Creativity · Knitting · Memoir · Photos · Sewing

Happy Knitty New Year

I hope everyone has had a good holiday season!

Danny and I stuck close to home for the holidays and for my birthday, which is two days after Christmas. Normally, we travel to visit family during this time of year, but circumstances kept us homebound this time. We strove to make Christmas our own, which was new, fun, and heartwarming. We decorated our tiny Christmas tree with homemade ornaments, made our own advent calendar to count down the days to the 24th, and spent quality time with friends before they left on their Christmas trips. On Christmas day, we watched many-a-corny-Christmas movie classic and cooked Christmas dinner for just the two of us.

I’m happy to report that I knit all throughout the Christmas weekend, which was awesome. It felt good to slow down and knit for the pure joy of knitting. A friend of mine is having a baby any day now, and I made her new son a sweater, which I just mailed out today. After working on a commission for a few pairs of wool socks, which I finally finished last week, it was nice to finally work on something for someone near and dear to my heart.

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Ain’t it cute? I hope she likes it. It is the Wee Lima baby sweater knit in Malabrigo Rios yarn (colorway: Lettuce).

My birthday on Tuesday was also fun. Danny and I spent the day in Marin, where we had lunch and went for a hike at Phoenix Lake in San Anselmo. We had a very inspiring afternoon surrounded by nature.

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On our way back to the city to clean ourselves up and head out to my birthday dinner in the evening, I made sure to request a stop to check out Atelier Yarns, which was only a five-minute drive from the trail head. I’m a little familiar with the Atelier Yarn shop on Divisadero Street in San Francisco, but only recently heard that they had a location in Marin, too. I loved perusing the shop and petting all the lovely luxury yarns, gaining inspiration and getting some ideas for future projects. No new yarn acquisitions for my stash, though. I tried to behave myself. (I’ll say a bit more about that in a bit when I talk about my New Year’s resolutions.)

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The knitting project currently on my needles is a hat for a friend who is going to be in the hospital for a week-long procedure in January. It is a simple tam hat, which I am knitting in a French acrylic yarn. I was going to knit her something in wool, because wool is awesome. Recently, though, I found out that she is allergic to most animal fibers, so I had to look for alternatives. Luckily I had this yarn on hand. It was gifted to me just a couple of weeks ago. True, natural fibers will always be my favorite love, but I appreciate the color of this yarn: a lovely violet gray. My friend usually wears very bright, happy colors, so I plan on adding some fun embellishments when I finish knitting the hat. Hopefully she will like it.

After this quick hat project I have a couple of works in progress that I’ve been meaning to get back to, including the Leonie sweater by cocoknits and my stash buster Swing Dress, which I had to frog a few months ago due to a silly mistake. As the new year begins, I’m determined to finish up any projects in limbo that I’ve been meaning to work on before diving into any brand new projects. Unfortunately, my Radiata shawl, which was the Fibershed KAL project that I wrote about in my last post, didn’t work out. I wasn’t very happy with how the stitches were turning out (very, very sloppy indeed), so I ended up frogging what I had knit so far. I think Sarah Fox’s beautiful naturally colored cotton yarn is destined to be something else, and the Radiata shawl, which I am still hoping to knit at some point in 2017, is meant to be knit up in its own special alternative yarn.

All right, New Year’s Resolutions. In addition to finishing up projects in hibernation, here are my crafty goals for 2017:

  1. To use up more of my stash yarn and fabric, and purchase less. I know this sounds like something that you hear other crafters say but they never actually do. However, I really want to be more committed to using my current stash materials instead of hoarding them. I bought them with the intention of making something with them after all. I also want to be more conscious and intentional in the yarn and fabric that I choose to buy. I am now starting to ask the questions: “What will I use this material for?” and “Where does it come from?” It is so easy to purchase something just because I like it without having a project in mind. It’s also easy to buy something new without thinking about where it actually is made and how its manufacture affects the environment. I am hoping to become more aware of all these factors. I want to be more aware and to feel good in my making.
  2. To knit and sew a larger percentage of my clothes. Just a couple of weeks ago I purged my closet and drawers of clothes that I hadn’t worn in a long time and donated them, so there is plenty of new free space. Now there are only items of clothing that I love wearing, find useful, and that actually fit me. It feels good. Now, I want to add more handmade clothing items, like dresses, sweaters, tops, and skirts. Earlier this year, I discovered the Seam Allowance Club at A Verb for Keeping Warm, which I am very interested in joining. Members of the group strive to make at least 25% of their wardrobe. I feel like 25% is a pretty ambitious goal to strive towards this year, but it’s still very achievable. So, why not? I’m going to go for it.

One final thing that I’ll mention before signing off: After a long (several year) hesitation, I’ve recently created an Instagram account. My username is @thesensiblesheep if you’re interested in following me. In the midst of my blog silence over the past few weeks I tried to be active on Instagram, and I have to say, I am very impressed by the positive, supportive fiber arts community that is on there. I have already made new connections with some inspiring people, which I am thrilled about. I look forward to seeing where this new social media outlet leads me.

That’s all the updates for now. Happy New Year, everyone!

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