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hello all!  i hope you had a wonderful, restful holiday.  we played things super low-key over here which was both novel and wonderful.  lots of hiking, lots of eating.  the kids started back at school last week and we are all beginning to resume our regular scheduling, which means i’m again able to carve out some set times to work.  if you follow on instagram, you know i’ve been pretty focused on finishing up the samples for my little knitwear collection (which is starting to look like a collection!); i’m having a lot of fun with it and looking forward to actually writing the patterns and being able to share them (finally).

as a fairly regimented and goal oriented person, i don’t tend to play along with the whole new year’s resolution mania.*  i’m also fortunate to enjoy eating well and exercising, and i throw everything away, so we don’t have much clutter–i feel like those three things account for about 95% of resolutions!  that’s not to say i don’t think it’s wonderful to consider ways to improve one’s quality of life, just that the lofty and manic goal setting at the new year doesn’t tend to lead to lasting habits or changes.  however, i can definitely get on board with any opportunity to pause and reflect, and i do have some intentions for 2015 that i thought it would be nice to organize and record for posterity.

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i would say overall, things are progressing nicely in my year of knitting dangerously.  one major goal of course is to complete my pattern collection, which we already covered above. i had a lot of other goals in mind for this year, including making new friends, visiting new places, and learning new skills.  i have paid a few visits to this incredible shop, reached out to people i admire as often as i can, and am signed up for some classes (and hope to add more in spinning, weaving, etc!).  i have a long list of people/farms/shops/institutions i want to visit that i hope to work through slowly but surely.

importantly, i think i’m becoming more comfortable with not working and not *trying* to work as a nurse.  gosh, i miss medicine terribly, and it’s often difficult for me to feel content without it as a regular part of my life.  however, when i think back on my last several years in the career and what a mess they were, i accept that i need more time and space to figure out what direction i want to take and how to get there.  being home full time is also 100% what makes the most sense for our family right now, and i’m beginning to embrace that more fully.

i feel like there has been a big move this year toward less is more–first, we makers stopped buying and started making.  now, we are examining the way in which we make.  for many of us, myself included, i enjoy the act of making so much, when i first began sewing for my kids and more notably for myself (since they grow out of things like crazy anyway) i was sewing almost as recklessly as i once used to buy.  the ability to create my own clothing was thrilling and satisfying, and i felt good about no longer supporting an industry that has so many negative impacts on society.  i became much more conscious about my making via the wardrobe architect series on the colette blog (which will resume full force for 2015!), and found this blog to be incredibly useful and insightful.  i’d actually like to spend a little more time getting organized with the help of her tools when i turn my attention back to making for myself again at some point.

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felicia at the craft sessions has been running a pretty thought provoking series about stashing less, and i love her resulting list of 2015 makes, organized by month and many drawn from her existing stash…that degree of foresight and organization is enviable and i’d love to get there in the coming months.  ironically, i’m not a stasher by nature and had to work hard to build up a stash in order to support my women’s and children’s clothing endeavors for mohr studio.  a few garments in, i realized i hated making clothing to order and promptly shut the operation down, leaving me with a lot of fabric.  i do want to spend some time working through my existing stash, and fortunately much of the fabric is neutral and can be easily repurposed, though i also want to resist a big sewing frenzy just to get rid of it.  i’d like to sew thoughtfully for myself, and i suppose if the urge ever arises, i can always sew for my shop again.  and if i purchase new materials, i would like to be far more conscious about their origin.

i’m not quite as organized as i’d like to be about my 2015 docket of handmades since i’ve been so singularly focused on my knitting patterns.  but, in addition to the regular birthday/holiday/wedding gifts, i’d love to knit myself some things once my needles are free.  the process of designing patterns has really highlighted that the best education is knitting from other patterns, and i have SEVERAL i’d love to have in my own closet.  actually, i’d like to do some thoughtful wardrobe planning with mood boards and the whole deal once i have a bit more time.  also of note, my day job used to completely support mohr studio and allowed me to invest in materials/courses/workshops guilt free, a safety net i no longer have (yarn is even more expensive than fabric!).  i need to be much better about budgeting now than i have been in the past.  i just finished up my bookkeeping for 2014 and yikes, that total expenditure column always gives me sticker shock.  however, i think the act of setting a firmer, tighter budget will actually lend itself perfectly to being more conscious and careful about the materials i’m purchasing and their destiny.

grainline studio linden tee from organic jersey shibori dyed with indigo

the other issue that coincidentally arose right as we transitioned from one year to the next pertains to this space.  for months, i’ve been thinking, debating, and recently agonizing over what to do with my web presence.  it started as a desire to give this blog a facelift, and then transitioned to wanting to build a new space altogether to cater to my new business plans, with this blog as a component.  a lot of work has already gone into developing those concepts, with some movement in the right direction, but mostly a lot of uncertainty.  just by coincidence, i started to run out of storage space a few weeks ago, just as some knitting tutorials i posted in the stone ages of this blog gained popularity after being picked up by some free knitting websites.  this led to the misfortune of the very posts in highest demand being corrupted as my storage space shrunk.

of course, this occurred days before christmas, so i spent the week between christmas and new years pulling out my hair, trying to figure out before i was ready to the destiny of this blog…would i keep it on wordpress and buy more storage?  figure out how to transfer it over to a self hosted server as was planned, but having no idea how to do so and being completely unprepared (you might see the signs of some growing pains of that transfer already)?  in the meantime, i was frantically scanning through the archives, deleting photos from lesser read posts to make space to fix the knitting tutorials, and answering numerous emails and comments, some friendly, some not so much, every day of my holiday break (and if you are here for the patterns, i promise promise i am working to fix this as quickly as i can!).  i was at once totally mortified to have suddenly a massive influx of viewers coming to see posts that were just not presentable, and torn between working around the clock to get things up to speed and trying to enjoy the holidays with my family and friends.  i tried to find a balance, and against my nature, it ended up being an exercise in letting go a bit.  by the fourth day of that, i was ready to just start fresh, and now i’m feeling confident about that direction.

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i will always leave this space active and accessible.  there is a lot of content here i’m proud of and fond of.  i love having free knowledge available to anyone who wants it, in the form of knitting patterns, sewing tutorials, and ideas.  that’s an invaluable aspect of the online crafting community and i’m happy to be a part of it.  as i was deleting photos of my sweet little babies to make space for more desired (by readers) photos, i also appreciated how this blog captures an era of my family life for which we have no other living record.  i started this blog shortly after getting my first sewing machine 2.5 years ago, and the evolution of my skills and aesthetic (and writing style) are evident and trackable for all to see (great), but not necessarily reflective of where i’m at now (not so great).  i want to preserve this space for all of those reasons, but i also feel that it’s time for me to move on and start fresh in a new space as the maker/writer/person i am today.

i am still only in the early stages of having that new space designed, and i’m not sure when it will be ready.  if the urge arises to write, i will continue to do so here until my new space is finalized.  and of course, i will write a notification post of when i’m switching over permanently!  i still don’t have a clear idea of what will happen over there…will i be hosting knit alongs for my new patterns?  writing about life?  shorter posts about my process?  probably all of the above and other things i’m not yet even aware of.  blogs evolve with us, so i think we will be learning together what that new space will become.  i am saddened by this transition, because i know i can’t take all of you with me, as much as i’d like to.  your support and readership have inspired and uplifted me through some very trying times, and i would love to have you along for the next phase of my journey, wherever it may take me.  i promise to keep you all posted on this transition, and hope many of you will choose to come along.

until then, may your 2015 be off to a merry, shiny and bright beginning.

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*my one honest to goodness resolution is to read more for pleasure.  it’s a goal i have all the time, and one that seemed fitting to set with some fanfare.  everything else i’ve mentioned here seem to be guidelines for how to continue and improve upon things i already do, and know i will continue to do.  reading is something i desperately want to do more of, but never make time for.  examining my reading habits over the past few years, i know i need to make this goal very limited and manageable.  i have committed to 15 minutes of reading (minimum) daily, in a BOOK for PLEASURE (not news, and not educational for my business).  i have the book on my nightstand, so each night before bed, no matter how exhausted i am, i try to get through a few pages (and head to bed 15 minutes early to do so).  i’m starting with the woman who lost her soul, which i picked up at powell’s books over the summer.  at 700 pages, it might take the whole year to finish at this rate, but the important thing is honoring the commitment, i think.

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