“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...”

more knitting and crazy mad sewing

Saturday, October 20, 2007

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What a busy week! Busy and exhausting! I've been working like a mad woman sewing wedding gowns. I actually ended up staying up all night on Monday and worked until noon on Tuesday so I could finish them in time so that they could be air-mailed to their destination by Wednesday afternoon. I know there are a lot of people out there who do all-nighters on a regular bases, but I cannot handle them very well. I'll work late a lot, but working through the night and realizing that the sun is rising and you still have several more hours of work left is absolutely no fun at all. It pretty much drains all energy from my system. I've been trying to recover all week and I'm still tired! Plus it got me on a really bad schedule so now I'm not really sleepy until 2a.m. aghh. Not good! Anyway, enough talk of that! It's been awhile since I've written in my blog. I know I should try to make this a regular thing, but I tend to be sporadic in my blogging. Plus I haven't had much time to think up anything creative to write. Not that my writing is creative to begin with! :)

::the crazy sewing disaster::
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Lately I've been knitting to help deal with stress. It actually works! I figure that since I always need something to do with my hands and because I sew for a living, knitting is a project I can do purely for myself, but still feel like I'm being productive and I only have to do it when I feel like it. Not that I never knit for others or for friends, but I'd think it would suck to knit for a profit. I don't even count the hours I put into knitting. The best part about knitting is that you can pretty much take it anywhere you want. I always have these high hopes for my knitting, although I lack a lot of skill. I'm doing better than I used to and I'm starting to make things I never thought I could make. Right now I'm working on three projects. They're mostly pretty simple, although the stitches are new ones I learned for each of these projects. I'm also finally attaching the lace edge to the knitted Mariposa I talked about in a previous post. I put that off for awhile because I wasn't sure how I was going to knit all around the body. I'm not even sure if I'm doing it right, but I guess we'll see what happens when I bind off the edge! I still have a ways to go. It's supposed to be three inches wide and I've only done about one. I'm hoping it will be finished by November. For those of you who don't know or haven't figured out by now, I do quite a bit of living history. Mainly centered in the time periods between 1850-mid1860s. I do mostly the time period around the Civil War, though I've been doing quite a lot of living history events with my St. Louis friends and we also do the 1850s. Right now we're at 1857, next year it will be 1858 etc. So it's kind of fun to do an earlier period than the Civil War for a change. So this winter cap I'm hoping to wear to the event I'm attending at the Boone Village down in Defiance, Missouri in about a month. Come to think of it, all of my knitting projects right now are from 1850 or '60s patterns. But most of them (except the cap!) I'm planning to wear with my modern clothes. I really doubt anyone could tell the difference and if they can, so what? Everyone knows I'm a dork anyway. :)

::yarn over, knit two together::
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::1850 necktie in blue and white::
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::comfort scarf::
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In other news I've taken up shoemaking once again! I promised a pair to my friend Deborah and it's been over a year now since I told her that. In fact, it could be two years...ack! She knitted me a lovely cap for living history stuff and every time I look at it I think "oh crap, I gotta make those shoes." So finally I got the "bug" again and was all inspired to make shoes again. There is no way I'd make shoes to sell, unless I accidentally made a pair that didn't fit. They are very labor intensive and the whole sole is made by hand and attached by hand. The uppers can be sewn by a machine, except for the eyelets on the side for lacing. Those all have to be done by hand. That's about 32 hand sewn eyelets per pair. If I'm really fast, an eyelet will take 2-3 minutes to sew. That's over an hour of sewing for just the eyelets alone and that's if I crank them out one right after the other. I don't even know how long it takes to sew the uppers to the soles! But this is another project I can do while watching movies or hanging with friends. The first time I made shoes I brought them to a discussion group I go to at the coffee shop. Most of the people there knew I was a little wacky anyway, so they didn't mind. Hey, my friend Shaun even calls me "grandma" every time I bring my knitting into the shop. But it's all in good fun.

::every lady her own shoemaker, by a lady. published 1856::
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::two pairs of shoes::
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Well, I suppose I should wrap this up for today. Off to do more sewing and think of inspiring images. I have been getting the urge to cut my hair again after seeing this picture I found on flickr. It's SO flipping adorable! Why is it that every time I decide I'm going to grow my hair out, I find all these cute women running around with adorable bobs and suddenly I don't really want my hair long anymore?? I swear I get the bug every single year around this time. Anyone have any inspiring images of women with long hair that will help me to realize I need to keep it growing? Have a lovely weekend everyone!

3 comments :

  1. Ohhh will you post pictures of the wedding dresses somewhere? I really want to see these beautiful gowns you've been creating. Hopefully you had time to take pics before mailing them! ;)

    I'm so excited about your knitting projects! They look like so much fun! I think that I would need special lessons to be any good at knitting...I don't think I have the technique down yet! :)

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  2. Marjorie/ MarmeeCraftDecember 21, 2007 at 11:11 AM

    Ahhh! I just found your blog through Elegant Musings (Casey) and I am thrilled at your shoe-making! :) I'm rather obsessed with 19th century attire and have been attempting to find that book for ages. Did you make the soles? What a talent! I've always wanted to make a pair of 1850's silk or wool boots....no one reproduces them!

    I hope you do not mind if I add you to my list of inspired musings....what a beautiful blog! :)

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  3. Hello, Marjorie! I LOVE LOVE your blog and your art. If you don't mind, I'll add your blog to the side bar of the blogs I like to read. :)

    If you'd like to see how I made the shoes, here's the link to the page I made (it's a rough page) on how it's done:

    http://www.thegracefullady.com/1860sShoes/

    Also, I try to explain slightly on how the soles are made in the link above. They're not too hard and the key is to soak the leather for a few minutes before working them.

    Thank you for your comment and I would love for you to add my blog. It's kinda fun to meet so many like-minded people in this blogging world.

    ReplyDelete