This was a huge year for Knit York City. I am so excited to be here and move forward and I love sharing my work and my life with you guys. It’s not only been awesome to get feedback and help with my questions, but I feel like putting my energy into this blog has inspired me to spend more time making things. Looking back at all of the pieces I made this year, I think this might be my most productive year yet. It’s certainly been my most adventurous and I have all of you to thank for that!
I knit a lot of socks this year. All of the socks I made this year were my own design which is pretty awesome!
I taught myself how to sew. It got off to a rough start but I managed to make a skirt and an adorable little kimono.
I also practiced my long-forgotten embroidery skills on a wedding present for one of my best friends and a tie for Jon to wear.
I also made a few sweaters this year. I certainly didn’t make one every month but I am quite pleased with the ones that I finished. I really fell for Amy Christoffers’ new patters and I made one of them for a KAL. And I got to meet her this year!
And, of course, what somehow became my most notable knit of the year: The Hamburger Sweater. I love the reaction I’ve gotten from this knit.
On top of everything else, I started a video web series (don’t forget to subscribe!) and I’ve had so much fun meeting so many awesome people. I can only thank my friends again (and again!) for helping make them possible. There will certainly be more episodes in the new year and hopefully I can fulfill my resolution to edit them faster! (It’s been tough with everything else going on so I’m calling in the reinforcements!) Get excited for that stuff.
I can’t believe how much I’ve accomplished this year. I am so proud of myself. And knowing what projects are in the works for the new year, I couldn’t be happier. While I don’t want to set any specific goals for what I make next year, I do want to make more! I will be happy if I keep working hard at it all, keep my fingers busy typing away and shooting videos and clicking needles. I bet that there will be twice as much to talk about by the end of 2013.
What did you make this year? Did you make a lot of sweaters? What are your goals for the new year?
Tags: Amy Christoffers, baby kimono, brooklyn tweed, Cascade Eco Duo, crux socks, design, embroidery, gift, goals, hamburger sweater, hand knit, learn to sew, loft yarn, Maxfield, new years resolution, Pomme de Pin, raglan, sock pattern, sweater, there's no place like home, triangle socks, wedding
Dear Knitting, I have not forsaken you. I still love you! I’m still here.
Let me back up a little. Remember that time that I said that I was terrible at sewing and ironing was really turning me off of the whole process? Well, I finished the skirt that was such a challenge. And, I must admit, the finished piece doesn’t look like a mess. In fact, it doesn’t really concede much of the struggle I was going through. And I could twirl in it.
I showed it to my grandma for inspection and she said that my seams weren’t too crazy and that it looked nice for a beginner. I take her word for it! She’s a pro. (She also gave me a resource book and some good tips for getting more comfortable behind the machine.)
Anyway, as promised, here are some photos of my first sewing project!
I paired the skirt that I made with this amazingly adorable Kate Spade shirt (it was a splurge but on sale so I went for it!) for my friend Katie’s bridal shower (everyone had to wear something white). It’s really fun pairing something I made as a newbie with a piece of designer clothing.
As I said before, sewing a skirt was a great jumping off point for me because it was quite uncomplicated (although I managed to screw it up, of course) but resulted in something that I could wear and show off. It wasn’t a tote bag or a pillow. It was something that I could add to my wardrobe which was very motivational for me.
The fabric is La Femme by Melissa Crowley that I bought at Purl Soho. I love the pattern. I don’t love that it feels so stiff. I think a few washes with some fabric softener will do the trick and if that doesn’t work, it’s time to put a lining in. (Adventures!)
I’ve been working on two other projects since the skirt. (More on that soon!) I’m really enjoying it, more than I thought I would. And I like the idea that I’ll be able to manipulate a sewing pattern perhaps with less trepidation than I would a knitting pattern. I’m pretty excited to say that, while I have not in any way, shape, or form given up knitting, I am embracing my new hobby.
As far as ironing goes, though, the jury is still out.
What’s the first sewing project you made? Were you scared? How did it turn out?!
I got a sewing machine and I’m already up to no good! I’m about halfway through the Sewing in a Straight Line One Hour Skirt. I saw the video for it a while ago and it ignited this desire to sew. It looks so damn easy! Just like pin two rectangles of fabric together and put in an elastic band and you’re solid. Easy. I can do that.
Here are some reasons why I can’t do that:
I completely misjudged the width of the fabric that I needed. I cut it about half the size that the pattern required. That was wrong. I realized this was wrong after I’d sewn them together. Guhhh. Luckily, I bought an extra yard of fabric that I used but it meant that the pieces were an inch and a half shorter than what the pattern called for. That’s ok, though, I tell myself. I’m very short, I can spare an inch of skirt.
I also don’t have anywhere to cut fabric. This is my cutting mat/ironing board. You’re right, it’s just a flattened cardboard box on my bedroom floor.
Cutting straight lines using shears without a yardstick is impossible. I should’ve bought that rotary cutter. Uneven edges when sewing two (theoretically) identical pieces of fabric together means that you are not sewing two identical pieces of fabric together and therefore the seams are all higgilty piggilty which here means they look like crap.
Finally, I realized I’ve always been intimidated by sewing not because it required investing in a piece of machinery that is rather large and costly (compared to most knitting needles) or the finality of an incorrect measurement when it comes to cutting fabric but because it involves lots of sharp objects. I was stuck twice with pins and that is two times too many, my friends. (I also bought pins with gigantic neon plastic flowers at the ends so that in the nightmarish event that one were to find itself on the floor, it could be easily identified and prevent injuries to the foot.) Furthermore, I am afraid of getting my hand sewn into the machine because that happened to my grandmother once which resulted in a call the fire department. She had to explain to the firemen how to take the machine apart while her hand was stuck in it which I have always imagined to be a gruesome scene.
Actually, really finally, I don’t like ironing and I’ve discovered that sewing requires a lot of it. I try to never wear clothes that need ironing and, luckily, I can dress casually for work which means that my wardrobe is much more ready-to-wear than most working professionals. It’s not just that I don’t like ironing (I mean, how could you not love it?), I truly believe that I am a sub-par ironer. No matter how much I press or play with the little temperature dial or fill the thing up with water, nothing ever seems to lose the wrinkles. (One day when I’m a grown up, maybe I’ll learn how to do it properly.) After you sew anything, you have to press it.
In fact, sewing might be only about 30% sitting at the machine while I’ve discovered it is 70% cutting not-straight lines, pinning fabric without drawing blood, and ironing things that were just sewn. On a cardboard box on my bedroom floor.
This is a terrible, grainy photo of the skirt. I’ve cropped it because I look insane and also like a sewing machine exploded all around me. I haven’t finished the hem because I gave up around 11pm.
Despite all of this, sewing has not defeated me. And, although my seams would lead you to believe that I was drunk (side note: drunk sewing sounds TREACHEROUS), I chose a black fabric with a pattern and black thread so that no one will ever know. So I’ve got at least one thing right. And, it is certainly not perfect but I’m proud that what I’m working on mildly resembles a piece of clothing. Although I’ve already spent about three hours on it (trust me, the pattern is not a misnomer, it’s all me), I feel like I’m at least learning how to iron.
What do you think? Have you ever had a new craft disaster? Also, anyone have tips? I can trade for knitting tips!