Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reverb '12: Days 25 - 28

More reverberating...

Day 25:  How will you be vulnerable?

How will you tend to your vulnerabilities, shield them, make them advantageous?

Um ick.  I don't know.  In a craft sense, I am vulnerable to overreach and try and do lots of things for other people (unrequested by them) when I should focus on some stuff I need to get done.  I don't know how much I want to really temper the instinct to make nice things for people who will like them, but I do want to become more targeted to ensure I make things people will appreciate and get my stuff done too.  My planning lists may help with that, plus working more which will likely mean less time / energy to make stuff :(

Day 26:  How will you make time?

Hahahahahahaha.

Seriously, I will have about the same or less time than in 2012.  I will make time by picking myself off the couch after the kids are in bed and doing some sewing / knitting. I will get in a few dedicated sewing days on annual leave days or by agreement with husbandio.  I will sneak in a bit with the kids "helping" or busy elsewhere in the house, though not much.  It isn't ideal but it works for me so far.

Day 27:  How will you honour your creativity?

I made a few patterns up from scratch last year - I would like to do more of that.

Day 28:  How will you overcome *those* fears?

Three things that daunted you in 2012 that you will defeat in 2013.

  1. Sewing bras
  2. Sewing well fitting pants
  3. Learning to pattern draft.
They aren't really fears so much as skills I want to master fully.  I will do this by trying and failing, asking for advice, lots of googling and buying books and patterns until I get it right.

More soon :)

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Planning, organising, planning, procrastinating? Knit and Crochet

So everyone is doing this in bloggyland - sorting, destashing, putting their house in order ready for the new year.  Agonising over projects unfinished, celebrating those that were, making ready to start over with new plans.  In among all this resolution and reflection I am noticing, there is not so much of the doing.

Before you get all excited that I might be posting some finished projects (and in fact I do have at least two to post but no pictures yet...) this is also my list for next year :)  I too, am doing very little and thinking should-have, could-have, would-have, will-do thoughts.

This list is for knitting / crocheting items only (not much of that here recently) and is grouped by already started, already planned (i.e. pattern / materials purchased) and things I want to make but which aren't yet underway much, if at all.  As ever, the things in the final group are the ones that tempt me most...hence the hefty UFO list :)  I pretty much have the patterns for all of the list so the temptation is tricky to avoid :)

Things already underway (oldest to youngest):

Simple Crochet Shrug:


http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90689AD.html

I started this in October of 2011 and it's only about 6 inches deep.  I stopped because I wanted to try folding a piece of cloth or knit fabric from my stash to see if I actually liked this pattern and it suited me...and I still haven't got around to it.  I am making it in a lovely marl grey which will look a LOT nicer than this :)  I should probably do the test described then get on and finished it!!

Marcus' jumper:



I reached the seaming point with this one and then realised we were deep into spring and my endeavours were pointless for this year at least.  I was so cross I abandoned it completely at that point.  I think it will still fit him this winter (I always make stuff a bit bigger) so I should get on and finish it before we reach another winter!

Purl Bee Socks:


http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/6/5/whits-knits-perfect-fit-socks.html

I have started these in a lovely variegated sock yarn from my local awesome wool store (The Stash Cupboard) which is reds and deep reds and almost purples.  I have done about three inches of 8 needed on the first sock.  Sigh.  Not sure I am cut out for knitting socks but I like the idea so should press on :)

Oscar's Cardigan:


This is a pattern from a Sirdar booklet (can't find a picture) in a lovely denim blue colour for a little boy born quite some time ago now.  I also abandoned this one when I realised spring was upon us, though I had only done a small amount of the back panel.  It was going to be a size 000 (newborn to three months).  I think I need to buy more wool (with limited chance of finding the wool in the right dye lot) and then start again.  I have been so embarrassed by not making this yet that I have been avoiding Oscar's mum, which is rather stupid and childish, but there we go...

Things planned / materials bought:


Chaleur Top:


http://juliehoover.com/portfolio/chaleur/

This is the one I am ITCHING to start.  I have the wool (a kind of dusky blue) and I can't wait!

Scallop of the Sea Clutch:


http://www.hollaknits.com/blog/store/products/scallop-of-the-sea-knitting-pattern-by-katie-canavan/

This is other one I am ITCHING to start :)  I don't really have all the stuff for this, though I might if I dig in the stash.  I think it's worthy of a special shopping trip to pick exactly the colours I want.  Which means some other projects to stash bust first - as there is no room at the inn, fabric/yarn storage wise...

Handwarmers:


http://www.purlbee.com/the-purl-bee/2011/10/9/whits-knits-colorblock-hand-warmers.html

I have some self striping pink and orange yarn for this but am not sure it's the right thing.   Regardless I love these...

Shibui Cowl or Gaptastic Cowl:


http://www.shibuiknits.com/Patterns/Detail.php?Pattern=Array http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/gap-tastic-cowl


Which one would you pick?

Starflower Hat:


http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/starflower-5

I bought and made this pattern ages ago but mucked it up a bit then realised my error.  I couldn't easily rectify it so wanted to start again - but haven't yet.

Rugs or Cushions for the kids:

I love this owl and these pirate granny squares.

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2012/11/owl-granny-square-crochet-pattern.html

http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2012/08/pirate-granny-squares-crochet-patterns.html

I think probably a cushion rather than a blanket, particularly for the pirate ones.  I don't like them as much as the owl ones but Marcus was born on talk like a pirate day so it's kind of mandatory.

Blankets for Me:


http://www.purlbee.com/granny-stripe-blanket/

I have had my eye on this ever since they first posted it.  I might want to wait and buy the wool at Purl Soho (when I go on my mythical honeymoon to NY...) as that would make it pretty special.  Plus it's a big project and I *might* have enough on.  It deserves coverage though as it has remained a constant on my to-do list.

So that's it for knitting and crochet (until I find 100 other patterns...!).  I didn't list these in the order I plan to tackle them; I don't really know that yet - except that I really really should finish those that are nearly done first I think!!  (Stop laughing...)

Later!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Reverb '12: Days 20 - 24 (Catch up!)

More catch-up for Reverb '12:  this is days 20 - 24.

Day 20:  What was lost and what was found?

Boring answer but I managed to lose a top I bought.  I wore it once or twice and then it just disappeared.  I have been waiting to happen upon it in a bag and so far, nothing.  This was back in April but am still shitty about it :)  I "found" lots of lovely fabric this year...I have it all safe in the cupboard, which is rather bursting.  I am of the opinion that I maybe shouldn't "find" any more until I get some of the existing stuff used!

Day 21:  What's on the dream list?

In 2012 I ticked a few things off the sewing / crafting dream list.  In particular the FBA and starting to make clothes for me in earnest.  2013 has various sewing dreams (bras, more knits, well fitting trousers) and also my honeymoon dream - five nights in NY.  I am not sure we will go this coming year, and perhaps we shouldn't, given I am likely to "find' more fabric there :)

Day 22:  Your most important gift?

The best received in 2012 was probably the kindle, the best given was probably the dress I made for Gemma (in sewing terms) or the quilts I made for mum/Kelly.  Or the money to MSF - probably that!  I am hoping to give a lot less in terms of gifts for people that I feel I have to make in 2013 and a lot more of time sewing with other people and making gifts I want to make.

Day 23:  What will you let go of?  Three excuses which are holding you back...

Another difficult one for me.  I am trying to answer most of these questions in sewing / craft terms so  I guess  not having enough time, not being organised (already addressing that one...see later post) and not knowing how (the internet will tell me!).

Day 24:  The most important habit you will cultivate?

Finishing projects completely and then putting things away when I have finished a project...rather than leaving the thing out with only binding to sew down or a button to sew on, or finishing it off but then leaving all the spare stuff and scraps in a bag for months...


More soon x

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reverb '12: Days 14 - 19

And here I am catching up again.  This time of year we can't really expect much more I think :)

Day 14:  What was the path that brought you here?

I find a lot of these questions very hard to answer.  I don't tend to be this introspective and don't really have easy answers.  I guess for me last year the path was one which I didn't really think about and which flew by without me even noticing (we are in December but it feels like about April to me) .  The additional explanation on this one question was what was the most important thing you learned in 2012...I guess from the sewing / knitting perspective I learned not to put myself under too much deadline pressure.  There were a couple of ambitious projects earlier in the year which I managed to get done but which I really should have abandoned or not attempted in the timeframe :)  From the sewing for myself perspective I learned I really need to consider what I will wear and what is comfortable...

Day 15:  What tingled your tastebuds?

This one is easy - my friend gave me River Cottage Everyday and it's great.  Particularly the broad bean hummus yum yum yum!

Day 16:  Who inspired you?  What gifts did they give you and how will you carry these forward to 2013?

My sewing teacher lady (Jill at the Patchworks) inspired me (read kicked my sorry behind) a couple of times to slow down and do things properly.  If I carry that forward I will have a much happier 2013 :)

Day 17:  How did you make a difference?  Think of a person you made a difference too - how did this change you and what do carry forward to 2013?

I guess my friend Lis got into making things this year mostly because of me, so that's pretty awesome.  It made me realise how much I already knew and I hopefully could carry that confidence forward to 2013.

Day 18:  The colour of you?  What colour represents the year, what do you want more of in 2013?

Hmm, this is another of those questions where I am supposed to say something like "red, because I have had a passionate, firey year" but what I really want to say is that I sewed with a lot of blue.  I am a bit too literal for this sort of question...For 2013 (in very literal terms) I want to introduce some cushions with colour to the living room, though I haven't decided on the colour yet.  I have some Maze and Vale off cut prints which will be the fronts, so I guess the backs will be complementary to those...

Day 19:  How did you nourish yourself?What self-care practices will you take forward to 2013?

Again, I feel literal here.  I had lots of massages to try and keep my neck and back in vague working order.  My craft plans for 2013 might derail that so I guess upping the yoga/pilates/stretching and keeping the massages might help!


So that was Day 14 - 19.  I am not sure I am fully cut out for Reverb '12, though I like the notion of taking some time for considering how the year went and what I want to do next year, particularly from the craft perspective (see the post coming soon with the UFO list in it!!!)

See you tomorrow with more...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Reverb '12 - days 9 - 13

Continuing catch up from yesterday :)

Reverb days 9 to 13 follow here...

Day 9:  Your favourite book in 2012?

Non-craft was Hillary Mantel's Bring up the Bodies [note:  you must read Wolf Hall first...].  Craft was probably Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  I don't love all the patterns or especially rock that style, but the book is a good all round technique bible and thought / inspiration fest.

Day 10:  Your greatest risk in 2012?

I don't know about this.  Do I take risks?  Note to self:  consider more risk taking in 2013...

Day 11:  What was music to your ears?

The sound of my biggest small person reading aloud.  The sound of my old Singer sewing.  That thing sounds wonderful :)

Day 12:  What were your most intense emotions?

In a list:  Happy (at home), Tired (at work), Hot (on days over 30 degrees), Tired again (at home),  Happy (at home).  2012 has not been an emotional rollercoaster - my life is good, though not without it's tiredness and frustration.  I have control and means and support.  So mostly, happy.

Day 13:  What was your favourite photo of you?


Away on holiday in Swansea with my favourite people.  I look like I am smiling, but I am actually saying hurry the fuck up because my face is burning :) Also, there is white wine :)


Friday, December 14, 2012

Reverb '12 - days 4 to 8

I  might have missed a few days of Reverb 12 but I have been rather busy...yet to come:

  • Finished Washi (mightily modified)
  • Finished matroyshka felt christmas tree ornaments
  • Won a pattern pyramid thing 
  • Made a quicky fold down waist skirt
  • Went to Melbourne with my husband and no kids, with a little fabric shopping thrown in :)
More on all of the above shortly...

Meanwhile, that commitment I made to Reverb 12 has been on my mind, if not on my blog.  I have been thinking a lot about what I want to change next year to feel better about the things I am doing, and also about the things I am not.  I am likely to work more days next year (when to a degree I would like to work fewer) so I have consider the next year and what I want out of it more carefully - precious sewing time just got more precious!

So...I have day 4 to day 13 to catch up on.  I thought that was worthy of a split post, so this will be day 4 to day 8 :)

Day 4:  How will you celebrate you, this festive season?

Interesting question. I am taking a nice chunk of time off over Christmas and I will celebrate me by spending some of it doing what I want to do and also what I need to do.  I want to hang out with the kids and do some sewing and some gardening and some drinking of white wine.  I need to spend some time planning and preparing for next year, making sure I have routine enough to cook, clean, exercise and have some time for me (as well as sew, look after kids, spend time with husband and work!).

Day 5:  What was your dream destination in 2012?

My dream destination in 2012 was New York, for my overdue honeymoon.  I didn't get there, but the time isn't quite yet.  Maybe next year, but maybe the year after.  My son was 4 months old when we married in 2009, so no honeymoon then; I would like 5 nights so need to be sure the dudes are ready for us to be away that long.  I can dream long :)

Day 6:  What did you learn in 2012?

I learned how to do an FBA, which might be the single most important sewing lesson I needed to learn ever :)  I also learned how much my kids can learn.  This year my daughter learned to swim and to read.  INSANELY amazingly cool.  Fuck I wish I learned that fast still :)

Day 7:  What will you take with you into 2013?

My enormous boobies.  Seriously.  From the crafting point of view, they are my Everest and K2 and they rule the sewing I want to do in 2013.  I started 2012 wanting to learn to make bras (oh...the bras I will make!) and I only just cut one out...last night.  I suspect the bra making journey will be a 2013 mission :)

Day 8:  Your most important relationship that you fostered in 2012?

I took this to mean new to 2012. I am super excited to have an answer to hand.  Actually, I have two.  In person, I met Josie through Brown Owls, Hobart - she is English like me, has kids of similar ish ages (a bit younger than mine) and is super cool.  I "met" Amanda (Ellieboo) via the blogtastica, she is in Australia but is English like me, has a kid of similar age and seems super cool.  I got one online and one offline and am pretty stoked with that :)  

More tomorrow with days 9 - 13.

:)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Reverb 12 - joining in again (days 1-3)





I seem to have a thing for joining in with Kat from I saw you Dancing.  This time she is hosting Reverb '12, the idea being that you use December to reflect on the year that has been, and start planning for the next year.  I wouldn't usually enter this as I tend to focus mostly on the sewing/crafting side of things, but I decided to give a whirl anyway.

I am not likely to post every day (though I enjoyed doing so for Blogtoberfest) but might try and catch up roughly weekly or perhaps twice a week.  I will centre my responses on the crafty side of life where I can I think - makes it more in tune with what the blog is about and also it is an area where I need to take stock of what I am doing and why, plan for next year etc - so it fits nicely!

The first three days have questions and answers for me as follows:

How are you starting December?

Perhaps not surprisingly, lamenting/wondering where the year went.  Craft-wise, I started the year with a resolution to try my hand at bra making, and I still have that resolution.  I think I will start by making the list of all the UFOs and planned projects and work out what I really want to get done in the short, medium and long term.  Then try and stick to it...hahaha!

What was your most significant spend in 2012?

Sewing wise there wasn't really a single big spend.  My most useful spend was a pressing ham (about $20).  My most useful (amazing) non-spend was an overlocker, which my friend just gave to me.  My biggest single spend would have been a new (rather large and suitable for sewing...) dining table; except Freedom can't get their act together and ever get the damn thing in stock.  I dread to think how much I have spent on fabric, even though most of it was on sale.  Happily I don't tally that up or keep receipts or whatever so I can't even guess!  Maybe I should do that in 2013?  Shudder...

What do you really wish for in 2013?

To get a grip on all the things (kids, school, washing, lunches, sewing, UFOs, clutter piles, dog walking, exercise) enough that I can let go a bit and stop always feeling like I should be doing something else.  I think it would make me a much better parent and partner, and probably a much better sewer - as I wouldn't be rushing and flitting from project to project.  I feel like one of those "how to do ten minutes a day and have an organised life" things might help me...but it doesn't seem much like letting go!  I guess it would stop me having to think about it all :)

Well that was interesting!