Tuesday, 5 November 2013


There hasn't been much making going on around here. I did finally hand hem this absolutely stunning piece of silk and wool fabric and hung it on my wall.

The ombré effect is woven by the gradual mixing of opposing colours in a back layer and front layer of threads. The end product has incredible textural as well as colour changes and I really really love it. I bought it as fabric to sew but decided I liked looking at it so much I shouldn't sully it with wear. I'm so pleased with how it looks.

I'm finally free of my huge paperwork deadline so I'm also starting to think about upcoming craft camp. My head is actually totally exploding with possibilities since D returned from a recent work trip from Japan totally laden with textile joy.

After the enormous bounty he brought back last time I'm still well covered for yarn, so this time I provided him with directions to the Nani Iro studio. I wasn't more specific than that because D has really great instincts in the main and I like both surprises and the challenge of finding the perfect project for a piece of fabric.

Needless to say with this lot, there's more than a few projects to be imagined! Many of the pieces are very light, perfect for summer and I think everyone will be getting a Nani Iro something very soon! Also needless to say I feel extremely lucky and treasured.

I've been spending a bit of time thinking too about my workroom. As a workspace it's pretty dysfunctional and I find it really difficult to work out what to do about it. I know this is a common problem in working spaces and I think it comes down to some basic and difficult to avoid factors:

  1. Stash. I include here not just fabric and yarn, of which I have much, but also the materials and tools that go with it - buttons, threads, interfacings, ribbons, zips, knitting needles, patterns etc etc. I am kitted for a variety of crafts and while I totally admit to next bright shiny thing syndrome, it should also be said that a lot of my kit comes via gifts and hand me downs and while I might not need such, the chances of needing or wanting at some stage combined with the knowledge that 'getting rid' of said kit often equates to landfill it is really hard to say no. There's too much stuff, I know, but it just makes no sense to throw good stuff away. Good storage systems help but they aren't the total answer.
  2. Multi function space. Whatever I seem to be working on most in recent times seems like the most important function. The knitting machine space, the sewing space, the desk space, the layout space and the storage space are all competing for not enough space. To work effectively on all these things require different things - different heights, different proximities, different tools within reach, different accessibility. I'd like to streamline the spaces but they seem incompatable.
  3. Works in progress. I am not now, nor have I ever been an a to b type crafter. I do not decide on a project, procure materials, make said project then tidy up. At any one time there may be many many projects in various states of progress from simply the raw material of ideas right through to the thing that only needs a last button sewn on. My work table is always littered with scraps I can't part with (but have no place to store), pattern books ready to be used, new fabrics or yarn not ready to be tucked away into the stash, repairs and alterations needed for myself and others, tools without homes and the stuff from the last rush job I did and never cleaned up from.
What happens is that at these problems build up I feel literally repelled by the workspace and making grinds to a halt. I make brief forays inside to dump stuff, find the odd tool or simply stand and stare, completely overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. The usual pattern runs to me then devoting precious making time to major clean up efforts with many promises not to let things get this bad again, only to fall off the wagon within weeks.

The sheer repetition depresses me, especially since I know a workspace is a gift I should be forever grateful for. Why can't I solve this puzzle? Why does it get to me so? In other parts of my life I'm a pretty good shedder, but there's just something about the infinite possibilities of the kit that I can't give up on. I really like that without leaving the house I could knit a garment, sew bed linen, make a leather bag, print 100 T-shirts, make a couple of lampshades, bead up necklaces, make brooches, framed purses or one of 10,000 other projects. So how do I find a way to live immersed but not overwhelmed by the possibilities?


Sue said...

The fabric is stunning and looks perfect as a wall hanging. I just reorganised my yarn stash and fabric stash. I bought some cube shelving and colored boxes and filled them up and it is so much easier now knowing where things are and put away nicely too. I hope you find your storage solution, maybe have a look on pinterest for inspiration!

neki desu said...

oh i can hear you!

Nichola Prested said...

When you find a solution can you let me know please? My workspace at home sounds just like yours.

Gudrun said...

Same problem at the other end of the world. If you find a solution let us know!

kt said...

Indeed, making a craft space work is a tough nut to crack. I dream of the day I have a whole room to use, but I know it'll be a dangerous place...it's bad enough with half a room now!

Sharon said...

I can hear you too... I find hidden surprises - a purchase I made at some times, put it away and then forgotten about it... I love my little room but because of the wealth of its contents I now find myself perched back at the end of the dining room table - the place from where I started... Am I being zen - returning to the place from where I started to know it for the first time.. Nah... it is more I think I have over 'wealthed' myself right out of my sewing room door...PS I love the wall hanging - now that is zen