Onward!

Hello, 2017. Let’s be friends, shall we?

I’m excited for knitting this year. I have plans for a couple of challenges, my typical knitting for the year and Christmas gifts.

First, my challenges:

  • A sweater for myself in fingering weight yarn
    Fingering weight yarn is what’s typically used for socks. It’s a smaller yarn than what I’ve used for sweaters in the past, but it will make a tighter fabric, so it will be cozy. The smaller size yarn also means smaller stitches and LOTS more knitting. I’m planning to make Anni with Cascade Heritage in the denim colorway. I ordered the yarn last Monday and it should be here in a week or two. Then I can wind the first ball and start swatching!
  • Pi Shawl
    I put my Evenstar shawl on hold for the holidays while I did all my Christmas knitting. It’s been sitting in my yarn bowl, patiently waiting on me to pick it up again. I’ve been focusing on some smaller projects these last few weeks, to give my brain a break after the holidays. I have a hat to finish first, but then I will start working on it again.
  • Write patterns for my designs
    I love knitting, I really do, and it’s something I like to do to make a little extra money. However, I’m not the kind of person who can just sit down and crank out a dozen of the same thing at a time to sell. I just finished mittens for the boys and by the time I was working on the 4th mitten, I was SO BORED with it. It took so much discipline for me to just finish it. This is why my Etsy shop is so bare. I love making custom items, and I am happy to make anything you want, but I am definitely a project knitter.I also like to come up with new ideas. I almost never follow a pattern exactly since I like to put my own twist on things. Sometimes this doesn’t work out so well, but usually the changes aren’t drastic. I have a few items that I’ve designed that I would like to write the pattern for and put them up for sale. There are a couple of stocking patterns, a hat pattern and some fingerless mittens.It’s a little intimidating to think of putting my ideas out there for sale. What if no one buys them? What if people buy them but think the pattern is awful? Will anyone think my idea is worth paying a couple of dollars for? I know lots of people who will only make things if the pattern is free. I do love free patterns, too, but I am happy to pay for a pattern that I really like. However, nobody’s buying my patterns if they’re not out there for sale, either!

(Mental note: revisit this post at the end of the year and see how far these challenges have come.)

Next, I have some specific projects I want to make.

    • Elephant crochet wall art for Lollypop
      This pattern is for a rug, but there are a couple of people who have made it out of cotton yarn to make it a doily instead. (Or, according to their Ravelry project pages, they’ve started it.) I want to do that and frame it to hang on his wall. I need to find the yarn for it – I want a silver color and that is difficult to find in the cotton crochet thread – and I have no idea how much yarn it will take or what size it will ultimately be.

 

    • Halloween costumes for the boys
      Maybe Jellybean will decide to be something other than a lion this year. Maybe Lollypop will not grow out of the Halloween costume before I get it finished this year. Hopefully I can make costumes that they will enjoy.When I made the lion costume in 2015, I intentionally made it much larger than Jellybean needed. The plan was for it to be a dress-up play costume throughout the year. That has actually been the case, and it’s so fun when he comes out with his lion costume on. Once Jellybean outgrows it, Lollypop will be able to have fun in it for years, too.

 

  • Winter sweaters for the boys
    It’s become an annual tradition. It’s working on the assumption that they will outgrow the sweater I made this year by the time it gets cold next year. I actually didn’t have to make Jellybean the red sweater with pockets and a zipper for this winter. His blue sweater from last winter still fits him pretty well. But when he asks me for a red sweater with a hood, how can I say no?Then there’s Lollypop, who actually almost outgrew his winter sweater this year before I even finished it. I had to add some quick-thinking cuffs for his arms to be covered. I will have to time and size his sweater just right next winter. He’s 8 ½ months and is already starting to outgrow some 12 month clothes! This is not something I expected, given all his issues in his first couple of months of life.Sometimes I question myself for making winter sweaters every year. I certainly don’t have to. There are perfectly good jackets and coats available in the stores that I would be less heartbroken if they got dirty or torn. It would be much easier not to put that pressure on myself and just knit what I want to. But Jellybean asked for a specific sweater this year, and I really think he is proud to wear what I make him. The time is coming, way sooner than I probably expect, where he won’t want to wear handmade costumes, mittens, hats, or jackets. He’ll want to be the popular superhero for Halloween, he’ll want the same coat and hat that everyone else does, and handmade stuff will be just SO UNCOOL. But that time is not here yet. Even if his red sweater with the pockets, hood and zipper gets torn or stained, I can fix it and wash it, and if it’s beyond repair, then at least I know it was loved. I will make sweaters for my boys for as long as they want me to. (And maybe even longer.)

There are other, less specific things that I want to do with my knitting time this year. I have friends who are having babies. There’s Christmas and birthdays to think about. I really enjoyed knitting the toys for Christmas gifts, so I think there will be lots more of those to come. Plus, I bought a 3lb. bag of stuffing, so that’s gotta go somewhere!

I am still open and available for custom knitting. I am happy to make whatever you can think of. I do cut off custom orders in November, so I can get my own Christmas gifts finished, so it’s important to think about it early. If you have an idea that you want me to consider, please send me a message and we can talk about it!

Have a great week, friends!

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