Update of my plans

posted in: Uncategorized | 80

Lots of bloggers are using January to commit to Make Nine, or to do the Pattern Review Sewing Bee or SWAP challenges, or just to finally get their wardrobe sorted.

I think I have sorted mine. I am still in uniform, although I have branched out a tad. I now have three pairs of corduroy trousers – navy, bottle green and pinkish brown (not my colour, but I bought them in the sale thinking I could dye them but then came to like them as something different). They are far enough away from my face to look OK. I wear these soft, slightly baggy, artisan type strides for work everyday (unless a formal meeting requires more effort). I wear them with a Uniqlo T shirt, a hand knitted jumper, a down jacket (navy, green or brown), and navy trainers. I have a down coat, lots of hand knitted hats and a ruck sack that needs replacing as the zip is broken. I think I look fairly stylish, but by international standards very casual. I work in social housing and I feel the look is appropriate, so I am happy and I now have a tiny wardrobe. Summer will bring more variety and colour and style, but comfort and warmth are the top priorities for me now.

The Transform T challenge didn’t really thrill me. Here is my effort. I just pleated (Gres-style) one of Nick’s T shirts, right along the shoulder line from neck to sleeve cuff. I didn’t like wearing a baggy T shirt even though the structure was quite nice. I like my tops to cling – at least the underlayer. It’s not just the vanity of revealing the feminine shape – I actually dislike air billowing against my skin (unless the weather is really warm). My two sewalong friends – Helene and Sue Stoney – did much better than me. Do check out their Instagrams.

Transformed T shirt

After a difficult year at work I returned after Christmas full of joy and enthusiasm for the next stage of our merger. I am still very busy and a little bit stressed but we have broken the back of it and are starting to make progress. I have to admit the job has really stretched me and I have spent my spare time less `’productively” in terms of making nice things. I have been knitting, but in a relaxing, somewhat mindless way. I have made things for family and friends as it gives me pleasure. I am doing lots of physical activity – walking, swimming, yoga, dance and even Tai Chi. But I need to focus intellectually on the job and I am developing staff and researching what sort of management we need for the 21 century. I have a blog about management and work and I am using this to develop my ideas.

I am also going to write a short memoire of a 1974 road trip. We travelled from New York, Montreal, through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and back to New York. Mainly hitchhiking. Remembering all the (sometimes hair raising) details is difficult after so many years. But once it is done I am considering retracing my steps. Here are a couple of the pictures – the Indian block printed T shirt was red, worn with a maxi skirt and wooden clogs.

New York, Soho
On the roof of artists lofts

SoHo New York, 1974

But the long and short of it is I am going to recognise the inevitable and park the blog and associated social media. This is my 970th post and I am not sure I have much left to say! I am here for you if you want to get in touch, meet up or ask anything. I will post from time to time if I have something to share but I’m done with the regular schedule. I feel loved, and love you, but I am going to take a break: I know you will understand.

80 Responses

  1. Sue Newth

    Sorry to see you go Kate but certainly understand. Will look forward to catching up with you next time I am in the UK. Go well and thanks for all your fabulous blogs.

    • fabrickated

      Sue! Hi – it was a pleasure to meet you when you were last in London, and I really look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for your engagement and making lovely things and being a really nice friend.

  2. Lisa D

    Oh rats! I will miss reading your blog so much. I still hope to dye my white linen skirt with garbanzo beans tied all over it as a resist. And I want to have a painted skirt like the one you dazzled us with this year. Oh, and I still need to make some Frieda tops. You have added so much enthusiasm to my sewing world—thank you!

    • fabrickated

      Dearest Lisa – the garbanzo bean dye technique is lots of fun – just be prepared to spend a long time tying those beans into your linen. And a colourful skirt is a nice addition to the wardrobe. I am so glad to have inspired you and I hope that you continue to get great pleasure from your creativity. Thank you for your support.

  3. Vicki

    Love the photos from 1974. I remember the time and fashions well. Enjoy (and good luck) writing the memoier and with all the other things you have planned.

    • fabrickated

      It is fun to look back on the fashions we wore. Funnily enough corduroy trousers, a tight fitting T and a stripey jumper – my contemporary outfit of choice – really harks back to the 1970s. Inside I still feel like the same person. Thank you for following along Vicki and I am looking forward to my new challenges.

  4. Marianne

    Sad to see you go, Kate. I will miss reading your thoughts on fashion and style and the often interesting discussions in the comments section of your blog. I completely understand how you need most of your creative energy for the merger now and wish you the best of luck for the next stage. Hope to see you back here one day!

    • fabrickated

      Dear Marianne – yes! You are right! The comments section is by far the best bit of my blog. I have loved the generous interactions of readers and you have all encouraged and sustained me. I have learnt so much – especially about knitting – from the outpourings of advice, suggestion and encouragement. I love your colourful life and creative output and I know you will continue to make gorgeous things.

  5. Seamsalright

    I’ll miss you! ( my most – on line influencer! )
    Good luck with all you take on in 2019, and all the best to you and your family.
    What a trip your blog has been. ? I do hope your will post a note or two to let us know how your getting on with your personal goals.
    Till then, enjoy life as I know you will.

    • fabrickated

      And I will miss you, dear Joyce from Ontario. You have been my most loyal follower and commenter, and you have inspired me to learn photography and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel I have taken this trip with you and I am hoping we meet again – maybe when I recreate my road trip?! I may do a knit along later this year and I will do an update next January. Sending my love and gratitude to an amazing creative. xxxx

  6. Rathmore

    Kate, yes, I understand, but do not say goodbye. Updates now and then will sustain me. I do love you, your family and blog. It has been wonderful getting to know you.

    • fabrickated

      Aww! Thanks so much Rathmore. Aren’t we lucky to live in an age where we have so many opportunities and choices? I have been a little bit overwhelmed by all the good wishes so I will commit to an update later this year. My family have been terrific and have really bought into my blogging and associated life. I am very grateful to them for their support – in helping create the blog, designing the book, being models, occasionally writing a blog post etc, and in Nick’s case feeding me and keeping the house nice. See you again. xx

  7. Nancy

    First…oh you Hippy, you! went through my mind when I saw the photos! Those were the days, were they not? Kate, thanks for all the inspiration you have shared since I found you. Best of luck on all your ventures, and yes, please do keep us updated on occasion.

    • fabrickated

      Yes – I guess I was a hippy – but not a real one. I liked the fashions and aspiring to a peaceful world. Travelling across North America when I was just 18 now seems like a crazy, cavalier act of a completely naive girl. At the time it seemed like a bit of an adventure.

  8. Karen of Fifty Dresses

    Thank you, Kate, for enriching our creative lives over 970 (!) posts! Blogging is definitely a commitment of time and energy; with so much else in your life, and other things you want to do, it is understandable why you are making this decision. I look forward to the occasional update, and wish you lots of joy in all you do!

    • fabrickated

      Thank you for your kind wishes Karen. You are amazing and your prodigious, exceptional output of wonderful clothes, plus an interesting and well written blog will continue to inspire and amaze me. I have always loved your beautiful clothes and we like the same designers and styles. I would love to meet you one day.

  9. ceci

    I’ll miss you but totally get it – thank you for each of your 970 posts; a huge gift of creative energy! I hope you leave the archives up for reference!

    The 1974 pictures are wonderful – we did some similar trips in ’75 and ’76, complete with a large dog. Unimaginable now, I guess I was tougher (and less experienced?) then.


    • fabrickated

      Thanks so much for your always interesting and insightful comments. I agree about the wild trips into the unknown. Now, when I think back, it seems foolhardy, naive and fairly outrageous. But we were taken in and cared for with such generosity by wonderful people – something that now happens virtually I think. People are essentially the same, but the context couldn’t be more different. Sending my love and gratitude to you. xxx

  10. Beret

    Kate, thank you so much for hours of good reading the years I have followed you. You have made knitting understandable for me, as you have shown how to think of it as a three dimensional craft more akin to sewing than I realized. My first thought reading your update was, drats! That was the child in me;-)… you have written a phenomenal number of posts! Rereading old posts will be fun. All my support in your decision, stay healthy and happy, and good luck with your next year! ????

    • fabrickated

      Dearest Beret – what a very nice tribute! And than you for the flowers and shamrocks!! Yes I think I came to knitting in an unusual way and maybe I added something as a result. I am still excited and fascinated by it. I think I the kind of person who needs that enthusiasm and drive to achieve things – a goal, a challenge, an opportunity to learn, experimentation and a social angle. Thank you for your involvement – it means so much that others were prepared to read and respond. xxx

  11. Blanca

    Thank you so much for all the enriching and inspiring posts, they were often the best part of my creative day. Loved seeing all the diverse participants that you featured and reading a bit about them. Your beautiful photos will be missed too.
    Thanks again for all your generous motivation and all the best in your exciting new projects in life.

    • fabrickated

      Dear Blanca – you certainly brought me imagination and inspiration too. I feel very connected to you and love your creative output. Thank you for your nice remarks and hopefully we might meet one day.

    • fabrickated

      It will take a while. I have only written a couple of pages so far and the act of remembering, and trying to recall my state of mind so very long ago is terribly challenging. But maybe I will blog it or produce it as a down load. But first I have to write it! Thanks for following, reading and commenting Sydney – it really means a lot to me.

  12. Kim

    I’m struggling with the whole idea of blogging at the moment so I understand your decision. I’m sure you will continue to create beautiful things so do enjoy it. I may contact you if I’m coming to London to the V&A for any exhibitions.

    • fabrickated

      Yes! I think there is a difference between liking a challenge and having to struggle – only we know which is which. I don’t want to feel an obligation to do it, but up to now I have felt a surge of creativity and a desire to write and share which has waned. Mainly because I have some big proirities and new challenges that have gripped me. I am reading academic books and have rejoined my college library and I am going to learn and write and teach – I am so excited.

      I would love to meet up with you Kim and surely we can do a gallery visit together this year. I have let the V and A membership lapse but I need to see the Dior exhibition so let me know if you want to go. Sending my love and gratitude. K xx

  13. Ellen

    Kate, thank you. For making the world more beautiful, for bringing an open-hearted spirit of adventure to our inboxes, for being kind and generous and cheerful and curious. I hope we get to meet in person some day (come to Washington State!) but for now I remain a grateful fan from afar. Sending love and best wishes.

    • fabrickated

      Ellen – you inspire me and thank you for taking the time to write such a nice send off. I would love to meet up and I am seriously thinking of doing that North America trip when I retire (a few years away yet). You have been lovely and I know we would hit it off. Thank you.

  14. Mary Funt

    I’ll miss your regular posts but blogging takes time and it sounds like you have other things that need your attention. I didn’t always comment or join in your make-alongs but read them with interest, Your latest fishbone sweater is something I would like to make, if I can find the time. I can’t knit as fast as you! Please keep us updated as to your latest adventures.

    • fabrickated

      Thank you so much for leaving your good wishes. Blogs like your Mary (there isn’t actually another one like it) set the bar so very high, others just swim along in your slip stream. It was just so very special to meet you and your husband when you visited us and I think you and your work are just lovely. Knitting – and all creative endeavour – is such a good antidote to the stresses of life. Sending my best love to you and your amazing family.

  15. Dagmar

    Our interests and energies ebb and flow through the demands of our personal and professional lives. I took a peek (an eye opening peek…) at your management blog and it is evident that this is the front where you have much to share at the moment. I will enjoy a leisurely read through those posts as I believe much of the information is applicable to everyday life. Just the other day I was speaking to someone about how I believe conflict management or dealing with others in difficult times is an essential life skill that we are never formally taught yet find ourselves in need of on a regular basis. I have enjoyed this blog immensely but I know I have much to gain from your other one too. Thank you! 🙂
    P.S. Your evocative photos remind me of the novel The Drifters, which became an inspiration for my own travels in the 80’s. How free we were able to be back then!

    • fabrickated

      Dearest Dagmar – I see you just followed my other blog – many thanks for that. My output is a little slower as I need to read and research as well as experience, but I hope you will find it of interest. Managing conflict, having difficult conversations, how we deal with the “difficult” people – these are all challenges that need thought and care. And yes how free we were – I am not even wearing a bra!! We travelled without any real sense of danger and we had many wonderful experiences, but some which could have turned out tragically – but thankful didn’t. Recalling it, and trying to recapture how an 18 year old thinks, is going to be an interesting experience. Thank you for all your really lovely and thoughtful responses to my blog over many months. I have really appreciated it Dagmar.

  16. Vancouver Barbara

    I will miss your blogs very much and also completely understand when Elvis has left the building. I will now start at the beginning of your blog portfolio and work my way through.
    I hope you will find in your life as much inspiration as I have found in your blogs. Thank you so much.

    • fabrickated

      Hello Barbara – yes it is an Elvis has left the building moment, or the dropping of the mic. The desire to stop came rather suddenly, but I knew it was time. I have been very privileged to have met some wonderful people – including you – and have met very great kindness through this blog. Truely a life enhancing experience. Best wishes to you.

      • Vancouver Barbara

        One more thing – if you end up in Vancouver when you retrace your amazing trip, please be sure to be in touch. I’d love to meet up again.

  17. Samina Mirza

    After 970 posts, you deserve a break from blogging. Thank you for sharing photos from your past — you were/are beautiful (I love old pictures and stories that go along with them). Good luck with everything 🙂

    • fabrickated

      Thank you for your very kind remarks Samina – I can hardly believe my own output. I think it shows that little but often soon mounts up. I too love looking at old photographs and find I can read quite alot into our expressions and body language. I enjoyed my life at that time, and I still do. Perhaps that is what lends beauty to an ordinary face? Sending you my love and gratitude. K

  18. Michelle

    Thank you, Kate, for much inspiration and encouragement. Your time and commitment to blogging has been appreciated and I have so enjoyed the range of topics you have written about. And thank you for introducing me to Ms Zimmermann!
    Those are wonderfully evocative photos from the 1970s – another time, another place.
    Very best wishes for all your future plans, and it was lovely to meet you at your book launch.

    • fabrickated

      It was such a great pleasure to meet up with you dear Michelle – I love your knitting and thanks to EZ we are all expressing ourselves in new ways and wearing our own hand made, hand designed knitwear – so exciting. The 1970s – when I voted to join the EU – seem so far away! Sending you my love and hoping to meet again soon.

  19. Nina - talesofthesewingcity

    Well I will certainly miss your sewing posts – your perspective is always original, which makes your writing fantastic to read. Happily the same is true of your management blog which I will continue to follow – and interact with – whenever I can. Sorry that you haven’t yet turned me into a knitter, but there’s still time! Good luck with everything you have planned for 2019 – and thank you.

    • fabrickated

      Thank you very much dear Nina for following my management blog and interacting with it. I really appreciate that. The knitting is so satisfying when you get and I trust you will. Sometimes you have to come to things again when you are ready for them. Sending my love and best wishes to you.

  20. 1stitchforward

    It’s the end of an era K!! Hope you’ll find the interest and energy to write here again, eventually – I so liked reading your thoughts and about your fashion experiments.

    Big hugs and lots of positive vibes coming your way to keep you company on your new and existing projects.


    • fabrickated

      Hey G! You are a great friend and I have learnt a lot from you from the day I borrowed your pins, to my book launch when you stole the show. What an amazing sewist and enthusiast you have turned out to be. I send my love and very best wishes to you on your journey and I look forward to meeting up again soon.

  21. Hélène

    Gosh, I was certainly not expecting this announcement Kate! It must have been a tough decision… I for one will miss your enlightening blogposts and enthusiastic projects, all of which spurred my creativity and boosted my confidence. I owe you a lot, you know. Now, take good care and do come back whenever you feel like it. I will be happy to read you and to follow you in any new creative adventure! Much love xx

    • fabrickated

      Dearest Helene – meeting you through blogging has been a great pleasure and privilege.

      You are so very kind and supportive and your creativity is wonderful and refreshing. You set a high standard, including a commitment to avoiding jogs and getting all your decreases to slope correctly. I sincerely hope we might meet up one day.

      I am not sure I was expecting this announcement either. I think I just got tired of social media and all the work looking after it entails. I am still here if you, or anyone else, wants to talk, or meet up or share. I just wanted to step away from the obligations that I had given myself. I feel glad of the decision, although, like all these things there is always a sense of regret and loss too.

      Sending you much love, Kate


    Hi Kate, I completely understand your decision. You’ll still be in my blog feed, so when you decide to post I’ll know about it. Keep sewing and knitting in the background…….will miss you. Because of you I’m now on my 6th EZ jumper! You’ve left a legacy.

    • fabrickated

      Well that is enormously generous of you dear Ruth. You have been a good friend and I am so pleased that we have met. I just found myself rather tired of the constant maintenance of the blog, IG etc and of course interacting with others. I am sure I will visit your blog Ruth because it is one of the standout ones. Sending my love, Kate

  23. Annieloveslinen

    Hi Kate, I didn’t see that coming, I had t read it twice!

    It makes sense to take a hiatus rather than write for the sake of it. Your blog has evolved over the years and it’s evident that you aren’t afraid of change or new challenges. It’s encouraging that you are planning ahead and doing what feels right for now, we’re not meant to stand still and from where I sit you’re a mile a minute kinda gal.

    It’s been a joy to be part of your community I’ve enjoyed it immensely, like Ruth you will still be in my feed so I won’t miss any future updates.

    • fabrickated

      You are such an insightful and deep person Annie. I didn’t really think this out overmuch. I just woke up very early one Saturday and wrote it – over and out! I stopped before it got to be a burden or a bore. I am getting this feeling that social media is taking too much away from real life and I have moved back to books, and am spending more time helping my grand children with their homework etc, and enjoying it. Thanks for your faith in me and being a good friend. Love Kxxx

  24. Naomi

    Those photos from the 70s are gorgeous. I will miss reading your posts, but completely understand. Best of luck for all this year holds xx

    • fabrickated

      Thank you sweet Naomi and I will miss your blog too, but we all have to evolve and move on as you say. I am excited to be looking back on my “girlhood” in the 1970s and I am so glad I have a few photos. Unlike the instant photos of today these were hand developed from black and white film – so retro!!

  25. wendy

    Kate, I’ll miss your posting, but of course understand. I’ve noticed you posting less, so I’m not too surprised, but I am a bit sad. I’ll look for your occasional update. 🙂

    • fabrickated

      Yes I have been winding down a bit Wendy – well spotted. I am in a good place and adjusting my priorities. Its been such fun doing this stuff and I will miss it, and you, and all the other wonderful virtual friends I have made. Sending you my special love for your kindness and sweet nature. Kxx

  26. Karen Kayes

    Your blog was always one I looked forward to reading, and I will miss your posts immensely. I feel I have taken a lot from you, regarding both style, and more practical sewing related stuff, and can see that it is a large commitment, which doesn’t always fit in with one’s priorities, so totally understand your decision. Good luck in your new ventures and I hope you can visit here from time to time. Karen

    • fabrickated

      Thank you Karen for your kind comments. You are a star – I love what you make and your colour palettes and your creative drive. You balanced response is so nice to read!

  27. Bridget Carpenter

    Thanks for introducing me to the blogging world and so many other topics that were new to me. You are kind, inspirational and generous. Good luck with all the new ventures. I assume your blog will remain as a resource for a while? It’s such a mine of useful information.

    • fabrickated

      Oh Bridget – meeting up with you was such a delight – I can’t thank you enough for the gift of books which I was looking at only last weekend (Norwegian socks actually!). I found you such an interesting and lovely woman and I send you love and best wishes as you continue with your journey of creativity, love and celebration.

  28. Mary

    Good for you for being nimble and using different platforms to suit you and then not lingering when they don’t. I think your memoir sounds fascinating and of course if you do retrace the journey you have a place to stay here in Portland. I can even arrange a hitchhiking scenario where I pick you up on the side of the road! And my London trip keeps shifting due to all sorts of life forces but I will be visiting and hope to see you. Until then I know we will both be journeying creatively. xo

    • fabrickated

      Ha ha – that is very funny – the idea of a re-enactments! I think in Portland some hippies threw us a “doobie” out of the window of their car, so you will have to get some supplies in…And YES, come to London and catch up with us. It would be wonderful.

      Habits are good in that they get you to commit to doing good things from tooth brushing to keeping fit. But I have learnt that you cannot do everything well and sometimes you have to lay down responsibilities and commitments in order to make space for new interests and commitments.

      so thanks for being there and making me laugh, and for being a great Frida too! K

  29. Kerry

    Thank you so much for sharing your creative endeavours with us all. Writing a blog must be hard work especially when there are competing demands on your time, it’s also incredibly generous to plan, write and share all that you have done. Clearly you’re not slowing down, just changing course, as I’m sure you have done many times in your life, looking towards what brings you joy. Bravo! Your blog has encouraged me to pick up my knitting needles and dust off my sewing machine, and for that I thank you a thousand times over! Good luck. Kerry xx

    • fabrickated

      This is such a nice “good bye” Kerry – many thanks. And yes it is more a change of course and a recognition that I have to make time if I want to achieve other things. I hope you continue to love your sewing and knitting adventures. Learning new things is such a pleasure, isn’t it? Sending my love and best wishes

  30. Jenny

    I shall miss your blog very much but thank you so much for the many enjoyable hours of insight, commentary and creativity and for sharing so much of yourself. I hope you can be lured back for the occasional style advice and update. Where else am I going to get clothing advice and creative challenge?

    I hope 2019 proves a satisfyingly productive year on lots of levels and you have a more settled year after the work challenges of 2018.

    • fabrickated

      Many thanks Jenny. It’s funny – after all these attempts to work out style and colour for myself and anyone else who would listen I seem to have ended up with a rather predictable, low maintenance look. I only wash my clothes once a week now and generally have a restrained and simple wardrobe. I think Kondo has really captured my soul! Sending love, K

  31. Anita Steiner

    I shall miss your blogging very much, but can understand that it can bekomme too much. Hopefully we can meet up next time I come to London. I will contact you beforehand. All the best from Anita, just now snowbound in the Swiss Alps

  32. Sue Stoney

    Like many people I shall miss your blog posts tremendously. You have been a constant source of inspiration, but I do understand the pressures of work and I’m sure you will enjoy your free time much more without the pressure of social media. We will be in the UK this year and if you have time I would love to catch up again.

    • fabrickated

      YES! Come and stay in our Lake House. We love you and Mark. Social media does suck up more time than I really want to give it, and I fear if I don’t tackle some of the other projects I want to commit too I might never do them. Thanks for being such a good friend and sharing so much. Lots of love Kx

  33. helen

    Hello Kate, I have loved reading your blog over the last few years. You have been such an inspiration. I have really enjoyed your style advice. And it has been great to read about your adventures learning other new crafts.
    I never expected to get into fairisle knitting but with your intro to the EZ seamless sweater I just love it. As I can’t keep knitting for myself my husband and daughter now have one and I’ve just started one for my 7 year old boy. I find knitting such a relaxing past time. With that and my new enthusiasm for distance running (I did my first 10K last Sunday) it keeps me sane!
    The photos of you from 1974 are fabulous!
    And after the beret post the other week I dug out a black beret I must have bough 25 years ago.
    Good luck in the year ahead. x

  34. Sue Cole

    We’ll miss you! But I’ve noticed your focus moving over the last few month, and you sound like you’ve got a lot on your plate. Following your instincts and preserving your energy sounds like a good idea for you.
    All the best! I’ll keep an eye on you on instagram (assuming that you’ll still be around)

  35. Lesley S

    sorry to see you go. I’ve really enjoyed your blogs and have been very impressed by the sheer variety of creative projects you have produced.

    All the best

  36. Lisa

    I’d love to follow your management blog but it tells me I need to be invited. Would that be possible?

Leave a Reply