But first….ooh, look, a finished sweater! (Minus the blocking.)
It’s certainly not perfect. The sleeves are a bit too batwing for my taste– I guess I measured wrong when checking the pattern to see if that was a good place to split off the sleeve, or it got too stretched out in waiting. I definitely need to work on my binding off–the sleeves are ok, but despite my googling to find a stretchier bind-off that I could understand, I initially couldn’t get the sweater over my hips at all. I actually had to unbind it and get my mom to do it for me, and it’s still not stretchy, but at least I can get it on now. I wish it was more fitted. But it’s a sweater, and I made it, and I learned some valuable things that I can take to the next time I attempt this sort of thing. (Like try it on a lot more often.) On the plus side, it’s cheery, it’ll work with those skinny jeans, and from the little bit I tried it on to test the bindoff today, it’ll be nice and toasty. I wasn’t sure I’d make my goal of finishing it by the end of the year, but since my day job is currently done, basically all of my students cancelled this week, and I’ve been trying to fight off a cold, I was able to knock out the rest of the knitting in a marathon session yesterday (along with watching Downton Abbey in its entirety.) So it’s done. Yay!
On with the year-in-review: 2011 turned out to be a pretty big year for me and crafting! Well, they’re usually big years. But I made some pretty cool stuff, if I may say so myself.
- Continue working on fitting. Considering that I made a pair of pants that fit, and a perfectly-fitting sheath dress, I’d say this is a win.
- Learn some more couture techniques. Little Black Dress, anyone?
- Get my fabric and pattern stashes organized. Not so much on the patterns, but the fabric was a win!
- Do some more reconstructions. I got 15 for the year, so I averaged about 1 a month. Not too bad!
- Figure out whether the Etsy shop thing would work for me. I did. It didn’t. Moving on.
- Rethink my scrapbooking. I haven’t posted much about that, but I haven’t totally neglected it this year– I reorganized my albums to a way that makes a little more sense for my current lifestyle, and I did actually finish a couple of pages. (They’d been in progress for a long time, but I’m still counting them.)
- Continue chipping away at the fabric stash. And whatever other stashes.
- I have a handful of specific projects I’d like to sew. #1, the jeans. It WILL happen this time. #2, a jacket or two. #3, the Lonsdale dress I’ve been envisioning for at least six months. Aside from that, I want to leave things flexible for seasonal sewalongs and the like.
- On the reconstruction end of things, I’ve had an idea simmering in my mind for a couple of months now. Since I’m already an Anthropologie fan, I’m setting a little mini-challenge for myself. Once a season, I’d like to choose a garment from the current catalog, and make a recycled piece inspired by it. Perhaps even with a tutorial, if the interest is there. (I was originally thinking once a month, but again, I’m trying to avoid over-committing myself. And once every 3 months sounds reasonable.) Also, I’d like to reconstruct often enough to stay a part of the Refashion Co-Op.
- Continue working on my knitting. Specifically, I’d like to make something with a cable that actually looks like a cable, something with multiple colors in the same project, and at least start that afghan that will take me years to finish.
- Keep chipping away at the scrapbooks as I feel inspired to.
- Get better at picking projects that will help me make complete outfits. (I have a couple of orphan pieces that I still love and I want to wear them.)
- Make some more things for others. I can be a terribly selfish crafter.
The other stats:
What I made or reconstructed this year: 3 items of jewelry, 7 dresses, 1 jacket, 6 skirts, 5 wraps/scarves, 13 shirts, 6 bags/pouches, 3 hats, 2 pairs of handwarmers, 1 pair slippers, 1 pajamas, 2 pairs of pants/shorts, 12 “general household” items, which is kind of the catch-all for everything else (3 of which are ornaments that didn’t get photographed), a few random scrapbook pages that I didn’t count, and, of course, my first sweater!
Favorite project this year: Hands-down, the Anthropologie pants.
Thing I’m proudest of: Actually sticking with the knitting this time. Especially through that rough patch on the sweater. This says much about the improvement of my patience levels.
So that pretty much sums it up–happy rest of 2011 to all of you, and see you in the new year!