In Progress: February Knitting Hopes and Dreams

Sometime in the middle of January, I sat down to plan out the next few months in terms of knitting projects. By the next few months, I really mean that my knitting schedule is booked until July. I think this spurt of scheduling was brought on by my ordered approach to my graduate school coursework. Every paper and assignment is documented in the calendar and every reading assignment is broken down into digestible bits. This makes a lot of sense for graduate school; blitz reading 500 pages of Ancient Christian primary sources is equivalent to death. However, this was the first time I’ve applied my heavy organizational method to my craft. Previously, I knit whatever popped into my head, usually motivated by the yarn that was available. I would sometimes schedule knitting projects by deadline – especially helpful for Christmas gifts, but it was never really part of my crafty life.

At the moment, my knitting mojo is high and I have a lot of projects I want to complete. Each of those projects fills an important void in my wardrobe. I tend to feel overwhelmed when I have a lot on my plate without direction. Sometimes this leads me to feel stressed about how many knitting projects I want to complete in the next year and doubtful that I could manage to finish them. This doubt, that I won’t complete the projects I want to in time, is not grounded in actual fact. If I look at my knitting history (thanks ravelry!), it’s clear that I am actually quite good at finishing projects (no UFO’s here folks) and I tend to be highly productive when it comes to knitting.

By scheduling my knitting life for the first half of the year, I am simultaneously relieving myself of the stress of unknowns while also combatting the doubt that I can actually accomplish my goals. I’m embracing my knitting schedule as a experiment in empowerment through realistically evaluating my skills in knitting.

So what’s this schedule? February has three projects in the line-up.

  1. A quick scrap buster to gift to a friend. I’ll share more about this project after it’s completed. Ugh, secrets are the worst.
  2. Birkin by Caitlin Hunter. I’m knitting this sweater using yarn gifted to me from various parties. While I probably wouldn’t have picked this yarn on my own, it’ll work just fine for this sweater. For the main color I’m using Manos del Uruguay Alegria in the Petal colorway. For the colorwork I’m using selections of Bergere de France in Cyclamen (pink), Elephant (dark grey), Meije (white), and finally some unknown stash yarn (light grey). I would prefer to use stickier yarn for colorwork; all of these yarns are superwash and have some nylon content (except maybe the light grey?). However, as these yarns are in my stash and available, I’d like to use them despite the fact that they’re not my favorite. Also, because I already have a Birkin sweater (designed by Amy Miller), I’m calling this sweater my St. Valentine sweater because of its general pinkness.
  3. Carbeth by Kate Davies. I had already had this on my schedule for February, and it so conveniently was also in the minds of the hilarious ladies at Mason-Dixon Knitting. Their #bangoutasweater kal is all about Carbeth this month. I’m very excited to play along. I’m holding two strands (black and blue) together for this sweater. The yarn is unknown fiber content from cones which I found at Scrap It Up, the creative reuse craft store in Cincinnati. The black is quite thistly – and my guess is that it might be carpet grade wool? Holding it alongside the blue yarn (which is much softer) and a good soak in some water softens it up a bit. This sweater will be a true test in my skin’s readiness to accept scratchy fibers. I’ll probably have to toughen up a bit.

I’ll share more about my knitting plans as their (loosely held) deadlines approach.  For now, I’m fully committed to finishing these three projects during the shortest month of the year. I see a lot of knitting in my future.


2018 Make Nine

I’ve waffled over this post for some time now. The #makenine movement/challenge/thing really caught my attention last year around this time. It’s an instagram based movement started by Rochelle of Home Row Fiber Co. to focus on organizing the upcoming years projects. Her blog post summarizing the challenge is great: read it here.

I started thinking about this challenge as a way to knit and sew all my desired patterns this year. So I looked through my queue and plans and created two separate make nine layouts: one for knitting, one for sewing. Quickly, I realized this was overwhelming and unrealistic. My knit make nine had seven sweaters and two accessories – seven sweaters in one year! This past year I made four sweaters which felt very impressive. Also, I do not need seven new sweaters.

I took some time to clear my ambitious mind and consider what I actually need in my wardrobe. It’s not much – at this moment in time I have almost everything I could possibly want, with the exception of some needed pairs of shorts for summer and a basic cardigan (put them on the list!). I then turned my attention to ready to wear items in my closet that I could try to replace with handmade items. This list is a little longer – and propelled me into list making mode.

Here’s what I came up with:

  1. a loose boxy long sleeve tee with stripes
  2. jeans
  3. mini skirt
  4. high waisted shorts
  5. everyday cardigan
  6. some sort of blouse/button up
  7. overalls
  8. chambray button up
  9. sweetheart summer dress

That’s NINE THINGS! that I actually could use in my closet. Many of these – esp the jeans and button up – stretch my sewing skills (another goal of 2018).

Here’s the picture layout with potential patterns:


  1. Bobbie by Pam Allen
  2. Mia Jeans by Sew Over It
  3. Rosari Skirt by Pauline Alice
  4. Lander Shorts by True Bias
  5. Marigold Cardigan (modified to be longer) by Cecily Glowik MacDonald
  6. Alex Shirt by Sew Over It
  7. M7547 Flared pants and overalls
  8. Archer by Grainline Studio
  9. B6453 Princess seamed dress (modified for less fullness in the skirt)

I probably won’t hold too tightly to these patterns (except for the two knit patterns – pretty stoked about those). These are guidelines to inspire me throughout 2018 to make items I need and will actually wear. Here’s to a year of inspired making!