Sunday, December 29, 2013

Tally Ho!

It’s that time of year when, like everyone else, I just couldn’t resist counting up the year’s makes. I’ve already blogged nearly everything here but can’t be arsed to link it all. Anyway the results are pretty interesting. At least to me! It’s nice to know I’m moving forward – at least some of the time.


  • socks – 10 (+1 more pair not quite finished!)
  • hats - 3
  • mitts/gloves – 2
  • scarves/shawls – 7 (+1 half-finished)
  • sweaters/tunics – 4
  • other knits - 3


  • vests/jackets - 4
  • dresses/jumpers - 3
  • skirts - 1
  • pants/shorts - 6
  • bras/panties - 6
  • other sewn items – 3 (bags), 1 (bug curtain)
  • refashions - 2

Miscellaneous Items:

  • kumihimo bookmark – 1
  • eco-dyed scarves – 3

Total Makes for 2013 – 59


Whew! The knit items somewhat outnumbered the sewn items. While we were driving cross-country for 2 months all I could do was knit. Otherwise the sewn items might possibly have dominated. I’m always amazed by how many pairs of socks I can finish in a year. Obviously they are my go-to portable projects. Most were plain but I did expand my toe-up skills on 3 pairs. The hats all used the same pattern: Sockhead. Definitely a hit. I’d like to make more sweaters, particularly cardigans since I get a lot of wear out of them especially in the winter months. If I’m going to continue to make scarves and shawls I’m going to have to start giving some of them away! They’re getting hard to store neatly. Heh.

This fall I also began test knitting/tech editing for Sanjo. They are redeveloping their pattern/yarn kits using some of their new delicious yarns. Here’s the first one I worked on. I think that’s my version in the photo (although the big leaf is showing its purl side.) I’ve just finished a second project for them that luckily was much easier than the first one. Even though I had to pull most of it out – twice! This is a collar/neck warmer using a strand of fine kid mohair/silk held together with a thicker silk single. Yum. To Dye For!

I’m really quite pleased with the improvement in my fitting and sewing skills this year. I feel like my wardrobe is beginning to reflect the “real me” and the way I prefer to dress. I wear me-mades every day, even if nobody but me ever notices. I’ve learned not to make too many dressier garments because I don’t really have much of an opportunity to wear them. Tunics are great layering pieces that make me feel both comfortable and feminine and I tend to prefer them over skirts or dresses. I’ve also learned that my preferred sleeve length is between wrist and elbow where my arms are somewhat covered but I’m not pushing them up constantly. Unsurprisingly I prefer garments that fit closely in the shoulders and upper arms but looser in the lower body. Boxy wide shoulders and droopy batwings are not for me. Neither are waistbands that aren’t at least half-elasticised. Asymmetrical shapes still please me very much – whether or not they are still considered to be in style.

This year I found myself drawn to ever more muted colours and farther away from prints. I’ve been trying to sew with the better fabrics but still using up stash. Favourite fibres are naturals and natural/blends and though I still love knits a lot, I’ve been sewing more wovens. I want to get confident enough in my skills to be able to sew comfortably with the really pricey fabrics. For instance, my own handwovens! Yes, I know I have to actually weave something first.

Of course I’m also working on using up stash for knitting. Though I did buy a few skeins this year, they were all sock yarn which gives a lot of knitting time for the buck. I find I’m preferring much finer yarns over the chunky stuff anyhow. Regular knitting worsted even seems too thick to me these days. I keep saying this but I think I’m going to have to get spinning up some of that fibre stash for the sweaters I want to knit this coming year. My default spinning is somewhere between sock yarn and DK. Is that sport weight? I’ve hardly spun at all this year. Sad really.

So this has been the first full year with T-Man retired. We had lots of plans to clean, refurbish, purge and generally re-order our home but…although we made a start and a few things got done, we’ve kind of slacked off rather sadly. The month or so before the Big Cross-Continental Trek was the busiest. After that we were gone for 2 months. We came back to a garden desperately needing attention which kept us occupied until all the fall leaves were raked up. However we both seemed to need a holiday from the holiday, if you know what I mean. So we’ve been reading a lot, puttering around, getting out for the occasional walk (weather permitting) but not working/creating with the intensity that we used to. Maybe it’s the dark and dreary season? Maybe we’re just having a creative time in our heads? I dunno. Hopefully we snap out of it very soon. I’m all for a work/leisure balance but when the bed starts to show permanent body indents, you know somebody needs to get moving. Oh. That would be me.

Big hugs to all my Loyal Readers for another fabulous year just past and I hope 2014 is going to be a happy, healthy, peaceful, and productive year for us all!

More anon. It’s nearly 2pm. I need to get up, get dressed and go do something useful.


pao said...

Hear, hear. Or is it here, here? hmmm. That's quite the list of accomplishments, Louisa. Well done. And quite the scope too. Wonder what we'll all come up with next year?!

Heather said...

I am very impressed with all that you managed to get done, especially your mastery of fitting. I have several of the patterns you have recommended over the year, now I have to get sewing.

All the best for 2014! May this be the year we meet in person for a cup of tea and a trip to Dressew!

onesmallstitch said...

Wow! that is one impressive list. Wish I had your skill at dressmaking but I kinda gave up when my body gave in-!! Hope 2014 is everything you could hope for.

Louisa said...

Thanks so much, my darlings! You are all so very sweet.

We''ll just have to find out what happens next, right Pat?

And yes, Heather, I'm going to hold you to that promise.

That was my problem too, Jean, until I decided not to let the old lumpy body foil my sewing happiness. Too bad you don't live closer and we could work on it together.