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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Stepping it up a notch

I'm really lucky to have some great friends. I started getting to know one of them, Melissa of Neoknits, as many people are introduced to her, through one of her great patterns. In my case, it was the Grannie Smith Cardigan, a delicate, fine gauge cardigan in Kidsilk Haze. That first purchase somehow evolved into a friendship; and we try to get together on a semi-regular basis to chat about our mutual obsessions and life in general. Melissa and I came to handknit knitwear design through very different routes. I started designing as a way to escape the daily routine of postdoctoral research. Melissa was trained as a fashion designer (she has a great series about her experiences here) and she started freelancing as a handknit designer as a way to express herself creatively on her own terms. In one of our chats, she mentioned that her sewing experience has really helped her handknit designing. I tucked away that tidbit for a while. I've never touched a sewing machine in my life and my one attempt at hemming pants resulted in a horrendous Frankenstein hem that unraveled after two trips through the washing machine. But yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and with no plans (as of yet) to take up sewing, bought a sewing instructional book to learn more about how garments fit together.

I also bought a set of Prism colored pencils to practice my sketching skills. And inspired by Kat's new blog, I got in touch with her website designer (who happens to be the husband of a good blog buddy) to make my own home on the web.

In the meantime, here's a peek at my next independent design soaking in my sink, waiting to be blocked.

So, stayed tuned!

Edited to add: I just realized I've posted for 3 days in a row. That must be a first for me!


Blogger Misty said...

Funny, I've started knitting like a fiend over the last few months to help cope with my life as an astrophysics postdoc... I'm not ready for designing yet, but I'm having fun enjoying other people's creativity. :)

12:30 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

Enjoy the sewing. I hated it at school, but once I became a poor student, necessity led to some interesting sewing creations. Since then, I've made kids clothes, lined jackets and even boned ballgowns! It's amazing what you can create once you get started. Recently I picked up a Vogue sewing book from the 1940's from an antique store and now I'm going to teach my daughter how to sew too.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous kat said...

ooh, exciting times! can't wait to see what's soaking in the tub.

7:51 AM  
Blogger j.kaori said...

I've taken some fashion design and patternmaking classes, and they are fantastic for understanding how garments are constructed. Have fun!

8:16 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

Eeek, Connie, I'm so sorry to ask a question about a pattern in your comments, but I can't seem to find another way to do it! (It's probably obvious, so I apologize again.)

I'm the proud purchaser of your Uhura tank top pattern from the most recent Twist Collective, even have the yarn and needles at the ready to swatch. But as I read the pattern, it doesn't say which size needle to use for the bodice strips (I assume the smaller, but we know what happens when one assumes...). It looks like the needle sizes are given for the rest of the pattern. Help, please! Thank you... :-)

7:03 PM  
Blogger Mary Jane said...

Yay! New web-home! I'm working at it too!
I love those colored pencils...dreamy...want them!

9:27 AM  
Blogger mel said...

I was a seamstress long before I was a knitter, but sadly, it's been so long that the last time I tried to sew something I couldn't even remember how to read & work with a pattern!! I do think I'd like to get back to it at some point, but I enjoy frogging much more than seam ripping (ironically it seems I re-do in knitting about as often as I did in sewing - somethings never change, I guess!) I can't wait to see what's there in the sink (and what you and Tad come up with)!!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Mary Jane said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12:54 PM  

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