I feel so spoiled having time off this summer. Spoiled and anxious. I’m just beginning the job search and this downtime is a blessing and a pit of nervous energy. Staying productive is especially important at the moment. I don’t want to get sucked in. “Everyone” says that keeping to a schedule while you’re unemployed is essential and I totally agree. So, between making changes to my portfolio site (I’ll make it public shortly) and crafting cover letters, I’m taking full advantage of this summer moratorium to really think, practice and learn more about Craft. I’m approaching this as an extension to my education, a second string to my bow of graphic design. As Old Made Design is all about craft and design fitting together, it’s important to me to practice what I preach and not just prattle on and on about it. Yada, yada, yada…
There are a couple of new things on the agenda.
First, I have some knitting projects I’m working on for Old Made that require some embroidery. I’ve been winging it up till now. Suddenly I’ve become very inspired to learn more about it both in practice and in theory. (There’s an interesting article about embroidery in the Craft Reader by Roszika Parker).
Learning stitches rather than working from a pattern is appealing to me. It seems like a place to be a bit experimental and expressive. Much more so at this point than knitting is for me which is pretty structured (it’s meant to be worn after all) and heavily pattern based. My plan is to approach this in sort of a light, breezy manner. Doesn’t a Summer Stitch School sound like something that could produce a pillowcase with embroidered edgeing blowing on a clothesline at my imaginary beach house? I hope so. I’m in.
From the Summer Stitch School tutorial–The Burden Stitch.
“The burden stitch is a very old stitch, used during the middle ages. It was re-popularized by Elizabeth Burden, sister to the designer William Morris.”–The Floss Box
This would be a great way to work out color combinations for colorwork knitting. A color block blanket out of Burden Stitch swatches would be gorgeous. Hmmm. Maybe I should do that.
Here’s another, the Wheat Ear Stitch. Aren’t these sweet? I’m so excited to have a few samplers and mix and match stitches on some mittens and hats!
Next, I am seriously determined to become a real knitter. That means being able to anticipate changes, make adjustments and design my own garments. I have a serious case of Fall-itis and have a handful of sweaters that are calling to me (most from Cecily Glowik MacDonald of Winged Knits. Love everything she does). Right now I am about halfway through the Long Collared Jacket from Knit One, Knit All Elizabeth Zimmermann book. It’s sort of a dream project and I have done my best to make a few adjustments to the pattern (as EZ would have wanted) to better suit it to
my giant boobs me. I think it’s going ok, but really, I could use some help. I would generally sign up for a knitting class without much thought. Even if the class isn’t great, it’s still fun to be with other knitters and you always walk away with something. But I think a shaping class is a little different and I’m reluctant to spend the money without knowing if I’ll get anything out of it.
Craftsy offers an online class, Knitlab–Fit Your Knits I think I’ll sign up for. It’s $29.95 (from $59 this week) which seems like a good deal and is taught by Stephanie Japel. I’ve always liked her patterns. Worth a try I think. I’ll let you know how it goes. Here’s the introductory video.
Tomorrow I am going to a picnic in Central Park. A little get together with participants of a knitting class I took last summer at The Cooper Union. It’ll be fun to catch up and see what everyone’s working on. Ah, summer.