August Projects

August Projects

Look at me, squeaking this in under the wire! It's not that I've lost interest in this, quite the opposite. September was a crazy, crazy month for me. The first two weeks were the crush of the capstone, followed immediately by birthday party prep. And then I had a week of being completely burned out and barely functional. I'm finally getting back on track with everything this week, yay!

My August sewing was hijacked by an impromptu costume for a Star Wars themed party. Since I'm not (wasn't) a Star Wars fan, it required a bit of upfront research to pick a costume to create; then I started watching the movies because that just seemed appropriate. I ended up picking the Padme Packing Gown from Episode 2. I really wanted to do a Queen Amidala outfit, but there was just not enough time. This is probably one of my favorite costumes I've done; it really shows how many skills I've picked up in my handful of years of sewing (I started seriously sewing in 2007, so 5 years) and also shows my overall growth as a costumer. I am really proud of it! It did take most of the month to make, so I didn't get a lot of other stuff done.

I finished a sewing project that had become a 'grit my teeth and finish the damn thing out of spite' project. I haven't even taken picture of it yet, because most of August and September was so incredibly hot I just couldn't bear setting up the photography studio and getting into hot clothes. Well, not so much photography studio as hanging a sheet and setting up a tripod. It was really getting into hot clothes. ; )  The project from hell was a simple 50's dress that was fraught with stupid issues from moment one and never really improved. But now it is finished, and hung in my closet, where apparently I've forgotten all about it. I really did mean to take a picture once the weather cooled.

I built a new super gaming computer from scratch. That only took an afternoon, but was super fun and counts as a project. ;)

I finished the red strapless evening gown, which is an engineering marvel.  I really love this gown, and it came out amazingly well. Except it is so not me and I have ZERO intention of wearing it, it is just too revealing. But I love it. : )

I made a clay memorial figurine for my bff, for her one year anniversary of losing her greyhound.

I did a lot more work on the 10-year sweater; by the end of the month, the back pieces was nearly at 14", and ready to start the casting off and stitch reductions to form the armholes. Yay! I also discovered I'd been purling backwords (not uncommon, apparently; and thank god for youtube knitting videos!!) I knit in the continental style, where the loose yarn is held in the left hand; the other main style is English, where the yarn is held in the right hand. I chose continental because it makes more ergonomic sense, as there is less bigger movements; in English, the right hands loops the yarn around the needle, whereas in continental, the yarn is already there, and the right needle just has to move a bit to pick it up. Since I've already experienced some wrist pain from playing clarinet, and costuming cannot be good for the wrists either, I'd decided to not tempt the carpal tunnel syndrome gods and went with continental style. The sweater was making such slow process because while I was purling backwards, I could not gain any kind of speed, and it sucked. I mean, REALLY sucked. I dreaded every single row of purling, and that is EVERY OTHER ROW in knitting. But I'll be damned if I am going to not make this sweater that I am so in love with, and so I spent a few hours watching youtube videos (this is the sort of thing I do at 1am when I'm too busy to sleep, by the way) and finally found a good method that works for me. Knitting across the next few days, I worked out the kinks and became more proficient, and it turned out to be the magic bullet in solving my tension issues as well! I briefly debated ripping out the back piece and starting over, but since I put on 4" on while working out my kinds, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. An experienced knitter would be able to see the line of demarcation between crappy knitter and aha moment, but only if they looked closely, and that just doesn't justify ripping out all the work. Even I am not that much of a perfectionist. I've also decided to not resent the fact that the bottom half isn't perfect; it will still be a sweater I made from scratch, and it will be a tangible result of my hard work in mastering purling, so I am going to wear it with pride. : )

My sister sent a quote to me that reminded her of me:

"The basic difference between an ordinary person and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge, while an ordinary person takes everything as a blessing or a curse." Don Juan, Carlos Castenada

While she meant it in a much bigger sense, this totally applies to my knitting. Which is sort of funny, because I have a really hard time applying this to me in a big sense, but I can really buy it when applied to the knitting. I AM a knitting warrior. ; )

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