Finish Line

Monday morning; four days, 19 hours until we leave for Albuquerque, and I think I can see the finish line for my mannequin project.

The picture on the right is where I was last Wednesday; half way around a row of green and yellow plastic bag strips run together (When I mixed colors, I used two strips cut at 5/8″ – 3/4″). The skirt is a gradation of colors from pink to red, violet, dark blue, light blue, green to yellow. The original plan, if you remember, was supposed to be 20 rows of double crochet. It ended up at 15; there was supposed to be a yellow-orange mixed row, followed by solid orange, light pink-orange mixed, and ending with light pink.

The solid yellow row took 20 bags cut at 1 1/4″, and large portions of three days to complete.

My living room with my work piled on the fireplace hearth, and yes that is a warping board leaning against the wall on the right.


 I had dug down to the bottom of both boxes of bags – bags cover half my living room floor as well as my dining room table. I found I didn’t have enough orange bags, and I didn’t have enough time. 

 On Friday I crocheted for over 12 hours and got half way around the Yellow row; on Saturday I cut yellow bags, did other things and rested my hands. Sunday, yesterday, I finished the shoulder strap, single crochet edging around the bodice, and hand sewed the zipper (which I’m going to need to do over, and I’m not going to show at this time). Last night I stayed up late to finish the yellow row, newly motivated by my decision to end the skirt there.

All I can say is thank (whomever) for Netflix, the PS3, and an 18 year-old son who knows how to use them. I’ve been working on the couch in the family room. In the last two weeks we’ve watched three seasons of an old show called Sliders, four seasons of Weeds, more soccer games than ever I really needed to, several movies, and four stages of the Tour de France. Oh, and one season of Moonlighting.

When I put the dress on the mannequin and zipped it up this morning, it occurred to me that I’ve gone and made a garment.  I could have done anything in the entire world I wanted, and I made a dress. Yes, the fact that it’s a mannequin and it’s for a shopping mall does suggest clothing, but I could have done anything with it; and I reverted to form, went straight back to my roots. I know the other artists are doing all kinds of non-garment type things that just happen to hang on the mannequins. Not that there’s anything wrong with making garments, it’s just that it isn’t outside the box thinking on my part.

What am I, the scorpion in the tale of the frog and the scorpion? I get a chance to cross the stream and I sting the frog. Is it my nature to think in terms of garments? It was 40 years ago I began making clothes, and only 12 since I stopped. In the past few years I’ve often said “I don’t make garments,” and what I don’t say out loud is anymore.

This morning I thought I could have made anything. Thinking inside or outside the box aside, when time is short there is something to be said for going with what you know. In doing my crocheted and knitted plastic dress, I drew on my pattern making, knitting and crochet experience. And maybe I just let out my inner garmento I’ve been suppressing for 12 years.


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