Existential Blog Questions

I’ve had a glorious summer, and I hope all of you have as well!

Last week, I was sitting with a friend, and she asked me “do you read blogs anymore?” and it made me think about my blog reading habits and my blog writing habits.

My reading habits: I read some blogs casually, mostly when I see them pop up in a Facebook feed. But, there aren’t any that I subscribe to and read religiously. I’ve become more accustomed to listening to podcasts on my commute and getting short snippets on Instagram. I will also turn to blog information if I need to learn a new technique, and one of the google results happens to be a blog.

My Writing Habits: I’ve found myself writing blogs about things that I don’t necessarily go to blogs for. I tend to write about current projects, yarn acquisitions, and other fiber related stuff. I enjoy exploring the political aspects of crafting and making, but that can only provide so much content.

My Question for readers: How often do you read craft-related blogs? Why do you read them? Would you be more interested in the type of content that I offer in another format (podcast, just IG or FB)? Would you be interested in more instructional content (e.g. sharing techniques that work/don’t work for me)? I don’t think I’m ready to let this space go completely, but I think I am ready for it to take on a new shape.

And now, just a few photos of some of the things I’ve been up to this summer:

I’ve been knitting shawls, I’ve taught myself to embroider and crochet, and I’m diving into more weaving. Lots of exciting things!

 

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Little Weaving Project 

I’ve been seeing quite a few of these little tapestry/wall-hangings on Instagram lately. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure about them, but I was finding myself compelled to make one. My last Fibre Share partner sent me this tiny loom, so I decided to give it a try. Thankfully, I also found a set of quick classes on Creativebug that explained several of the techniques that are helpful for getting started, adding the fancy bits, and for finishing off the project. I would highly recommend this class for beginners, like me, or for someone who is interested in dabbling in a new fiber craft. 


This little project was so much fun, I decided to order a slightly larger frame loom. I think this is going to be a great way to use up the scraps that I just can’t seem to throw away. 

Weaving For Beginners

Show & Tell: finished shawl, hat & weaving

Lately, my focus on projects for myself has shifted a bit to making items for friends and doing some sample knitting for the fiber mill on the island. Despite being busy with the day job/career and a part-time passion gig, I’ve finished a few projects that I am excited to have finished.

My Hudson Shawl is done! I finished it just in time for a snowy day too.  The yarn is Cascade Eco. The blue was some neutral colored that I ended up dyeing because it really needed the fourth color (which I hadn’t originally planned for). The stripes and eyelets are a bit out of my comfort zone, but I really like it.



This brioche hat (Vanilla Fog) was quick and a good introduction to decreasing in brioche. I had a Craftsy class on brioche in my library that I found quite helpful. After this, I think I’ll be ready for some two-color brioche! 

I also pulled my first weaving project off my loom. It is uneven in spots, but I am pretty happy with it overall. I used some of the handspun that I dyed with onion skins during the summer for the weft and Cascade 220 for the warp.

Craftsy

My word for the year & making goals for 2017

As I have the past few years, I am setting out some general making plans and goals for the year. I’ve also noticed a growing trend of people choosing a word for the year, so I think I am going to jump on that bandwagon as well.

This is the first year where I have felt like choosing a word for the year, and it is the first time when I have felt like a single word fits with what my priorities are. My word for this year is going to be grow. I chose this word because it encapsulates what I’d like to focus on this year when it comes to my making, creative projects, and career goals. I want to build and grow my relationships with some of the artists and makers that I have come to know locally and on the internet. Being a major introvert, growing relationships that feel fulfilling and comfortable can be a big challenge. I want to expand my handmade business and develop some more concrete goals for how to successfully mesh my full-time career with a side passion project. Growing our homestead is also a major goal; I’d like to become a more successful gardener and continue to prepare to bring more fiber animals onto our property. Continuing to build and gain confidence in what I do and what I have to offer is another area that I hope to focus on, and it is something that I have really neglected in my career, personal life, and passion projects. I suppose my aim overall is to grow my skill set and expand my knowledge-base across my many interests: knitting, weaving, sewing, spinning, gardening, homesteading, and speech-language pathology.

Specifically, related to making my goals are to:

  • knit/spin/weave/sew from the materials that I have accumulated — making from both patterns and materials that I have in my stash is always a lofty goal
  • make items that I will actually use and wear; I’d like to knit at least four sweaters for myself, and I’d like to sew most of my summer wardrobe
  • make knit and sewn clothes for Little One
  • plant a dye garden and become more familiar with plants that can be foraged for dyes in my area to continue to develop my natural dyeing skills
  • take the time to watch and learn from the classes that I’ve queued on CreativeBugCREATIVELIVE, and Craftsy

Feel free to share your goals for the year in the comments or link to your posts. I love to hear what others are focusing on as they enter into a new year of creativity and making.

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WiP Wednesday: A little bit of everything

2017 is starting off beautifully, with a lot of knitting. I’ve been working on a little bit of everything. 

I’ve been knitting a few hats for the #pussyhatproject. I’m knitting the hats using the Kitkat Hat pattern in Cascade 220. I am sending my hats directly to a few friends who are marching in their areas and Washington D.C. 


A friend asked me to knit a few items for her to give to some babies, so I’ve been working on some hats and little stuffed animals. 

I have a project on the needles for myself for the first time in a few months. I spent the bulk of the end of the year working on projects for others, so this was a treat to cast-on on Christmas Eve. The pattern is the Hudson Shawl. It’s knit in Cascade Eco. At first, I was only going to use the brown and green contrast colors, but as I knitted, I realized it needed the third. So, I pulled out my dyes and dyed some white navy. I am working on it as a part of the Wearable Blanket KAL that is being hosted by the Imagined Landscapes podcast. It has been fun connecting with others on Ravelry and Instagram about these big shawls that I’ve been so obsessed with. 

My first weaving project is well underway. I used some Cascade 220 for the warp and some handspun that I dyed using onion skins for the weft. It’s hard to allow myself the space for imperfection, but I’m enjoying the process. 

I’m getting much more comfortable with my new spinning wheel, and I am trying to spin at least a little bit each week. Right now, I’m working with some locally dyed roving. No pictures yet, but I love how it is spinning up so far. 

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!