As I am sure you are all all too acutely aware, we are living in dark times. It has been a tough year for the world and any human with an ounce of caring in their heart. It has also been a tough year for me personally, with several losses and excruciating decisions. And frankly, that is what has kept me from writing much lately. Because the last thing anyone wants to read is more sadness and pain.
So instead, I am writing about my coping mechanism; crafting.
Last year, Ravelry created a self-defined crafting challenge. My original goal was to complete 10 projects this year. A month in I realized that I was underestimating myself so I bumped it up to 15. Last night I completed my 29th and 30th projects for the year. And I am not yet done crafting presents for family we will be meeting up with in Hawaii next week. And as much as I am all for overachieving, hitting 200% of my goal really suggests I aimed too low.
As you may recall, I spent several months last year sitting on my butt with a broken foot. I took that time as an opportunity to teach myself how to crochet. I had tried to learn in Portland, but I had never made it past single crochet stitches and making kippot. But with too much time on my hands (and six seasons of Buffy to rewatch–we will not discuss the dreaded 7th season of endless lectures), I found a class that got me past the worst part (at least in my mind) of crocheting. The dreaded starting chain.
From there it just became a series of pushing my skill set. And I’ve got to admit that rereading patterns that seemed impossibly complicated a year ago and realizing that I now can do every stitch listed is pretty amazing.
And it has not just been about crocheting. My knitting skills have moved up several notches too. David was very impressed at how even my gauge was on this turban. And I have taken on a two-color brioche knitting project as well.
I also created my first pattern this year. I still need to write it up and post it, but the creation is done.
Because of the aforementioned broken foot, I didn’t get out much last winter. But this year I have a job that actually requires me to leave the house (how weird is that?!?!?), It turns out that wearing a skirt and tights is not enough to keep oneself warm in the North Country. As a child of the ’80s, legwarmers were the obvious answer.
But I am me, so basic legwarmers weren’t going to cut it for me. I was poking around Ravelry looking for inspiration and I found this. But it was still too simple for my taste. So I made the legwarmers in smock stitch and made individual scales.
Unfortunately the world doesn’t look like it will be pulling back from the brink anytime soon, so I suspect challenging myself to make another 30 things next year would not be unreasonable. And that is where you all come in. I have a couple of projects lined up for myself and a couple of commissioned projects for friends. I can fill in a bit with hats and scarves to donate. But for me crafting is all about the process. Once I’ve had my fun, I just want to move on to the next project.
My friends and family rate is fairly reasonable. Basically, I will craft for yarn. If I have what I need in my
substantial, prodigious, colossal, enormous, slightly oversized stash, then it is simply my pleasure to make it for you. However, the stash is heavily weighted towards purples and greens (I know you are all shocked, shocked). So if I need a different weight or color, if you buy the yarn, I will happily do the work.
And don’t worry about how simple or difficult you think the request may be. Remember, I am in this to challenge myself. So tougher projects are great and easier ones are great for doing while listening to books, podcasts or watching TV.
Here is just a sampling of this year’s projects. I can’t include some of my favorite projects because they are yet to be gifted. But if you are all crafty, I am EvaCatHerder on Ravelry and I do have more project details and photos up there.