Creative goals for 2021 & finished projects
As I have done in other years, I like to begin the year with a rough plan for how I will approach creative projects. I make note of supplies or things I have on hand, especially ones that I'm excited to "use up." I review patterns I've bookmarked. I think about utility of items (is there anything I need? Nicholas or Cooper needs?) and also the enjoyment: what sounds like fun to make this year? And for the last several years, these loose goals have gently guided my making, allowing for me to feel more content and excited about what I have on hand.
General plans and ambitions
I have two projects on the needles (detailed below), and I have several in mind with yarn that I have on hand. I would like to use a gorgeous sweater quantity of marled wool yarn from Cestari. I have a few sock patterns I'd like to knit for myself, and as has been the trend for the last few years, I'll likely knit some, if not several pairs of gift socks. I would also like to knit some socks for Cooper, as well as a sweater for him. He's been able to wear clothing for longer now, and so it feels like a good time to make him something else handmade. And although it's not technically knitting, I would like to try my hand at learning to crochet this year. But we'll see how adventurous I feel.
A pair of socks for my dad! These were actually a Christmas gift for him, but we had our belated family Christmas in early January, and technically, I didn't bind off the second sock until January third. These are his first pair of handknit socks that I've knit for him, and they won't be his last! As such, I did have to figure out a good "recipe" that fits him and I took lots of notes on my Ravelry page so that I can recreate the same fit next time. I think the garter rib looks nice, and it seems to fit well, as well as it's a rather simple texture that still knits up quickly.
- Yarn: Paton's North America Kroy Socks in the color Eclipse stripes
- Pattern: my own numbers for vanilla socks (CO 72 stitches on US 1), used toe decreases and notes from Late Night Socks
- Needles: US size 1, since this yarn errs on the thicker side of fingering to lightweight sportweight
- Specifics/modifications: I compared the foot length to another pair of socks he had (thanks, mom!)
I also finished a pair of fingerless gloves for my grandma. I used the align mitts pattern (free) that I've knit, on last count, six times before. It's a great pattern and fits everyone (adult women, anyway) well. The yarn is technically a Christmas colorway, but it also reminds me of the Duluth rose garden (and my Grandma). The speckles made them oh so fun to knit!
There is one other finished project that is en route to its recipient; I will share more once it arrives. All in all, it's been a productive beginning of the year for knitting.
- Nurtured sweater — I originally cast this on in August of 2020, and then promptly set it aside for other, easier projects. At this point, I'm really enjoying it, and I've finished both sleeves and cast on for the body. The yarn is a super sort wool and cotton blend, so I'm thinking it will be wonderful to wear as a spring sweater.
- Special striped socks — This yarn is rather special to me. I used some birthday money from my parents to order my first skein of indie-dyed self-striping yarn (and also my first time knitting with a BFL blend). The yarn is from Nomadic Yarns, couldn't be happier with it. The stripes are so fun to knit, they practically knit themselves. I'm using leftover light pink speckled yarn for a few rows at the cast on edge and for the heel flap.
Future (already-own-the-yarn projects)
- A sweater with my Cestari yarn (traditional collection 2 -ply in light grey/medium grey tweed). I could happily knit any of Ozetta's sweater patterns, but I'm especially taken with the Towns Sweater, the Lodge Sweater, the Seasons Cardigan, and the Oversized Seasons Cardigan.
- Another Lettlopi sweater. I still have so much of this beautiful yarn. An allover colorwork sweater, like this one, could make the best use out of the quantities that I have. I would need to play around with the colors I have to see what would work.
- Thicker socks. I love the Comfort Socks, also made out of Lettlopi (aran weight). I also love the idea of more DK weight socks, especially the Taival socks, or the Thicksgiving socks, which are knit with fingering weight yarn held double.
- A textured pair of socks (or two). I love the Crunkled socks.
- A few scrap-utilizing projects. Maybe the Ebel shawl, Simple Advent cowl, or I love this little scrunchie.
- Single skein projects, specifically DK weight or fingering weight projects. I have some beautiful yarn in my stash I would love to use. I love the idea of knitting another Garter Snake cowl, but just the brioche part. That cowl is so cozy. I also love this hat knit with DK weight yarn, and this fingering weight shawl that uses one full skein and a mini skein.
- socks for Cooper (easily knit from stash yarn)
- An improvised ribbed cowl, made with the navy/ivory marled Sno yarn, color 01+11. It is one of the softest yarn I've ever worked with, and I want to use it for something worn close to my neck.
Future dream knitting
- any and all patterns from Sari Nordland. Her design work is incredible.
- socks knit with alpaca yarn! I have a store bought pair of 100% alpaca socks and they are unbelievably cozy. I think it would be fun to try out a handknit pair.
- Another sweater (at least one more) for Cooper. I like Oscar and Playground. I want to peruse some pullover options too.
- Christmas stockings, knit with at least aran weight yarn. I would love to choose some marled yarn for the details. This sounds like a fun knit to me! We will see if it happens.
- A Woodwardia sweater. I love this version. Maybe it's the extra cold weather this week will bring, but I'm loving turtlenecks.
Knitting and sewing podcasts that I'm enjoying:
- Emma Robinson (Wooly Mamouth Fiber Company), especially this fireside chat episode. She's based in Northern Ireland. Natural dyer and she develops micro batches of ethically raised local (to her) yarns.
- Fiber Tales. She's based in Denmark. Knitwear designer.
- Sotak Handmade. She's based in the Netherlands. Creates beautiful, timeless sewing designs (home goods), and has really beautiful taste with her fabric choices.
I'd like to use some larger yardages of fabric that I have on hand; whether that be for the original purpose they were purchased or for a new purpose, we will see. Very practically, I am working on sewing a quilted (whole cloth) table runner. It's nearly finished, just working on hand-sewing the binding. I also want to hem the curtains for Cooper's nursery. Neither are especially exciting projects, but completing them will be satisfying, I think.
Also, I acknowledge that my sewing practices are much more swayed by my creative mood, and it's something I can't force. So while I'm mentioning some ideas here, I'm even more open to diverting to other projects, "as the wind blows," as they say.
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?)— Pattern is printed, fabric is pre-washed. I know the pattern was just updated, so I will need to reprint the pattern and cut them out. I think I would get so much wear out of them.
- A Cleo skirt— I have 2 or 3 yards of an ikat-printed linen/cotton blend that would be great for a skirt. And I love that this design has an elastic back with a smooth front waistband.
- A Chubby tote bag, perhaps? Love this look.
- a larger knitting project bag in a neutral fabric. Maybe drawstring this time? It would be nice to have a bag large enough to hold a sweater project.
And I think that's a good place to start! I love learning new construction techniques and pushing the boundaries of my sewing and knitting knowledge, and also I know that I benefit from mindless, comfort projects. A good year includes both, I think. Happy making!
Creative goals for 2023
At the beginning of each year, I like to make a rough outline of some creative plans. I know that these tentative plans will invariably change, but I like to have a starting point when I look ahead to projects, especially in terms of using yarn or materials already in my stash.
Creativity check, August 2022
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).
Creativity check and finished projects, spring 2022
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.