With the new year, I find it helpful to roughly frame out some creative ambitions for the coming months. I take stock of supples or yarn I have on hand, patterns I'm eyeing, and longed-for projects that I would enjoy making. And over time, I've found this way of approaching my creative life allows for better use of my time, energy, and materials I've collected, and helps me to begin and finish far more things than my otherwise scattered brain might allow. As I've been slowly piecing this post together, I truly am excited about my making plans this year!
I'm already in process with a few projects (detailed below) and excited for another year of practicing my first craft love. Much like last year, I want to prioritize using yarn I already own and prioritizing some long-dreamed-about projects. Specifically, I want to use some yarn from Iceland and the Faroe Islands that my family bought during their travels. I would like to knit at least one adult-sized sweater for me, in simple shape and color, and maybe a sweater for Nicholas for the first time? The jury is still out. If, after a little research and patter perusing, Nicholas isn't excited about a sweater, then we'll skip it, no hard feelings. I have a few skeins of self-striping and self-patterning yarn that I want to use for socks, as I usually always have a sock project on the needles. I would also like to knit Cooper some more socks, since he quickly outgrew the newborn pairs I knit for him. And as always, I'm sure there will be some accessory (hats/scarves/shawls/cowls/mitts) knitting and gift knitting throughout the year.
Christmas socks! I received this yarn from my parents at our early Christmas celebration, and decided to cast them on right away, even if they wouldn't be finished by Christmas 2019. For these socks, I used the heel and gusset shaping from the Cyril socks pattern, since that produces the best fit for my high arches. I knit these just as a vanilla sock with my preferred numbers. The basic info is listed below, but for even more details, you can see my ravelry project page.
- Yarn: King Cole Zig Zag 4 Ply Superwash in the colorway Summer, but I'm of the opinion that it's rather Christmasy
- Pattern: my own numbers for vanilla socks (CO 64 stitches on US 0) + shaping for heel and gusset from the Cyril Socks pattern
- Needles: US size 0, as is my usual for my loose tension. I prefer a firmer fabric for socks.
- Specifics/modifications: I lengthened the heel flap, per usual to accommodate my high arch
This yarn isn't incredibly soft, but it's what I would expect with a wool blend, vs a merino blend. It was a bit scratchy to work with, but I think it will be durable and the self-patterning nature of it still made it an enjoyable knit.
I have also finished another gift project that I don't want to share until my mom receives them for her birthday, but I will mention in a post very soon.
- Garter snake cowl — This was my Christmas Eve cast on, and I'm knitting it with two gorgeous yarns. The dark grey is from Stress Knits, and the lighter champagne/mauve/beige yarn with copper shimmery bits was a Christmas gift from a friend. I love how the subtle contrast is working up. I find two-color brioche to be truly enjoyable and rhythmic, but I also can't wait for the textured latter half of the cowl pattern. I'm knitting on this here and there, when I'm in the mood. Juggling two skeins of yarn always take a tiny bit more mental energy for me.
- a tiny hat for a sweet baby girl (more details to come, once it's been gifted)!
Future (already-own-the-yarn projects)
- Atmen shawl in Icelandic wool — already have yarn for this that my brother gave me, using the Novita yarn pictured in this post
- Nurtured sweater OR Shore cardigan OR Just Nicole OR Samambaia sweater OR Hatcher — already have a subtle beige, super soft chainette yarn for this, just need to decide which of these wildly different patterns I want to make
- Into the Woods socks and Simple sock 3 — haven't decided on a specific yarn, but one of many skeins of sock yarn would be nice. I love the look of this stitch pattern in both applications.
- Lettlopi (Icelandic yarn) — For colorwork, I will cast on a Tundra jumper. I already decided on my yarn color choices and swatched last night, and I'm looking forward to working on a colorwork and very wooly project this time of the year. I also love the Felix pullover, Saltwater Bay cardigan, Crocus pullover, or Skógafjall, since I now have a lot of this yarn (41 skeins! Oh my gosh). I also think that this sweater is absolutely gorgeous, but I would have to reinvent the pattern, since it was improvised.
- Several pairs of socks from stash sock yarn, maybe another pair of Cyril socks or Blueberry waffle socks, if I'm craving a textured sock.
- Another Graham hat, since I wear the first one constantly, and I received the same yarn in a beautiful beige for Christmas. (PS — I don't know why I avoided alpaca for so long, it is so soft and so warm).
Future dream knitting
- The Forager sweater or a Cline sweater
- another "scrappy" striped shawl, maybe the Ebel shawl that lends itself to colorplay, since I enjoyed the Vertices Unite shawl so much
- Another sweater (at least one more) for Cooper, pattern(s) TBD
First and foremost, get back into sewing(!) and utilize stash fabrics and patterns. I have a few large projects that should be straightforward and fun, once the mood strikes. I do anticipate my sewing mojo is more likely to come back when spring brings warmer weather.
Future (already-own-the-materials) projects
- A Willow Tank dress hack—I have two+ yards of a beautiful, summery striped linen/cotton fabric and I love the idea of intersecting stripes, plus the easy shape of this dress.
- Arenite pants (maybe, finally?)— Pattern is printed, fabric is pre-washed. I just need to cut them out and sew them!
- A Cleo skirt—perhaps? I have 2 or 3 yards of an ikat-printed linen/cotton blend that would be great for a skirt. And I love that it has an elastic back with a smooth front waistband.
Future dream sewing
- another Blackwoods cardigan, this time in a less-wrinkly, neutral-colored knit fabric
- an Annie dress (so many cute versions! And somehow this dress that doesn't have a ton of shaping, manages to have a nice shape)
- something small (maybe a notions pouch or project bag?) made with the quilt as you go method (QAYG) that I find so mesmerizing.
- Maybe some small-scale quilting project, a lap quilt, perhaps? Or a table runner. I've been craving the quilting process, but wanting a more manageably-sized project.
Other creative plans
I would like to finish reading a knitting-themed book called Knitlandia by Clara Parkes, and also read some Elizabeth Zimmerman works, such as Knitting Without Tears or The Opinionated Knitter.
That sums up my (tentative) making plans for the year! I always leave room for spontaneous projects if a creative whim strikes, but at the minimum, these are likely projects. We're home from church and Cooper is napping, I just finished drinking a mug of coffee. It's bitter cold out (four degrees when we left for church and a wind chill on top of that). I wore my Arctic Cardigan, my Graham hat, and my Vertices Unite to church. We're having a cozy day, and I'm going to knit a few rows on the sweet baby hat, telling myself that when that is finished, I can cast on my Tundra jumper. What's on your list for creative plans? Do you make lists like this?
It's been some time since I wrote a post about my creative projects, and since a lot of my creative energy has gone to smaller projects like socks and accessories, I've been rather prolific (for me, anyway).
It's been just about a month and a half since my last creative check in. A lot has happened in that time, most notably the arrival of our newest family member. In a flurry of last minute nesting, I finished a few projects, and in the wake of postpartum life and Nicholas home on parental leave, I've finished (and modified, more on that below) a couple more items. Completion of things will naturally be slower, of course, since our hands are more full these days, but I wanted to document and share what I've been working on.
As part of the nesting of late pregnancy, I find myself eager to wrap up a few projects, and work on some to get them into a place where they don't require a lot of mental energy. I know my making time will be reduced and will look wildly different in these coming months, but I want to have a few things "on the go," so to speak, so I can knit a few stitches here and there, should the opportunity arise. And, before baby boy's arrival, I wanted to share some recently finished projects, as well as what I'm currently working on.