2012 roundup

2012 was a really good year. I started it not having a job and I finished it having a really good one. I teach five days a week now: three days in one school (so I consider that my main job and is enough to sustain me if the others don’t work out), two days in two other schools (both being very convenient). Just before Christmas, I took up a job as an organist in a small chapel on the southside. Working on a Sunday isn’t ideal, however the conditions are favourable (they have a real pipe organ as opposed to an electric one, it is always very warm in the chapel, the pay is good, the music is easy) and it means that I have a dependable income during the summer.

All of this change has meant a period of adjustment and therefore an adjustment in my knitting and sewing! I knitted less in 2012 than I have in a very long time but still accomplished a number of things I’m really pleased with. I finished the Bedford sweater and used up all of that deep, deep stash.

I also knit a little vest, pictured here, which has proved to be a wardrobe staple. Warm and neutral, it goes with jeans but can be dressed up with a skirt and blouse. I love it. I knit a lot of small things, such as a few shawls and a pair of mittens, as well as a number of things for Alb. He got a few new hats, mittens and a brown jumper in the autumn. I knit a few pairs of socks for my Dad, too.

I have to say that even though I have been knitting slowly, monogomously and constantly, the biggest change in my knitting as been that I now knit more for function than for pure pleasure. Don’t get me wrong – I adore knitting! But I consider carefully what I cast on now and tend to use or gift every single thing I knit. I have ripped out a few languishing projects because I know that I won’t wear them. This was the main one:

So, my main knitting goal for 2013 is to knit from my stash. I pruned it intensively over the year and now feel uplifted rather than burdened by it.

From the sewing end, 2012 was quite the explosion! I learned so much over the year! I think my biggest achievement was the fact that almost every single garment I have sewn is in constant rotation. Initially, I found sewing to be quite difficult and so was very picky in what I chose to make. This was a great way to start out because I now know that the greatest pleasure I derive from sewing is that I love to wear well-fitted, high-quality basics.

I made a ton of skirts, blouses and tops and are all in high rotation. I made my first jacket.

I made my first pants.

I bought a proper steam iron, a miniature sleeve ironing board and an overlocker and never looked back!

Here are some stats:

Most worn: My grey and navy Ginger skirts. Great pattern.

Most fun: The red dot blouse. It’s bold and fun and I don’t wear it nearly as often as I should.

Most challenging: The chiffon blouse. Probably the only project this year where I needed an overlocker. Not helped, either, by the fact that the fabric was completely biased to begin with. Wore it for a few concerts, though, and it’s very comfortable.

Best salvage: The denim Proper Attire. The pleat on the front wouldn’t lie properly and then I ripped a big hole in the front unpicking the hem. Fixed both and wore the skirt alot in spring and summer.

The other salvage I’m happy with, though undocumented, was the sleeves of the Market blouse. They were only ok and it got to the point where everytime I put it on, I would take it off because the sleeves were too restrictive. I took off the band, let out the seam and reattached it. Pretty easy and very effective.

Biggest surprise: The Clover pants. I did not expect to like them as much as I do. They are so stylish!

I don’t have many sewing goals for the coming year except to maybe learn some specific tailoring techniques. I would like to learn how to sew a welted pocket and make proper buttonholes for a coat. I also want to make myself a knee-length wool coat for next winter. I have a fantastic charcoal herringbone and was going to make a skirt and jacket out of it but I think a coat would be a good challenge.

That’s it! How about you? Any goals or resolutions for the coming year? Share with us!

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