Monday, August 14, 2006

Project Runway

I recently discovered Project Runway. My friends had talked about it, they'd even shown me episodes from Season 2. But I had not been hooked until recently.

The first episode I saw this season was the dog episode. I don't like dogs, and I especially despise those little yappy dogs that people put clothes on. In my neighborhood there are two "dress your dog in stupid and expensive crap" stores within three blocks of my apartment. I know New York City is full of weirdos with too much money, but can there really be that high a demand for this stuff?

But nevertheless, I loved the dog episode of Project Runway. I suppose you could say I loved it despite the dogs. I loved the criss-cross bodice onMichael's outfit. I loved the mix-and-match prints of Uli's outfit. I loved the super cool pleated neck of Keith's dress (though I loathe Keith).

I used to be a sewer, and I admit Project Runway appeals most to the buried sewer lurking beneath the knitter. Alas, sewing is difficult to do in a small apartment: you get little bits of thread and tissue paper and fabric everywhere. I am no neatnik by any stretch of the imagination, but this drives even me to distraction. I fear that sewing will not return to my lineup of hobbies until I have a dedicated room for it. Someday.

Knitting has an advantage over sewing in that it is fairly portable and contained. I can do it sitting on my couch watching Project Runway, and it doesn't get all over the place. Sure, I find bits of yarn here and there, but even when weaving in ends the bits of yarn do not add up to an unbearable mess.

The other advantage I am finding with knitting over sewing is that I am far more likely to experiment. Knitting has stretch, so you don't have to make the pieces fit utterly perfectly; close enough is good enough. If you find you don't like something, you can rip it out and all you've wasted is time; with sewing, if you cut a piece of fabric wrong, you've cut it wrong. I am jumping into design so much more readily than I ever did with sewing: I cannot remember a single time I took liberties with a pattern in years of sewing (I mean real design liberties, not fitting adjustments), yet I have already done it in mere months of knitting. The mittens and the hat I am knitting are of my own design, and it is only a matter of time before I start a bigger garment on my own. I love this, and the design process is starting to fascinate me in a way it did not before. Hence my fascination, perhaps, with Project Runway.

However, knitting has one huge disadvantage over sewing: it takes forever to make anything. If I am focused I can whip out a sewn garment in a weekend; a skirt might take only a few hours. With knitting I consider a month for a tank top lightning fast. There are times when I find this wildly frustrating.

With all the knits coming into fashion this fall, I am imagining a knitter on Project Runway, with 2 days to make a three-piece outfit to star in the window of Macy's. Even a tank top, leg warmers and a shrug would take longer. It's simply not possible. I will have to relegate that fantasy to my buried sewer.

But....but if I had been on this season, I might still have knit a ridiculous sweater for the dog.

No comments: