|clean cup, move down||
I can't tell if this summer flew or dragged. It was a weird combination of work and play for me, and I didn't find much a of a groove-- which, in the larger scheme of my life makes a lot of sense because frankly I'm just not that good with unstructured time... although when I don't have any I forget that and long for unfettered days. In any case, now August is upon us and I'm looking towards the beginning of the new year. I think I've mentioned that August is often my time for reflection and renewal? If I've forgotten to type it in the past, then here it is; given my religion and a lifetime dictated by an academic calendar, it makes sense.
Crafting wise, since that's sort of the theme of this space, this past year has not been particularly productive. I've struggled to find the right fit with my new wheels, I've been overwhelmed by stash and underfunded for time, and I've also succumbed on more than one occasion to the despair of projects that just didn't work.
I'm slowly learning to quilt (two baby quilts finished for coworkers! one quilt in the making that might stay home when it's done! and a set of coasters I threw together yesterday for practice and practicality!) and working my way up to garment construction soon, I hope. I've not touched my loom all year, and suspect I should figure out how to sell it. I've got a sweater on the needles that needs sleeves, and a swatch for the next one; I'm studiously ignoring the many other knitting projects in various stages of completion (or frogging) that are scattered in the closet and on the shelves of the back room... although by all that is good and woolly I will figure out how to make a pair of socks that fits someone again! There's one kind of wool (and silk) on my wheel, and two more kinds of wool on two different spindles, and piles of unspun potential stacked up in that same back room.
This coming year what I want is to be gentle with myself about what I am able to get done; I want to find contentment in my crafting and peace with my stash. Record-keeping is good, but an account that focuses on failures instead of creation has proven to be bad. Knitting, and then spinning, used to help me breathe more deeply and think more calmly, and I'd like to find that space again. So no quotas this year, just documentation and celebration.
April was definitely a lost month in terms of knitting and spinning. I don't have a single finished project or skein to show for those thirty days, and only a few more stripes on my current sweater that prove I knit at all. I am 2/3 of the way through 4-oz of the singles for my next 3-ply... and I have so many plans for May. Hah!
One thing I did do in April, though:
My very first quilt! I know, it's not much to look at-- the squares are not square, and my quilting was deliberately wonky so it looked on-purpose (it being my inability to create a straight line, regardless of the tools at hand), and the "pattern" is simple enough that we literally taught forty-six sixth graders how to cut it out this year to make charity blankets... in any case. I'm proud! And Sam was very nice to hold for me (even though he just made fun of me for posting about it... and I had plans to make him a hat this month. Sigh, the knit-worthy can be hard to find.)
Quilt Pattern: Super-Sized Nine Patch
Fabric: Safari Adventures
I finally finished my pullover. I like it as a knock-around sweater, although next time I'll make the neckline lower by about half an inch, and the sleeves less puffy.
I've also been making a sizable dent in my spinning backlog.
Now, though, I'm dreaming of starting something new. There's still a lot of sleeping projects around here, but I think a little something for spring would be just the thing.
I spent yesterday at Stitches West. I didn't take any pictures. It was my second year going, and while I had a better plan this year, I didn't actually follow through.
The market place is huge, and there's a point where I just can't take any more visual or tactile stimulation. This makes me less likely to buy things (which is mostly good), but also makes me retreat like a turtle, so I miss doing things with internet-friends that I don't otherwise get to meet (which is mostly bad). Next year I hope to not only plan well, but actually execute said plan.
My favorite things from this year:
It was really interesting to hear about her process, and the intersection of artistic pursuits and making an living. Jared Flood writes about that a little on his blog sometimes, and I appreciated Melissa's perspective, too.
Today's about getting ready for the six-day work week (conference at the end of it), and maybe getting a skein pied and off my wheel so I can start spinning for that shawl. It was seriously incredible!
One of the first set of threes on my 2015 list is sweaters... and it just so happens I have three on the needles. Obviously, this does not commit me to finishing those three sweaters (how funny would that be-- to actually finish my WiPs? I wouldn't know what to do with all those needles!) but one of them is only sans manches (those are sleeves for those of you not accessing your high school french) so I figured I could start there and get ahead of the curve.
Knit in the round to the v-neck/sleeve split from a CustomFit pattern (actually my first-- I talk a big game, but this was the very first time I actually clicked on "generate my pattern" or whatever), and then the sleeves are picked up from the arms and knit down in short rows. I managed to do it backwards on the first (left) sleeve-- probably because I picked up instead of picked up and knit? Anyway, this meant that either I needed to rip back the sleeve for a fourth time (I had sleeve issues. That should probably be "have sleeve issues." Sigh.) or decide to live with an impromptu "design element" of a random garter ridge at the sleeve cap. I'm lazy, and this is a sweatshirt-style sweater anyway, so...
I'm calling 2015 the year of 3's... a theme is nice, right? We're going back to Tucson for New Years, and I'll be bringing crafting that is aimed at some of those threes.
I finished spinning the singles on my drop spindle this week, and I'll get to chain-plying them when we get back. In the meantime, I've been finishing up the Woolgatherings Polwarth/Polwarth-Silk combo spin on my QueenBee so I can sell her when we get back, and in my suitcase I'll have a gradient-dyed Falkland braid from North Bound Knitting on tibetan-style supported spindles from TexasJeans.
I'm stuck on sleeve island with my pullover, and I'm not sure I'll take it to Tucson. On one hand, the plane ride might be just the thing for the sleeves, but on the other, there's a little yarn chicken going on and I don't really want to be messing with it over vacation. So, I'll definitely throw the handspan socks that are almost half-done in my bag, and maybe some puff supplies... and maybe the cardigan I swatched for last week.
I've got a weaving plan for January, and a pile of pieces that might actually become a skirt sometime soon... but not in the next week.
Happy New Year, everyone!
I know nothing counts for you unless there's photographic evidence, but that's just not going to happen today. It's pretty dark and gloomy, and not just by California standards, I've had a headache for a week, and I'm just not feeling up to the contortions of getting knitting pictures at the moment. Your right, this means other people love you more than I do, and you know what? That's just fine.
You'll have to take my word for it that I finished my tricolor shawl, even in the absence of a picture, and that it's big and snuggly, although I hate the little picot things and I'm still undecided about how pink it really is. You're also going to have to take on faith that I have a CustomFit vest-- meaning my sweater is done but for sleeves and the finishing details, and that it fits very well for a sweatshirt. I think this is because I'm built like a squat rectangle with large breasts, but I'm also having a hard time loving my physical self at the moment, so you'll have to take that particular statement with a grain of salt. In any case, the yarn was a bit of a disappointment, behaving differently in a garment than a hat or swatch, and I'll be very happy with a sweatshirt-sweater when I finish it.
The last time I posted a list, I had eleven spins in progress... That's increased by one, and I don't have any spinning pictures, either. But I am considering selling my QueenBee because we're just not clicking, so I suppose at a certain point I'll at least take pictures of the wheel, and maybe then there will be finished spinning, and pictures of finished spinning. Other than the shawl, all the knitting WiPs are still WiPs, and the kitten, while gigantic, still climbs the loom in an alarming way... so I haven't warped anything. My skirt-- A-line, not pencil-- is in pieces, and I'm thinking of getting to them later today.
It's the end of the year, and we've got some traveling coming up, so the likelihood of me getting to a list after today but before the first of the year is low, so even without pictures I've gone back and taken a look at my 2014 goals. I had fifteen listed goals, and a couple more that were wiggle-room, loop holes, or foggy. Of the fifteen, I feel pretty good about ten of them, and even though that's an unimpressive C, it's the kind of C that I feel like I worked for, so I'll take it and happily.
I'm declaring 2015 to be the year of guilt-free crafting, as well as the year of 3's. More on that later, although I did set up my goals page already, so technically, Internet, you already know.
My 2013 WiP Round-Up, and 2014 Check-off
In the middle of the year I checked-in on my WiPs, and made the statement that I thought things were going well. Here's the original 2013 WiP round-up, and my analysis of the pile now, at the end of 2014:
Spun 4 ounces of very ugly singles. But they were spun woolen!
I have a new wheel obsession, which is directly related to not having an accessible Majacraft dealer near me.
I knit on my handspun socks, and I cast on a little something yesterday after my spinning class.
This coming week I have to spin cotton, which I both love and hate, and I'm thinking of sewing up the skirt pieces I cut out last weekend. And, of course, there's lots of cooking for Thanksgiving... even with the gluten restrictions, my favorite part is baking.
What was your week like? What are you anticipating for the one coming up?