Stark Studio

Tempus Fugit

Astonishingly, this happened today:

Yup, that’s my SK-155 Bulky machine in the background. Miss A helped me set it up (as evinced by the pliers she’s holding 😆).

Giving it through 2018 before I give up the good fight, per request of my husband. Isn’t it lovely to have a partner who believes in your work? I’m a lucky lady.

Hoping to get this oiled up this week and give it a spin helping the neighbor’s kid finish a scarf. Gotta start somewhere!


So, it happened. We had a baby, moved to the suburbs, and my machines are still in storage. The likelihood that I will return to making knits this year is zero, but almost 100% for 2018. However, I'm not sorry to say that my approach is going to change drastically.

Before Alessandra was born, I'd been trying to ramp up production and become a more traditional brand - two seasons a year, size runs, colorways, the whole mishpocha. Now that I've had (forced) time to reflect, I see that's not what I want to do at all.

My great love is outerwear, and my focus will now be exclusively on coats, jackets, cardigans, and accessories. Perhaps the only exception to this is the occasional sweater dress, because I live in those (or used to before nursing!) With the coats especially, work will be made to order.

My hope is that by adopting a slow fashion sensibility, I can ease back into making work over the next two years and let the work tell me what I should and should not be doing. Alessandra is only part of the reason for this - the other being that Howard Zinn has recently brought to my attention that many of my concerns about the fashion system (and the system fashion operates in) should not be ignored.

Having a child certainly complicates that ethos. The idea of having an infant or toddler without cheap, cotton clothes is mind boggling. Yes, Miss A wears a lot of hand-me-downs, but some basics get so dirty and worn it's hard to hand them down! So while slowly working on projects I'll be chewing on this dilemma and trying to formulate a workable solution. Kate Fletcher isn't a bad place to start.

Best wishes for a tasty Thanksgiving! Back in December with, hopefully, some progress.

While you're busy making other plans . . .

life happens.

A surprised

Yup, that's how I felt too when I realized July had come and gone and my machines are still sitting there idle. But at least you can see why! At only 7+ months our not-so-little one is already eager to walk. It boggles the mind and taxes the body that tries to keep up!

What I have been able to accomplish is slow work on a personal favor - an at-cost cable sweater I promised to a friend, simply because A. I really felt like knitting some cables, and B. he's someone who genuinely appreciates the work. Here, a shot of the back, completed.  The pattern is Shire Aran:


I've been working diligently on the front for a few weeks, stolen moments when Beautiful up there isn't actively trying to wrest the work from my hands, only to find yesterday I have to rip back to the bottom band. <sobs> I can't tell you how demoralizing that was. Under normal circumstances that would simply be a hassle, but when it takes a week just to get an hours worth of work done, it's devastating.

The setback forced me to see two things: 1. I need now to get some regular, weekly help with the baby because my vision of working while she plays by herself contentedly is a pipe dream, and 2. I have to take a break from this sweater and make something for her because I'm becoming resentful about being stuck on it. So, time for a diversion.

In closing I'll own that I could have sought help much sooner, but was nervous about leaving Beautiful with others. Now she's independent enough I'm not as concerned, but it's still such a challenge to find care providers we can deeply trust. And given that I'm not beholden to an outside employer, it's that much harder to justify.

If any parents want to share their experience with this, I'm listening! Wish me luck.