Pinball Wizard!

I've had a bit of trouble getting back into my studio.  I thought the 'envelop' tutorial would ease me back, but, not so much....I have ventured into the room a few times but mostly I bounce around like a pinball and end up remembering some very important business, like unloading the dishwasher!!!!

What I realized is, this pinballing feeling is actually a familiar state for me.  It usually shows up around the time that the seasons are going to change.  I'm over whatever I was thinking and planning for the current season, but not quite prepared for the next one.  It feels a bit early in Michigan to be thinking about spring and summer, but the fashion industry is already talking about next fall so I guess it's not to early to start piling up my linen projects!

In the spirit of more intentional sewing, I decided to 'watch myself' as I make the shift from winter to spring this year.  I know there must be a process, because it happens every year, so what is it? I think the "pinball feeling" is the initial step!

My brain has been busy collecting for awhile.  Images, colors, fabrics, techniques, patterns, ideas....all of this collecting is spinning around and creating that bouncing behavior.  I pick up a pattern, but am not sure what fabric I want...I find a cool shirt on Pinterest, but need to figure out the pattern, I read about a great technique in my Threads Magazine (wink, wink) and go trolling about for the right project...I'm like a dragonfly stopping for a few seconds here and there and then off on another mission.  So today I decided to look at my collection and see if there was enough stuff to start making a plan.

I have been aware that I'm being drawn to a little different color palette.  Of course, it's still very much in the 'mud colors' range, but I have noticed a pinkish-brownish-grayish color wiggling into the picture.  It's as good a place as any to start...

This color, which I'll call pinkish-gray for lack of a better name, started making an appearance in my yarn choices.  In December I started working on an alpaca cardigan (center) that was leaning in the pinkish-gray direction.  I carted a pile of linen and cotton yarns to Florida and back (left) but ended up working on a yarn that I picked up while I was there (right).

I also went to an artisans' fair while I was in Key West and bought a really cool eco-dyed linen dress...and guess what?....Yep, it's pretty much pinkish-gray. (there are a few blotches of gold, which come from tumeric!)

OK...a new color...

I next went hunting around in my closet to see if there were other hints of this color.  Obviously, it is not a total departure from my go-to palette and sure enough I came up with a cotton cardigan that I love but haven't really worn in awhile.  Excellent!

Let's take a wander in the ol' stash...

...a nice gray (with a hint of pink) stretch denim...a double sided gray/print ponte knit...how about something to give a bit of contrast...like a nice dark washed denim to round out the group.

I left that pile to marinade and moved on to another challenge that has been sitting on my table this fall and winter.

I have a gorgeous alpaca cardigan that keeps looking for an outfit.  Let's see...
I know that it is not hiding in my closet, been there, so how about the stash?  I'm liking the brown wool jersey, it has a hint of green that really blends with the heather of the sweater.

AND it looks fab with the tweed sweater I knitted last fall!  How about a gray (greenish) stretch twill, a cool novelty knit with velvet stripes and maybe that dark washed denim from the first pile ...

Whew! That's starting to feel like a couple of piles of potential....how about some pattern ideas...I hauled out the clipping file.  This is a folder that collects pictures, little sketches, catalog pages, etc. that catch my eye.  I started looking for themes...it appears that I am wanting a denim style dress (maybe that's the reason the dark denim ended up in the fabric pile?)...

...and there is also a group of tops that are conspiring...hmmm?

...how about the yarn stash...any potential there...????

The pinball feeling is starting to dwindle...I'm feeling the stirrings of a real plan...on to the pattern stash...

I think the wool jersey and the double faced ponte would be great dresses, and the cardigan needs a short waisted style....where's my journal...?

So THAT'S how I do it!  From pinball to plan!  
The collecting is fun and necessary, but working the ideas into a plan helps me focus and actually get to making stuff.  Of course you will notice that I always work in pencil!  There will be significant edits, about faces, total deletions and curveballs before the end of the season.  But, for now, I can head into my studio and instead of bouncing I can start pouncing (sorry, I couldn't help it)...😝

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