For the whole winter the fabric was hidden away in the fabric closet, but I had put it on my desk before all started going off balance and there it kept staring at me. I decided to make the dress as it was easy to see the process in steps, in short steps, and none of the steps would require too much time and yet I could see the process going forward.
My next move was to cut out the dress using my old, good, tested pattern. I did not pay any attention to matching the motifs in the fabric pieces, I would not have had enough fabric for that and I did not have enough brain power to do that. I have modified this pattern from an apron I bought few years ago. I have used the apron a lot and still use sometimes, but it has had its best days. The dress (or is it a dress, I guess it is more like an apron still as I need to wear a top with it) is almost done, the hem of the lining still needs to be trimmed and sewn but otherwise it is done.
I am little hesitant to finish the dress as I believe that at the moment it is providing me lots of inspiration and when I finish it, the inspiration might vanish...
While making this dress, I have been watching Susan Khalje's online class "The Couture Dress" on Craftsy. And I also updated my profile in Threads magazine so that I am able to watch all the Insider videos and read all the Insider articles on their site. All very valuable and interesting information. I am hoping to make a coat for myself later on and that is why I am taking also "The Starlet Suit Jacket" - class by Gretchen Hirch.
This dress, or the fabric of the dress, became my source of inspiration without me noticing it at first. Now that I am well in the process I can see all the different ways it is inspiring me.
First of all there is the fabric and the colors in it. There are blue and white checks and there are red and yellow roses. As my first step, intuitively, without giving a lot of thought to the dress nor its inspiration, I did some yarn stash diving and knitted a pair simple socks with my sock recipe with this red yarn.
I have lost the band but I believe it is Bearfoot by Mountain Colors, in colorway Ruby River. While knitting the simple, plain vanilla socks I thought about embroidering them. I could not think of a motif and then, only then I really saw the fabric, and realized all the roses and the leaves and wondered if I could mimic the roses on the fabric. And I think it was around this point when I realized that this fabric/dress opened up a whole new world to me.
I was still working on the dress when a new shawl pattern by "Designs by Romi" arrived at my mail box. This time I did not have to go through my stash as I had Dazzling yarn sitting on my desk. It has BFL and silk in it and the yardage was 400m, just the right amount for Lyrica Euterpe.
While knitting the shawl, I kept thinking how much I love delicate lace and how this shawl really needs to be knitted with lace weight yarn, but kept going on because I really did not need a new ufo at this point. I just had to finish it. I pinned it out on my blocking board and still was not totally happy with the yarn weight. But now that I have unpinned it and have it on the dress, I love the little scarf. It is beautiful and it was a joy to knit, the pattern is easy and it was just the right size for me at this point. From the first stitch I cast on, I could see the last stitch, as there was only this one skein of yarn to knit. I was a bit worried if there would be enough yarn, but with 400 meters and the recommended needle size, this worked out just fine. I had plenty of yarn left. The shawl is this lovely, old rose color, certainly inspired by the dress, but I am not sure if I will keep it for myself or hide it in my treasure chest until someone really needs it.
I left out the beads from the shawl as I did not have big enough beads for this yarn, but the beads have been on my mind. So not only the colors crept into my crafting, but the rose motif kept coming back to my mind and so I had to make a rose.
I am not sure how much this will resemble a rose when I am done with it, because now I will start adding beads, but really it does not matter, the rose was my starting point.
So far the colors in the fabric inspired me to knit red socks and a pink scarf and then the roses made me to applique this flower but there is yet one more path to explore and that is the shape of the dress.
It is a long time since I have knitted a sweater or a cardigan for me, but I am kind of thinking of making a top for the dress. Maybe it will not be something that I will wear with the dress, but definitely this dress has become a source of inspiration. I have no ideas at the moment but I keep thinking of it. It would need to be something simple, maybe an A-line cardigan ... or something ... possibly more of a shrug than a cardigan...
A piece of fabric, that I found last summer, and that most likely is made for interior design and not for clothing, has given me a lot more than I ever expected. It was not a mere piece of fabric but a threshold to a whole new world of possibilities. And I am not just yet going to hem the lining, because I am hoping that there will be more.
Enjoy your Midsummer! (We have the light, the sun will set next time sometime in July up here!)
Wool with you,