New Year, New Craft

Happy New Year! 

My holiday season was calm and quiet – just the way I like it! I hope all of you reading this had your holidays turned out the way you like them. 

With the new year, I welcomed an Ashford rigid heddle loom to my arsenal of fiber/crafty tools. It received it a few days after Christmas, and then there was the staining/drying/assembly time. I warped the loom and started weaving last night. I can think of no better way to start 2017 than with a beginner’s mind. 

When I was looking for some beginner patterns, I was surprised to see that there are relatively few resources out there (especially when you consider knitting and how much is available on Ravelry). I was happy to find a book published by Interweave on scarves. 

I’ve stocked up on yarn, and I’m ready to weave! 


Reflecting: 2016 Knitting/Making Goals

At the beginning of the year, I set out some knitting and making goals for this year. I thought it might be fun to look back and see how I did. Here were the goals:

  • Knitting a sweater for my husband
  • Knitting a pullover for Little One
  • Knitting more sweaters, shawls and hats for me!
  • Spinning some natural colored fiber and experimenting with natural dyes (from plants around our property) – eventually I hope to put some of this in my Etsy shop
  • Spinning alpaca, and some other fiber types
  • Repurposing the yarn from a thifted sweater
  • Sewing functional, well-fitting garments for Little One
  • Repurposing fabrics from old garments to make new ones


I managed to knit a sweater for my husband. I knit the Slade sweater, which is a Brooklyn Tweed pattern. I was happy with the result, but I’m not sure that I love seamed sweaters.

I didn’t get a pullover knitted for Little One. She and I have talked sweaters, so I think one will be happening early in 2017. I’m thinking the Harvest Cardigan by Tin Can Knits.

This was a great year for knitting. I finished a lot of projects and have really enjoyed the items I’ve knitted. I found a lot of inspiration in the podcasts I’ve been listening to. My commute, which includes a ferry wait on most days, has also ensured that I have at least a little time for knitting each day. I have a few sweaters that still need to make their way off the needles and some big shawls that I’ve started, so I’ll have some good FOs to start 2017 with too.

This was also a great year for spinning. I have played with a lot of different fibers, including alpaca and a bamboo/merino blend, among the wool types. I’ve also ventured into working with both natural dyes and acid dyes. I just recently got a new wheel that is much more versatile, so I anticipate doing a lot more spinning and dyeing in the coming year as well.

I took a class on repurposing sweaters in November. Since then, I’ve found a few thrifted sweaters. I have deconstructed one and knitted several hats from the yarn so far. I think this will be something that I’ll definitely continue into next year.

On my final two goals: my sewing did not really take off this year. I had a few minor successes, but I am still trying to figure out how to better fit sewing into my routine.

I think the biggest development was a surprise one that I did not expect. I have had the great fortune of beginning to sell some knitted items at a local shop. That development has led to some great connections with other local makers. The end of 2016 has left me feelings of great promise for the coming year.

I hope everyone had a productive 2016. I’m looking forward to continuing making in the coming year and seeing what others are exploring as well.

Dyeing: Hand Painted Skein 

Another first in my yarn-y adventures: I’ve hand painted a skein of yarn! 

This was some bare Falkland that I had spun into a two-ply. I soaked the skein in citric acid while watching a few online tutorials. These were the most helpful for the kind of result I was hoping for: 

Camaj Fiber Arts
I used Greener Shades dyes, which are heavy-metal free. I mixed the dye in squirt bottles and applied the color using those. I think the trickiest part was rolling the yarn up into the plastic wrap, but I made it work. It went into the steamer pot for about 35-40 minutes, and then the dye was set!