2018 Goals

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Later, 2017!

I say I’m not big on resolutions, but every year, I do make lots of goals at the beginning of each year. For the most part, they have to do with my hobbies. And this year really isn’t that different.

 

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Moon planner from Bombasine.

 

First, I made a few bookish goals. Those are the ones I really want to focus on. However, I want to definitely make some growth in other parts of my of life.

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Next, I want to work on my sewing skills. In 2017, with the help of my mom, I learned the sewing basics. I (mostly) made a lap blanket, as well as some bookmarks and mug rugs. I really want to use 2018 to further my sewing skills.

Things I would like to make:

  • A blanket for our bed (king size)
  • Figure out how to make weighted blankets
  • Figure out how to make sensory blankets

 

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I, of course, want to work on my knitting skills:

  • Knit six items with handspun yarn
  • Knit 20 hats for Hats for Kiddos
  • Knit at least 2 sweaters/cardigans

 

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On top of knitting, I really want to work on my weaving:

  • Weave a scarf for my SO
  • Weave dishcloths

I also recently figured out a way to spin without it hurting my back, so I am pumped to get back into spinning. My only spinning goal is to spin 24 ounces out of my stash.

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And then, the biggie: I want to vend at my first craft fair. In 2017, I opened an Etsy store. On top of these more specific goals with my crafts, I have plans to knit/weave/sew some items to have when I vend. The place I want to vend is local to me and in September, so I have a few months to work on getting some items ready.

My plan is mostly to have hats, but I’d also like to weave some scarves, knit some washcloths, sew some bookmarks. I have a schedule in my planner that has how many items I’d like to get done. None of those items are included in my points above, so I will definitely have a busy craft year. And since my 2017 crafting wasn’t much, I’m looking forward to really pushing myself this year.

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5 Shawls That Are Cozy AF

When I taught myself to knit, my game plan was hats. Then socks. I tried scarves but hated the slog of knitting them. I never thought I would knit shawls because I didn’t understand wearing them. Then, I eventually realized how one is worn. And…I got sucked in. Lisa Mutch of Northbound Knitting fame has a ton of gorgeous shawls. She is the one whose patterns finally got me on the shawl game.

While I haven’t knit a shawl in a while now, I love the construction. I love the look of a fresh, just on the needles WIP. Nothing makes me happier, in regards to knitting WIPs, actually.

So, I thought it would be fun to show you guys my top 5 shawls!

One of my favorite shawls to knit was Clinquant by Lisa Mutch. It was hard to pick my favorite from Lisa but when I think of which ones I had the most fun knitting, Clinquant is definitely at the top. This is knit out of DK and is such a quick knit. It is like a hug that keeps you warm and comforted all day. I knit mine using NBK’s Merino Silk DK out of the Metallurgy colorway – the most perfect colorway to ever exist. This shawl features drop stitches, which I LOVELOVELOVE, and interesting construction. I have only worn it a couple of times as the last time I wore it, one of the dogs got their nails stuck in the drop stitches. I need to re-block and make sure nothing was ruined. [As far as I can tell, no threads were snapped, so I think we will be good.]

Next up is the Topography Kerchief by Melissa Stajda. I knit mine out of Knitty and Color’s Daydreaming colorway on her DK base, with a border of some Northbound Knitting DK leftovers in the Moonstone colorway. The pattern is so fun and easy to customize. Simple knitting with fun textures that makes the shawl really unique to you. And it is MADE for those special skeins that you buy because THE COLORS and then aren’t sure what to do it with it. This shawl really showcases the yarn without being completely boring.

Remember a year or so ago when gradients were EVERYWHERE?? Gradients haven’t gone out of style, of course. But I know that when the fad first started, we all added some gradient sets to our stash. Then…what do you knit? Gratitude by Deborah Frank is THE perfect choice. This shawl is perfect on-the-go knitting, easy to memorize and perfect to customize. I knit mine out of various grey and purple Northbound Knitting scraps that the Miss Deborah Frank had gifted me. I love this shawl so much.

The Brave at Heart shawl by Lydia Brown is one of my favorites I have knit. I was lamenting at WWKIP Day that I wished I still had this shawl. I gifted this to my boss and I still think she was the perfect recipient of this knit. When I think about to my knits, this is one of my most favorite. These are not colors I would wear, though, even though it was gorgeous. So knitting another one in greys/blacks or purples will definietley need to happen. Maybe very soon…. This shawl was written for sport weight but I knit it with DK. Easy to customize for that and very easy to make bigger or smaller, if needed. I used Unwind Yarn Company’s Touring DK in the Glamping At Its Finest colorway. This was a special edition colorway from the 2015 Into the Wool fiber retreat.

Last but not least, I feel like I cannot make this list without including the Pure Joy shawl by Joji Locatelli. This shawl features some of my favorite things: stripes, eyeletes, short rows. Easy and fun to knit and SO EASY to make fun combinations. I knit mine out of Hedgehog Fibre’s skinny single base in Quiver (multi) and Wobble (blue). I gifted this shawl to a dear friend and NEVER got a FO picture. Whoops! If you are a fan of shawls, I highly recommend this one. It is such a great knit, easy to wear, and just wonderfully written.


 

Have you knit any of these shawls? What other shawls would you add to this list?

WIP It Wednesday: June 07, 2017

I finally, at the beginning of the six month of this year, feel like I’m getting back into knitting. I’m not necessarily as inspired by knitting as I would like, but I am at the point where I want to knit again. I’ve been rather stressed these last few weeks and, though I had stated I would not be casting on a new project anytime soon, I decided it was time to cast on a new project.

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Enter the Shirestones Hat by Mina Phillipp of Knitting Expat Designs and the Knitting Expat video podcast (a lovely podcast, by the way, if you’ve yet to watch it). I have a lot of Mina’s patterns in my queue but have yet to take the plunge on knitting one. When my friend, Daniela of the Caffeinated Crafting video podcast, announced she would be hosting a Knitting Expat KAL for the months of May and June, I knew I wanted to jump in.

As I briefly mentioned before, I have not felt inspired with my knitting lately. I’m keeping patterns simple, once I can memorize or just briefly look at before I begin knitting in the evening. I want something more detailed, but I just don’t have it in me right now.

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So while I really wanted to knit a shawl, like Mina’s Across the Pond shawl, I decided something with a little less commitment might be best for me. So I browsed her patterns and came across this Shirestones hat. It was perfect.

A four-row repeat, this textured hat is an easy-to-memorize pattern, perfect for knitting while watching TV and easy on-the-go knitting, if I were to need something like that. And it’s a hat! One of the reasons I wanted to learn to knit was because I wanted hats. Hats are my happy place and it’s nice to sit down and knit one for myself.

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The yarn is just scrumptious. This is Hedgehog Fibre’s Merino DK in the Dragonfly colorway. This is my first time knitting with their DK weight yarn and boy, oh boy, it’s just as wonderful as their sock and single bases. This was a gift from a friend that I am so thankful to have in my life. The knitting community is just full of some of the most awesome people.

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And not only that, but my stitch marker comes from Rick of Whimzee Stitches with a bag from JavaJennie of Kitchen Counter Crafter fame. This project just makes me think of so many amazing people; it’s like my own little bundle of joy.

I am about halfway done with the body. I did make some modifications:

  • Mina’s pattern has you fold the brim for extra warmth, but as someone who runs hot pretty much all year round, I didn’t deem that necessary. Instead, I knit the brim until I was pleased with the length then moved on to the body. I may need to add some extra repeats to make up for length, but I think I will be just fine.
  • She recommends a size US 6, while I am using a Knit Picks nickel plated fixed circular in US 7.
  • I am also using a DK weight yarn where the pattern calls for worsted. I think it will work out just fine, though.

 


 

What is your current project? Have you knit any of Mina’s patterns before?