Tuesday, October 27, 2020

At Home: New Skills Edition

I read somewhere recently, in an article about coping with pandemic fatigue, that the two pillars of mental health are physical activity and creativity. This may explain why I don't seem to be having an especially difficult time hanging out at home. I walk outdoors almost every day, and I try to keep learning new things. The latest thing I've learned has been more or less forced upon me. I mostly sew Indie patterns, and since the start of the pandemic most Indie designers have been  producing only pdf patterns. Previously, I would take these to my local copy shop and have them printed out on huge pieces of paper from which I would trace the pattern pieces (it's best to keep the original intact in case of future alterations). Lately, I've learned (finally) how to skip the copy shop and print and piece together patterns on my own. I'd tried it earlier, but somehow everything always ended in a horrible mess. The process would start out all right, but as I moved down and toward the right the "tiles" would become progressively mismatched. It turns out there are two secrets to getting it right (assuming you don't have problems printing to scale). 

1) Cut off the right-hand side and the top of each printed page, and 

2) As you piece the "tiles" together, cut out the pattern pieces as they emerge (adjusting any little discrepancies if necessary). 

There's a good description here on the Helen's Closet website. In fact, I'm preparing to sew the Pona Jacket from the same source. I'd show a photo, but I think it is subject to copyright. It's the longer version I'm interested in. In wool, just like the one featured by Sewing Therapy this week. Clearly, I'm on my way down some sort of rabbit hole with this jacket, but what better time for that?

Here's the printed out pdf of the jacket front ready to trace (I use tracing paper that comes in a big roll and feels more like interfacing).

In the evenings I'm gradually adding to my sock collection with a new pair of Snakes and Ladders Socks (link in the sidebar). These are surprisingly quick to make. Really.

This last week of October feels more like November -- winter coat cold. Pics below from the front of our property.

In fact, as I write the leaves are falling fast and it's started to snow. Sigh.

P.S. I forgot to mention in the new skills department, that I'm learning to use Zoom (isn't everyone?) Good thing, because I've been invited as guest speaker by a large knitting guild south of the border. So, new skills AND new opportunities. Got to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.