Mmm, Pumpkin Pie

Knitting, Bras, Nesting

Hello my friends, how’ve you been? Methinks it’s time to dust off around here.

I have so many things to share and don’t know where to start so I’m just going to wend my way into this post and see what happens.

I took a long, somewhat unintentional, somewhat intentional, sabbath from all things internet for the last year.*

And whoa, internet time is fast. Sooo many Watsons. Gorgeous! Much faster than the clock I live in.

So one of the many projects I’ve been working on in little baby steps is my next bra pattern. I know!

I had every intention of releasing this much earlier this year but at that time we were in the throes of an entire home renovation. A very dear and wise friend of mine reminded me that all of my mental energy was pouring into that and it was understandably hard to drum it up for other things.

Side note: Everybody tells you this, but no amount of warning really prepares you for how stressful a renovation can be on two people. There are days when you want to (and you literally can) throw the kitchen sink at each other. And then right after we moved back in, we had a sudden funeral of a dear friend. So I have had to take it easy and let go of many pressures for the the life of my relationship.

The amazing thing that came out of this past year was a renewed excitement in making. We’ve owned our tiny bungalow for 13 years and in that time we’ve worked entirely from home. It’s been even longer than that since I’ve had a work culture that was mentally separate from home. My gigs in life have been varied and mostly in creative fields but all have involved making ideas or running something from home. I’ve tried at least three times to work in a separate rented studio (because it’s soo hard squeezing a cutting table into an 8 by 8 foot 2nd bedroom!) but I keep gravitating back home.

Strangely, it was only this year that I started to identify as a homemaker. Because in some weird, odd way, that is what I “do”. I love being at home, and I love “making” in my home. Some of that work, like all work, is mundane drudgery and some of it is full of creative wanderings.

As soon as we moved back into our new-old house I went into a total nesting phase. I shopped for some new textiles but there was always just one thing about them I didn’t like. I have that problem with clothes, too. It’s so hard when you know you can make it and make it better, right?

So I started knitting and crocheting pillows, blankets, you name it. Started being a key word because many of these are still in progress. I even crocheted this cat bed, which is now a sad crumpled puddle of cat hair. (Next time, I’ll have work on getting the right combination of stiff tension and yarn thickness to get it to stand up.)

Homemaking has been a blast. And so has knitting, which I took up last year and don’t ever want to stop. More on that to come.

Meanwhile I kept working in bits and pieces on the next bra pattern. It went through 3 stages of development and I am very, very happy with the results. I’ll share some of the things I learned in the process once this pattern is out in the world. And I promise, it is coming soon!

I hope you all are having an amazing October! It is hands down my favorite month of the year, not the least of which is because it is my birth month ;). Derek just got home with a baby pumpkin to celebrate the month and now all I can think of are the first appearances of pie… so good. Hence the random title.

Odds and Ends:

– This week I’m headed off to Camp Workroom Social to teach bra making. I’m thrilled to be joining some wonderful teachers and campers for three days of go-deep sewing and camp fun. And antsy to get out of Texas to taste some real autumn!

– The students in my class will be working with my new pattern, Harriet. Here’s a very abstract preview of one in progress.

– I’m trying to flesh out my Ravelry profile to include updated projects. How is it that I missed out on the wonder that is Ravelry for the past 8 years?! Oh yeah, I wasn’t a knitter.

– Back in July I wrote a guest post on bra fitting for Heather of Closet Case Files. We consulted a bit on her Sophie Swimsuit pattern and I think it’s a total babe! The techniques in this post can apply to many bra-fitting scenarios.

*P.S. I’ve gotten so many sweet emails and questions over the last year asking me how I’m doing and if I’m going to quit Cloth Habit, the patterns or the blog. I hope this post answers some of that. And although I might meander into unexpected territory, I’m still working, teaching and supporting patterns and emails every day. When and if Cloth Habit should reach the end of its lifespan, I’ll be very clear and intended about it. Major catastrophe nothwithstanding, I promise you that because I like good endings!

P.P.S. I may, however, quit Twitter. Geesh, I totally forgot I even had an account; I think I’ve only tweeted three times in four years, ha!

13 comments

  1. Rebecca says:

    Hello! we are half way through a big reno (which like all big reno’s started as just needing “one more room”) and are finally at the building stage after a year (!!) of planning & decision making. Exhausting! But worth it in the end i’m sure!!
    I have just jumped on the bra-making bandwagon and have almost finished my first Watson Bra. I’m excited for Harriet!! Is that some foam I see in your sneaky peak?! I hope so!!

    • Amy says:

      Oh yeah, do we know that stage too well. The beginning before building is almost harder—I called it decision exhaustion! We took a month off when I reached that point and it was sooo good. All the best in it! It will definitely feel amazing when you’re done. Although when you own a home there’s always just ‘one more project’ on the horizon or something’s always breaking but I think that’s normal life, right?!

  2. LisaB says:

    I just thought of you on Saturday when I took a bra making class, wondering how you were. What a lovely surprise to see your post just now.

  3. Anya says:

    So good to read your blog again!!! I am so happy you are well and I am very sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you.
    I feel your reno story. We are almost through with the first part of our reno and it has been a life sucker. I think we did well for the most part, but the dust, debris, mess and all the little silly decisions that all of the sudden seem so major and uncompromising are so hard to handle! Congratulations on surviving your reno! I hope you enjoy your new old place 🙂
    I CAN NOT wait till your new pattern comes out!!

  4. francesca says:

    Oh wow – I’ve checked on your blog every now and again since I got your first bra pattern and was happy to see your post on Closet Case – it’s weird how one worries about people one doesn’t really know:) – and now I totally get why. Renovating is a huge deal – even a bathroom threw us off.
    Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting! Isn’t it a buzz?! Crochet is fun too – I have gotten to the point where I sometimes feel a yarn would prefer to be crocheted or vice versa. Try it…. and oh yes, Ravelry is incredible. It gets better and better even though it was always amazing. I used to keep lists and notebooks – but since a few years, no need. I just wish there was a sewing equivalent!
    How exciting – a new bra pattern! Can’t wait! Off to check if I’m still on your mailing list!

  5. Natalie says:

    Oh my, I’m totally feeling your pain over house renovation exhaustion. We’ve been going flat out for the past 12 months and it’s been nothing short of insane!! Now that the end is in sight, it’s been worth it but giving yourself some breathing room is absolutely essential. In saying that, I’m super excited about your new pattern!!

  6. Theresa says:

    So glad you’re back! I have missed your posts. Your sew-a-long started me on my bra making journey. I will never buy a bra again. Thank you!

  7. I think everything you’ve focused on in the last year sounds about right. It’s so easy to get stressed out by what you think everyone else wants you to be doing rather then what’s right for you. I run a busy sewing studio and completely relate to everything you’ve said. I’m going through a time of re-assessing what parts of what I do are worth it and answering my big questions of why I do what I do and planning to focus more on those activities in 2017. Life’s too short to try and meet everyone’s expectations when that’s completely impossible. “Be Yourself” is the message of my moment right now.

  8. Heather Bell says:

    I’m glad that you’re back blogging after your year of nesting and reorganizing. Your blog was one of the first that I found when I started bra making, and I find it amazing! Thank you for all of your efforts to make creativity easier for those of us that are spread all over the InterNet universe!

    It seems contradictory, but sometimes temporarily withdrawing from parts of life that are no longer working is very necessary to move forward. The mundane repetitiveness of daily life can be very soothing – it gives your mind a chance to travel to thoughts that were pushed aside or ignored when completing a focussed task where these thoughts could be considered an interference . I am glad that you were able to find clarity in order for you to continue with your creative endeavours.

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