O.K. Other babies. Take note. Henri has officially raised the bar. First, he got me a picture of him wearing his Baby Ditka sweater vest. Then, he upped the ante.
Yep. That's Henri with his gorgeous and incredibly awrsome family in the Sunday Edition of the Chicago Tribune... rocking his hand-knits. Bounce over to the Trib's website to view/read more!
SO. This last resolution has nothing to do with the others. But, it's a new habit that I'd like to develop. Contrary to my deepest desires, I don't get to stay home knitting and sewing my days away. I work a 9a-5p, 5-day-a-week gig to fund my crafty pursuits. In addition to the time I spend in the office, I spend about two hours each day commuting to and from downtown. Which means, I'm on the go pretty often. One major downside to spending so many hours away from home is that I eat on the run constantly.
My typical morning starts with the silencing of my alarm clock... 4 or more times followed by a mad dash to get through the shower and dressed for the day. I feed the dogs. Then, the three of us go for a little stroll around the block. Once we're done, I switch laundry and/or the dishwasher, do a quick sweep, and tidy-up on my way out the door. I usually grab a cup of coffee as I get off the train; sometimes, I get a little bite to eat to accompany my morning joe. If I don't nosh during the morning, I go out and pick something up for lunch. It's a terrible cycle. A horrible habit.
I don't need to list all the reasons this type of dietary plan is a downfall; there are plenty. This year, I'm going to replace eating out with packed lunches. I'm pretty amped for this project! I'm busily bookmarking meal ideas from my new recipe books. And, I snatched up a nifty freezable lunch bag to carry back and forth.
I'm off to a good start. Let's hope the momentum continues!
I dipped my toes in the waters of design a couple years ago when I knit Ichabod for Mike. Then, I retreated quickly back to the comforts of pre-fab knitting patterns. Literally, there are hundreds of thousands of patterns available on Ravelry and through knitting books and magazines, many of them are beyond amazing. Still, I sometimes find myself searching for certain combinations of design elements that don't quite exist. In order to stay in line with the first item on my New Year Resolution list, I'm going to need to start taking those elements and putting them together to create sweaters I know I will wear.
I'm aiming to develop patterns for two sweaters this year. A modest goal. An attainable goal. I hope to tie this resolution item back to my resolution to expand the blog by getting input and feedback from pattern testers and possibly trying to muster-up the momentum for a KAL (or two). What do you think?
Resolutions 2013 Pt.1
Resolutions 2013 Pt.2
Resolutions 013 Pt. 3
I know I'm not the only one starting a diet this time of year. However, I'm not as concerned with the size of my A$$ as I am with the size of my $T@$H. It's out of control. I'm not even sure how it happened. I mean, sure I indulged in a few patterns here, a few patterns there... They're just so pretty... and they hardly take any space, except they do, and, I'm out of room. I'm starting to worry I'm turning into one of those hoarder people. Maybe It's not quite that bad. But, it could be if I don't get a grip.
I've really struggled with this aspect of my New Year Resolutions. I was going to quit cold turkey. Then, the bargaining started. Then, I reasserted my original position. I've gone back and forth. It's not as easy as you might think. What if I completely quit buying patterns, and some amazing pattern comes up for sale, and I miss my only chance to own it?! I suppose, if I stop searching for them, I wouldn't even know what I'm missing. But then, how am I going to cheer myself -up when I'm having a tough day? At one point, Mike suggested a loop hole; he could buy patterns in my place in emergency situations (isn't he the absolute best?). Alas, I have mad a decision.
Everyone knows a deprivation diet doesn't work, am I right? So, I've decided to take the moderation approach and allow myself to 'earn' one new pattern for every ten that I trim off the stash.
In order to best prepare for the year ahead. I, of course, gobbled-up some patterns that should help me in my wardrobe building endeavors and satisfy my immediate need for acquisition. Also, I've gotten better organized. I've sorted through the patterns I have and tried to divide them into STAY and GO piles. Some decisions were easy. I inherited a lot of patterns when I purchased my Simplicity pattern cabinet- most of which, I never intended to hold on to or have use for. Other patterns, I have odd attachments to, and while I'll never make some, I can't see letting them go.
I have a lot more work to accomplish in the department of organization, but I hope to soon be ready to start an archive/library of my collection, using helpful resources like Vintage Pattern Wiki, so I can keep myself from bidding on duplicates (it's only happened a couple times... I know what I like), and I will be able to browse my own collection when I get the hankering to peruse patterns.
I'm already struggling not to buy some of the lovely indie patterns I've seen popping up around the internet like this, this and this, but I'm trying to see them as motivation to work on this aspect of my resolution.
Are you stash busting this year?
Resolution 2013 Pt.1
Resolution 2013 Pt.2
I started blogging to keep track of my projects. I wanted to have an archive of my attempts and be able to see the progress I've made over the course of time. And, the blog is great for that. But, let's face it, part of the reason a lot of us blog is to get feedback; we want suggestions, tips, compliments, etc... It's time to turn thing up a notch. This year, I would love to expand my reach. During the last couple years, I've tried different ways to generate traffic- I can't tell you how many comments I've left on other people's posts, OY VEY!, trying to spark interaction with fellow bloggers. The return rate, in my experience, is about 10%- Kind of a shitty investment when the capital you're spending is time, and you already don't have much to spare. However, I've discovered people respond, overwhelmingly, when there's something a little sweeter than nice words in it for them; hello, GIVEAWAYS! Yes, that's right. I am not below bribery. Each month for the next year, I plan to host a giveaway. The rules will vary. The games will change. The prizes will be swell. Giveaways will be announced on the 15th of each month and will end on the last day of that month. So, keep your eyes peeled.
Additionally, I'm going to work on my consistency. I was more than a bit wayward during the spring/summer months last year, and the blog suffered as a consequence. I would like to work-on a more regular schedule and my accountability to this space. So, feel free to abash me with verbal abuse if I pull any disappearing stunts.
I am all ears to your suggestions for blog-building. What keeps you coming back for more? What sorts of features do you find yourself drawn to?
Also, when it comes to comments, do you like a response in the comments section? Do you prefer a visit and comment on your own blog? An email?
I look so forward to continued interaction with you all!
2013 RESOLUTION Pt.1
The first and biggest aspect of my New Year Resolutions- This year, I'm hoping to concentrate my creative energy in an, ultimately, more productive manner. My past projects, while purposeful individually, have little to do with each other. My project selections have been haphazard and disjointed. I picked pretty patterns without taking my own style preferences and body shape into consideration. Unfortunately, this has left me with a pile of "me made" objects that either- don't work with my day-to-day aesthetic and/or don't coordinate with my existing wardrobe components. To remedy this situation, I evaluated my diurnal attire to create two lists of items I feel create an ideal "staple" wardrobe. I think these are fairly comprehensive, but they certainly may require some editing along the way. Some of these are pieces I rely on heavily already and could use replacing, while others fill gaps between what I have to work with and wish I had.
The color palate is there to remind me, these are the colors I readily reach for and wear. I'm not punchy. In fact, I don't own a single pink garment, no red. My day-to-day 'uniform' is typically jeans and a sweater. Like a lot of people who have ventured down the path of creating their own clothes, there's a fair amount of distance between the way I dress and the way I would like to dress. So, I'm hoping to push my own boundaries and start to incorporating prints, skirts, and a variety of blouses.
There are knitting and sewing projects on each list. Obviously, there are more sewing projects than knitting projects. I'm hoping to knit BETTER sweaters this year than I have in the past. Finer gauge. Seams. Tidy Finishing.- These are going to require a bit more energy and time than I've grown accustomed to, but they should also last a lot longer and get a lot more use than some of those I was able to hurry through. Also, I want to branch out a bit from knitting only sweaters and socks. Projects not included on these lists, but fermenting in the back of my mind include a couple of knitted home decor projects and some accessories (cowls, hats, mitts, etc...).
Then, there's the sewing. I am not disillusioned. There are likely more projects on this list than I am able to attend to in a year's time. These list are IDEAL and relatively COMPLETE and a point of reference. I don't want to impede my own efforts by making any predictions about the number of projects I'm going to be able to turn-out; as many as possible. This goal may take more than a year to accomplish, and I'm comfortable with that.
In the face of a large, multi-faceted goal like this one, I think it helps to have mini goals to aim for along the way. So, I'm going to pledge participation in Me-Made March, Me-Made May and Self-Stitched September (assuming they take place again this year), and, possibly, a Me-Made Vaca (tion) too if I can swing it. In order to jump start my engine, I took on the grueling task of clearing out my closet. I donated piles. Knits that don't get worn, I hope to reclaim and recycle; we'll see how ambitious I remain. I do need to have some things to get me by while I work. But, I kept only a skeletal collection and should be able to slowly work it out as I work on my resolution. I really hope I don't regret this.... scary....
At this point, I'm hoping to check on my project progress with a monthly update post. I hope you'll all help to keep me accountable! :-D