Posts tagged ‘new year’

January 8th, 2013

Looking back from a bit forward, 2013 Edition

So again, much like last year, I sit down to make this list a bit later than I would have liked. Though not as late as last year, which I think is saying something. So a numbered recap of my 2012, as follows:

  1. I completed over forty knitted and crocheted things, including some pretty impressive colorwork, seven lacy things, six pairs of socks, five sweaters, and a host of smaller projects that found uses in ways I did not expect. It was a good year for the knitting.
  2. I took on a creative position of responsibility within my nerd-games, and I really enjoy it.
  3. I finished a dress, from a pattern, without help, that I actually like and wear and fits me reasonably well.
  4. Despite collecting a lot more patterns and fabric, I did not sew nearly as much as I would have liked.
  5. I had more migraines in 2012 than in 2011.
  6. But in spite of that, I stayed pretty darn healthy.
  7. Though I did almost (possibly?) break my arm when I got hit by a livery cab on my bike.
  8. I haven’t ridden my bike nearly as much as in 2011.
  9. I have, ergo, spent far more money than I budgeted on bus fare.
  10. I worked on a friend’s prethesis movie as AD (which was awesome), and two shows (one of which was fun, and one of which was not so much).
  11. I did not find myself at any point in 2012 to be in a difficult monetary situation. I am really proud of that.
  12. Mr. Boyfriend and I successfully made the transition into opening a joint bank account.
  13. Oh yeah. I really, really like that Mr. Boyfriend guy. Still. 7 years after the fact, and he’s just the greatest.
  14. We adopted a new cat, who we love very much.
  15. In spite of new cat’s superiority to old cat in the snuggling department, we still love her very much too.
  16. We joined a CSA, and ate a lot of new and wonderful vegetables. It was grand.
  17. As a result, eating at restaurants was seriously curtailed.
  18. I bought a piano.
  19. I have not played said piano as much as I would like.
  20. Not nearly enough yoga happened in 2012. I’m working on that.
  21. I did read 80 books though, only 6 of which I’d read before.
  22. I wrote my very first for-sale knitting pattern
  23. I wrote my very first finished song (with copious help from Mr. Boyfriend).
  24. I wrote a lot on other things as well.
  25. I lost some people that were very dear to me, and I made an effort to reconnect with some people that are still very dear to me.

I’ve seen a lot of friends online and elsewhere lamenting most of 2012 and professing their sincere happiness in seeing the end of it. But I have to say that for me, overall, 2012 was a good year. While I’m still happy to see the end of it, it’s mostly because I’m looking very forward to 2013. I hope you are too!

January 23rd, 2012

Things finished, things begun

YOU GUYS!

I finished things!

Most notably, the colorful, soft, and warm Jackson scarf:

It’s knit up in the absolutely decadent Road to China Light, by The Fiber Company. Savvy readers might notice a bell ringing in their brain pan at its mention, and rightly so. It’s the same yarn from whence the Brontë Mitts (link) arose, and it has fast become a real favorite. The softness of the alpaca and cashmere blend so well with the rich drape of the silk, and everything just has this soft and shimmery halo, and…

Well. You have eyes. Just look how happy I am in that photo, eye-bags and all.

Also finished, a kitty hat!

This photo is even more flattering, no? Taken last night after weaving in the last ends during the Giants/49ers game. I knit this up for my boss’s girlfriend, who got me a very thoughtful and apt present for Christmas this year, and for whom I got (until now, that is) nothing. It’s stretchy and sweet, and only took about half the big fat skein of Swan’s Island Worsted I bought for it. This too is a yarn that’s made it onto my short list of “must knit up all the time always” yarns. It’s so soft and squishy and springy, and it comes with the added benefit of being organic. Good stuff.

And lastly, I bring you this.

Better late than never, a humble start on January Socks! The pattern is Leyburn (link), in a fabulous colorway of Abstract Sock called Hawthorne, after a particularly hipster-y street in Portland, where this yarn was purchased. I think the long floats do a nice job of breaking up the color speckles and adding some interest. Would you agree?

So my two finished things (and the socks as well, once they’re done) are participating in new nerd games (I know you missed ‘em)! Official Nerd Wars doesn’t start up till next month, but BSGFPB has been going strong since November, even though I haven’t. Luckily, it would appear the knitting mojo is back in full swing! Now, to get back to the sewing…

January 16th, 2012

Looking back from a bit forward…

So last year, on New Year’s Eve, I wrote a post listing twenty-five things that I accomplished in 2010. It was nice. It was a friendly reminder of my accomplishments, my stumbles, and all the events that transpired to make me happy, sad, angry, excited, etc. I had every intention of doing it again, because it was such a lovely way to reflect, but things (as they often do) kind of caught up to me. So, a bit into 2012, I compile my list for 2011.

  1. I completed over thirty knitted and crocheted things, including five sweaters, six hats, three lacy things, and eight pairs of socks.
  2. All that knitting means I knit down a healthy chunk of stash.
  3. I also got lots of pretty new stash.
  4. I took a sewing class, and made a dress.
  5. The dress I made is rather ill-fitting, but for reasons of style rather than construction.
  6. I started another dress, but I haven’t finished it yet.
  7. I stayed pretty darn healthy. I chalk this up to no longer working retail.
  8. I bought a brand new computer.
  9. Twice, I found myself in stickier financial straits than I care to be, mostly due to poor planning and impulse control.
  10. I visited Chicago, Portland, Philadelphia, and Frankfort.
  11. I went to more yoga classes than I did in 2010.
  12. I biked a lot over the summer.
  13. I rode the bus more than I liked in the winter.
  14. I worked on two really fantastic plays.
  15. I ate out more frequently than I would have liked.
  16. I bought some new clothes (those that know me will realize that this truly is an accomplishment).
  17. I did a pretty good job of being social and keeping in touch with some friends.
  18. I did a pretty terrible job of being social and keeping in touch with some other friends.
  19. I attended ComicCon, and the crowd didn’t give me a panic attack.
  20. I went to a wedding and danced. A lot. No matter how silly I looked.
  21. You know that guy, the one I live with? Year 2 of cohabitation is in the books, and he is really just the greatest thing since sliced bread.
  22. I haven’t given up on the cat (those that know the cat will realize that this is truly an accomplishment).
  23. I saw one of my idols in concert, and it was glorious.
  24. I read over 75 books, a good 30 of which I’d never read before.
  25. I worked on a handful of different film/TV sets, either as a stunt helper or technology integration, and I just finished ADing my second-ever project. Which did not explode. But it did give me a pretty wicked cold.

So yeah. That’s that! As Ol’ Blue Eyes would say, “it was a very good year.” As usual, it ran the gamut from trying to terrific, but mostly it was terrific. I’m very much looking forward to 2012.

As long as I can beat back this cold and my terribly acute case of start-itis, that is. But that is a post for another time.

December 30th, 2011

IT IS FINISHED.

Oh, so many things to which I may be referring, from the year 2011 to my rather watery bowl of oatmeal. But no, I refer only to the commissioned Weasley sweater.

It’s done, guys. 1197 yards of pure stockinette knitting, all done and dusted and sewn up and blocked. All that remains is to clip the dangling yarn ends, wind up some darning cards, and pop it in the mail.

I am beyond excited.

This project has taught me something: I don’t much care for knitting to expectations.

I love knitting for other people. I love knitting gifts. I really, really dislike feeling like my every procrastination is letting someone down. I also find that the idea that the product of my hands and time is going to be living somewhere that I will probably never see it in action is quite unhappy-making. I guess all these things bugged me a bit when I was knitting all those gloves a couple years back, but since those were so small it seemed less important. With this sweater, the game sort of changed. I did such nice three-needle bind-offs, and my intarsia was so neat and even, and I charted the letter perfectly, and…

And it’s just sad for me to know that, despite the near-certainty that the recipient of this sweater is going to be delighted with it, I won’t get to see her love it. There’s something very personal about this craft, and taking some of that personal element out of it kind of sucks the joy out of the process. Granted, knitting acres of stockinette isn’t thrill-inducing at the best of times, but there is little else that can explain the near-dread that kept me from picking up the needles for this thing time and again.

So, the verdict? No more commissions. At least not such large ones, and certainly not for quite awhile. I’m going to get to work on the more personal kind of give-away knitting… stuff for the people I love. But first…

Me things!

I’ve picked up the ever-so-lovely fair isle scarf I started on a whim a few weeks ago. I’m hoping I can get it about halfway done before the new year. Mr. Boyfriend and I will be driving to Philadelphia tomorrow morning, then taking the train back, which should allow for lots of knitting time. We’re also planning to spend this New Year’s Eve in a semi-quiet fashion, going over to our friends’/neighbors’ place for drinks and food and company. This might also be knitting-friendly.

The Weasley sweater also left copious leftovers of sturdy, worsted-weight black wool. The yardage it left is, in fact, just perfect for an Angostura (ravlink), which I’ve decided is going to be the next undertaking for The Little Red Project. I’m going to swatch it tonight.

And once January arrives, I can cast on the first pair of socks in the 2012 Self-Imposed Sock Club! I’ve only queued up ten pairs, to allow a little wiggle room and space for “I’m sick of socks” syndrome, but they are all ready to go, and I’m ready for a fresh start. First up are the Leyburn Socks (ravlink) in a decidedly spastic hand-dyed yarn I picked up a year or two ago in Portland. Nice and colorful to shake up the doldrums of New York January!

So that’s the me-stuff. For gift-stuff, we have:

Miguel’s hat. I will finish it, I will. Especially since I’m apparently on a wild streak of colorwork, and it’s the only other contender in the pile at the moment.

Mr. Boyfriend’s sweater. So far, I only have one ball of the yarn, with the remaining 10 yet to be purchased. But, thanks to a most generous gift from the regular ladies at Annie’s, I have the means to grab up the whole whack of it the next time I’m in. I need to swatch, and I want to have a game plan by the end of the month.

Miss Isabelle Rose has been joined by a most precious little sister, Evangeline. And what sort of person would I be if I didn’t send along a sweet little knitted animal posthaste?!

My boss’s girlfriend got me a very sweet and appropriate Christmas gift rather unexpectedly, so I want to make her a little something as a thank-you. This hat (ravlink) is right up her alley.

When we made out last visit home, the Banana was quite taken with my Akoya (ravlink) sweater. Therefore, it’s only fitting that I kit one up for her.  I haven’t even picked out yarn for it yet, so this is definitely a more future-type thing.

So yeah. That’s enough knitting for A YEAR, right?

January 25th, 2011

Sewing. We meet again.

Emily from over here at The Family Trunk Project (link) is ruining my life.

I too would like to make sweet, fluttery spring dresses perfect for eating ice cream on the Pont Neuf with a handsome gentleman with rolled-up shirtsleeves and a wicked smile.  And while I have the gentleman (who has the shirtsleeves and the smile), ice cream is readily available, and could even obtain the passage to Paris with a considerable strain on my credit; I do not have the dress.  Nor do I really have the chops to create such a confection of silk and air.

But oh, how I wish I did.

My Nanny Jo insisted in my girlhood that my cousin and I attend several years of “sewing camp,” which we nicknamed “the sweatshop.” It was a week of rising early and spending all day in the back rooms of a fabric store in downtown Louisville, making quilt tops, scrunchies, beanbag animals, and whatever else the instructors could think to inflict upon us.  We even made, at one point, a skirt with an elastic waistband.  That was probably the last garment I sewed for myself until a few articles of reclaimed t-shirt clothing in the past few years.

Now Nanny Jo is a virtuoso.  She can make anything, and frequently does (link to the pattern she used for her Halloween costume).  I think I have inherited a little of her DIY nature, but most of it seems to be non-sewing-centric.  I suck at following patterns.  I suck at sizing.  There are even some basic sewing concepts at which I suck.  So I don’t think making Vogue 2784 is within the realm of possibility for me.

Right now, anyway.

I think I’m going to try another something for 2011.  I’m going to try to work on my sewing skills.  I have a perfectly serviceable Singer machine that I barely use, and lots of projects that could get done around my home.  There are curtains that need making, throw pillows that would be welcomed, and I’d even like to try my hand at making a set of bed linens.  And eventually, I’d like to work my way into garments.  I have a nice pattern for a simple-ish A-line skirt, out of which I would certainly get a lot of wear.  From there, perhaps more complicated skirts, and even a dress?

The dress?  Perhaps by this time next year, I will have all the necessaries to bring my springtime in Paris fantasy into reality.

Le sigh.  Maybe.

So Lis, come home and advise me.  I think a trip to IKEA for home decor fabrics is in my future.