Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Near Fatal Flaws

Last night was knit night - the first time in our new location, twenty minutes away, down the hill, across the bridge, and over to the north shore - except that every few minutes there was a warning on the radio suggesting that if you didn't need to go out, it would be better to stay home. I did. I'd much rather observe heavy snowfall from the living room than the car window. 

Putting the blue cardigan together isn't going quite the way I'd anticipated. After sampling a few different seams, the best method was to serge the plain and ribbed fabrics together, finger press the seam toward the plain fabric, and top stitch it in place before pressing with the iron creating...

... the least amount of bulk on the right side and relative neatness on the wrong side - which is what I did - after spending thirty minutes getting the serger cleaned up and rethreaded, the tension adjusted, and the differential determined. Sergers are fabulous except when they're misbehaving!

My original intent was to use a lettuce edge along the hems only the fabric didn't lettuce nicely. Reverting to my usual t-shirt method, I fused a 1" strip of knit interfacing with the stretch going around the body, serged the edge, and turned up the hem. I'll decide for sure later but mostly likely will hand stitch the hems to avoid flattening the ribs.

My cardigan pattern is developed from my T & T t-shirt pattern which is developed from New Look 6735. Between the underarm and the waist, the side seam on the front bodice is drafted 7/8" longer than the side seam on the back bodice and the two are eased together. When the fabric doesn't have sufficient lengthwise stretch - as this one doesn't - I substitute a dart. I will dart the sweater and the lace fabrics separately before basting them together.

I thought this blue knit was identical to another I'd used before and really liked. It's not. This one is of poorer quality. I first noticed problems when stitching the tucks. Some of the knit loops didn't follow in a straight line and intersected each other at weird angles. After I'd added the ribbing to the back, I held the piece up to the light and could see this thinner section. SO annoying. It's a near fatal flaw but fortunately won't show when the piece is against my body. Even so, it's disappointing - a reminder to be more aware of quality in the future.

sdBev wrote - I'm sorting and cleaning my sewing rooms. Haven't discarded anything yet, but that's still a possibility. I found I was overwhelmed by what I had planned, not started and started. I put everything back into stash that had not been cut. It is such a relief to walk into the sewing rooms and not have to face all the stuff.

When I was teaching Studio Make-over, I called that to finish or be finished. There's a huge amount of pressure in undone work, a constant message of failure and of wasting time and money. In my opinion, it's better to allow that item - be it supplies for an art form we didn't enjoy or a work in progress that isn't progressing anywhere - to become something rather then allow it to keep sending out negative messages. Moving it along, whether that's giving it away, throwing it away, or putting whatever parts and pieces can be put back into stash, returns positive energy to the studio. The studio should never weigh us down. When it does, that's a called to action because the studio should be a place of positive, ongoing energy - a place of possibilities.

A possibility is a hint from God. One must follow it. - Søren Kierkegaard

The possibility path is God giving us an opportunity to make a difference. As we follow it, we stop asking ourselves what we are and start asking what can we become. We may appreciate what we did yesterday, but we don't put it on a pedestal. It looks small in comparison to the possibilities in the future. Looking forward fills us with energy. - John Maxwell

I read those two quotes yesterday in my study of John Maxwell's book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. The book provides plenty of food for thought particularly because I don't agree with everything he writes. I think that's important - to read, process, evaluate, and make decisions around what we learn rather than to blindly follow.

One thing I've realized is that even though I used to be, I am no longer as driven as the author is and I have no desire to become that driven again. At one time, the future always needed to be bigger on a scale where small was an obscure unknown and big was celebrity status. While I agree with not putting the past on a pedestal, I don't agree that the past is small in comparison to the future. One is history. One is unknown. I prefer to think about them as equal and different because the only moment we have is now. That's the one to live fully and - for me - abandoning that quest for celebrity status has allowed me to discover the rich treasures of obscure and unknown.

What the past has shown me is that the work we do today is the foundation for the work that is possible tomorrow. It takes beginner skills to develop intermediate and advanced ones and each level opens up new opportunities. Skills are developed from possibilities put to work. Possibilities start as ideas and - thankfully - ideas flow through my mind continuously. Sometimes I wonder why and it's intriguing to think that I am meant to do something with these ideas especially as I know for a fact that I cannot do something with all of them. One idea's purpose may simply be to be a stepping stone to another idea and yet, how to know which ideas to follow-up and which ones to let go is an interesting question. As my friend Sharon says, most likely the one that keeps coming back at you.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - when I told my husband about my study yesterday and indicated some concern over whether I'm willfully ignoring possibilities that God actually wants me to follow up, he asked what he could do to help. Hmm... lets see... he puts no pressure on me to get a job and supports me fully in exploring creative possibilities while thinking I walk on water when we all know for a fact I do not. LOL - that seems like a lot of help to me and something to be very grateful for.


  1. Myrna
    Thanks for the positive energy thoughts. That same afternoon, I packed up and discarded two boxes of fabrics I'd set aside for muslins. I'd set them aside 2 years ago knowing that I didn't want to wear these particular fabrics. Now I realized they weren't even the right fabrics to use in muslins for the type garments I make. After this experience, I can predict that I'll be sorting fabrics one more time during January and letting go more fabrics and stuff that are holding me back; destroying my positive energy.

    1. YEAH - good for you.

      There are always things we could do with item X, Y or Z but will we? When it's still under consideration, those items are positive but when we know for a fact we won't be going in that direction, they become negative. IMHO those items are then better leaving my studio. If it's possible, I give them where they can be of creative use to someone else. Hoarding is negative. Giving is positive. Open spaces invite creative flow.

  2. Yeah, that's something to be grateful for.

    To finish or be finished, another good phrase to remember.

    1. When I was teaching, I found it interesting how many students held on to the supplies and projects from techniques they'd explored but found they didn't enjoy - things like scrap booking, or knitting, or painting, or embroidery, or cross stitch or _____ fill in the blank. We need the supplies to explore the possibility and if it clicks, it's the start of taking it forward. If it doesn't click, why are we holding on to those things? That's negative energy. So are projects that don't work out. Some can and should be finished because it's more an issue of fear and creative laziness than of a project going nowhere but those that are truly going nowhere start going somewhere again when we finish with them and put the supplies back into stash.

  3. I quoted you on this "finish or be finished" recently to a writer friend. It's true in so many areas for me--if I have too many options, I shut down. I'm much more productive when I take one thing at a time...

    1. I'm very grateful for whatever it was that caused me to become aware of how much the clutter of our lives weighs us down. Since then, I've been a huge advocate of the less is so much more approach. I'm glad my comment has helped you and enough that you wanted to pass it on. Thanks for letting me know.

  4. Ha! You really do find every way to miss knit night :-)

    1. LOL - do I appear to be avoiding? Must have been those socks I thought I wanted to knit. Moving on now. Fingerless gloves. YES YES!


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.