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.

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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!