Each year, I like to loosely outline creative goals or desires for the coming year, including bookmarking specific patterns or mentioning materials (yarn or fabric) that I'd like to use. I always keep in mind that my creative plans or whims will likely migrate somewhat, but taking a moment to think through projects at the start of a year (sort of) makes me excited feel refreshed in my making. Also, I find that I'm less impulsive in my purchases when I have a plan to actually use materials from my stash.
First, I wanted to mention projects I've finished since my last creative check-in. I've been in quite the accessory mood, as you will see:
I knit a pair of vanilla socks for Nicholas for his birthday out of a self-patterning German yarn. They fit him well, and I have pretty well figured out a recipe that fits his foot.
My mom's birthday was also in January, and I knit her another pair of hand warmers, using the Align mitts pattern. I've made several pairs at this point, and they are a well-loved, and oft-worn knit, plus fun and relatively quick to knit. I miscalculated the yardage I had of the blue/green yarn, so I decided to colorblock them with a peach yarn. I think they're fun!
Also in January, I cast on a Scarf No.1 with pink stash yarn and immediately loved the process of this knit, as well as the finished object. It is ridiculously wearable, making my neck cozy without adding too much warmth. Perfect for errands when a larger shawl would make me too warm in a store.
So wearable, in fact, that I immediately cast on a second version, in the same yarn, but a more neutral biege color. I did accidentally knit the beige version with an extra repeat (both versions are the "scarf" size), and both are a very wearable size. I'm not sure how well this yarn will hold up, but it feels good to use up stash yarn, and it's very soft for a project worn next to skin.
Lastly, I wanted to mention that I finally made a project page for a little bunny that I knit for Cooper for Christmas. I just used stash yarn, but you can see the link to the free pattern page from there.
I actually have four current knitting projects, which is more than I usually ever feel comfortable with. Too many projects typically leaves me feeling scattered, like I'm unable to finish anything, and making minimal progress. However, one project is close to being finished and another is on hold for the time being, so it does feel manageable.
Cardigan for Cooper
I've made a tiny bit of progress on an Oscar sweater for Cooper. I'm enjoying the yarn, the pattern, etc. But I do need to be in a specific mood to want to knit on garments, I've learned. It's knit bottom-up, so the exciting part (the yoke) doesn't come until the end. For now, it's in a project bag, waiting for the mood to strike. Once it does, I'll likely knit it monogamously until it's done. The tan yarn in the first photo in this post is this sweater.
This knit is really enjoyable. The yarn was a special purchase of Homespun House yarn that's been in my stash for a long time. I'm gradually realizing that I wear my neutral socks most, so I wanted to cast it on finally, in a very comfortable pattern, the Cyril socks, but this time skipping the twisted stitches, so they're just ribbed socks that fit very well. Second sock is sevety-five percent done, so they should go quickly.
In a moment of spontaneity, I cast on a pair of socks as a gift knit. I love Paton's Kroy yarn, and wanted to try this brown grey marl colorway. I'm knitting them in a garter rib pattern, since any gift socks with a little ribbing tend to fit the recipient best, regardless of recipient.
Improvised marled yarn cowl
My final current project is one with a yarn I've had for quite some time. I knew what I wanted to knit with it, but after a lot of searching, I've been unable to find a pattern for what I had in mind: a double-think, stockinette stitch cowl, worn close to the neck, seamless. My ravelry page has more details about how I'm knitting this, but I'm hopeful it will work out how I intend. It's a very mindless project that I don't need to look at when I'm working on it. But it's dreamy to knit on because this yarn is so soft.
My upcoming due date is quickly approaching, and I know that I will inevitably have fewer moments for creative pursuits with a newborn and two babies this year. That said, I wanted to at least mention some dream knitting, some of which will happen over the course of the year, I'm sure.
Upcoming or potential knitting projects:
Overall, I'm learning a little more about what knits I actually wear. Although I love the look of cropped knits, I love the wearability of sweaters that feel like big sweatshirts. I wear cowls more than shawls, unless I'm at home. And I wear my neutral handknit socks the most, along with pairs that are ribbed or subtly patterned and fit my feet well. Those realizations considered, here are some potential projects:
- Lopi socks, thinking a pattern from Ozetta, perhaps the Camp socks. I have some charcoal grey lopi in stash that my family bought for me when they were in Iceland.
- a simple DK-weight cowl, knit in special dark grey yarn that was a gift and has been in stash for some time. Probably would use a pattern similar to Just Try it.... by Susan Ashcroft, something wearable that Nicholas, Cooper, or I could wear. Or, I could knit this pattern, if I wanted some nice cable-y texture.
- a baby knit, perhaps a little bear lovey for the new baby boy.
- another pair of DK weight socks, in a red yarn I purchased for socks. It's a new-to-me blend that includes alpaca and it looks fun to work with. I've been eyeing the Morrison Socks for forever, so I'd likely use that pattern.
- I'd love to knit another colorwork sweater in a larger gauge, like the Urban Adventure. I really love the colors in the original sample, actually.
- A sweater for Nicholas. I'm thinking worsted weight, turtleneck, or folded neckband. Knit in a marled yarn, per his request. I have a yarn I'm considering, and I'd love to at least cast this on before baby comes.
- Another "workhorse" neutral sweater, maybe along the lines of the Towns Sweater or 1031 sweater for a stockinette option. Perhaps the Seasons cardigan for a cardigan option. These are the kind of sweaters that I actually want to wear
Upcoming or potential sewing projects
I don't have too many specific plans for sewing for the upcoming year. My sewing inspiration tends to be more spontaneous or needs-based, so I'll leave it open-ended. I will say that I would love to try a pattern or two from Sotak Handmade, and I'll mention some dream garment sewing patterns, just to bookmark them, although I'm not sure how practical it will be to sew for myself in fresh postpartum.
- Specifically, I would like to sew a larger, sweater-sized project bag of some sort that is large enough to house a sweater project in bulkier yarn. I purchased some cotton/linen fabric on a whim the other day that would be well-suited, I think. The Somerset Tote bag or the simpler Chubby tote bag are most likely candidates, I think.
- Converting my Klein dress into a skirt, for more wearability. The bodice is just far too large, so I don't wear it enough. This will need to wait until a later date in the year, when I can check the fit on my natural waist (when I have a waist again, ;)
- Very much dream sewing would include another Blackwoods cardigan, this time in a less-wrinkly, neutral-colored knit fabric
- A small lap quilt of some sort. I've been itching to do some quilt piecing, but I would prefer to do it on a small scale.
- 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 — I own this pattern and suitable fabric for it, and I think I would get so much wear out of them, but sewing clothes in a year when I'm pregnant feels impractical, overwhelming, or both.
- A Cleo skirt— I have 2 or 3 yards of an ikat-printed linen/cotton blend that would be great for a skirt. I would definitely make a more midi-length version. I love that this design has an elastic back with a smooth front waistband.
And that's more than enough plans for the time being, I think! Per usual, I will share any and all progress and creative plans as the year progresses.
As July comes to a close, I wanted to check in and share some recent projects I've been working on, as well as a few that I've completed. I also wanted to share some creative-focused podcasts I've been enjoying, and some musings about crafting in community and future plans for knitting, sewing, and a brand new, very-beginner skill for me: crochet!
I've been fairly prolific (by my own standards) lately in terms of sewing and knitting and I figured it was time to share some of them! With spring and summery weather, I always feel a shift in terms of my creativity. I still want to knit with wool, but I see myself drawn a bit more towards color or lighter tones and printed fabric. I'll share below what I've been up to!
Spring is here! And with it, I find myself wanting to start all kinds of new projects, but I've been holding onto some self control and trying to wrap up my current projects, somewhat successfully. Since my last check-in, I've finished a few knitting and sewing projects, made progress on some current projects, and made plans for upcoming projects.