I'm not one to follow trends, I just help set them. So you won't see me devouring the latest Harry Potter book. In fact, I've yet to read the first. You also won't see me with iPhone, I'm still working with pen-and-paper, particularly a little match-book size of a book from a Chicago paper shop. That notebook is a little too small for me so I think I'll start using index cards from Levenger.com to sketch out my next swimsuit collection, hats, and add phone numbers to my Gmail account.
So you can well imagine I don't read e-books, just lots of tomes from the local library. I was delighted to check out some excellent books on sewing last week. They are Sewing With Knits by Connie Long, Stitch With Style, Beverly Rush; and Sewing Lingerie That Fits, Karen Morris.
Just that first book alone has me in awe. Knits are my favorite fabric of the moment. Who knew you could crochet loose loops on a machine-made sweater knit? (I didn't.) Or my flame-stitch fabric is called a raschel knit? (Now I know the fancy name for all those Missoni zig-zag textiles.) Or that you can great your own ribbing? (That was truly an Aha moment for me). That and so much more makes me want to actually purchase Sewing With Knits for my well-edited book collection. I'll be able to make bathing suits that will be the envy of the lifeguards at the YMCA, the carp and frogs at the swimming hole at the national state park. They might even hire me to make their attire. The Stitching book hails from the 1970s, but still there's a lot that can be used in today's clothes. I'd love to try some of their appliques on a sewing machine (don't get me started on felting...I just saw Viking's felting machine last night at Vogue Fabrics. You can create on a machine what would take hours to do by hand.) Lingerie That Fits? All those knit scraps are going to become underwear some day. This book will help me do it in style with a better understanding of fit and technique.
Just so you know, not all my reading's about hand crafts. I've got Steve Allen's Make 'Em Laugh. Got to be able giggle when you nick your finger on a machine needle as I did Sunday afternoon while I was working on a black batiste blouse. I didn't bleed, but I've got a little scab. I don't really know what happened - I just know I was fixing something - a loose thread, crooked fabric - when the machine needle jogged up, then down, and I went, "Ow!" I looked at my index finger and there was a little bit of cut epidermis where they had been previously been a smooth surface. I think I might need to stay away from the felting machine - which actually has a plastic guard around its multi-prong needle. If I can hurt myself on one sharp little tool, I can only imagine the potential for pain with multiple sharp points.