In Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ Esther goes to see her doctor, who asks what seems to be the matter. She replies “I can’t sleep. I can’t read.” Well I know I’m in a bad episode of depression because I can’t knit.
The lovely bright turquoise yarn that I was yearning for all summer was finally bought to make a scarf. I started with a lacey leaf pattern and on the third attempt at casting the correct number of stitches I knitted an inch or so before getting totally distracted and lost. I ripped it all out and tried a simpler chevron pattern. I misread the ridiculously simple instructions and redid the first three rows twice before knitting away. I hadn’t even got to the first 10 rows before I realised I had miscounted and had some wobbly bits instead of pointy zigzags. It is currently unravelled (for the sixth or seventh time) and is awaiting a day when I have more brain power.
There is a blog hop doing the rounds and a couple of people (I can’t remember who at the moment) left their nominations open to anyone, so I thought I’d share my thoughts. I’ve been blogging very sporadically this year, but the past few days (some lovely comments on old blog posts and a meet up in Birmingham) have reminded me how lovely the sewing-blogging community is, so I hope reflecting on my blogging will kick-start my creativity.
1. What are you working on at the moment?
I have a couple of slow projects on the go at the moment, as well as some “sewing kits” ready to sew up. I was talking to some people yesterday about how I don’t view UFOs (UnFinished Objects) as a bad thing; I have some projects I have cut out as part of a marathon cutting session and haven’t touched since, but they are each in a bag and when I am ready/inspired to sew them I will have a satisfyingly quick project. “Sewing kits” on my shelf include a Hawthorn dress that I stopped sewing in February/March as the weather was getting too warm for a wool dress (just needs sleeves, hems and buttons), a Hawthorn blouse, and a purple jersey Tiramisu dress (cut out at the same time as this). My slow project is a woolen winter coat! I have cut the pieces and am slowly hand-basting the under-layers together.I also have a patchwork project in progress, to make a quilt for a friend’s baby. In knitting I have finished the body of a Hetty cardigan and chose the buttons yesterday so I’m ready to do the button bands (I’m saving the sleeves until last so I can be sure how much yarn I have and how long they can be), and I’ve just cast on a scarf (to go with my unmade coat) as a portable project now my cardi is too bulky to carry around.
2. How do you think your work differs from that of other writers in your genre?
I mostly read sewing bloggers (some of whom knit) and I guess I dabble in more different crafts so I’m not just garment sewing. Before I started sewing I was never really into clothes, so I’m not coming into sewing from a trendy high-fashion angle; I make what I like and what is comfortable and I mostly enjoy the process of making and learning.
3. Why do you write what you write?
I started writing because I wanted to join in with Me Made June and I wanted a place to share my creations. I used to read The Sewing Forum, where I got lots of tips and advice and was sign-posted towards lots of great blogs, but it didn’t feel like the place to show off what I was making. Initially I wrote just for me, as a way to record my ideas and creations, but as people started reading and commenting I started writing tutorials and reviews to give back to the community that has given me so much help and inspiration; I don’t claim to be the best ever at certain techniques but I have learned so much from reading other blogs that I hope I can help others too.
4. What’s your writing process, and how does it work?
If I’m writing a tutorial I will take photos of everything as I go along, and when I’m writing I’ll choose the best images to match the instructions. If I am showing a finished garment I will take many many photos of a project, edit and upload the best ones and fit writing around it. I try to include a bit of the making process and details of any special features, but I really just type whatever comes into my head. When I write anything on the computer (including work) I just type, stop mid sentence and write something else that pops into my head, go back and add details/finish ideas, and read through to make sure it makes sense; Hopefully my haphazard process means that I get to share all the information I want but without sounding too formal.