Today, I spent the day at my tailoring teacher's house, reconnecting with my love of wool. (As if it ever really left!)
And, to my surprise, I got a pretty astonishing amount done. In five hours, I finished building the pocket; interfaced the shoulder and lapel; connected the shoulders and side seams; built the sleeve; built the collar; set in the collar; pressed up and sewed the mitered sleeve cuffs. (It makes me tired but proud just looking at that list written out.)
This morning, I had a bunch of pieces of wool pinned to a hanger; tonight, I have a jacket that - though unfinished - I can put on my body.
So much further to go, but so much progress nonetheless!
The rain has come in for the fall. Yesterday I spent the afternoon sewing together my jacket lining, marking seams with white chalk and easing charmeuse into itself. Next week I go in for another private class with my tailoring teacher, and I'm preparing what I can before then.
Lately I've sensed a sea change in my creative life. Graduation is close and I have a backlog of design ideas; at the same time, I'm feeling a pull to words that I haven't felt in a long, long time.
In another life, I had a daily notebook and would go on frantic two-day long binges, writing short stories. I had an English teacher from my community college who became my unofficial mentor after I started dropping off short stories in his office for critique, months after my creative writing class had ended. I still find myself writing a sentence and wondering what he'd think of it.
It also makes me think about mentorship in general; although it's common among young creatives to have a mentor in their craft, some of the sparkle of mentorship seems to fade once we've crossed the threshold into adulthood. Yet, it seems that encouragement of growth and reflection is such a positive force for any creative person - or really, any person, in any field - that it seems a shame to leave it behind just because we're no longer young or in school.
It's part of why I like to tell all of my knitting students that I believe in them, as cheesy as it is - because anyone, of any age or skill level, can benefit from knowing that someone is on their side. Because it can, and does, make all the difference.
In an effort to clean out my deep stash, I started a pair of Churchmouse's Welted Fingerless Gloves out of some Manos Silk Blend I got years and years ago at Smith's, my local yarn shop in Oberlin. The colorway is Adobe, but it always reminds me of mother of pearl: the dark, textured outer shell and the pale pink glow of the interior. The yarn is knitting up without any pooling, and the cleverness and brevity of the pattern is keeping me on my toes.
The weather has turned in Seattle recently: the leaves are starting to fall, and in the daylight the streets seem larger and brighter - leaves carpeting the sidewalks; empty branches reaching towards the sky. The rain has come, too, and with it a cold bite to the air that can only be cut with a thick layer of wool.
And so, with a little knitting, I'll have another line of defense ready to tuck into my jacket pocket soon enough.