playing around

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{A pile of FOs: (from the top down) this hat, this hat, this lace scarf.}

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{The two WIPs I’m focusing on. At least until I get distracted by something else…}

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{I have watercolors now. It is lots of fun.}

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{I really like how this turned out. It’s inspired by one of my favorite shows, Akatsuki no Yona. And I painted it without drawing the outline first.}

I’ve been experimenting with several different mediums lately, including ones I’m not comfortable with. Drawing has never been one of my strong suits. But I drew something and painted it and was actually happy with the way it turned out. Letting go of perfectionism isn’t easy but it can be fun. Playing is fun. Just deciding, “oh, today I’m going to try drawing that thing I really like” is fun.

2015 in fib-review

So, 2015! How is it already almost over? I feel as if the year just started. How can it be over? Oh well, there’s always next year.

Yarn/Fiber/Crafting of any sort

2015 was a big fibery year for me. In January, I purchased my first spinning wheel and started learning how to use it. In August, I purchased another one. After some fits and starts and a spinning lesson gifted to me by my wonderful parents, I’m finally feeling more comfortable using it and my yarn is turning out more consistent.

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{What is probably the softest, squishiest yarn I’ve ever touched}

At the beginning of the year, I set a goal of wanting to knit 15 pairs of socks. I only completed 12, four pairs of which were for other people. But hey, that’s eight pairs I didn’t have when I started the year!

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{Only the first and second were for me}

Also in 2015, I completed 49 projects. 14 I gifted for various birthdays and for Christmas. I knit 10 shawls (10?!), 12 pairs of socks, 4 hats, and a few other random projects. My sweater is not done and at the moment, I have,Β gulp,Β 15Β projects still in progress. Wow. That’s a lot… To be fair, 7 of them are socks either almost done, still needing the match knit, or I just haven’t picked up in a while. I also have two or three long term projects that aren’t going to be done for a few years…

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{Belated Christmas toddler vest I’m almost done with}

So yeah, 2015 was a productive knitting year.

Oh, and then there’s this.

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I’m…gonna go that way… (And yes, every single skein is fingering weight yarn.)

Books/Media

Blogging: Oh the blogging. I’ll be honest, I’m not a very consistent blogger. You know, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m sporadic at best. Which brings my blog post count this year to a grand total of 63 (after I publish this.) I’ll try to be better at documenting things in 2016, but I really can’t make any promises.

Books: I haven’t done a lot of reading this year. Knowing me, that’s a little scary. I have a hard time finding good books that will keep my interest. The books I did read were all pretty good. I started theΒ Selection series and enjoyed the first one immensely. Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles are also on my list of ‘this was really, really good’. I discovered Philippa Gregory’s Tudor/English royal novels and, being the history lover I am, pounced on them.

I also started reading manga for the first time! I’ve read a handful of Fairy Tail, the first three volumes of Fruits Basket, and I think that’s about it. The two libraries in my area don’t have the best selection but I was able to find some titles I recognized.

I feel as if I’m turning a bit into this…

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I know a lot of people think anime and manga are stupid, but I personally enjoy them very much. Yes, it’s different but not really if you think about it. It has its own genres just like other books and shows: horror, crime, romcom, drama, fantasy, action/adventure, everything really. It was just in a different language originally. And it’s GREAT! πŸ™‚

Random

Remember this bookshelf? Yes, it is now this:

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I’m not sure if you can tell, but it is a lovely, light purple color. It holds all my handknits with plenty of room for more. Ahem.

(Time to get knitting, darling.)

And the Alice dress! I never showed you a picture!!

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Okay, crummy picture, yes, but oh this dress. I love this dress. After I quit being a baby about it and started sewing, it came together easily, I set my first zipper and it’s the best fitting dress I’ve ever made. Well, I’ve only made one dress before this. But this one I’m in love with.

I’ve also started attending the Knit Night at my LYS on Tuesdays. I’m so glad I do, because it’s nice to go spend time with fibery people. And all the ladies are really nice.

Now for 2016.

I’m not going to go overboard and plan out my entire year. I’ve found if I make smaller goals, I’m more likely of meeting them. But there is one BIG one I’m going to try my very, very hardest to keep.

Knit only from the stash and do not purchase any new yarn.

Oh yes, I’m going cold sheep this year. My yarn stash has gotten a little out of control and it really needs to be pared down. It will be a serious exercise in self control, since as I said, the Knit Night I attend is at my LYS.

Aside from that, in 2016 I’d like to:

  • Read more manga
  • Finish my sweater and possibly start another one
  • Read through all of the new-to-me books I’ve purchased and knock that number down pretty far
  • Knit along with Andi’s Sock Yarn-a-Long, possibly do the mystery bit
  • Finish the three pairs of socks that are missing their match (oops)
  • Sew new project bags with the pretty fabric I purchased
  • Organize my stash and crafting storage so I can actually find things and I’m not scratching my head wondering where my tools have gone…
  • Work on Christmas/birthday presents throughout the year
  • Actually finish projects instead of just casting more on (HA! as if)
  • Knit myself more hats

I think those are all pretty decent goals. Let’s see how I do this coming year!

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and you have a wonderful, joy and peace filled New Year. See you in 2016!!

thrifted TIE-fighter

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I’ve had to take a bit of a break from knitting due to aching hands. It’s incredibly frustrating since I’m used to knitting while I do pretty much everything. I’m still knitting a row here and there when my hands aren’t hurting too badly but not near on the scale I normally do. Also, Christmas knitting. Wahhhhh… I was bemoaning the fact I probably won’t be able to knit the rest of the gifts I have planned when I went, wait a second. You can sew, you dummy. Duh.

So, in lieu of knitting, I did a bit of stitching today. I’m sure you know by now that I love Star Wars. This pretty little thing is a TIE fighter and I’m totally in love with it.

I found a silhouette image on the interwebs, traced it onto a piece of paper, and after a few fits and starts, got stitching. At first I was going to sew over some tissue paper but the fabric is so thick, it was shredding the paper. I found some dressmaker’s chalk and used that, which worked nicely.

Materials wise, I used an old, black felted wool sweater I picked up from the thrift store and white embroidery thread I thrifted as well. It’s nothing fancy, just a backstitched outline and some French knot stars but for being semi-freehand and stitched up in an afternoon, it turned out really well. I’m going to look for a 8×10 frame next time I pop into the thrift store. That way, it’s 100% thrifted!

jammie sewing

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No, sillies, I didn’t sew jammies today. I sewed in my jammies. πŸ™‚ (Though I do need to make some new jammie pants, my old ones are getting a little ragged.)

I have been meaning to sew down my fabric stash since it’s gotten a smidge out of hand. So I went on a stash dive and came out with some pieces that I kid you not have probably been in my stash for about five years. The pumpkin fabric and the herb names, if you were wondering.

I spent the afternoon with the hum of Miss Singer, pretty fabrics, cloudy rainy skies, a rather splendid cough I managed to pick up over the week (grrr…), a mug of Earl Gray, and the sounds of Skillet, Mumford and Sons, folk violin and mandolin, and other lovelies. Don’t you just love the smell of Earl Gray? The bergamot is so autumnish, it makes me so happy. Cold tea when you let yourself get waaay into the sewing zone isn’t quite as nice. (PS, what do you think of my knitting mug? I got it at the thrift store and it’s huge!)

For the bags, I used this pattern. Honestly, it was so clear and so easy to follow I loved it. These are probably the nicest bags I’ve ever made. I love the pattern so much I ended up making, er, 14 bags total in two days? You can never have too many drawstring bags. I do need to get strings for said bags. I really like the gussets on the bottom. That will help with the sturdiness a lot, I think.Β I did run into some problems, snapping one needle and bending another. But I pottered on and now I have several bags to show for it! πŸ™‚

I love sewing. It was the first craft I really ever got into. I can honestly say, though, that I was a bit better when I was younger, making a Disappearing Nine patch twin size quilt all by myself with just a smidgen of help from my mum. I love my quilt. πŸ™‚

I have four or five more planned at least. I love getting my sewing mojo back. It’s a lovely feeling.

plotting. plotting like i’m planning world domination.

I’m a planner. A list maker. And a maker of many things. I also dislike darkness and lack of color. Winter is coming. Plans must be made for things to create. Yarn and fabric must come out. Bright colors must be found. And it’s going to beΒ cold. I heartily dislike being cold, so warm woolies must be made to keep my delicate self warm.

It’s not just for the physical warmth I’m making plans, it’s also for mental warmth. I had a hard time last winter with what I now think was at least a little mild depression. I really don’t want to go through that again, so this winter I’m going to try and keep as busy as the weather will allow, and I’m going to make bright things.

Which is why I have made a list of my winter knitting plans. And if I’m being honest, I’ve already started some of these projects. I’m trying to get some of my darker projects out of the way before the light starts diminishing.

So, my list of winter projects! I don’t know how many of them I will actually get done, but I like having a plan. πŸ™‚ Some of them are for the winter, most of them will be made during the winter.

Erebor fingerless gloves in gray.
Swallowtail Shawl in red.
The Lonely Tree Shawl in orange.
Campside Shawl in coral.
The Sea Speaks to Me in purple (already on the needles)
Erebor hat (already on the needles)
Shalom cardigan in red.
Lionberry in yellow.
Bowties are Cool in yellow.
Persuasion in green.
Echo Flower Shawl in blue.
Half Circle Chapel Veil in white handspun.
Saroyan in purple.
Various socks, including a few worsted weight ones.

As for sewing projects, the only one I really have planned right now is my Halloween costume, an Alice in Wonderland dress made from bright blue flannel. πŸ™‚

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I don’t know how many of these will be made, and I may be getting WAY in over my head, but even if I get a few things made and stay sane during the winter, I’ll count it as a victory.

Do y’all have any winter/fall knitting plans? Please share with me! πŸ™‚Β