2015: Don’t Give Up

Welcome 2015!

As per usual, I won’t be making any resolutions. Though I will try to live with intent and continue to work on my main goals for life:
confidence, family, saving, goal setting, friend time, creative time, giving back and embracing my inner weird girl.

My children are awesome. I’m determined to give them all the room and support they need to keep being the amazing people they are. It’s easy, too easy, to clip brown and black children’s wings in the name of keeping them safe or in an unintentional attempt to control how they are (sometimes) seen by other people. I hope to show them, through more fully accepting myself and less policing of my own behavior, that they should feel free to be weird, nerdy, loud, quiet, shy, brash, opinionated, colorful, interested, interesting, expressive…

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Whatever they need, I’m there.

And so is my hubby. Who is right here, supporting me in the same way.

Unlike previous years, I DO have some concrete things on my list. I have been so inspired by my entrepreneurial and career minded friends. They set their goals and they achieved them. For an unambitious person like me, that is super heroine stuff.

I’d like to take machine knitting, weaving and textile design classes.
I have the interest and the tools. The time and the space.
Must work on focus and action.

For dreams don’t work unless you do.

My motto for 2015 “Don’t Give Up.”

Illustration Friday: Surrender
Ink drawing by me :: Inspiration Don’t Give Up, What’s the Time Mr. Wolf?, Noisettes

 

2014 Hi&Hi: Sewing and Friends

High&High cuz with sewing and family and friends there can be no true lows.

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 Gearing up for 2015 {oy!}.
Reading lots of best of posts.
Here are mine.

2015Maravilloso MalvarosaBlack White Houndstooth & Sexy : Double the Kimono : Malvarosa en Denim : Gabby in Ikat

And, an obvious highlight, the Nettie. Which was named for me.  14052346552_dfc61c51cb_hBut, that’s not why it’s a highlight. The deepening of my friendship with Heather, is. She’s just one of the many awesome women who have been instrumental in making one of my dearests wishes come true: having true friends to do shit with.

And to lean on.

They helped me get through some truly stressful parenting and spouse issues. The NYC high school application process has taken years off my life, and an untold number went with worrying for my boys who are hurtling towards teenage-hood. And then there was hubby’s health scare. They’ll never know how much they helped me stay sane. And how much they added to my family life, too. My children adore them and my hubby is happy to know that I have such special friends.

So many of my non-sewing highlights involved them. So many stories shared. So (SO MANY) laughs. No documentation is necessary, but you may have stumbled across an Instagram post or blog hint, or two. I DO wish I had taken a moment to snap a pic of my favorite handmade look of the year which was worn partying with them. But stay tuned! That black wool Nettie dress and my absolute fave Le Animal sweater coat deserve some pics! But until then….

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! BRING IT ON 2015!!

2014 Hi&Lo: Black Lives Matter

blmI kept it quiet here. Because I couldn’t find the words. And then I had too many.

I eventually gave voice to my feelings. In many conversations. With many different people. From many different backgrounds.

One massive positive to this experience was the knowledge that we can come together and what an amazing thing that can be.

It is both the high and the low.

 

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator

I took a tour of the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, yesterday. A truly amazing space!! Like a normal atelier…on steroids. In space lol. We (Jenny and I) saw soooooo many cools things. In addition a truly enviable space, the tools, designers and common spaces are to die for. I’m feeling so inspired.

These beauties great you when you walk in the door. Pieces from some of the design venture fellows.
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 On the far right, you can see the entrance to their conference room. This space can be utilized to by venture fellows to  present collections and rented by locals. As soon as you turn left of this pciture, you’re met with this outstanding sight. Knitting machines roughly the size of a car, lol.

IMG_8764These are Shima Seiki knitting machines. This one is a normal, flat knitting machine. While the one behind it knits an entire garment. That’s not a clear enough description. An entire, finished sweater comes OUT OF THE MACHINE!! Madness.

They also have the Cadillac of 3D printers. I wish I had taken photos of the other samples. Totally unreal. Linked, complex pieces with the fluidity of fabric. But still rigid to the touch. I can’t wait until they give tours for kids. I’m totally bringing my kiddos and as many neighborhood kids as I can grab.
When I look at that space and those tools I see future careers.

The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is just getting started. I can’t wait to see what they’re made of!
BF+DA

Book Person

This should come as no surprise, but I’m a Book Person.

I LOVE BOOKS!

I mean, I have a stack of them tattooed on my arm ;)

As a librarian, it also benefits me if you love books, too. I don’t care what kind: romance, V.Serious Literature, YA, banned, classic, urban, complete trash, poetry (I only like Shel Silverstein’s) or most likely for people reading a sewing blog, craft related books. If it has words in it (or pictures), and you like ( I hope you love some), I want you to read it. Borrowed from the library or purchased from your favorite store.

To that end, I want to tell you about a Book Person event. One that includes admittance into FIT, a place normally off limits to non-students*.
Total win.  LYL_EVENTS_FINAL_121813

This event in particular should be especially awesome!

LKDay_DrapingFlyerWatching Karolyn drape via video (included with her book) is some kind of magic. Imagine it in person!

I hope I can make it to the event. Alas, a parent’s time is not their own. If some of you make it there, blog about! I’d love to see pictures!

*It is my not-so-secret wish to work in the FIT library/archives, thus combining two of my loves: books and textile arts. It is, quite literally (for I am there often in sleepy-land), my dream job. I got a book on ILL (which is a great way to get books that aren’t in your local library’s collection) from there. I kept telling people where it came from. #booknerd 

Creative Education: Machine Knitting

Mastering a new craft takes time and commitment.
And money!
Tools and materials and patience all come at a premium. For me, they don’t usually arrive all at the same time.

In my case, the money and opportunity to buy a knitting machine came nearly a year ago. The patience, time, and what I like to think of as my capacity to learn, are all coming together, now. I jumped in with both feet when I first brought the machine home, but I often experience blocks when I first try something new and when I return to it I can’t imagine why it ever seemed so difficult.

Does that happen to anyone else?

This foray into machine knitting has been easier and more importantly, it makes sense. I understand what I’m trying doing as opposed to blinding flipping switches and levers. This makes all the difference, for me. This knowledge was hard earned through closely reading the (many, many) manuals that came with machines (I truly got a ton of stuff for what I’m only  just beginning to understand was an outstanding price) viewing many excellent YouTube videos (Roberta Rose Kelley is a genius) and researching and reading machine knitter’s blogs. I immersed myself in learning different methods, in different mediums and from different points of view. And in an unhurried manner. Which is pretty important for learning a new skill, too.

As you can see, things were swimming along. So much so, I hadn’t stopped to think of what I was going to do with the narrow-ish strip of knitting. Impatience was telling me to keep going and figure it out later. Patience reminded me that I don’t need a garment (self-made or otherwise) that I don’t really like. So, off it came.

High on my success, I moved on to the ribber attachment.
Where this happened.

STUCK!!
This was as far as I got, all day. I, literally, spent all day Sunday trying to work this ribbing past the third row. Nothing doing. Some cheer leading and advice via Instagram has me anxious to try again.

But first, I must make dinner. If I eat anymore take out I’ll turn into a big pot of grease and fat. That’s what I feel like when I have tons of outside food.
Gross.

After the ribber, I have intarsia and lace carriages to master and two additional tools, a yarn changer and automatic linker to get stuck into. It must be said, again, the materials and tools are all in amazing condition. I knew they were old, knitting machines of this type are not really manufactured anymore, but check out the date on the receipt.

1984!! And it’s like new. I’m so grateful to the woman who listed this for sale. With no experience with knitting machines I would have no way of knowing if it even worked. The more I investigate (the tools and the price) and the more I play around with it (and note the condition and many extras), the more gratitude I feel.

And, as always, I am grateful for the chance to explore new crafts and expressive my creativity.

I’m a lucky gal :)