5 min read

Creativity check, winter 2018

It's time for another little creative check-in! I write these about every month or so, just to check in and keep a log of future/completed/current projects. It's fun to document, plus it keeps my not-so-good-at-multitasking brain more organized.



A pair of fingerless mitts, for my mom for her (belated) birthday. I love this free pattern and the result is super lightweight, wearable mitts, suitable for indoor or outdoor use. They use very little yarn (only about 35 grams of fingering weight yarn), so you can splurge and buy that single skein of special yarn, or use up pretty stash yarn.

For even more details, you can see my ravelry project page

Yarn: Tosh sock, in the color saffron

Pattern: Align mitts by Courtney Spainhower

Needles: US size 2 dpn

Specifics/modifications: I sized down needles, per usual, and followed the same mods as the previous pair I knit


  • Mae sweater: I started the neck shaping last night! It doesn't really have "sleeves" but ribbing that's picked up and knit, so (fingers crossed) it shouldn't take me that much longer to finish
  • Emily's favourite socks, scrappy version. I'm knitting these for myself, since I'm wanting to test the fit of socks with a longer heel flap. I have high arches, so my socks tend to pull across the instep. From my research, a longer heel flap (and thus more stitches in the instep) should reduce the pulling. For the 2% of you who might be interested, I'll report back ;)
  • Oh, and the treehouse hat that I finished and blocked? Well. I thought it might relax a bit with blocking, but the truth was it was just too small. The tree pattern has little to no stretch and it was so tight it hurt my head. So I took a deep breath, felt sad for a moment, and then unraveled it. The yarn was a Christmas gift and I love the yarn and hat pattern combination far too much to keep intact as something I won't wear. So I plan to reknit this, with a few mods. (I like the look of it with the needles I used, but the brim needs more stitches to compensate for my different-than-pattern gauge).


  • Ninilchik Swoncho in DK yarn that I just ordered! Today, I decided on a yarn, and then made a little sketch with the colors I intended to use, to see how they would play together. And I love it! I think it's only reasonable to have one sweater on the needles at a time, so I want to finish Mae first, but then I'll start swatching.
  • a textured shawl in the beautiful pink Quince and Co Phoebe yarn I got for Christmas. Maybe Northern Sky, Thurmont, or A Work of Love

I so easily get stuck in a vortex of knitting accessories, and while I love them, there is a point where you have to say, I already have enough. Socks are perhaps an exception to this because they tend to wear out. However, I'm at a point where I probably have enough other accessories, so I want more of my knitting to be thoughtful, larger projects, when possible.


I haven't sewn anything in 2018 so far. I'm wildly excited to make some more garments and to do some household sewing, but so far, I've mostly been in the mood to knit. I know I could make myself sew, but the reason I sew and knit is for enjoyment and to indulge my creativity, so I choose to do what suits me at the time. I know when a sewing mood strikes, I have the materials and tools to get to it immediately, since I have fabric that's already pre-washed. I talk more about projects I want to make in 2018 in this post.

On creative mojo

So much of my "creative mojo" is related to camaraderie. Following a few wonderful makers on instagram gets me excited about sewing and knitting both. In particular, on the recommendation of my quilter mom, I follow Suzy Williams (@suzyquilts), who is hilarious and super informative about quilting techniques, plus she's the designer behind some gorgeous quilt patterns. Thinking that I might need a warm up project with which to jump back into sewing, I'm considering taking her Craftsy class on fabric play. A second aspect of "creative mojo" for me is the seasons. Austin is so warm for the majority of the year, that while we still have 40-something degree mornings, I want to knit my heart out, knowing full well that once it feels more like spring, I'll want to sew.

Some of the most (creatively) inspiring people I follow on IG:

  • Sam Lamb (@samanthamaylamb) : knitting and sewing
  • Meg McElwee (@sewliberated) : garment sewing and knitting (& she has some great sewing patterns)
  • Suzy Williams (@suzyquilts), mentioned above : quilting and adorable pictures and funny stories about her dog, Scrappy.
  • Sari N. (@sari_n_) : knitting + Scandinavia (can't go wrong)
  • Felicia Semple (@thecraftsessions) : thoughtful making, practical sewing and knitting (that is also gorgeous)

This is just a small sample, as there are so many other inspiring people that I'm sure I've left out.

The third key piece to my creative mojo, especially pertaining to sewing, is getting over the hurdle of "newness." I love learning, but I tend to feel a little anxious when faced with learning new disciplines, so to speak. I feel a pang of nervousness because in my mind I say, I just got comfortable with a regular machine and now I have this new scary piece of equipment. In this case I'm speaking of course, about the serger I got for Christmas. I've sewed exactly two seams on it, and I still find it scary.  I might take a craftsy class about beginner serger techniques, or find other online tutorials to help me wrap my mind around it. Like anything else, it can be learned, and I'll figure it out. Maybe I should re-read the pep talk in my post about advice for beginner sewing. :)

At the end of the day, making things brings me joy, so I'm happy to continue making, even as the activity itself shifts from season to season.

P.S.— I stumbled on this post about getting started making clothing by Elise Blaha Cripe today, and felt super inspired. In it, she addressed questions she's commonly asked about time/money/motivation for making your own clothes. It's a lengthy, but super informative post, and I find that I agree with her on basically all points.


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