I have been working on quite a few projects, as of late. And as more summery weather happens, as usual, I'm finding my creative rhythms shift a little. The effect the seasons has on my making is always interesting to me. I write these posts mostly as a log for myself, and to give some grounding and direction to what I want to work on. The world is filled with so much inspiration and I know myself and that I am prone to feeling paralyzed if I don't organize (realistic) plans on a regular basis.
I wrote the following in June 2017, and it still resonates with me:
In general, my goals are to prioritize my works-in-progress and streamline project planning. I normally never allow myself to have more than 2-3 knitting projects at once [...] There's something to be said about sitting down and just finishing what I've started . The truth is, there are always going to be new fabric lines and new yarn colorways and new pattern collections that will catch my attention. But for this next bit, I want to quiet my mind a bit, decrease that stimuli of the creative world and get back to knitting and sewing as a means of rest . I want to stick with a process and unwind away from the constant "more is better" message everywhere. Believe me, the knitting and sewing world is flooded with the same message and I'm prone to discontent. I have to watch my "wants" so that they don't affect my heart too much, and that means saying "no" to beautiful things. Creativity can be a source of overwhelm and frustration if we allow ourselves to be overtaken with the more is more mentality. I want my making not to be a source of frenzy, but one of calm. And I plan to get back to that, one finished item at a time. For a little more balance and contentedness, it'll be worth it.
Typically, my activity of choice in the evenings. Relaxing and fun and I'm enjoying knitting with stash yarn at the moment.
I also finished a pair of self-patterning socks. I used a simple vanilla sock recipe, which is my favorite for self-patterning yarn, and I didn't bother with pattern matching. That said, I think they turned out really cute, sisters instead of twins, and all that.
For more details, see my ravelry project page
Yarn: Bergère de France Goomy 50 in the colorway Imprim Beige
Size: 64 stitches
Pattern: my own vanilla socks recipe, plus some notes taken from the Late Night Socks pattern (free)
Needles: US 0 dpns
Specifics/modifications: All the details are on my ravelry (linked above), but I knit them to fit my foot, approximately. I haven't worn them yet, trying to decide if they will be a gift at some point.
And, I finished a tiny knit house for a friend who's expecting! She is also a knitter, and the minute I saw this pattern, I knew I needed to knit it for her little one. I think it's adorable! How fun would it be to knit a few as a little Christmas village?
For more details, see my ravelry project page
Yarn: Various stash yarn in small amounts. Pattern calls for sport weight yarn, but I used all DK-weight, since that's what I had.
Size: one size
Pattern: Little House by Susan B. Anderson
Needles: US 2 dpns, sized down from recommended size 3
Specifics/modifications: All the details are on my ravelry (linked above), but I did a few of the steps in a different order, since it made more sense to me, and I sized down my needles. Did not add poly pellets since I didn't have any.
Works in progress
- a sage green pair of Cyril socks. I've finished the first sock and I'm knitting the gusset on the second, so they should be finished soon. The pattern is very easily memorized for me and much easier than the first time I knit this pattern. I think because even since then, I've gotten better at reading my knitting.
- my Atmen shawl in Icelandic/Faroe island wool. I've started the first stripe sequence on this, so it feels like I have a bit more momentum. The stitch pattern is easy and familiar enough now that it's a relaxing knit, and nice for evening/TV knitting.
- A simple fingering-weight Skovbær shawl, yarn TBD, following the pattern in this video (pattern only available in this format, not as a written pattern). This has been on my "dream knitting" list for a few months now. I would still like to knit a little something like this.
- A sweater of some sort with yarn I have in stash. I think I've narrowed it down to Nurtured or Willow (both patterns I already own but have yet to knit).
- Self-striping socks, knit out of special birthday yarn
- A scrappy, colorplay project. Maybe another Vertices unite, or maybe the Ebel shawl (scarf)?
- DK socks, I really love the Morrison socks pattern.
- Further down the road: Veronika cardigan.
I know enough about my creative habits to know that making lists like this is helpful. Even if I don't knit all of these items, a quick glance from years of these check-ins reveals that I do typically knit most of them. And that's kind of neat I also don't account for gift knitting on this short list, but I end up doing a fair bit of that.
Sewing is fun for me again! I did sew the masks relatively recently, but it's been months and months since I worked on a personal project or felt excited or motivated to get my machine out. As the weather gets more summery, the seasonal shift in my creativty begins too, and that usually means more time spent at my machine.
Long admiring the process of Quilt as You Go (QAYG), I finally sat down, played with some fabric scrap layouts and then just started sewing. I made three finished items.
A "mug rug." There isn't really enough batting in this to use it as a potholder, but I love the idea of using it with our coffee for fika. Most of these fabrics are scraps leftover from my first solo quilt that I sewed almost three years ago.
A zippered boxed pouch. Another use for a QAYG panel. I did expect this to be a little bit larger, but the thing with sewing is I truly do need to be aware of seam allowances and just how much fabric is necessary for a boxed bottom. I do love the finished product and it should be a good size to house a pair of socks or other single-skein projects.
A tiny zippered notions pouch. Likely my favorite of the three. I love the fabric combination, I think because of how many of the fabrics are neutrals. All the fabrics were scraps from my stash with the exception of a few swatches from Not Perfect Linen. This shop includes gorgeous linen color swatches with every order so you can see the colors in person, should you reorder.
For a myriad of reasons, I would like to use some patterns that I already own. I don't truly need to buy more patterns, and if I reuse patterns, a previous version can serve as a muslin of sorts. And honestly, printing out PDFs and taping them together is not exactly my favorite way to spend precious creative time.
Specific patterns I want to revisit or patterns I already own:
- Lou Box top
- Blackwoods cardigan, hypothetically made in a light grey cotton jersey to replace a RTW version that is nearly worn out
- Arenite pants— I haven't sewn this pattern yet, but I already own it, the pattern is printed, and the fabric is pre-washed. I just need to cut them out and sew them! I will use the slim hack tutorial to make them a bit narrower.
- Metamorphic dress, this time in a single layer with french seams, probably a lined bodice. Add some length to the bodice as well as the skirt to make it longer, and maybe use less fabric for the skirt to make it less full. No hi-lo hem.
- Wool + Wax tote. I haven't sewn a tote bag before, but I do already own this pattern, so it could be a good place to start
Stash fabrics I want to use:
- 3 yards of black brussels washer yarn dyed linen/rayon blend
- 2.5 yards pink cotton/linen textured woven fabric
- 2.5 yards pink striped cotton/linen blend
- 3 yards grey cotton/linen ikat fabric
Other patterns on my "dream sewing" list:
- Wiksten shift dress/top—I love this version and this other version of this top pattern hacked into a dress pattern
- A Willow Tank dress hack—I have 2.5 yards of a beautiful, summery striped linen/cotton fabric (mentioned above) and I love the idea of intersecting stripes, plus the easy shape of this dress.
- free peppermint peplum top
- A Cleo skirt—perhaps? I have 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.
- Estuary skirt
- Quilted drawstring bag (I'm having lots of fun with small scale quilting). I may use this free YouTube tutorial.
And those are lots of tentative plans! :)
Since my last creativity check in, in late July, I've been rather prolific, in both knitting and sewing. As the weather gets cooler, I do find that I'm switching gears to more cool-weather projects. I'm eager to finish up some remaining warmer-weather works-in-progress. As ever, the seasonal change brings a fresh push of creativity and inspiration.
My birthday was at the end of September, and I typically like to reflect on my life (at whatever age I am) each year on my birthday. We don't have extravagent birthday celebrations, but with each birthday in our family, we try to make the day feel special and celebratory and fun. And this year, my birthday was just that.
Several weeks ago, I finished a new cardigan! This project was the first time I've done an all over lace pattern, as well as the first time I've made a drop shoulder construction cardigan.