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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hey This Sounds Like Fun!

Yup. Those were the words I said that fateful day on February 6, 2013.

I had just started my evening Facebook perusal when I saw post by Franklin Habit announcing that he had secured a gig as a guest judge in an upcoming knitting contest called The Fiber Factor.  I followed the link in his post and there it was.  The thing most knitters who also happen to be Project Runway fans had been dreaming about since season one, a design competition for knitting!!!

OMGOMGOMG could this be true?!?

Further reading, a viewing of the promotional video , and a quick read through the application and official rules told me yes it was true!

OMGOMGOMG

I immediately told Joe about it and his only response was, "Sounds like something you'd want to do"  Joe is the king of understatement. I downloaded the forms and rules, read them again, thought about what I'd like to do and went to bed. The next morning before he left for work Joe asked two questions, what was the application deadline and if I thought I could do a video.  The first question was easy, the deadline was March 24, the second was bit tricky to answer.  Could I do a video? A question that had a two-part answer. I didn't have the skill or know-how and our laptop was in fact on its last leg but I guess I could learn and finally get that new laptop. On the other hand, could I actually DO a video. hmmmm. My home is called The Hermitage, because quite frankly, I don't get out much,  but I had done some public speaking in the past, I had been a school teacher in another life, could I do a video?

Yes.

Maybe.

Probably.

I don't know.

Such a simple question with so many answers.

I spent the day wondering if and how I could do a video as I gathered all my finished and not-so finished designs.  It was a fretful but exhilarating day. (Shhhhh don't tell anyone but, I even found a few designs I had completely forgot about, I really ought to organize my stuff!) When Joe, man of few words, returned home from work he said one thing. "Call Gillian and do this thing." Ahh Joe always my cheerleader and facilitator even if he didn't quite know exactly what it was he was agreeing to, but at that point neither did I. Did anyone?

In a phone call to Gillian, our youngest, who knows her way around computers and cameras, I said those words again, "Hey this sounds like fun!" she wholeheartedly agreed, and that was all it took to get this ball rolling. ----- Apparently we Graweys sometimes have a skewed sense of what would be fun to do, this was going to involve a whole LOT of work! ----- I would have everything ready to go for a photographic session of the designs and the shooting of the video by the first weekend in March. Gillian would fly in late on the 28th of February and back out on Sunday the 3rd. She would take the raw footage cut and splice and make her mother look....presentable?......capable?.....not crazy?  Well, two out of three ain't bad. ;)

The swiftness with which the next 3 weeks from February 7th to March 1st past was surreal.  In that time I was soaking, steaming and blocking designs, finishing designs and creating designs to submit for the application.  Yes, I said "and creating designs", two of them, dreamed up and knitted from start to finish in that same three week period. I was also writing and re-writing my responses on the application form and storyboarding my video. Doing all this cuz it's fun right?  Well, yeah, it was fun cuz I do enjoy doing that type of thing. Plus, consider the biggest ever added bonus, I was going to have a girls weekend with my daughter from LA and my niece from Chicago being silly and doing silly things!!!!

Below you'll see the three designs I submitted as a required part of my application.  The beautiful models in these garments are my daughter Gillian and my almost daughter, my niece Erin. I've also uploaded the original full length application video I sent in and some snippets from my application.  Just for giggles sake, how would YOU answer these application questions? Hey, you never know when something fun might come around and you'll be asked to answer similar questions! And keep in mind, I was/am just like many of you. I was and am someone who just plays all day.

I hope you enjoy the video in all its silliness.  From the very beginning I never even considered the possibility of actually being one of the contestants, just sending in an application sounded like something that would be fun to do so I did it.  At the time I never really thought things through and considered what could happen. I just focused on the now and how much fun it would be to have Gillian home for the weekend and how silly we could get while shooting a video together. I have to admit, I'm super glad I didn't think it all through, I'm not sure I would have done it if I had and that would have been my loss for soooooo many different reasons.

Next up: Whoa, What Have I Done?














Please describe your design philosophy or point of view:

I am driven by knitting not only as a thing of beauty, but as a medium which can have
structure with purpose and function. Fueled by the questions, "What if' "Why not" and
"Why"  I strive to explore the inherent pliable nature of the knitted fabric in my designs.
The fact that a knitted fabric can so easily be commanded and manipulated to bend, curve,
fold, turn, and grow from a plain smooth flat 2-dimensional surface into a deeply textured,
multi-colored 3-dimensional space feeds my soul and thrills me.

PIease describe your goals as a designer:

My goal as a designer is to make people think or, at the very least, consider the possibilities.
Knitting is a medium and a skill that can easily be exploited. Whether that exploitation
takes the form of exploding the conventional ideals of garment structure, merely finds
another way to manipulate the stitches or pushes the envelope of fashion, knitting has no
boundaries.

What are your strengths and your weaknesses as  a designer?

My strengths are simple; I am fearless with my needles and confident in my skills and
imagination. I also stay abreast of the current fashion trends.

One of my weaknesses as a designer could be remedied; I have very little experience with
size gradation when writing a pattern. 
My other weakness is the major force holding me back, I have never been interested in the business side of design.


What are the things you are most passionate about in life?

I would assume like many others my biggest passion is my family, my husband, children,
grandchildren and very large very close extended family.

Some of my other passions in no particular order are:

Color: around me but not necessarily ON me. Friends call my home "the Dr. Seuss House"
because of the riotous use of color throughout.

Thrifting/Repurposing/Recreating/Reusing: I get a real kick out of rejuvenating things like
clothing and furniture.

Learning: I feed my brain constantly. My day is not complete unless I've learned something
new.

What else should we know about you?

Knitting isn't my only skill. To name just few of the other crafts/skills which occupy my
time, sewing, crochet, spinning, dyeing, needle lace, felting (wet and needle), weaving,
beading, embroidery, wirework, leather work, tambour, rug making, book binding, jewelry
making [particularly inspired by Arline Fisch Textiles in Metal] To be honest there isn't
much I haven't attempted I've been playing all my life but I promise to keep everything for
this contest knitted unless you tell me otherwise.
In a nutshell I just like to build and create with my hands. I adore functional and
purposeful work whether it's delicate piece of lace or the restoration of my house from the
bare studs up. And I equally adore fanciful perhaps not extremely functional work like
creating spinning wheels or "spinning machines" from discarded found objects like the antique brass chandelier soon to be a spinning wheel as seen in my video.