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Starting Over

February 8, 2010

Standard processes are something I’m not good at following. I always try, but I always get ahead of myself. Instead, I tend to think I can find a better way — one that doesn’t involve following instructions. And for some reason I try to jump in at an experience level that is beyond me. Why draft a pillow when I can try to make a dress? Apparently it is learning the basics that I don’t have time for.


This began as a flowing grey cardigan made of tissue jersey. It was generally a fine-looking thing. But after trouble with the unfinished edges I decided to add a border that turned out to be too heavy. When I tried to fix this problem, I cut the cardigan and turned it into a semi-bolero. A few “fixes” later it turned into something that defies definition entirely. The snippet above is all I can bring myself to show you. Salvage attempts have ceased and now I’m moving on.

Luckily I have a plan of action.

A totally talented woman who, from her blog, also seems to fall into the category of “all around good person,” has written the book I will be using as my bible. Cal Patch’s, Design-it-Yourself Clothes, is how I plan to move beyond my ongoing failed-project-funk. I’ll be starting at the beginning and working through each project in the book. First the skirt. Then a shirt. And on and on until I work my way to the end of the book and finally can (note the optimism here) make a pair of pants. Clearly I have no misconceptions that I’ll be leaving failed projects behind entirely. However, I am hopeful that by following Cal’s instructions and building my skills project-by-project, I’ll be learning from my failed projects instead of whimpering into pile of fabric scraps.

I’m already enjoying getting started.

While I’m scrapping projects, I’m going to throw this one in there as well.


I knit this beret this winter. It was supposed to be slouchy, but I miscalculated when I re-sized it for different yarn and needles. I wore it uncomfortably a few times, made Jack try it on once and then threw it on the coat rack. I’m thinking hand knit goods deserve more love than that so I’m going to rip it and start again. Since spring is around the corner, maybe I should make one with a lace pattern instead. Any suggestions?

Also, because I just mentioned Jack and some people have asked, we didn’t keep Annabelle. Jack couldn’t handle having a sibling. They were amazing friends when outside, but once inside Jack wouldn’t allow her freedom to do anything. He became increasingly more neurotic, blocking her from greeting us or even moving freely around the house. Bringing another dog into our house was supposed to be for Jack’s benefit and when we realized it was actually driving him mad, we sadly packed Annabelle up and took her back to daycare. I daydreamed that when we returned home without his friend, Jack might realize the error of his ways and somehow convey to us that he did indeed want Annabelle to come back. Instead he just took a deep breath and stretched out in the middle of the living room, happier than I’ve ever seen him before.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. maryannk permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:25 pm

    I’m diggin’ that place in Denver. It’s on the list!

    And I really like the saggy baggy beret… trying to think of how you could use it without having to start over! Ah, in the old days of our parents and our parents’ parents, they might have used such a thing to keep food warm en route to a potluck. But now? Maybe a tea cozy?

  2. maryannk permalink
    February 9, 2010 7:26 pm

    P.S. Also diggin’ the new header. And did you get a new rug for your living room?

    • February 10, 2010 1:57 am

      Can’t wait for Denver!

      Thanks for digging the new header. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it was for me to remember to write in cursive. 🙂

      And yes, we did get new rugs for the living room & dining room. Oh, you’ve been gone so long!

  3. Patti permalink
    February 12, 2010 12:57 am

    Love it! Can’t wait to see the projects and homework assignments!

  4. Julia permalink
    February 18, 2010 12:00 am

    I’ve finally made it to your blog! Are you so proud?

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