Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Five of 2012: Goals

Egad! I'm not into craft goal-setting. Seriously. I adhere to goals in just about every area of my life and they get tiresome, people.

OK, natch, I set goals in the moment. That's how we landed the Gauge The Situation series (that may never end, at this rate and not for lack of consistent movement towards completion). Intriguingly, on rereading the intro post, it appears I started this series at the exact time I came down with pertussis. Hmmmm... It's also how I managed to make a tailored suit (with collaboration from my fitting friend, S). It's how I made the Spring Palette wardrobe. Goals have their place, for sure.

Mind you, I don't want to set myself up for non-completion. Y'all haven't seen many new croquis of me, right? I seem to recall that improvement of my Illustrator and drawing skills was on the roster for 2012. Not that I can rightly remember :-)

I do not make New Year's Resolutions. That process seems insane to me. If I want to change something, Feb. 6 or May 18 or Sept. 12 (for example) are perfectly fine times, IMO. I'm not the most spontaneous person in my daily life so I like to reserve spontaneity for my creative endeavours. Yeah, I need a plan. I need resolution. But I don't like to enshrine my every activity in goal attainment.

Having said that, this post is about goals for 2013. Oh, the cognitive dissonance. What will I do???

I'll follow the rules, sort of. That's my way, after all. So let's make these goals kind of amorphous and stamp them with a watermark "Draft Only". OK?
  • I'd like to learn how to knnit with colour-work i.e. intarsia or Fair Isle (eeek). Then I'd like to make a sweater using the technique(s).
  • I'd like to make another suit - using a totally different suit jacket pattern than last year's. S, my fitting friend, and I have been serious about this since mid-way through last year but so many things have interfered (renos, parenting, moves, sickness) that it just hasn't happened yet.
  • I feel I should make a pair of socks. Everyone who knits makes socks and likes making socks (apparently). Even though I have no interest in them, a pair of cashmere socks sounds not bad right about now.
  • I want to continue my new trend of sewing adventurism: If I want to make a (simple) top that doesn't come with a pattern, my aim is to give it a go. If a pattern I use turns out to be a dud, I intend to hack at it till I make it something that works for me. In 2012, I tried my hand at some draping, some pattern drafting and some significant pattern alteration - and the outcomes were good! Why not keep on, I say.
  • My final "goal" is such a long shot (she says, from previous experience) that I'm simply including it as a distant plan. You know that I have sewn a number of bras from a variety of patterns and even made my own pattern from a deconstructed Freya bra. My issue with lingerie-making is not that I can't put together a really lovely bra. I can. But the materials and wires available to me, thus far, have been inferior to my architectural requirements. I will make my own bras as soon as I can find the appropriate fabrics and notions to work as effectively (to produce good lift and silhouette) as the high-end RTW bras I wear each day. I sew to make things that are of, at least, the same high-quality as good ready-to-wear. Till I can accomplish this with bras, I'm very grateful to have access to some fantastic commercial brands.
So, what do you think of goals-setting? Do you have something concrete you'd like to accomplish, craft-wise - or other - this year? Let's talk...

21 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good list of goals, and I'm going to join you in trying to make a bra again. I've gotten a couple different tips from a gal here, so I'm anxious to give them a try.

    I personally try very hard NOT to set goals, because then I'm pretty much guaranteed to fail. I don't know, maybe it's my rebellious nature? ;-)

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    1. That's what I'm blaming it on too! Rebellion. We're bad ass.

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  2. Truth be told, i don't much like sewing goals myself! They can become repressive very quickly! Instead, i think my goals will all be pretty simple things that I would do in the next month or two anyway.
    Your first suit was a knock out, so I'm curious to see you next one! And i'm going to lay down a challenge for you: I dare you to start your socks within the next week! It's perfect sock season, and they'll be quick and easy... so jump right in! :)

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    1. OMG - I might have to take up that challenge! I just need to get some of the right weight of yarn. Or maybe I already have some?! Do you have a truly simple sock pattern - nothing with wacky patterns - you can recommend?

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  3. Regarding "everyone who knits likes to knit socks" - not I!

    Well, okay, that's only halfway true. The thing about socks is that they're basically the perfect project. Small, portable, just complex enough to keep you interested, just simple enough to do while talking/traveling/whatever. They're also the perfect little canvas for stitch patterns.

    However - if you have no interest in wearing hand-knit socks, be warned: that might not change. I thought maybe I would like them if I made them with super nice yarn. Nope, turns out, I just really hate the feeling of knitted socks - I like that extra stretchy-squishy feeling of commercially manufactured socks. So now I have two handmade pairs that languish in my drawer. (I really should find another size 9 person and give them to her!)

    Just fair warning!

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    1. OK, that is very good info because I am SO hard on socks - I wear them through routinely. And I hate thick socks. I like them thin but warm. I have no idea - having never worn handmade socks - whether I'll like or hate them. But Gillian's now set me a challenge and I don't think I can turn it down. I'm so competitive that way! :-)

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    2. See, I don't mind thick socks - for me it's the stretch factor. I hate how hand-knitted socks are never as stretchy as commercially-manufactured. I have size 9 feet but relatively small ankles, so I find it really hard to actually stretch hand-knit socks over my heel - if they fit well in the ankles, I can barely get them on. If they're easy to get on, they're baggy around the ankles. Can't win. (This might be remedied if I chose only ribbed patterns, but I don't much like the look of ribbing so... yeah.)

      Also, and I realize this may sound strange, but no matter how soft the yarn, something about the feeling of the stitches under my feet actually feels rough. And then there's the fact that I really do prefer my socks to be plain, so the whole fun colours/patterns thing... why waste the effort on something I'll never show off?

      It's too bad, because they really are one of the most fun projects to work on. But I do recommend trying it, because it's hard to know until you make and wear a pair or two how you'll end up feeling about them!

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    3. My foot is 8.5 - 9 and I have super skinny ankles too! I don't find it so problematic to put on socks cuz all of my socks are too big in the ankle :-) The bottom of this sock is all knit, no cable pattern, so hopefully it won't grate. It's quite architectural making a sock, I'll give it that.

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    4. Oh yeah, to be clear, all the patterns I've knit/worn are plain on the bottom too... apparently I'm just sensitive, haha.

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    5. Aren't you! Here's hoping I'm not the same way :-)

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  4. I agree with so much of your reasoning for not setting goals! 'Goals' are for my paid work, generally. Then everything that happens in my spare time is a bonus, and it makes my hobbies more relaxing.

    That said, I plan to add to my (sewn) professional wardrobe in 2013. Not sure if that just means more shirts and pants, or whether it will mean something more tailored.

    Not very exciting, but at least it's nebulous enough that I'm bound to achieve it ;-)

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    1. It's such a good idea, so practical, that it's bound to happen!

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  5. Think my attempt at commenting was Bloggered! Quick recap: like you, tend not to consciously set goals, prob. 'cause, like you, I'm doing a fair bit of stuff all the time just 'cause I want to.
    Do want to learn Continental knitting for FairIsle soon and have a project to use that on.
    As for socks, I marvel every time I turn a heel at how much brilliant engineering is involved. Fun just for that, really, and they're so portable a project. ONly rarely wear them out of the house, but they make winter evenings at home so much cosier. And those I give them to ask for re-ups after a year or two, so they're a popular gift.

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    1. I hate it when that happens! OK, I'm sold on the socks idea. I went to get the yarn today and got some Cascade Yarns heritage silk (merino superwash and silk blend). Still deciding which pattern to use. Is it wrong to think that all socks look the same?!

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  6. Personally, I really like a top-down pattern, and think you can't go wrong with the Yarn Harlot's "recipe" from her book, Knitting Rules. This is a pretty similar free, archived version (on Ravelry as Yarn Harlot's Step-by-Step Cheat Sheet, but so old that you have to use the Wayback Machine to get it at this link): http://web.archive.org/web/20080105074418/www.diynetwork.com/diy/na_knitting/article/0,2025,DIY_14141_5489009,00.html

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    1. Thanks for this. I've bookmarked it. The instructions are very good...

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  7. For me, setting goals interferes with enjoying the process.

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  8. I make goals, only to implode them. I don't make new year's resolutions, either, mostly because my new year always feels like it starts on my birthday ;). Do you have a patternmaking book? You'd probably get a lot out of it... and as for the bras, I've got to hunt down a Freya bra to see if I can find similar materials ;). I've been able to source some really good powernet that's strong but feels great.

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    1. I have a few pattern-making books but they're more mainstream than geared to a fashion design student. I've looked into getting a book that many have recommended (can't remember title) and it was WAY expensive. Like 200 bucks.

      In terms of bras, I've found some pretty strong materials too - though not as strong or as gorgeous as RTW ones. It's the under wires that really don't do the job. Were you to feel a Freya under wire against a home-sewist one (and I have), you'd be shocked by the difference. Not such a big deal if your cup volume isn't bigger than a 28F/30E/32DD/34D but it really starts to fail above that.

      I think that so few people with dense breasts are wearing bras that actually fit beautifully and supportively that they don't realize they can do much better in high-end RTW than they can with home-sewn. Esp. if they've been wearing cheap, badly-sized RTW before making their own.

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