Sunday, November 18, 2012

Knitting Class and When Will There Be Sewing Time?

Wow! This week I taught my first group knitting class--well, half of it--after hours at the office. We got through casting on and knit stitch. I think I left them hanging a bit when we all had to break for our evening commutes. Part 2 is purl stitch and the details on how to turn what they're doing into a wearable project--scarf or cowl!
Enthusiastic students and me at Knitting Class Part 1

NYC is already starting to have the excitement and hecticness of the holidays. Not much project time these days with a busy schedule. Over at Tilly and the Buttons I found Tilly getting ready to be involved in a tweet chat thisafternoon about finding time for sewing. How relevant! I've been squeezing in a little knitting, but that's about it.
Optimistic that the Thanksgiving weekend will have some time for sewing as well as showing you some of the knitty DIY items in progress.
Any crafty plans for Thanksgiving? Whatever you are up to, I wish you good times with family and/or friends. So much to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

On to the next thing...

Well, I finished with project #1 for the Evernote Knit-Along! I was so excited to participate in this DIY challenge that somehow thought I'd do at least 2 of the sugested projects by the end of the month. Well, that didn't happen, but I did start another new knitting project from a vintage pattern book that I will reveal an upcoming post.
Here are the armwarmers. They were an easy fun project and the pattern is free at

It's hard to be lighthearted about projects today. Fortunately where I live in Queens was not hit terribly hard by Hurricane Sandy, but I'm saddened by the devastation and worried for the people affected. Please reach out to help. Here are some ideas: Astoria recovers site lists needs and volunteer opportunities. Occupy Sandy is a link full of ideas. And there's the Food Bank NYC and New York Cares and of course the Red Cross where you can donate on their site or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10 to their Disaster Relief fund.
Knitting and crafting can be a comfort in difficult times, have you ever used working on a creative project to help you come to terms with tough times?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall Knitting--DIY in Progress!

I decided a few weeks ago to participate in the Evernote knit-along. Oh yeah, but I've never used Evernote, am already working on another knitting project and am kinda busy. Well, kntting is great stress-relief, so I'm making progress!
Armwarmer #1 of the Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Lettuce Knit Armwarmers in progress. And I'm learning that Evernote is a fun way to collect and organize info!
What is your latest work in progress? What have you learned this week? Do tell.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Latest Obsessions

Among many current obsessions...
Pile of fabric awaits.
Fall garments
It’s that time of year when the chill begins and I start wishing I had already created some new things for my fall wardrobe.
This is just some of the fabric in my stash longing to be turned into something.
Yarn, yarn, yarn!
With "I love yarn day" coming up on the 12th, I thought I couldn't get much more excited about Yarn! Then I discovered Roman Hills at the New York  Maker Faire this past weekend. Now that I have explored their site and blog I really should have stayed and chatted with them a little longer—they seem like a lot of fun!
I can’t wait to finish a project to put it up on their site! They share my enthusiasm for DIY and they were also at the Maker Faire with fun projects. Kollabora at Maker Faire 
There are a lot of interesting crafty people involved in this new endeavor. Looking forward to keeping up with their project inspirations and to seeing what else they're up to as the holiday seasons approach. If you are familiar with the site, leave a comment. I'd love to check out your projects if you are participating!
...well, that wraps up some recent discoveries for now. More to follow!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fashion Week in Review

This September Fashion Week was chock full of inspiration for Optimistic Crafts!
Starting with FNO and leading up to some fun events.

At the Vogue Knitting Magazine presentation at The Yarn Company, I tried on this sweater.

from the Wanderlust collection Vogue Knitting
same sweater on me!
VK Editor Trisha Malcolm reminded everyone to be open-minded when looking at what's modeled in the magazine. If it's not your style, think how you could modify it or how you could use elements of a knit pattern to create other items. For example removing a collar, shortening or lengthening the garment, using a garment's motif pattern for a scarf or shawl. Like it would be fun to use the textured pattern of this sweater on something faster to knit like a hat or wristwarmers.
Another key point--experiment with color!

Clothing silhoutte and fabric inspiration from the shows was endless! Loving the feminity, the soft, flowy fabrics and a focus on accenting the high/natural waistline. I saw a continuation of the Spring/Summer 2012 trends of lace, mesh, and color-blocking. Classic solid stripes, are shifting into horizontal patterned stripes, like this Tadashi Shoji dress. And I noticed lots of mixing of patterns and textures.
Tadashi Shoji (
Several rooftop parties, a few show-visits, lots of show-watching on, a late nite pizza slice and fun times with friends made for a great week! Were you inspired this week?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sewing Progress Report

Wow. Lately have been pretty productive! Finished making this a couple weeks ago--the top in the middle...

(Will post an actual picture soon--see tiny herringbone print fabric swatch.) It turned out great and was really easy. I admit I left it hanging without a hem for about a month before finishing as is my usual procrastination method.

The same weekend I started on this, knowing I'd have to work quickly since it's a summery dark grey on black searsucker sheer cotton fabric.
And as of yesterday, it's done! (I know, need pics! I'll wear it this week.)
Another one that I'll make again, for sure. The armholes are very tight though, so must remember to make them a little bigger.

Also, I've been managing to knit A LOT on the wrap cardi the last few weeks while watching the TV series Borgia, among other things, on Netflix. Watching scandalous tales of history while knitting=fun!
How crafty were you this weekend?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

More starting, less finishing.

What does this optimistic crafty lady do on a hot day when confined to one room of air conditioning? Why, start more projects of course! Like cut out the pieces for this great lantern fabric!

and this "Jiffy" pattern that should be easy to whip up!

Forget about ironing those pattern pieces in this heat, or maybe finishing already started projects like this oranges dress (mostly finished, but needs alterations).

Nah. What else can I start?! 
Once I'm finished starting, time to settle down with a glass of wine and my knitting (Vogue Knitting wrap cardi)--a step toward finishing something!

Look how far it is getting--about 1/2 way across the back panel!

I hope your weekend is going great and you are staying cool. Are you finishing anything you started?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vintage Summer Fridays

Ooh la la this is a bad pic!
HI! For the next few Fridays I will wear and feature something vintage. Yes, I know today is Saturday so maybe by next week I'll get on the right page. For now let's talk about yesterday.
I bought this Sassoon jumper dress at least 10 years ago at Olive's Vintage in Brooklyn and have been wearing it ever since. [I ought to have a picture somewhere of me in it--friends, do you? Taking one with my phone was not really working.] It's a go-to summer favorite because it has pockets--easy to grab a few bucks and the keys and go. So not only is the dress vintage/old, it is now old in my wardrobe. I wonder if anyone is saying "why is she wearing that same old dress again?!"
So, do you wear vintage? Or do you think it's just plain old? Thoughts?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Hi! OMG if you are reading this thank you and I fully intend to post regularly... just at a bit of an impasse at the moment.
For now, check out this inspiring site I found this week. Expressing onesself through crafts is one of the reasons for crafting be it political expression or self expression. What inspires you to create?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Hacker Inspiration

Love this! A collaboration between Urban Threads (I am such a big fan of this site for ideas!) and MAKE. There's this whole "hacker" trend going on. Not in a negative sense like a computer hacker, but in a positive way--like in solving problems, learning about and making things.

...and it goes along with my theme of being Optimistic that you can DIY!
Still working on format and frequency of posting... then to invite some readers!
Looking forward to a crafty weekend. You?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Started! A new knitting project.

Starting from scratch with this whole blogging thing, though I have been reading them for years! Today learning to create links! 
Began a great new knitting project from Vogue Knitting Magazine Spring/Summer 2012 issue. It's the cardi wrap. Making it in a forest green DK wool. Not so summery, but I love it! And I'm Optmistic that I may finish it by fall! Pics to follow soon.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Welcome to Optimistic Crafts!
So many started projects, so many ideas for new ones. Here I'll share what I am working on and what inspires me to want to learn and create crafty things. I hope that you will be inspired too--and be optimistic that you can do it yourself!