Saturday, December 31, 2016

Holiday makes and 2016 in review

I hope you're all having a great festive season and a bit of a break. I've done a lot of sleeping over the last week, and half way into my holiday, I'm finally feeling relaxed. It's been a bit quiet on the blog for a few weeks, and I don't know where the time has gone. There's been a lot of work to finish before the holiday, and lots of catching up with lovely friends before everyone vacated the city for the summer break. Which pretty much equals zero blogging time. But that's okay - it's been quite nice to be away from the computer for a while, and spend time with family and friends. And spending time making things!

These socks are finally getting finished. They've been on the needles for a few months now. This is sock number two of a pair, and I've suffered a severe case of Second Sock Syndrome. I've turned the heel and I'm rapidly heading towards the toe. I won't finish them by midnight tonight, but they will be done before I go back to work.

I've also just finished my Darling Ranges dress - photos to come - so I'm feeling quite productive over this holiday break. 

As for 2016 overall, I probably haven't been as productive with my knitting as I have in the past, although I've made a cardigan that's being worn to death and lots of little accessories. I published my Storm Shawl knitting pattern and upped my sewing game with a new overlocker and more challenging projects. I've been getting much better at only buying the yarn and supplies I need for a particular project, and the de-stashing has carried on all year.

And outside of making, for me at least, 2016 has been pretty good. I had my amazing trip to Paris where I was able to be just me without any other context. The job is going well, and I seem healthy enough.... I also turned 30 and it wasn't as scary as I thought it might be. 
But also, good friends haven't had it so easy this year, and I'm always in awe of their resilience, which is very inspiring. And then there's the very inspirational people we've all lost this year.... still for some of these, like David Bowie and Carrie Fisher, I don't have words. 

Worldwide events, namely Brexit and a certain election, have scared me, but I plan to remain hopeful and do more for my community - good can be found in the small things. I'm not sure how I'll do this yet, but I hope to figure it out over the remainder of my break.  Maybe this will be through making. Sometimes I find it hard to reconcile small things like knitting with big changes. Sometimes I can't see how this small act can make much of a difference, but I'm determined to be positive and hopeful. 

See you in 2017. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Finished objects in time for the sunshine

My poor Adventure Tank. You were started almost as soon as the pattern arrived in the mailbox, fabric washed, all ready to go. And then all the things happened and you sat for two weeks without the arm bands or a hem. So I'm glad that today I had absolutely nothing to do except get out the sewing machine and the overlocker, and finish you.

But that's not all! Given I had hours home alone with no one to annoy, out came the other pre-washed fabric and scissors for my second Kielo Dress.

I do love a stripe, and I found this lovely knit at Fabric-a-brac. I knew it needed to be a summer dress, as nothing beats nautical stripes in the sunshine. I've modified the pattern a bit - instead of making it full length I chopped it at the knee, and I narrowed the skirt to make it a bit more fitted. 

I'm really happy with how these have both come out, and shows just how much I can get done if I A) have no plans, B) do all the chores early, and C) stop being lazy!

Hope you've had a good weekend of making!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

On the last few weeks...

I'm sitting here wondering where the last three weeks went. The election happened. Then the earthquake happened. And the days after became a blur with multiple trips out of town to help with the emergency response. Not much knitting or sleeping was done, and I felt stress in a way I hadn't really experienced before. My day job is generally a reactive one, but this was another level. But I learned a lot, and have a huge amount of respect for all the teams working on the ground as Kaikoura, North Canterbury and Wellington transition into recovery. Then I got back home, worked a week, and celebrated turning 30. 

 For my own sanity after getting home, buying yarn was the cure. I was very lucky to get back to Auckland for the Handweavers & Spinners' Guild Pop Up Market on November 20. I finally got my hands on some Rosewood Wool! I got the last three hanks of this lovely grey/blue/purple colourway, and I'm hoping it will be just enough for my Isla Cardigan, which is now underway.

I also got a lovely pink skein of Happy Go Knitty's Kashgar silk merino, in pink, which although an odd choice for me, it is starting to become a bit more common in my wardrobe. I plan to combine this with some other skeins of silk merino I have lying around.

And while I haven't had as much time as I'd like to really focus on knitting, I have been getting lots of knitspiration from Jared Flood's most recent book, Woolens. All of the accessories in here are just perfection. There's a round lace shawl in this that I'm so in love with, I might be tempted to try lace knitting again - something I haven't really tried since I decided knitting myself a really hard shawl for my wedding was a good idea.... 

There are some beautiful cable scarves and beanies in here too, and I think I'll return this copy to the library and order my own. Given so many of the patterns are so classic, and unisex, I think buying a copy would be a good investment. Christmas present to myself?