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Saturday, January 12, 2013

SewKlassic Fiber Arts Part II

Most of us are very brief and not very detail oriented when we write, but Karen is a very detailed person and probably could be a writer if she wanted to write a novel or two.  I did ask her some other questions that I did not put in Thursday's blog post because I have always heard that it is best to keep blog posts fairly short.  So here are the answers to the questions that I asked Karen.

How much time per week/month do you spend looking at materials to get ideas for new creations?
I spend 8-10 hours a week looking for ideas for creations, mostly through online views. I love the Pininterest boards which let me choose things I love and organize them so I can return later, either for shopping or for inspiration.

How much time do you devote to creating something new?
Once something is in my mind to create, then the hours vary by complexity of the item in order to design and produce a prototype then test it in service and then refine the item and products needed to create the item. From long interest in fiber, I know where to search and have suppliers now, so the actual finding of material doesn't take as long as it used to.
An example of a recent product is the little purse in my shop. It took about a week along with my daughter to design, shop for materials, and create. Then the prototype was used by my daughter during a trip to see how the item fitted the need that she had for a small wallet to tuck into her luggage, tote, or pocket. Also, we could see how the materials and structure held up. During this test time, people who see the item may make comments about it, such as, whether they like it or not and ask where they can find one like it. It's a good time for us to evaluate whether we should try to make more of them.

What types of items take the longest to make?
Items with lots of detail take a long time and good technique to make. An example in the sewing realm is a garment with many pockets or several zipper closures for pockets, a large number of buttons or pocket flaps. In the realm of knitting and crochet, a crocheted (creating fabric with a single hook and yarn) dishcloth takes less time than a knitted dishcloth (2 sticks and a string). However, when it comes to making sweaters or dolls with clothing – whether sewn, crocheted or knitted, these items require many hours.

Which types of items are the fastest to make?
Sewing an item on a sewing machine is the fastest way to make many things. And items without detail and small projects are faster to make – such as hats or mittens, baby items that are small in size are also faster to make.

Are there some things you enjoy making more than others?
I love making baby sweaters, clothing, hats, and shoes.  I also love making dolls and doll clothing.
Right now I'm enjoying making knitted items. I also enjoy hand sewing.
It was fun to make a a tea towel recently that featured silver metallic cord as an edging for an embroidered snowflake. Even more fun was to use a new tool to heat-set swarkovski crystals onto the snowflakes to make them sparkle.

What are stitch markers for? I have never heard of them before so I am sure some others have not either.
Stitch markers are used in knitting or crochet to mark the beginning or end of a location in the work where stitches might be added or a pattern might be repeated. Some stitch markers need to pass from one needle to another in the work and move through the work as it is knitted or crocheted. These stitch markers are closed loop. Some stitch markers need to be placed in the work and remain until the item is finished, such as the marking at a certain row for the application of a pocket or the joining of another piece to the work. These markers have a split ring, so they can be slid around a thread and stay in place,  then removed easily when the piece is finished.

Many items are in my mind, but it would take several lifetimes to complete all of the pieces I would like to make. Right now, there are women's hats, and shawls in the shop. At one time I had a beautiful cardigan sweater in the shop, but it sold last year. Sizing to fit with some garments makes it impractical to create very many if at all for sale in my shop. There is the expense of purchasing the materials, and many hours required to make say a sweater, and then the risk of not having it sell after so much investment because the person who would want to buy it is a different size or wants a different color than the creation made.

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