Monday, May 14, 2018

An Instructive Week - Part 1

I had a tough week last week, but I didn't realize it until Saturday night when I tried working through my unhappiness with the ladyfriend. It was then that I realized the week had actually been about crushing disappointment. I know, it sounds serious, and in some ways it was. The theme started at a literary event on Sunday evening where I felt erased. As a writer, I hope to be introduced as such, especially in the company of other writers, as well as asked about my work, but that didn't happen. To make the whole thing complete, I got a rejection delivered to my email in the middle of the event. Huzzah!

Since I've been there before, I didn't think it would have a lasting impact. The rest of the week - Monday through Friday - was full of engagements, obligations, and appointments. It was pretty exhausting even if most of the events were fun.

So on Saturday, when I went to the studio to finish the Afghani Nomad Dress, I was ready to have a satisfying day of sewing. That is not how it went down.

I have two projects I tried to finish this week - the Anna vest and the Afghani Nomad Dress. I stitched the vest together, and that went fine. It was the buttonband, however, that defied my intentions. Instead of lying flat and evenly, it undulates a little and is uneven. I have to take the whole thing off (it goes all the way from the bottom left opening around the neck and down to the bottom right). I am not pleased.

The bodice of the Afghani Nomad Dress doesn't work for me so I tried to modify it; however, I didn't calculate the measurements correctly and have to redo it. Please note that I am doing French seams for this dress, which means every time I have to unpick a seam, I have to do it twice. By the time I checked in with the ladyfriend about a pick-up, I was pretty unhappy.

There were a couple of other contributing factors, but once I started talking about it, I realized that between the fantasy of finishing the projects and the undermining of my identity as a writer, there was more than enough disappointment to go around. These moments, taken in isolation, generally don't leave a mark, but when they're compounded by exhaustion and other factors, they combine to make a bit of a steamroller. I'm thankful for the clarity and understanding the week has given me. Hoping I can keep it all in mind as I move ahead.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Me Made May So Far

Above are the outfits I wore on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Monday. For some reason I can't find the original images of Wednesday & Thursdays outfits. Anyway, I'm finding that I am putting things together that may not have been matched before. For example, the top left image features the Trapezoid Tee that I knit a few years ago with an old Dries Van Noten skirt (sans outer layer). The image on the bottom left features my recently finished dress shirt paired with a dress I made while we were in Berlin in 2013. I love the act of discovering new ways to wear things you already own.

The ladyfriend and I caught the Mitchell/Riopelle show at the AGO just before it closed. I've been a Joan Mitchell fan since I saw a show of hers at the Whitney in New York City in 2002. It was great to see her work in person again.

Included a close-up of this one as the layering of the paint was quite compelling.

Sure, there was a counterpart - Jean Paul Riopelle - but frankly, his work didn't speak to either of us except for one piece.
Avalanche by Jean Paul Riopelle
The way we saw it, Mitchell danced with the canvas while Riopelle boxed, or to put it another way, Mitchell collaborated with the canvas while Riopelle seemed to want to conquer it.

It's been great seeing art lately. The Kusama show in April was pretty cool although the whole ticket thing was out of control. We lucked out and got tickets in advance. If I remember to, I'll post some images from that as well. If you're in the area, the ladyfriend is on a panel at the AGH on Thursday and has an opening at b. contemporary on Friday.

I start the Lander pant class tonight. I'm pretty excited to make these!

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Back at It in May!

Oh, the ambitions of April! My three goals had been to finish all three WIPs (Anna vest, Kate Davies cardigan, and the ladyfriend's sweater), sell the two bikes we have in the shed, and make a plan for all the things I want to make this year and particularly this summer.

Hmm, how did it go? Well, I finished this -

It's the Brae Cove tunic, which is a Squam KAL. There was some endless knitting, on size 4 needles no less, but I couldn't be happier with the result. The length is perfect; I can wear it as a dress or over something, and I used yarn from my stash to make it. It's the beginning of May, which means Me Made May, and this is how I chose to start it. This is also my second finished item from my Make Nine list.

Here are the updates on April's goals - sad but true:
I fixed the Anna vest issue and now have to stitch it together, so I didn't finish it.
The Kate Davies cardigan remains unfinished.
The ladyfriend's sweater is one sleeve shy of being sewn together. My new goal for that is to finish it before we go to Nova Scotia.

So while I finished one WIP, it wasn't on the list. I also started another sweater. What can I say? I'm incorrigable.

One of the bikes has been taken; the other still needs to go up on Kijiji.

My making plan? Well, I've been working on it, but not on paper, so let's do that here!

I'm already deep into my Afghani Nomad Dress. I'm hoping that will be done Wednesday or Thursday.

I'd originally wanted to make one of the three possible pants for Fringe Association's Summer of Basics challenge, but Needlework, my local fabric store, is running a class on the Lander pant this month so I decided to take that opportunity. I'll be making these in white canvans. Whoo-hoo!
June will be for the Liv cardigan; I'll be picking up the yarn in early June and starting it while at Squam, which is what I tried last year, but then I realized I didn't have enough yarn. Looking forward to adding this cardigan to my wardrobe. It is one of my Summer of Basics projects.

One of my issues with the Summer of Making is that I'll be in Nova Scotia for most of it. I have a sewing machine there, but not necessarily all my tools. That said, I think I will try to make Paxson. I actually bought fabric for it last year, but then they revised the pattern, and then well, I went onto other things.

And because the pieces made for the Summer of Basics are meant to fill a hole in one's wardrobe (I know, how could there be a hole in a wardrobe of my size?), I'm making the decision right here and now to make Pants No. 1 as well. Paxson and Pants No. 1 will be July/August projects.

That brings me up to 7 of my Make Nine. I'll work on Azami (8) over the summer; it feels like a good cottage knit, and then I'll make Erica (9) in the fall. Of course I have other things I plan to make as well, but this is the core.

So, what are my May goals?

1. Project to Finish (WIP): I need to finish a Frank Lloyd Wright cross stitch.

2. Fix/Remake/or Let Go: Time to revisit the floor lamp.

3. Get Started On: My veggie garden.

Hope the weather in your area is good; we're having some beautiful days right now.