Getting back to work

Last week I got back from Denver and have had a bit of vacation withdrawal. Do you guys ever get that? It's not to say I don't like what I'm coming back to...quite the contrary. However, there's something about leaving family and a cool new place that leaves you a bit underwhelmed when you return to your normal routine. Especially when you're home routine is a bit out of balance. Let me explain...

I am actually pretty terrified of flying but I love the aerial views.

I am actually pretty terrified of flying but I love the aerial views.

The trick when returning from vacation, I think, is to fan your personal fire with everything exciting that was going on before you left. Now that I've managed to do laundry, catch up with emails, and get all my new class sessions started I want to get working on some work-related sewing.

I'm at the point where I need to start prototyping future Blueprints patterns and making nice variations of current ones to share with you guys. (I've been getting excited about making a few more Cabins for my wardrobe especially. When I created the pattern, the idea was to have a sort of staple that with a few variations could yield a lot of clothing possibilities.) I've started working on a few of these prototypes, but things have been slow moving and I'll tell you why.

A pocket prototype for the next blueprints pattern...

A pocket prototype for the next blueprints pattern...

...the sewing of which has been temporarily halted due to travel and plunging temps.

...the sewing of which has been temporarily halted due to travel and plunging temps.

If you all remember, I finally was able to finish out my barn studio in November, in theory right before it would get too cold to work in there. I marched out and bought myself a cute little space heater and plugged it in. The space was freezing. I set it on full blast, turned on my slow, clockwise turning ceiling fans and left for an hour. I came back...freezing. I couldn't feel my hands after 20 seconds of touching metal shears and sewing machine even when the heater was pointed directly at me. I tried to tough it out, then went to plug in my iron. Tripped the breaker. So I haven't been able to work in my studio which is fairly heartbreaking.

Now, I don't have anything against sewing at the kitchen table. I know many of you may use the dining room as your sewing space and I commend you.

I admit I am very spoiled after having a separate studio for 4ish years, though I can recall those days clearly. I share a house with a super clean partner and animals that frequently shed both white and black hair (plus eat paper, thread etc). So my usual mess cannot be left 'in progress' lest it be commented upon, eaten, or turned into a cat bed. I did manage to bang out some curtains, a pot holder, and 70% of a new pattern sample (sneak pics above).

I also hauled in the serger so I could make some much needed knit shirts for the trip. I ended up cutting them at JP Knit & Stitch shortly after buying the fabric. I lengthened the (fairly loose fitting) pattern by 2" to compensate for shrinking, since I hadn't pre-washed the fabric (very naughty). I am happy to report that after washing, the tops are still %100 wearable and fit, though perhaps are a bit shorter and snugger than I'd like.

If you follow my instagram, you'll know that I'm also a knitter and crocheter. In lieu of sewing, I've been able to make great progress of the Cedarwood Cardigan from Wool People 8. This is the 2nd Alicia Plummer pattern I've knit and I'm pretty pleased so far (the other one is Ease, which is my go-to comfy house sweater). I'll be sure to post some modeling pictures when I'm finished. (Also: Does anybody else knit both sleeves at once in magic loop? It actually makes the sleeve process feel slower but I'm convinced it will save me time.)

Anytime I start a new knitting project it rekindles my serious love of the process. Which leads me to this...

Two exciting things are happening next week!

  1. Since sewing pattern development is on hold and I want to continue to provide nice things for you to make, I've decided to start working on turning some of my personal knitting & crochet patterns into downloads! Next week I'll be releasing a free hat pattern that I think you guys will enjoy.
  2. J and I invested in a new woodstove for the house and are moving the pellet stove out to the barn! I will have a reliable heat source finally. And then I will be sewing up a storm, just you wait and see!

What do y'all do when your sewing isn't accessible? Knit? Read? Go crazy?