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Friday, October 17, 2008

What's On My Needles?




The Olivenhain Craft show is scheduled for November 8, 2008. From 9am until 4pm, I sit beneath the canopy finishing details and trying to sell my work to the public. Most artists (yes, I consider the creation of hand knits an art) have a difficult time promoting themselves. Pimping the product is a skill. I am proud of my pieces and some I even love to the point that I hate to let them go. The time put into the process is not always redeemable with cash.

My needles are full of triple strands of 100% wool, mixed with the odd novelty yarn for detail. I play with the colors, the shape and the size. After the knitting, I felt the bag in boiling water with rubber shoes in the washing machine. While still wet, but reduced in size by up to 50%, I stretch and form the shapeless blob into the bag I want it to become. Out on the dry, hot sun-drenched patio, the wool takes 1 -2 days to dry enough to finish.

The least favorite part comes next. Machine sewing a uniquely designed liner for each individual bag. It has to be sewn into place before the handles are stitched on and a closure is added. Viola. Done.

Then I do it again. Actually, there are four wet bags drying right now. Tomorrow I plan to get the machine and fabrics out for a marathon sewing party. Picking out the handles and closure is the final step and the equivalent of the final spritz of perfume before you leave for the party. Come to the craft show and see me. Come see my bags. But now I must get back to my needles and do it again...

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