Thursday, May 7, 2009

3...2...1...

The semester is aaaalmost over. Our last class is next week, and all we're doing is having a little party and presenting our final projects. W told us last class that he wants to try and keep things 'chill' since we're so close to the end. I think my fellow students probably need it more than I do; I know I've talked a lot about the stress this class has ignited in my belly, but I only had one to worry about. Most of my classmates are finishing up a course load of four or five classes, and everyone was looking peaky and pinched on Wednesday. Part of this may be the weather, too...let's make with the sunshine, please! Actually, it can be rainy and gross this weekend, because I plan on shoving my nose to the grindstone hardcore, getting all my figures done, putting together my project on Monday and Tuesday, and breezing into class on Wednesday well rested, with cups, plates and the final.

The final assignment is really not so intimidating, especially since he had us crank out one of these two weeks ago. A five to seven figure collection, with fabric and mood board. The only extra criterion was that the theme had to be another country or culture, which isn't exactly a restrictive requirement. I picked Lithuania, because it's where my great grandfather (on my dad's side) emigrated from, and I knew absolutely nothing about it. I still know very little about it, but I've discovered that their flag is red, gold and green, the weather is fairly mild, it's on the Baltic Sea, and there's a pretty enchanting castle on an island, called Trakai, that's a major tourist spot. Sooo...that's pretty sufficient for this project, I think.

I went out and got my fabric today (also buttons!) and I've got some good ideas. Ooh, plus, at least one of the designs will feature knitwear, and I swatched my swatch for that tonight. It's actually a design that I was planning on knitting up for myself, out of some of the yarn I scored at MDSW this year. I had doodled a few ideas for it whilst working my amazingly dull job, but I wasn't planning on using it for this project. Then, on Wednesday, we were having our usual "What's going on in the world of fashion" discussion in class. This is usually a pretty awkward endeavor, because W gets frustrated when no one has any news to report, but it seems like everyone in the class is so wrapped up in school that they're not all that jacked in. HOWEVER, this week, I decided to pipe up. It's the end of the semester, right? Anyway, after W and my seatmate A finished talking about the new fashion exhibit at the Met, I said, "Well, I'm not sure this is really all that fashion related, but I went to the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last weekend," and bizarrely, W was like, "Oh wow, really? My sister went to that as well! Tell us about it."

So, I talked about the festival, and how it was a really big event in the knitting community, of which I am a part. Since I happened to have the gorgeous Hanami that Elspeth knitted for me, I pulled it out and talked about how two friends and I had all used the same pattern to knit for each other. W was intrigued to hear that knitting patterns exist, and also commented that my Elspeth-made Hanami was beautiful and, "Doesn't look hand-knit at all." (Whatever THAT means.) Then he asked me if I was planning on using hand-knitting in my designs in the future. "Because you should," he said. "Anything in this industry that makes you stand out is a big asset." I'm paraphrasing, but that was the gist of what he said. It's so funny--knitting is such a big part of my creative self, and I feel so tapped into it (Hello, Ravelry!), that sometimes I forget not all creative people knit, or know much about knitting. Anyway, after he said that to me, I took another look at the little doodles of the garment I had made, and realized that it really would fit well with my other ideas. I'll say nothing more here, except for the word, "YELLOW!"

Once the semester ends, I'll have about three months before the fall semester starts, and I do not intend to be a lazybones over the summer. I just joined The Jukebox pool on Flickr, and I'll probably start working on that once class finishes up. I've also been thinking about getting back into illustrating (I hate the word 'cartooning,' and they're really not the same thing at all.) It's something I really loved doing and I just let it fall by the wayside, but now that I've had this intensive drawing course, I think I could jump back into it. Plus, lots of knitting, of course. Basically, the mantra for this summer is to stay creative, stay productive, and unwind before the fall. Tallyho!

To see pictures of the amazing Hanami that Elspeth knit for me, and an uber cute shot of me, Elspeth and Ann together in our Hanamis, check out Elspeth's Flickr stream, starting HERE

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