One, but certainly not the only, reason I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus is that I’ve been organizing my spare bedroom as a knitting/sewing room. The room contained a miscellaneous jumble of stuff before and during our siding and window replacements, and I want it to be cleaned up and usable. The first thing I’ve done is to place my fabric and fabric that I inherited from my mother into Rubbermaid tubs. Much of it was stored that way—but much wasn’t. And when I collected everything in one place, I had more tubs than the nine I thought. There’s actually a 12th in the attic, with fabric that I thought I’d give away, but may now use for some practice pieces.
In going through the fabric, I came across some surprises, and fabric that I had forgotten about.
The first surprise was this bit of Disney-branded cotton with the treasure map from Peter Pan, because I don’t remember it at all. I date it circa 1953, when the movie hit theaters and I was about 6 years old. I was totally captivated by that movie, and I guess my mother intended to make me something from this piece (which I expect to put up for sale on eBay quite shortly). This attempt at Disney marketing seems so quaint compared to the blitz of branded items that accompany today’s movie releases.
Among the forgotten fabrics were Moygashiel Irish linens, like the blue on the right, Viyella, like the flowered fabric in the middle, and the pink crepe de chine. I googled Moygashiel and found that it is no longer in business and these linens are prized. I have many pieces in solids (and one in a print that will probably find its way onto eBay before long because the print is too big for me), and I’ll happily sew up the solids into dresses or skirts. Viyella, which is a remarkable fabric, is a mix of cotton and wool, and also seems less available than in the past, when you could buy it in fabric departments of department stores like B. Altman in New York. I have solids and some prints, and I’ve always wanted a Viyella bathrobe, in addition to dresses and skirts. The fabric sews up like challis, but I have more challis than I’ll ever use. So eventually I’ll cull through the light wools and keep some and try to sell others. I don’t have much silk, and I do like that pink print, so it is a keeper. It came from a store in New York, located south of Houston Street, a short distance from my Greenwich Village apartment. It existed for just a short time in the mid- to late-70s and had deals on designer bolt ends. I have some cotton jacquard blouse fabric from that time too.
A gap in my sewing skills is working on knit fabric. The main reason is that my machine really couldn’t handle knits. But my new machine can, and I discovered some not-so-great pieces that I can use as “muslins” to try out the stitching for knits and to test patterns that I’ll make by tracing T-shirts that fit well. I was delighted to discover these wool knits among my mother’s fabrics:
The pieces are all interchangeable, with the stripes matching both the blue and the rust solids. Unfortunately, the yardage is skimpy, so the solids might have to end up as gathered skirts, but the stripes can be Ts.
I had to curb my urge to play with the fabric because I also wanted to consolidate my yarn stash. And this is embarrassing:
Once I collected it in one place, I realized that buying more yarn was just silly. I’ll be stash busting for years to come (although I do have some strategic acquisitions in mind for this year’s Rhinebeck trek). I had thought that sock yarn was under-represented, but in addition to this box, there are two more of equal size:
I’ll be adding stash pictures to Ravelry once I’ve done a little more decluttering, and some will be posted for sale.
I’m working now on creating a database listing of the fabric and organizing the sewing notions and supplies, after which time I’ll see where bookshelves can fit so I can get my knitting and sewing books and magazines into the room. Then it will be on to better lighting, a dress form, and mirrors. And, of course, the best way to get some of those stash boxes out of the room is to actually make something.
I discovered that I already have yarn for the monthly colors in the Ravelry Solid Socks group KALs for 2011 and 2012 (how surprising is that?), and I may cast on for the September red challenge using this: