Craft is featuring this lovely getting-to-know-you series of blog posts about the fascinating makers of the internet. And while I’m nowhere near the crafty prowess of the people Craft has been featuring, I do like talking about myself. So here we go!
One Project You Are Particularly Proud Of
1. I’m generally really happy with everything I make, but I’d have to say that currently I’m happiest with my first thread Niebling and a portrait of Marx that I’m listing in the shop soon. Unfortunately, I didn’t design the Marx myself – it’s based on a drawing by Rius. But when I started it I was far less confident in my own design abilities, so it also reminds me of how proud I can be of the progress I’ve made.
Two Mistakes You’ve Made In the Past
1. Oh, so many. I have an embarrassing amount of sloppily sewn hems, to start with. My introduction to sewing was given with a very anti-hand-sewing slant, so I just assumed it was awful and didn’t even attempt to learn it for too long. Which makes no sense, considering my love for embroidery. But now I’m comfortable with a blind hem, and even enjoy it!
2. The last time I tried to make a sweater for myself (out of this pattern) I … well I still don’t know what quite I did. I thought everything was going swimmingly until it came to seaming, when I realized that absolutely nothing lined up. The sleeves were different lengths, the fronts were different widths … it was a disaster. Luckily the yarn stood up well to frogging.
Three Things That Make Your Work Unique
1. I guess it depends on the medium. I don’t express too much of my individuality in knitting or crochet, because I’m not very comfortable drafting my own patterns. I like to think my embroidery is a bit sweet and bitchy, and I love to do unexpected things will all media. The boyfriend recently said (paraphrasing) that what he liked most about my work is that when he looks at it, he doesn’t think “Oh, right. That’s something that makes sense in stitches.”
2. I like to use thrift-store or hand-me-down materials, which drastically impacts the final look of my pieces. It certainly doesn’t lend to any modernity, but I don’t mind that at all.
3. I am not at all discerning about what I make. The slightest impulse will direct my next project, so I’ve made everything from ruffled aprons to wang cozies to Dalek doilies, and my inspiration is drawn from everything from Dr. Seuss to Dave Chappelle.
Four Tools You Love To Use
1. My lightbox and MacStitch have become equally invaluable in embroidery design. I also heavily lean on Pixelmator when designing.
2. Spray-on adhesive. In embroidery framing, I’ve found nothing more useful, and it’s just fun to work with.
3. My swift and ball-winder. They are lost in the mess right now, but there is no better time to clarify your idea of a project than when winding a neat little cake of yarn.
4. The contents of the pantry. Vinegar, salt and Kool-Aid for dying, the cheese grater for aging fabric, the gin for getting those creative juices flowing (smiling emoticon) … I’m a huge proponent of bringing crafts to the kitchen. In fact, the kitchen of the mother-in-law apartment I live in is used entirely for craft storage. (I use the kitchen in the main house for, like, eating and all that boring stuff.)
1. The materials, the materials, the materials. I almost always start with a fabric or yarn and then decide what to do from there.
2. Books. Particularly art, philosophy and vintage children’s books.
3. Feminism. This is generally the source of any subversion of a traditional medium; in fact I’m working on a cross-stitch series right now based on the idea of reclaiming woman-hating invectives.
4. The internet! Ravelry, Craft, blogs and Flickr groups are a constant stream of incoming inspiration.
5. Boredom. I spend a lot of time at home alone (such is the (absolutely delightful) life of a single mom), and I try to take advantage of that void to allow ideas some space to root. My best ideas generally happen hours after Grady has gone to bed, when I’ve been alone with my thoughts in a quiet room.