I've noticed this month that all I really want to do is sew and knit. Possibly this is because it's Truly Spring, and it's a good time of year to sew skirts for me and my daughter, and that knitting pattern I chose to try and finish for Squam is very spring-like, too. But I think it's more than that. I think, in this very chaotic and anxiety-inducing month that May has become for us, I am instinctively turning to the very basic acts of making something serviceable out of nothing more than cloth and thread, yarn and loop.
|Yarn through loop, over and over, until a sweater emerges.|
It's just a pile of orange at the moment, but it's supposed to end up as an a-line ruffle skirt. Kim posted in the Ravelry sewing group that she was looking for test sewists for a pattern she is planning to sell, and I volunteered. I think the sole reason I volunteered is because I have always avoided ruffles; they look complicated and difficult. And I know if I've promised someone that I'll make this, I'll deal with my ruffle intimidation. (My sister, who can sew anything, told me ruffles deserve their pain-in-the-butt reputation and the way to deal with ruffle fear is to not make any. But I'd already committed by that point.) I'm supposed to have this done by Saturday, but all I've done is cut. I decided the sewing will have to wait until my husband is home, because I am so tired by the time evening comes when he's away. (Yup, he's gone again, but he's coming home late tonight.)
So I cut the pieces earlier in the week, after my younger two kids were in bed but my oldest was still up. Instead of reading his book or playing his DS, he decided to hang out with me while I traced and cut. He didn't want me to be all by myself--even though, if his dad had been home, he'd have been upstairs with him and I'd have been by myself anyway. It was very sweet, and he asked about the rotary cutter and why my clear ruler had lines on it and what a selvedge was and he marveled over the disappearing fabric marker--no doubt pondering its possible applications in the spy trade. I thoroughly enjoyed having his company while I worked.
While I was rummaging around in the fabric stash for something my daughter would like for the ruffle skirt, I came upon this.
There's three yards of it, and it's part of what I gathered from my mother's sewing room after she died. I didn't sew at the time, although I felt it coming (I bought a sewing machine just over a year later, eight months pregnant with my youngest). So I've had this fabric nearly five years, and I have no idea how long my mother had it before that. It was still folded up from the store, with the cutting tag stapled on. It's a big, all-over-the-place pattern, isn't it? I want to make a long, a-line, drawstring skirt out of it, hopefully before I leave for New Hampshire.
I know I'll be coming back to embroidery soon...I had my camera out at the playground today, wondering if I could capture, with fabric and floss, the sensation of being enclosed by the big tree that the kids call a fort. And I have lots of mixed media/painting in the future in the form of a class and a workshop. But for now, I follow my desire to cut and sew and press, to run yarn through my fingers and around my needles, to make exactly what I feel I must, something out of nothing, comfort out of cloth and string.
And because I couldn't walk by the delicate veins of the iris petal, the softly clinging raindrops, without taking a photo, I will share it with you. I hope you are crafting some soul happiness, too.
Shared with my creative space...