Working in a Series: Monochromatic #5

I would never, ever make something to wear that’s all one color. And a *dull & boring* color, to boot. Never!

But I just did.

Why? Because, since I’m making so many of these altered tops, it doesn’t feel like I’m Making Something Monochromatic. It seems, instead, as if I’m just continuing the experiment. This one wasn’t about the color–or what seems to me like a virtual lack of color–but was, instead, about the fabric. This is a heavy cotton knit sweater. I got it for less than $2, and I had no idea what would happen when I cut into it with a pair of scissors. Would it unravel entirely? Would it instantaneously fall apart? Who knew? I wasn’t about to find out on a Good Sweater, something I loved and wanted to wear. No, indeed. If I were about to make a huge mess, I wanted it to be something I wouldn’t miss. Also something really, really cheap.

Hence the ugly grey-green sweater.

On the other hand, if it didn’t implode, it had to be redeemable: if I spent hours stitching the hem, I had to figure out a way to make it un-hideous so I would actually wear it. [I think I’m going to have to add some brightly-colored felt appliques. Really. I don’t know if I can wear monochromatic without losing my mind.]

When you’re working in a series, things that, by themselves, wouldn’t even be worth tackling can become exercises in learning about things–color, materials, technique, pacing–that you might not want to try if you were doing just one, a single piece that feels like you have rather a lot invested in it.

For me, this worked. I still don’t like the color of the sweater. I suppose I could dye it, but that doesn’t seem important right now. What’s important is that I learned that it is possible to work with a knitted sweater. It didn’t fall apart. It seems sturdy now that I’m finished with it. I feel emboldened to try again, working next time with something I like a little more, something that I wouldn’t have tackled the first time around.


Ricë also blogs at The Voodoo Cafe.


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