Thursday, October 06, 2016

Family influence

The new season of A Playful Day podcast is about family, and she asks how family influences making. Let's be honest: that is pretty much my favourite thing to talk about these days, judging from every single post since baby. The main theme right now is "family influences my crafting by taking away my time to do it."

As I have mentioned before, I spend a lot of time stuck in the disconnect between crafting plans / desires and actual crafting. My queue balloons with new ideas (many of them baby things) and my stash balloons with new materials... And then I spend my days taking care of my wee one, whose needs constantly change but get no less demanding as the weeks go by. The lack of actual crafting just feeds the queueing and stashing further. It's getting out of control!

Hoist the Sails sweater by Triona Murphy

To be fair, this has happened to me whenever I haven't had crafting time. My dreams get too big. It's not just because of the baby. The difference now is that I feel pressure to knit faster to make baby things before he grows out of them. It's doomed to fail!

It's not just time. My materials at different (all superwash all the time) and so are the projects I choose (stockinette and garter ftw!)

I managed to get some knitting done while nursing a while back, until the Bean learned that grabbing is super fun. So now I try and get a few rows in while he sleeps. After a couple of weeks of very frustrating naps, I have given in and decided to embrace the opportunity to knit while he sleeps on me, rather than just queuing and online shopping through it. I am still not making much progress, but for now I will take what I can get.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Accidental Heirlooms, pt 1

I have never made anything that could become an heirloom. (Possible exception - maybe my wedding shawl?) Generally, I make things so that I can use them in my everyday life. I'm not always super practical about it (see last post about superwash yarns...), but neither do I make tons of special occasion things that get used once and then put away. That's what I've always assumed one did with heirlooms, because how else would they last for generations? As it turns out, heirlooms don't have to be delicate fancy creations.

When my son was born I received some things that have turned out to be heirlooms, even if they were never intended as such.


Here's the Bean in a sweater my grandmother knitted for me when I was a baby, on a quilt that my other grandmother made for me. I wore the sweater (easy care acrylic, definitely washable) as a wee thing and I used the quilt on my bed throughout my childhood. He'll grow out of the sweater too quickly, I'm sure, but the quilt should last a while yet. Who knows if these things will pass down to another generation, but for now I'm glad to give them to my baby from his great-grandmothers.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Shifting priorities

When I was pregnant, I obsessed over knitting with machine washable yarn for baby things. Babies are messy, I reasoned, and life is too short to hand wash pee and puke out of things frequently. I was not wrong.

As it turns out, though, I neglected to think of my own clothes. I thought I would go back to knitting the sweaters from my queue once I regained some semblance of non-preggo shape, but I didn't consider that most of the yarn I have lined up for said queue is not machine washable. And I find myself covered in bodily fluids that are not my own sometimes multiple times a day.

DUH! I hear you shout. Of course the baby's mess is not confined to his own clothes! And yet I totally didn't consider this before the baby arrived for some reason.
Anyway. My priorities for my own making are shifting. I foresee much super wash in my future. On that note, I started knitting Cattails in some Rowan Creative Linen, which is a 50% cotton 50% linen blend. It's not advertised as machine washable, but washing and drying my swatch produced no ill effects, so I'm going with it. Bonus: lots of stockinette means that I can knit a few stitches and put it down without losing my place - necessary in these days of uncertain naps.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FO: Elijah

I finished the elephant!
Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Katia Cotton 100%

Notes:
All in all a pretty fun knit. I like that it was totally seamless. Picking up stitches from already-stuffed body parts is fiddly, but worth it in the end. Baby Bean isn't really interested in it yet, but I hope he'll find it fun once he is.

The yarn is soft yet sturdy, and washable, so I think it would be great for other baby knits. I will keep it in mind once I run through my current colourful cotton stash, which is mostly made up of Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK. (Also a nice soft cotton, but quite shiny, so it would be nice to have some matte cotton in the arsenal.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Level up

So this happened the other day. Achievement unlocked!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I made a thing

I managed to make a thing! It feels good to finish something.


Pattern: Just Hatched Baby Leggings by Rae Hoekstra of Made by Rae

I made these out of an old polo shirt of my husband's, so they aren't a super fun exciting print. Rae suggests using old tshirts for the fabric, and this is brilliant because if you line it up correctly you don't have to hem the bottoms. Win! They took me several naptimes to complete, though they would be a quick project if you have half an hour of uninterrupted time. The elastic casing is a bit wonky due to rushing and also not being super experienced at sewing knits. I've bought a few large stretchy tops from a charity shop to make a few more pairs, since stretchy trousers / leggings are turning out to be super useful for us. You can see they fit over his giant cloth nappy, which is awesome. I am going to try to adapt the pattern to make them a bit bigger so he'll have some to grow into.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Interesting times ; queueing as coping mechanism

The last week here in the UK has exemplified that old chestnut "cursed to live in interesting times." It is like watching a car crash - can't look away but watch in horror as normality implodes. I am angered and saddened by the way racism and xenophobia have been legitimised. I fear for my friends and neighbours who come from around the world. I fear for my friends and neighbours who were born here but still find themselves open to abuse due to colour or religion.

Attacks on immigrants hit close to home. I am an immigrant. I am a foreigner here, but I enjoy privilege being white, Western and with English as my first language. I am a so-called "good immigrant," so I don't fear for my safety. The fact that people make this distinction makes me sick.

I would normally try to do something crafty to regain control of my world even in a superficial way, but productivity is limited at present since all I do is feed, change, and jiggle the baby, spending far too long watching the world burn via social media on my phone during feeding sessions.

My ravelry favourites list grows ever longer, though, as I dream of all the beautiful new projects I wish I could start. That's my version of escapism these days.

If you want to escape into some particularly beautiful things, I urge you to check out the designs of Lucy Hague. I swear that each design she produces is even more stunning than the last. At the moment I am obsessed with Uncia and Iona. One day, maybe!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The delicate art

How does the most common piece of unsolicited parenting advice go? "Knit while the baby sleeps." (Wait, that's not the advice you remember?)


Easier said than done. When the baby is sleeping I'm usually trying to eat or shower or sleep or do mundane household tasks. Or we're on the way from point A to point B - he often sleeps in the pram. Needless to say I haven't done a huge amount of knitting in baby Bean's* first month of life.

*Not his real name.

I hear some people manage to knit while nursing. I'm not sure I'm coordinated enough, but next time I'm using circular needles, I'll give it a try. At the moment my only active project is Elijah on DPNs, and I'm nervous about dropping a DPN point-first into an ear or something. (See aforementioned uncoordinated nature.) I'm onto the second arm, though, so the end is in sight. A small circumference means that even if I only do a few stitches at a time I make noticeable progress.

So that's where I'm at with my knitting. I do browse Ravelry a huge amount during 3 am feeds (and 4, 5, and 6 am etc), queuing and favouriting things I won't have time to make for the next 10 years, but hey!

Monday, May 23, 2016

FO: Torrent Socks

I did manage to finish something for myself during all the baby knits. Just in time for warm(ish) weather I have a new pair of woolly socks.

Pattern: Torrent socks by Tin Can Knits



Yarn: Yarn Yard Cairn

Notes: I started this with the medium size, realized it was way too big, decreased to the small size and kept going. I really enjoyed knitting these, partly because the back half of the socks is stockinette stitch - really interesting lace on the front, a nice break on the back, never boring. I may seek out patterns like this in the future.

They fit well, but the yarn is not that hard-wearing. After a few washes, it's gone a bit fuzzy. Even with nylon content I don't think it is great for socks. Oh well. It's soft and pretty and if I use it again I'll make a shawl or something instead.

It's taken me three days to write this post because this is my new reality:



Our baby boy was born 8 May, so he's already two weeks old and we're still not sure what hit us!

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Elijah

Just dropping by to show progress on a new WIP. This one has been waiting for an excuse for years - I even bought a matching project bag a few years back.

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Pattern: Elijah by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Katia Cotton 100%

I've made a few things that could be considered 'toys' but never anything for a small person, so I haven't worried much about how they'd hold up with washing. That was definitely a concern for me here - I was less worried about the yarn than I was about how the stuffing would behave in the wash. I don't normally swatch for things that don't need to be a certain size/fit, so I was reluctant to do it for this. But after much avoidance I made a swatch in the form of a small stuffed knitted sausage with the yarn and stuffing I planned on using. Washed it, it held up fine, and off I went! Phew. Swatching vindicated.

Elijah is knitting up quickly so far. I hope I finish it at least by the time the baby shows interest in grabbing things, if not before the birth... we'll see.

Friday, April 29, 2016

More FOs!

Two baby-related FOs to show today - one sewing and one knitting.

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This one is an exercise in upcycling. I try hard not to hang onto things I don't need anymore, preferring to give them to a charity shop or recycle them if I can. Sometimes things are past their best, though - my husband had some old hoodies from university that he decided to get rid of in our attempts to purge the junk room aka baby's room. They weren't suitable for the charity shop since they were a bit faded and awful-looking, but the fabric was still in good condition otherwise. So, I made a floor mat. It's a bit of a weird shape, but I think it will be useful to toss on the floor and put the baby on. It's soft and fuzzy, since I sewed it together with the fuzzy sides out. It is also reasonably thick because there are two layers of hoodie.

I didn't use a pattern - just sewed the hoodie bits together and turned inside out. Then, I cut out shapes and sewed them on through both layers of hoodie. This was the first time I tried to appliqué anything. The shapes are meant to cover the backs of embroidered patches that were on the hoodies, plus a few extra to make it look more balanced. I think it turned out okay - it's no thing of beauty, but then I made it to get peed/puked on, so I'm okay with that!

Next up, a baby knitting classic.

Newborn Vertebrae by Kelly Brooker is a free pattern with one size. (Other sizes are available in paid-for versions of the pattern).

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I'm not sure if an open-fronted cardigan will be useful for this baby, but it might be - I'm told it is great for babies who spit up a lot. We'll see what sort of baby we end up with. It uses a minuscule amount of yarn, so I used some cotton from my stash that just keeps on giving. I've had some Sandes Garn Mandarin Petit in my stash for a long time: first I made Decimal with it, then with leftovers I made a Little Sisters Dress, and I still had enough left over to make this cardigan. Now I truly have a tiny amount left - just enough to make one or two accent stripes in something, probably. Between all these different projects, I forgot that I had two different dyelots of the yarn - for Decimal I alternated skeins every few rows, according to my ravelry notes. I didn't remember this fact until I added a second ball of yarn while knitting Vertebrae... and discovered that in a different light there is a slight stripe visible. I almost wish it was more pronounced, since it would look like intentional colour-blocking! Whatever.

Won't be long now until I get to meet this baby, so I have another baby thing on the needles that might not get finished in time. Then again, I might still have a few more weeks to go, so maybe I will! More on that in another post.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A little sewing

Has it been a month since I finished anything? Apparently. I finished a few things all at once in the last few days, but at the moment I only have pictures of one - and for a change it's a sewing FO.

The Divided Basket, by Anna Graham aka Noodlehead

I've been meaning to make this for ages, and I actually cut out all the fabric a few months ago but stalled because I didn't have the fusible fleece and fusible interfacing required. Then, when I finally went out to buy it my local fabric shop was out, so I stalled again. But! Finally I got all the bits together and it was pretty quick work once I got started.

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I didn't do the optional outside pocket, and I did the fabric handles rather than the covered handles.

Even for a novice like me this was pretty easy, but I had a few difficulties. First, attaching the divider to the lining was super fiddly and I felt like my hands/fingers were way too big to maneuver it all. It worked out in the end, if a bit wonky. Then, the instructions say to fuse interfacing to the fabric first, then fuse the fleece to the interfacing for the exterior of the basket. Fine, except my fusible fleece simply would not fuse to the interfacing. I had to get creative with some extra sewing and it shows through to the outside in some areas. (If you squint you can see it in the seam in the photo below). Next time, I think I'll pick a stiffer fabric to begin with and just skip either the interfacing or the fleece. (I used quilting cotton for this one.) I can see myself making more, since storage is something I desperately need.

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When I found this pattern I thought it would be great to store my knitted shawls/hats/gloves etc by the door, since at the moment I just dump them on a tiny table and they fall off onto the floor and it's a mess. Alas, I think this basket is too small for that task - I underestimated how many shawls I have, haha. There are lots of ways I could use it in my house, though. Maybe diapers, as featured in the pattern photos. Or other baby sundries. Or yarn/knitting - I can always use more places to put that stuff.

Anyway, I'm pleased with this. It's a bit wibbly, but it'll do.

Friday, March 25, 2016

FO Friday! Baby things

Wow, how long has it been since I did FO Friday? A long time.

Anyway, I finally sewed buttons on some tiny cardigans and so I can share them with the world.

Here's Little Coffee Bean by Elizabeth Smith.

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I used Debbie Bliss Cotton DK, which is really more of a worsted weight yarn. This meant using a looser gauge than intended, because the combination of cotton yarn and tight gauge would have made armour rather than a cardigan. As a result, this sweater is large - technically 6 month size, but I'm pretty sure it's way bigger. That's cool. Hopefully it will fit the small one in an appropriate season.

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These are the cute owl buttons I bought at EYF, in action.

I ran out of brown yarn, so had to make the button bands narrower than called for, but I think it looks okay.

Next up: Puerperium by Kelly Brooker

I used Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK, which is quite a shiny cotton. I have been building a small stash of this since it comes in lots of great colours.

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The free version of this pattern is just sized for a newborn, so that's what I made. I added some colourwork for interest, adapted from a colourwork pattern found in Geometric Knitting Patterns by Tina Barrett. Knitting colourwork flat is not my favourite thing ever, but for such a small knit it wasn't so bad.

Yay for tiny knits! I currently have no baby knits on the needles and am trying to make some headway on some knitting for myself, but I hear the call of tiny quick knits, so I'm sure I'll have something else on the go soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

EYF round-up

The Edinburgh Yarn Festival happened and I bought many things. Let's see how I did.

Plan: buy buttons for two baby cardigans.
Result: two sets of cute buttons from Textile Garden
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I've sewn on the owl buttons and I'm working on the purple ones today. I find sewing buttons so tedious, but the result is worth it. Look for an FO post for these two cardigans soon!

Plan: buy yarn for Liesl.
Result: three skeins of Triskelion Elmet Aran (this particular yarn isn't on Ravelry yet, link is to other yarns from this company)

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Triskelion Yarns blew me away and were my favourite discovery of this year. Beautiful rainbow colours in really interesting, gorgeous yarn blends. The one I bought is BFL/Masham. I don't know anything about Masham sheep, but the yarn is fabulous - a bit rustic, but also smooth. Looks to be hard-wearing. The colour is a beautiful forest green that matches some buttons I already have - yay for button stash-down! Can't wait to knit with it and I'd love to try some of their other bases.

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Badly lit picture of the fantastic Triskelion stall.

Plan: Wollmeise
Result: So much Wollmeise
I thought I'd go for Lace-garn and DK, but in the end I went for Lace-garn and Pure.

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The lace yarn I bought is the purplest I've ever seen. (Do not be fooled if the photo makes it look blue). Colourway: Der letzte versuch. This will be some kind of cardigan, pattern to be determined. It feels heavy for laceweight - more of a light 4-ply.

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Wollmeise Pure in the Sabrina colourway. This is actually teal, not grey/blue/green. TEAL. SO MUCH TEAL. Two skeins should be enough for a sweater, and I'm thinking of making Low Tide by Tin Can Knits. (I bought the book containing this pattern at EYF last year, so things come full circle.) I got these skeins wound by my good friends volunteering at the yarn-winding station - £1 per skein, proceeds went to the Teapot Trust, a charity providing art therapy to chronically ill children. Everybody wins!

Browsing the Wollmeise stall was certainly an experience.

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So much colour! Gaaah! I stopped there first just because of the location, and I almost didn't leave... I'm excited to knit with the yarn I bought since it's beautiful and feels so different from other merino yarns I've tried. It's very sturdy and tightly-spun. We'll see how it knits up.

Plan: buy a gradient set.
Result: a cake of merino/silk laceweight from Bilum

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This is Pukpuk by Bilum, a Hungarian yarn company I'd never heard of. They had lots of gorgeous gradients, as well as solids available. I'm not sure what this will become, but I've had a running list of gradient-suitable shawl patterns, so will look to that first. I don't often knit with laceweight, but I have enjoyed doing so in the past.

Verdict: it's a miracle! I pretty much stuck to my plans, even if I did go over my suggested budget by a little. I didn't come home with any single skeins of sock yarn this time, though there was much loveliness to be seen and prodded around the marketplace. Guess I'm satisfied with the loveliness in my house at the moment. Though I'd better get knitting if I want there to be space for more EYF yarn next year...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Edinburgh Yarn Fest planning

I'm heading out to the Edinburgh Yarn Festival later today. This is pretty much the highlight of my yarn year, and I am so lucky it's local to me. I always find these events a bit overwhelming, though, so I try to plan before I get there... and then I usually fail to stick to my plans and come home with all sorts of unexpected lovelies. Seriously, the vendor list for this year is so insane. Going to try not to hyperventilate when I get through the gates.

Last year I was on stash-down when the yarn fest rolled around, but yarn fest purchases were on my list of exemptions. I still managed to come home with four single skeins of beautiful sock yarn that I have not yet used. (I used a little bit of one of them for a baby hat - and I have plans for the rest of it, but otherwise these lovelies are still waiting for projects.)

Let's take a look at my best-laid plans for this year.

Non-yarn items:

Buttons for two baby cardigans.
My Puerperium and Little Coffee Bean are both entirely finished except for buttons, and typically I have nothing suitable in my rapidly expanding button box. There are a few vendors there that will have buttons - I'm particularly excited to check out Textile Garden - so I'm sure I'll find some great things.

ALL THE YARNZ:

Yarn for Liesl.
Ever since I frogged my old version of this cardigan years ago because it had stretched out, I've been meaning to make another. With my current shape, I think it would be super useful - for the first time in my life I actually think I look good in cardigans that are only buttoned at the top! If I add buttons all the way down like I did last time, it should continue to be useful once the baby is out. Plus, I remember it being a really quick knit, and I would love to make a quick sweater for myself before the baby arrives. As a bonus, I have some great buttons for this already, so I'll try and get some yarn to match so I can work on using my button stash.

Some Wollemeise.
This is my first chance to buy Wollemeise in person. Not going to pass this up. I'd like to pick up a skein of lace, since the yardage on those is amazing and I might be able to make a whole sweater out of it. I'm also considering getting some DK for a second attempt at Evenflow, but we'll see what I can find!

A gradient set.
I'll see what I see, but there's bound to be something beautiful. I've had my eye on several patterns for gradient shawls etc lately, so I'd like to get some suitable yarn.

I'm looking forward to checking out Kate Davies new yarn, as well as Ysolda's, and I'm sure to spend some quality time perusing the Old Maiden Aunt stall.

Notice I have no "single skeins of sock yarn" listed on my shortlist. Will that stick? Unlikely. I'll report back with my success / massive failure later on!

Are you going to EYF? If you see me, give me a shout. (I'm the one in the Raiun cardigan with a 33-week bump!)

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Bring on the yarn fumes!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

WIP: Torrent Socks

Thought I'd give a proper update on one of the Blue Period projects I alluded to before.

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(They're blue, but not THIS blue. Photo colour does not correspond to real life.)

My Torrent socks are proceeding apace. Given how many projects I have on the go, I'm actually surprised by how quickly these are going. Nearly at the heels! The back of the ankle is all stockinette; I think this helps with the speed as well as making them very enjoyable to knit. I get bored easily with all-stockinette projects, and bogged down with nothing-but-lace, so these are the best of both!

Ever had a project go more quickly than you expected?

Sunday, March 06, 2016

What does making mean to me?


A Playful Day is back with her podcast, and has a new creativity/blogging challenge.

What does making mean to YOU?

Making means different things to me at different times in my life.

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Food tins - washed, dried, and ready for upcycling

Lately, making confers on me a sense of control. For example, 2016 has brought some unexpected work-related changes that have left me feeling frustrated and disenfranchised. There is nothing I can do to change this situation for the foreseeable future, so I've been left feeling powerless and stuck. However, even when life gets chaotic I know that I at least control what I'm producing creatively. (Of course, creativity has an element of chance / serendipity / unpredictability, and that's cool too.) I need to remind myself of this at particularly stressful times; I often find stress impedes my creative impulses, even though intellectually I know that I'll feel better about things if I get out there and make stuff.

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Drainage holes hammered through the bottom, decorated with washi-esque tape

On that note, I've been using my knitting and other creative pursuits lately as manifestations of my own choice. I can choose what I make and when. I have the power to create a physical object with my own hands. I can create something beautiful that is also useful to me. Making gives me something else to focus on, other than the things I can't control.

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Tada! New pots for some wee succulents

Images in this post are from this morning's attempt to turn food tins into plant pots. I'm rather pleased with them, but we'll see if the washi tape gets ruined if I spill when watering...

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Blue period

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These are my current WIPs. Apparently I'm in my blue period? (To be fair I love blue and use it a lot, but didn't realize until now that all my WIPs were similarly dark blue.)

In the pile is a Puerperium baby cardigan in navy blue and pink-purple cotton, Pecan Crush cardigan in my reclaimed BFL/Alpaca yarn from my last post, and Torrent socks in lovely Scottish hand-dyed yarn I've had in my stash since moving to Scotland in the first place. (Stash-match FTW!)

Three WIPs makes me a little antsy, but I am enjoying them all. I'll finish the baby knit soon enough which will bring me down to two long-haul projects, though don't be surprised if I immediately cast-on another tiny quick baby project!

Do you have colour themes in your knitting without even realizing it?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Unmaking

The last few days I've been working on some long overdue frogging.

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That blue blob was the entire body portion of a Cria cardigan. It was supposed to be half my entry to the Outfit Along of 2015, run by Untangling Knots. Despite attempting to pay attention to measurements and gauge, I neglected to notice that the sleeves were way too big until after I'd finished the body. Since This sweater is a top-down, seamless-set-in-sleeves type deal, once I'd finished the body there was no easy way to go back and fix the sleeve caps. If I'd been going for SUPER POOFY sleeves I would have just kept going, but that's not what I wanted for this cardigan. So I shoved it in a corner for months while I worked on other things, unable to bear the prospect of unraveling all my work.

I dug it out again in the spirit of sustainability. Though I'm not officially stashing down this year, I would like to be more mindful of my yarn purchases and more mindful of choosing and using the yarn I already have. That means frogging projects that aren't going anywhere and finding a new use for the yarn. Once repurposed, this yarn will become something else - reused, returned to circulation, not abandoned to dust / dark closet corners.

My first act of making in the Maker's Year is unmaking.

This post is part of The Maker's Year hosted by A Playful Day.

In related news, I've joined Twitter. (The last one to do so, ever?) You can find me @goodenoughmakes. It's still a bit bare bones over there, but I'll come up with something to put there soon.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Baby FOs: Gidday and Zigging

Time for an FO round-up! First, the last FO of 2015.

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Pattern: Gidday Baby by Georgie Hallam

Yarn: Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK

Mods: Added more button holes, attempted to close YOs in yoke with knitting through back loop, though some of them still show.

Notes: Super cute, super quick knit. I enjoyed making this. I made the 3 month size, with an awareness that babies (like bigger folk) don't necessarily comply with size standards, so I hope it fits at some point in a relevant season. Cotton yarn was my choice because this baby is due in spring... but spring in a place that doesn't get particularly warm, so cardigans are useful year-round. And, surprise surprise: it's teal. My husband teases me about my love for teal and when he saw this he joked that this baby is going to be dressed exactly like me. So I told him I'd make something green and black to match him.

This next one is green on green, though. First FO of 2016!

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Pattern: Zigging by Sarah Ronchetti

Yarn: Easyknits Deeply Wicked and Old Maiden Aunt Merino Superwash 4 ply

Mods: Big ol' pom-pom!

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Notes: Not much to say about this one. Pretty quick, and got me back into the rhythm of colourwork since I haven't done any in a while. I have some colourwork things for myself I want to make soon, so I had better start them before my hands forget how to hold one colour in each hand.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

2016 Crafting Goals

I'd like to say that 2016 is the year I'll get back into blogging in a committed way, or the year I try National Sweater Knitting Month again, or something of the sort. However for a number of reasons I think this year is going to be chaotic and I don't want to over commit myself and then feel bad later. It may be I'll have loads of extra knitting time, but it's also likely I will be sleep-deprived and never have any time to myself. There is a lot of unpredictability in one small package heading my way in early May and I'm not sure how anyone in my household is going to cope with it. (This is me announcing my pregnancy, btw. Open-fronted cardigans FTW!)

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Me last week at 22 weeks
I’m going to set a few hopefully achievable goals nonetheless.

1. Knit one sweater for myself
I'm already finding it easy to focus entirely on baby knits - So small! So quick! So cute! I want to make sure I take time to make something for myself, even if it is only one thing.

2. Knit socks for my mom
She's due a handknitted gift this year and she requested socks, so socks it is. I think I can manage a pair of socks before the end of the year, but I guess we'll see!

3. Sew something wearable (for myself or for the baby)
I have attempted to sew a few wearables so far in my short sewing career and none have turned out to be particularly useful to me for various reasons. I like to change that this year and maybe even sew something for the baby.

So, there are my goals for 2016. Notice how I didn't say stash down...

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

2015 knitting recap

Here's what I made in 2015 - a paltry 9 finished objects! I think I finish fewer things every year. Ah well, it's not about quantity, right? I had a lot going on this year that curtailed my knitting output. Knittingwise, I attempted several sweaters that I abandoned in various states of non-completion... I have some frogging to do, but maybe this year that yarn will become something! Still, I'm pleased with the things I made this year.

 photo 2015projects_zpsbwsya9qx.jpg

Top row: Gidday Baby by Georgie Hallam, Arya Mitts by Patti Waters, Cinnamon Stone Shawl by Verybusymonkey

Second Row:
Itaca by Stephen West, Varia by Alex Tinsley, Raiun by Kirsten Johnstone

Third row: Fleegle heel socks, Tauriel socks by Josiah Bain, Luna Viridis by Hilary Smith Callis.

Apparently this was the year I focused on accessories, even though as I said above I attempted a few sweaters. The cardigan I did manage to finish, Raiun, is my favourite FO of the year. I wear it all the time - it is an excellent transitional weather piece in this land of unpredictable temperatures. Plus, I'm really getting into open-fronted cardigans (more on this later.)

I had made myself some goals for 2015, so let's see how I managed.

2015 goals
1. Stash down, with a few exceptions.

Exception 1: I will buy yarn to make a Pomegranate sweater. Bought yarn, decided to make Even Flow instead due to newfound love of open-fronted cardigans, abandoned because I think the pattern needs a smooth semi-solid yarn instead.

Exception 2: I will buy yarn at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and/or the yarn crawl, should anything unmissable jump out at me. But I will show restraint! Restraint at EYF? Debatable. haha. I came home with 4 more skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn which I needed like a hole in the head. But they are so pretty and I love them.

Exception 3: I will buy yarn to make gifts if I don't have anything appropriate in my stash. Bought yarn for Itaca, Varia, and Gidday - over third of my projects were apparently gifts this year, since the Fleegle Heel socks were also a gift though made from stash.

In the end stashing down didn't really happen because my exceptions were not very restrictive. I didn't keep a good tally of yardage in/out, but here it is roughly.

Projects knit from stash: 6 (5 one-skein sock yarn projects and one sweater quantity)
Projects cast-on immediately with 2015 yarn purchases: 3 multi-skein projects
Skeins bought with no project in mind: 4 sock yarn, 1 SQ for Pomegranate that turned out not to be for that and is languishing in the frog pond, 4 extra skeins of yarn I intended for Gidday but didn't like the colour combinations so put on hold for something else.

So I didn't quite break even this year. I did knit from stash more than I realised, and I stuck to my non-restrictive rules, so not a total failure. But not really a resounding success either. Ah well!

2. Finish allocating yarn to patterns in my Stash Match project, including my sweater-quantities. Haha FAIL. I did two Stash Match posts this year: Sock Yarn and Laceweight. This leaves me three more to do. I valiantly tried to decide on my alapca stash projects in December but could not come to a final decision, so expect a post on this some time in 2016. I am also debating destashing some of the other two categories to make space in my house because I can't see myself ever using some of this yarn.

So that was 2015! I'm due a real FO post on the Gidday cardigan, plus I have the first FO of 2016 to share, and some news on WIPs. Plus some goals for 2016. Yikes. Hope your 2015 was delightful and productive in crafty and non-crafty ways!