Another year, another attempt to revive my blog and see how far I get, however I am a little more optimistic about it this time around.
The last year has been extremely busy and stressful, and it was taking a severe toll on my desire to craft or indeed, do anything much at all. Towards the end of the year I finally got the courage (with a nudge from my boss) to go back to a doctor about my increasing anxiety issues. This time around I was better prepared, and the end was result was getting diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder and a prescription for some medication to help, and help it has.
After years of anxiety, stress and hints of minor OCD symptoms (which came as a complete surprise, but explained so much) I am finally feeling “normal” again! With that returned a desire to craft again!
I’ve completed several projects since my headspace has improved, but I thought I might share some of my favourites.
Two hats, the Wonder Wander by Megan Williams which I knit as an “in-between” sort of project, and a Beware of Dragons by Holly Marie. The Dragon hat I knit in honor of my become a DM for my friends Dungeons & Dragons group. We start out first campaign next month and I am very excited to lead them through it!
I also started weaving last year! After buying a loom for Christmas in 2017, I finally got around to actually learning to weave on it about 6 months later! For Christmas last year I wove my coworker and my boss a scarf each. Very happy with them both.
I also completed some sewing. I made two quilts as wedding gifts for friends. One was a raggy and the other was this beautiful Flowers in the Sunshine Quilt from some 5″ precuts. While I am pleased with how both turned out I really love this one and had a bit of a hard time giving it up! I will definitely be making myself one in the future! (Note: I did not sew either quilt on the singer! I used my Janome and my Elna for both, but one of my hopes for this year is to at least try using the Singer for some sewing!)
And finally, 2 new cast ons for the year, a Blooming Lilacs Shawl (BRIOCHE!) and a pair of Lanea Vinea socks, both of which are slow going, but I am enjoying them very much.
In the next few weeks I hope to finish my Christmas Eve cast on socks, and one of my many jumper WIPs that have been languishing for quite a while.
It’s Stash Dash time again, so since I am home sick I thought I might update with some projects that I’ve completed so far. I’ve been considering upping my normal goal from 5k to 7k, since I have now started weaving and the moderators have decided to increase the amount of meterage you can count from spinning.
In knitting and weaving projects I have completed a pair of York Mittens, a hand-woven scarf, a V-Neck vest and a shawl. I’m hoping to have at least a few more woven scarves, and at least two more jumpers finished before the end of Stash Dash. All up so far this is 1390 meters.
In spinning I have completed a wool/nylon yarn that I may use for socks (even though it is only a two ply) With the rule changes this year you can count the meterage that passes through the orifice (so the length on both singles and the amount after plying). I’ve simplified this for myself and an just counting my plied meters x 3. This skein gets me 660m added to my total (220m after plying).
My next fibre on the wheel is some beautiful BFL/Linen/Silk from Cat and Sparrow Fibres which it proving to be a nice and fast spin so far. I also did some “franken-plying” to clear some bobbins, I am not sure yet whether or not I am going to count them towards Stash Dash yet however.
Taking a moment to share a few of my favourite finished objects from Stash Dash. I made my Stash Dash goal of 5k again this year. All up I finished 11 projects, coming in at 5115 meters. The biggest project I finished was my Vivid Blanket. I am so happy with how it came out. It’s only a “small” size made up of 25 *’ squares, with a simple crochet edging.
Overall I feel like I am getting a lot of knitting done this year, though I haven’t really replaced it with anything. Been struggling a lot anxiety and stress-wise which certainly does not encourage knitting or crafting mojo of any kind. Work has been increasingly stressful, with no sign of it letting up in the near future. Between finding out that we have to vacate our floor in the building for renovation works, separating us not only from our work area, but our entire collection, to being told that some of us are going to lose our jobs before the end of the year it has not been a good time. We have been so busy trying to get things organised, that I haven’t really had the time to do any of my “normal” tasks at work, or to take time to do things I actually enjoy doing at work.
I haven’t been very happy at home either, struggling to find myself motivated to do any of my usual enjoyable activities (knitting, crafting, computer games) none are holding my attention for very long. I have been trying to take part in The Knit Girllls Halloween Craft All The Things along, but I have only finished two projects so far. A weekend cowl and some cabled owl mitts.
On the upside the weather is finally beginning to warm up and daylight savings has started meaning I get a chance to see a lot more sunlight during the day. The downside is my hay-fever has returned with a vengeance and none of my usual treatments are making much of a difference, my poor nose!
I feel like I need to try and rebuild some good/beneficial habits, if only to try and get some sort of normalcy back into my life. All of the good and helpful things I used to do regularly have pretty much vanished and I never seem to be able to start them again. I just wish I could work out how to train myself to start doing them again. It seems that nothing I do sticks.
I’m not as far along with Stash Dash as I would like at this point, though I am hoping to finish all the squares for my vivid blanket which will make up a lot of meters if I get it done in time.
I have however finished two pairs of socks, a pair of gloves and some spinning! Spinning this year counts per singles, not finished yarn, so since I did a 2-ply I can double my finished meters!
All up now I am just shy of 2000 meters out of 5k. If I get the Vivid done that’ll be another 1000 meters added on, and I have a cardigan that I am very close to finishing as well.
I’ve been doing some quilting as well. Working on a new quilt for the bed in my spare room, using a set of Batiks I purchased for my birthday!
Another year another stash dash. I am aiming for 5k again this year, though if I get my butt into gear and get some jumpers finished I might be able to make 7k.
So far I have finished two projects, a hat and a shawl.
Across the Ditch beanie – 165.4m. Knit out of ColaGirl Collective Outback 8 ply in the Banksia colourway. The pattern was also designed by Nicole of Colagirl Collective. Love it so much! Was also my first time making a pom pom (using a pom pom maker) since primary school!
Patronus Shawl – 624m. This was such a fabulous pattern. I saw Dani’s version on the Little Bobbins Podcast and fell in love. So pleased with how it came out, though for the some reason my edge at the start of the WS rows is looser then the RS (even though it is mostly garter stitch so it shouldn’t be that different??) The yarns are Colagirl Collective Drover sock in Spiced Chai and Rhubarb Crumble.
I picked up all the yarns at the Handspinners and Weavers Guild of SA open day in May. Along with a skein of a self-striping and a project bag (also from Colagirl) and a Nostepinne from Spinning Woodie.
I’m hoping to finish a few pairs of socks, another shawl and at least 1 jumper during stash dash, along with my Vivid Blanket.
I discovered today that my Vivid Blanket has been a WIP now for nearly 5 years! I was recently motivated to pick it back up again after seeing a picture of a handknit blanket, backed with fabric. I am hoping to do the same to my vivid. I have now finished 13 squares out of 25! Since the squares are acrylic I am steaming them into shape instead of washing them. I did the ones I had already finished the other day and they look great! Getting really excited about working on it!
Knitting was minimal in January, thought I did put a bit more time into other crafts like spinning and cross-stitch. I guess it is a combination of the weather and wanting a bit of a change.
To try and get a bit of knitting mojo back, I am decided to set myself a goal of trying to finish a few projects that have been sitting on the needles for a while. Some of my projects that I would like to finish are:
My Spin drift shawl – I have just started the lace edging and only have two more repeats of the lace and the picot cast off to go.
Through the Darkness shawl – I have finished the garter section and am now up to the body lace. As this is 8 ply I am hoping the lace section will go quickly, but I will need the larger cable from the Spindrift Shawl to make it easier to knit on!
Paulie Cardigan – this is so close to being done, I am almost halfway through the second sleeve and then I only have the button band to go. I will be playing a bit of yarn chicken, but I have a similar yarn to the MC that should work fine for the button band without looking strange (I hope)
I also have another cardigan in 8/10 ply – the Forest Cardigan, which also only needs sleeves and button bands which I would like to finish as well.
My other goal is to try and finish at least two pairs of socks. I am falling behind on my box of socks kal knitting, but I am sure I will be able to catch up without too much trouble as I begin to feel more inspired to knit.
This year has started off slowly with some extra time off work and some terrible weather. I have not felt at all like knitting, with the exception of a scrap yarn blanket I started just before Christmas. I’m a little surprised at how much I am enjoying it, I’ve avoided starting one for so long, but glad that I have started it.
I am also surprised at how unconcerned I am with not being interested in knitting. In the past I have been quite frustrated with not getting any knitting done, but this time I am not particularly fussed. I suspect the hot weather has been playing a part in both my lack of interest as well as my feeling about it, so we shall see where it goes.
Instead of knitting I have been doing a few other crafty things instead. I got the opportunity to sew myself a new skirt. Beginning to feel a little more confident in garment sewing, so hopefully I will be able to muster up the confidence and time to sew a dress for the first time soon.
I have also been bitten by the cross stitch bug again, which surprises me, but I’m happy to roll with it. I decided to start a geeky monthly sampler. Each month will feature a motif or logo from a geeky thing that I love. I’m mostly making it up as I go, taking some cross stitch patterns from online, or designing my own. For January I have stitched a Triforce from the Zelda games, which I will probably embellish with some rupees as the month goes on.
I also purchased a book themed cross stitch pattern from Etsy which I am also really enjoying.
I’ve also been trying to put some time into getting some spinning done, if only because I have some gorgeous new fibres on their way to may and I want to be able to spin them as soon as possible!
I knit a lot of socks, but didn’t feel like I finished the things I had hoped to. Many of my crafty goals fell through either to lack of enthusiasm or finances. I hope to knit a few more garments in 2017 and perhaps get more spinning more. I would like to expand my stash in a way which results in more choices for future projects. I found myself wanting to knit things, but not having the “right” yarns to do so. Want to expand colour options particularly. Need more silk blends!
My favourite knits of 2016
I would like to learn more spinning techniques to increase how much I do and improve my output overall, spending a lot of time spinning, but not getting enough yardage to knit anything significant.
I would like to get more sewing done, especially making my own clothes. I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding clothes in styles and colours that I like and hopefully I will be able to improve this by making my own.
I’ve fallen into a knitting funk of late. Partially I think this has been influenced by being tired – work has been extremely busy of late and I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm to knit when I get home. Even simple knitting hasn’t been attractive to me at the moment.
I managed to reach my Stash Dash goal of 5000m with a week or so to spare. I really happy with all the knitting I got done, and pleased with all the projects I finished. Out of everything I think my favourite is finally finishing my Ginny’s Cardigan.
I’m quite pleased with it overall. It is slightly oversized (I knit a size 40″ for a 38″ bust). It was my first time sewing on pockets which turned out alright, if a little lopsided.
I have also been neglecting my spinning as well, though I have started a new gradient which is turning out great so far. Looking forward to putting a little more time into it as soon as I am feeling a little more motivated to take up more crafty pursuits again. I also got a new spindle at the Mount Pleasant Fleece and Fibre Fair in August which is very beautiful.
I did get the chance to put some sewing time in. A year or so ago I made my sister a messenger bag which was beginning to look a little worse for wear so I made her a new one, hopefully it will be a little more hard wearing then the last one.
I have got quite a few projects on the needles which would be nice to get back to, mostly a couple of shawls and some jumpers/cardigans. Hopefully once work calms back down again I will feel more like knitting again!