How has your January been, crafters?
With three dear friends expecting this Spring, the first weeks of 2018 have seen me exploring some basic baby knits and making plans for my upcoming longer-term knitting projects.
The two hat-and-mitten sets (above) were a joy to work. Done on size 7 DPNs with worsted weight, Melissa Thomson’s Golden Pear baby hat is workable in a little over an afternoon. This hat pattern features 8 rows of basic colour work, and was quite coincidentally the perfect project for applying myself to my 2018 intention to keep developing my stranded knitting skills.
I’m enjoying stranded knitting in the round on DPNs. There’s something about the proliferation of all the materials that works my mind out (i.e. managing 4 needles instead of two, say, and multiple strands instead of one). The two-handed yarn-hold that I prefer reminds me of playing the piano; each colour plays its part as bass and melody (this metaphor is how I now think of the initially puzzling concept of yarn dominance. It makes much more sense!). I enjoy the way stranded knitting on DPNs is an ambidextrous workout; there are a lot of little parts and processes to juggle, and it’s absorbing to keep it all in motion.
I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that the little “loop” at the top of the hat is done using none other than a simple i-cord – a technique I encountered only a few weeks ago while making hangers for last year’s batch of holiday mini-stockings. To make a hat-mitten set, I added 4 rows of colour work to the mittens as well, using Very Simple Baby Mitts as a basic pattern. Also worked on size 7 DPNS, these mitts are adorably and lovingly thumbless (now I am curious: what age do mittens officially sprout the opposable thumb?).
Crafty calendar planning
In the weeks ahead, I’ll be working on a longer-term knitting project. Having found myself spending most of 2017 longing to knit a full sweater, I would also like to begin to set some initial sweater-making plans and intentions. Even the best of intentions, I’ve noticed, have a tendency of slipping through the fingers if not brought down to earth (i.e. things like plans and daily quotas and To Do’s and timelines and, yes, deadlines can be allies in getting things done). In my own work, I benefit from turning a “big project” into many smaller, incremental, and non-scary pieces — pieces small enough to fit into the space of many afternoons, or the space between dinner and sleep. Planning is how I practice a little more courage.
Luckily, I am better prepared this year to do this – not least because my desktop has seen a new organizational addition: a January Beastie calendar page! Being a regular user of paper planners, and a Beasties fan, I was very keen to add 12 months of Beasties to my workspace. I was so thrilled, then, when Helen of Crawcrafts Beasties decided to offer free, full-colour printable PDF calendar pages for 2018 (woo hoo!). It’s such a treat to have a little Beastie charm while planning the important things.
The calendar is beautifully designed. January features a very crisp and full-colour Paddy and Plunkett — the adventurous tweed-and-cable-clad travelers whose regular road trips you’ll find on the BeastieBlog. As you can see, my workspace & corkboard are definitely sunnier with their presence!
Ok, time for lunch, and more on the cro-nuts (crocheted donuts) in a later post. Looking forward to catching up on your recent projects!
How do you organize your projects and track your progress? One consecutive WIP at a time, or many? And what tools and practices help you to make space for your creative commitments?