Reflections and thank you!

Warning: contains GIFs

I’ve shared my top 5 hits and misses for 2017 – this post is a wrap up of my top 4 reflections of my year of creating. I left this at 4 so I could sneak in an end of year message beforehand!

To everyone who reads, comments and otherwise interacts with the blog and my Instagram account: thank you. It’s been a pretty rough year and knowing that I have this little space of the world where I can express myself and interact with like-minded people has been invaluable. Wishing you the very best for the year to come!

I’m taking a break and don’t know when I’ll be back as this virus has wiped me out to the point where the idea of standing up to take garment photos is laughable. You can always catch up with me on Instagram.

Now, my crafty reflections:

1. I hate summer

Brendan Fraser shields himself from the sun.

Hate, hate, hate, LOATHE it. Just when I think my health possibly couldn’t get any worse, the hot weather hits and my symptoms increase 10 fold, leaving me housebound, hibernating in front of the air con all summer long. I don’t really have the energy to bother with put-together outfits, so I usually just chuck on an op shopped knit tee and elastic waist pants combo (as reflected by the dearth of summer garments in my top 5 hits).

2. Wool is my friend

2017 was the first year I actually sewed with proper wool (as opposed to the acrylic alternatives they sell at Spotlight and well, every shop in town). In the past, I was intimated by its cost and the idea I had that wool was for experts.

I couldn’t have been more wrong! Wool is by far the easiest fibre I have ever sewn with. It is just so well behaved, and light and easy to wear. I’ve sewn a few merino tops and an unlined wool jacket, and would love to sew a proper tailored coat if I ever come across some wool coating in the op shops (i.e., never).

Two images of a woman standing against a weatherboard wall. Left, she wears a merino pale pink polo neck tee with black pants, right, she wears grey merino tee with black skirt.
Named Paola Turtleneck Tee & Pattern Fantastique Glacial Tee. I’ve made a few more merino tees which are yet to be blogged (and won’t be til at least June!).

It’s also a blessing to knit with when you have weak or sore hands – wool’s natural elasticity makes it very easy on the muscles, and the way it blocks can smooth out uneven colourwork, stretch to fit, and forgive all manner of sins.

An assortment of handknitted jumpers and hats.
2017 wool handknits. Top row: Armande Cardigan, Blank Canvas Jumper, Solas. Bottom row: Pumpkin Chevrons, Saudade, Regina.

 

3. Fabric choices matter
Woman stands in garden archway. She wears a grey turtleneck skivvy, denim skirt and boots.
Ottobre ribbed sweater 5/2016 #5 – nice pattern, poor fabric choice.

It became clear when writing my top 5 misses that fabric choice is imperative to a creation’s success. Most of my failures were due to poor quality fabric/notions, or ones that were inappropriate for the project. I’m aiming to be more selective with my fabric choices next year, and if I can’t find an appropriate or high quality fabric for my pattern, I’ll stick to RTW.

 

4. Sometimes the best projects are the most basic

Do you know what my most successful, most-used, popular creations are? They don’t even feature on the blog.

9 handknitted dishcloths.
A collection of dishcloths I’ve knitted over the years.

Knitted dishcloths! I know this sounds like some homesteading blog, but I genuinely enjoy knitting dishcloths, and they get a lot more use than sponges. I’ve made dozens over the years. There’s something meditative and soothing about knitting squares, and it’s nice to know they can just go in the washing machine when they’re grotty.

Author: Siobhan S

20 something, living in country Australia. Spoonie profile: ME/CFS, dysautonomia, anxiety. All about sewing, knitting and food. Unapologetic feminist and disability advocate.

14 thoughts on “Reflections and thank you!”

  1. What a lovely recap, and I love seeing the photos – you’re very talented! I’m the opposite to you as I love summer but that’s because I’m always so cold & my health struggles more in the cold, however it does mean I’m forever in countless layers, jumpers, hats and the like..maybe I should attempt making something of my own again one day (though I can guarantee the outcome will be disastrous!) x

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    1. Thanks Janet! Dishcloths are one of the more popular projects on Ravelry so people must be making them. Perhaps theyโ€™re just not a glamorous project to share! Best wishes for 2018.

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          1. Oooh! I must start knitting again – and learn how to knit properly! – so I can make these!! ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband and I are huge Whovians and so are a number of my sisters! These would make awesome gifts!

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  2. Well enjoy the rest, as best you can, and I’ll look forward to you coming out of…hmm what’s the summer version of hibernation?…ah yes, aestivation, thankyou Mr Google. The first thing we ever knitted at school was a dishcloth, in lumpy string with giant wooden needles, in a weird loopy stitch. Very scruffy and fun!

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      1. This was in junior school, aged about 7! Considering it wa sa loose, loopy knitting stitch, the teacher was very fussy about dropped stitches lol. Functional, but not pretty… then we made a craft bag, all hand stitched and then ‘fancy’ embroidery stitches on bias tape to trim it. Then that was it until senior school and AWFUL Sewing lessons which put us all off. DREADFUL. We had to make cookery aprons to use in the second term…and embroider our names in tiny tiny chain stitch. The teacher wanted the task to last all term so she was a bitch about measuring your stitches, and made you unpick every last bit if even one stitch was too big. Cow. After that, we went straight to making shirts. Baptism of fire!

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  3. As a person who sews and works in disability services, I have to say that I enjoy your honest, engaging writing whatever the topic. I really hope this summer isn’t too brutal for you.
    I’m also with you on the awesomeness of wool and the joy of knitted dishcloths.
    Thanks for your blog.

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