Fashionably late

8
karusellen3

Karusellen, off the needles and destined for blocking and then finishing (I can’t wait to sew on that pompom!)

The time has come! I know it’s late for the traditional intentions/goals/resolutions setting, but there are still 50 weeks left in 2016, so I think I’m safe. Anyway, without any further ado, here is where I see this year going, and what I want to prioritize as it unfolds, when I look out over the (mostly) empty pages of my calendar.

  1. More winter accessories: At the moment, I have one hat, one pair of mittens, and one cowl. I live in a place that gets approximately six months of cold weather a year, and probably half that time is really cold (-10C/14F or colder), so what the heck!? If I am going to spend half the year wearing mittens and hats and scarves and cowls, I feel that my hand-knit wardrobe should reflect that a little more. I’m just finishing my new hat (Karusellen, above), and have plans for at least one more. I’d also like to knit a couple pairs of mittens, another pair of fingerless mitts, and maybe a couple of cowls. These projects will also be excellent ways to use up the odd bits in my stash, which brings me to…
  2. Knitting up my stash: I actually think I did pretty well with this last year (11 of the the garments/items I knit were knit from stash), but I also think I added more to my stash than I knit, which is a problem. I don’t want to get rid of my stash by any stretch, but I think keeping the yardage at neutral is a reasonable goal for the year, and using up yarn I have rather than buying more of the same is just sensible.
    2b. Use what’s in my stash as a basis for choosing projects. In the past, I’ve tried to shoehorn my stash into projects I want to make, and that has not been a recipe for success (as a recipe for buying new yarn, though, it has excelled). This year, I’m going to try harder to think about what yarn I want to knit with, and then look for a suitable project.
    2c. NO MORE SOCK YARN. That’s in all-caps, because I’m yelling it at myself. I have a ton of sock yarn, and the rate at which I knit socks has decreased by quite a lot as I’ve started prioritizing larger garments. I have more than enough to see me through several years, so I can certainly go one year without buying more. This is my one hard-and-fast resolution, and I am going to be militant about it (aside from gifts, of course).

    next2

    L will get at least two more pairs of striped socks this year. The top yarn is one he chose, Zitron Unisono #1210, and the bottom two are Knit Picks Felici in Baker Street.

  3. Knit more socks for L: This is a pretty easy one even with the above injunction. I have lots of man-specific sock yarn in my stash (purchased with L in mind) and this winter he has really embraced hand-knit socks. He was always appreciative in the past, but maybe moving to a slightly colder city has had an affect β€” he wore the pair I gave him for Christmas for four days straight. And then picked out yarn for a new pair the next time we were in an LYS. So, yes, I would say he’s onboard, and there’s nothing like an appreciative recipient to encourage output.
  4. Spread my holiday knitting throughout the year: I desperately need to stop the routine I’m in of not starting anything until mid-October. It’s crazy, and stresses me out way too much. This year, I’m starting in the spring and want to be half done by September. Totally doable.
  5. Sweaters! I have yarn for four, and if I finish two I will be very, very happy. I’d like to knit at least one cardigan and one pullover this year (maybe two pullovers, if I get my act together early). The next week or two are for swatching, and then the fun begins.
  6. Actually sew: I get so in my head about how time-consuming and labour-intensive sewing is, and as a result I spend more time thinking about how much work it will be than actually just doing the work. It’s ridiculous, and the only way to stop that spiral is to just do it already. I was given the pattern for the Gallery Tunic & Dress and I have the fabric for it, so that’s where I’m starting. Today I plan to trace the pattern and cut the fabric. If I don’t get farther than that, fine, maybe the secret to sewing is not trying to cram everything into one long exhausting session. I really do want to sew, but I’m so intimidated!
  7. Stop worrying about productivity: It can be hard to read blogs or check Ravelry and see people who are able to churn out one or two finished garments a week (or, more astoundingly, seven or eight sweaters a year). TheΒ why can’t I do that? question sometimes rings in the back of my mind, and I just need to get over it. My life has changed, this year is going to be nuts, and I need to adjust my expectations accordingly. Even if it takes me a month to knit a pair of socks now, I need to remember that I am still knitting and am still producing, and when your time is limited things take longer. I’m sure I’ll still struggle with it, but I hope I can get better at practicing patience with myself.
  8. Be a better blogger! This is something else that stressed me out last year, for absolutely no good reason. Last year I worried too much about having the time to write a long post, or getting up-to-date photos, and lots of other (in retrospect) silly little things that kept me from actually sitting down and writing. This year, I’m not going to let those things get in the way. Blog posts not happening in the order I had arbitrarily planned? Who cares (hence this post coming so late). Photo not a 100% accurate representation of where I am in a project? Oh well! I have come to realize that, in order to blog during the week, I need to take the photos one day, write one day, and proofread/post on another day. That obviously means things won’t line up exactly, but that’s okay. I’m aiming to post at least once a week this year, so prepare yourselves for lots of in-progress knitting. When blogging was a habit, it was easy, and I just need to get it back into my routine.

So, there you have it! Ten things for 2016, and some of them already in practice. Not so bad, late start notwithstanding. I’m sure you’ve all already written about your own goals/intentions for the year, so please feel free to share them in the comments β€” either your top picks, or a link, or whatever. Sometimes letting others in on your plans makes them feel more concrete and attainable (at least that’s what I’m banking on).

next

Up next for me: The white yarn on the left is a gorgeous skein of 100% alpaca that my almost-sister-in-law (and her husband) gave me for Christmas. It’s from a local farm and the name of the Alpaca the wool is from is on the label! It is incredibly soft, and I can’t wait to turn it into a cozy cowl. The two right-hand skeins are Classic Elite Fresco (in Greystone and Superman Yellow) and they will be my Dala mittens.

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8 thoughts on “Fashionably late

  1. Sheena

    You and I have the same problem re: sewing, and I think the reason I feel so paralyzed boils down to the fact that sewing is *supposed* to be “faster” than knitting, but I know it to be time consuming and laborious because, like you, I try to cram too much into a single session. And I think the cramming happens because the sewing itself is such a small part of garment making relative to the whole process, which is much more physical and (can be) much less fun than knitting or using a sewing machine. But I’ve also started to slow down and talk myself out of doing too much in one day, and the end result is that I’m enjoying sewing much, much more than ever before. Once I began to think of sewing as a process rather than a “super quick/quicker than knitting” activity, things like pattern prep, muslining, and fabric care have been much easier and more enjoyable to experience. And, as an added bonus, slowing down makes it much easier to learn from fitting mistakes… or at least that’s what muslin #3 of the project I’ve been working on since before Christmas is telling me. πŸ™‚

  2. Audry

    I completely identify with #7 and #8 on your list. I know it is no good comparing your own output to someone else’s, but sometimes I wonder why it takes me so long to churn out a pair of socks. I’ve seen people finish a sock in 1-2 days. It takes me more like 5. (I noticed that many friends had significantly smaller sock requirements to me, which made me feel a little better.)
    As for #8, I felt like it took me so long to get pictures of a project that I liked, that sometimes I was nearly done knitting it, but still talking about starting it.

    It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only one with those struggles.

    Also, I think that last yarn picture is lovely. I’m looking forward to seeing how your mittens turn out.

  3. Kristina

    Oh yes, I am guilty of not just sitting down and sewing as well. I have so many ideas in my head but it feels so much for comfortable to sit on the couch knitting – sewing involves so much more moving πŸ˜‰
    Also yes to stopping to worry about productivity. I have to tell myself that I will never get everything made that I want to make so I should just take it one project at a time. It’s hard not to compare yourself though.

    1. Angela Hickman Post author

      Haha. Yes, these days the cozy aspects of knitting are definitely more appealing than the up-and-down of sewing.

      I also think I’m weirdly scared of sewing, since making things that don’t work feel like such a waste. Knitting you can just unravel, but sewing that doesn’t work is just there. I just need to make a few things that I know will work to get through that I think.

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