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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Unable to focus

I'm having one of those weeks where I'm being pulled in several directions and I just can't focus.  I've got a project for one class and although I think its going to be easier than last week's project, I just can't bring myself to focus on it for more than an hour or so.  I'm just too tired to focus, and yet I can't seem to get myself into bed at a decent hour and Alex gets up at the same time every morning.  That means that I function on an average of 5-6 hours of sleep a day until I finally drop and sleep for five hours.  I'm a girl who burns the candle at both ends (I always have been), and when I'm not wrapped up in some show on Netflix and knitting some project, I'm working till 1am on a homework assignment.  It's not unusual for me to do homework until about 11pm-12am, and then put it down and pick up my knitting for an hour so I can turn my brain off.

Right now, I can't focus because of the creative tear that I'm on.  Every few months I get a flood of project ideas and I'm usually too busy to work on them so they go into the sketch pad until I get time for them.  I don't usually get time for them and when I do have time for a design of my own, I'm usually dealing with one of the new ideas that popped into my brain.  My latest challenge (designing specifically for tall women) has really turned into a challenge.  There aren't any standard sizes out there for tall women, and when I say tall I mean 5' 10' and over.  I have to be clear on this because the Simplicity sewing pattern company seems to feel that 'tall' is anyone over 5' 6", and understandably when one considers that average height for a woman is only 5' 4".  So anyone who's 6' (as I am) is freakishly tall for a woman...because 6' is technically over average height for a man!  Now, I know that there must be some set of standard measurements out there, because I buy tall shirts and pants from Gap, Old Navy, and NY&Co.  I've even been to a website run by an organization that supports the fashion industry, and they offer these standards for sale, but they aren't for tall women...they're for average women.  That being said, I spent a good amount of my afternoon (that should have been filled with homework), figuring out the percentages of armhole depth compared to the total length of a garment, and the total length of a sleeve compared to the total length of a garment (an average length top).  Turns out that there are such numbers, and now that I have them I can measure a few of my own tall tops to see if these percentages hold true or if there is an entirely different set of numbers.  If the percentages are exactly the same and they just add some length to the torso, then I can just use myself as the middle size and grade my patterns out from there.  If these tops have their own percentage, I can do the same thing, again using myself as an average size but I'll just have to do a little math.  Once I work this all out, I'll be compiling my info and I'll have my own set of standard measurements for tall women!

Now, once all the complicated stuff is out of the way, I get to tackle actual design work.  I've got several fantastic reference books and I read some reviews for a few more good ones that I've got to go order.  After that, I start knitting!  I might have a little yarn support to help me on my way too.  I contacted the wonderful people at Cascade Yarns, and they responded to my email and sent me information on submitting patterns and getting published by them if they approve my designs.  I'll even get paid if they like what I do!  This might actually happen.  I wonder if this is the way it went down for Wendy Bernard when she started, or for Cookie A, or Spilly Jane?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New direction

Well folks, I've got a major writing assignment due and some discussion board questions to post to, so naturally I'm writing a blog post.  I've found that when I have a project that requires a little creative thinking to complete, it kick starts the rest of my creative juices and I get all these fantastic ideas for all the other areas in my life...the one's that I don't have time to really explore right now.  That being said, I've decided that I really need to focus my designing attention toward a niche that can be uniquely my own.  One that I'm very familiar with.  So I guess I'm announcing here on my beloved (but hardly well read) blog that I'm going to be focusing my designing skills to design patterns specifically for tall women.  I'm going to make socks for bigger feet, hand-warmers and mittens for longer hands, sweaters and vests with longer sleeves and deeper arm-hole depth, and decreases that hit lower on the body.  These are just a few of the sizing issues that tall knitters (like myself) have to adjust any time they knit any pattern.  Wouldn't it be nice to just pick up a pattern and go...not having to add five additional inches to that arms and wonder if the arm-hole will hit where you like it and not end up right in your armpit?  Wouldn't it be nice to be better able to estimate how much yardage you need for your project because the extra inches you normally have to add into a pattern would already be accounted for?  I think it would, and I think that there are many other knitters out there who would agree with me.  I mean, aren't fashion models tall?!  And yet clothes are still made in average sizes and if I want a dress-shirt or pair of pants that fit I have to order them online.  If I wanted a sweater that fit, I had to learn to knit and spend the next 8 years making mistakes and learning how long was long enough and where the decreases should hit my body before I finally got a sweater that fit me correctly.  So, that being said, I'm going to be focusing my design energies toward designs for tall women.  How tall is tall?  Well, I'm trying to work out the minimum height but based on the group for tall knitters that I joined yesterday on Ravelry, I can see that I'm only average height in the tall woman world (at a respectable 6') so tall should probably extend out to accommodate woman up to 6' 5".  If I find that there is a need for patterns even taller than that...well I'll cross that bridge when I get to it, lol.  If you are tall (meaning that you have to buy tall sizes when you shop for clothes), please leave me a comment telling me how tall you are so I can get a better idea of my demographic.
Oh, and ladies with thick curly hair...I haven't forgotten you either.  Hats designed for our particular hair will also be on the agenda.  No more hat-head, or being forced to wear your hat all day because it gets frizzier every time you have to put it on and take it off.  Now, back to my regularly scheduled homework assignment.