Knitting dreams

I have fallen in love with knitting.

Sunday night was spent on rows 1-16 of the cobblestone pattern for this knitted hat while watching Game of Thrones; I followed up last night with a dozen more rows and an old episode of Sherlock. In other words: finally achieving my ideals of pure DIY geekery.

Despite a few initial stumbles, I’m quickly falling in love with knitting. I like that it’s small and portable and quiet, and now that I’ve sort of gotten the hang of it, I’m enjoying the Zen of slowly counting off stitches and rows, so much so that I’m assembling quite a backlog of sewing projects that are sitting forlornly on my craft table while I curl up with my ball of yarn every night. I should really do something about that, but instead I’m dreaming about what comes next for me and my knitting needles. Behold, an ambitious gallery of future knitting endeavors:

1. Pretty in Polka Dots Hat, Knits by Britt
2. Aidez Cardigan, Berroco
3. Hudson Bay Inspired Crib Blanket, Purl Soho
4. Knitted Fox, The Bushcrafter (on Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky!)
5. Herringbone Cowl Purl Soho
6. Chunky Cable Knit Hat, Lula Louise

Another use for my sewing machine

Quilting appeals to the math and pattern side of my brain. Making my own clothing appeals to the side that is easily seduced by “30% off dresses today only!” emails.

At the beginning of the year I decided to stop buying clothes.* I’ve given in to the flurry of “30% off today only!” and “[obscure holiday] weekend sale!” emails from way too many retailers, and my closet is full of clothes I bought because they were seemingly affordable, not because I actually liked or needed them. (Pro tip: if you never wear it, that sweater you found for 60% off was not actually a good deal.)

A month or so ago I signed up for to hide all of those emails, which has gone a surprisingly long way in cutting down on my unnecessary shopping. I also started sewing (um…in case you hadn’t noticed), which has opened up a pretty sweet world of custom-made clothing.

My first attempt dress making felt like I had conjured magic out of thin air. That’s not to say the end result was perfect—if you look closely at the neckline or the sleeve hems, you can see how I accidentally stretched the fabric out when I was pressing it, so everything is a little bit crooked. And the color is…vibrant? I’m proud of it (I MADE A DRESS), but I haven’t yet mustered up the courage to wear it to work (some day! soon. I promise).

I’m not ready to give up, though. I’ve been wandering around the blogosphere, stumbling upon patterns that make me want to permanently abandon buying new clothes in favor of sewing everything myself (dresses? obviously. but also workout clothes and a bright yellow hoodie and fancy tailored shirts!). Behold the amazingness:

1. Albion Jacket, Colette Patterns
2. Coffee Date Dress, Pattern Runway
3. McCall M6657: Misses’ Unlined Coat, View B, modified and sewn by Nikki Brooks-Revis of Beaute’ J’adore
4. Nicola Dress, Victory Patterns
5. Sorbetto Top, Colette Patterns, modified and sewn by Lizz of A Good Wardrobe
Victoria Blazer, By Hand London, sewn by Leila of Where the Orchids Grow

*Err…mostly. This year has a few obvious exceptions (exhibit A: a wedding dress, which I feel neither confident nor qualified enough to attempt), but the gist is to only buy the things I need, as opposed to the things I think I want when I’m bored.

Quilt envy: triangles of all types

Today I’m admiring clean lines and sharp angles.

1. color crush quilt, Creative Chicks
2. falling geese quilt, Michael Ann of Michael Ann Made
3. triangle quilt, Jess of Happy Together
4. equilateral triangles crib quilt, Carson Converse of CarsonToo
5. modern ombre quilt, See Kate Sew
6. didn’t get the memo quilt, Alissa of Handmade by Alissa

Quilt envy: black and white

Today I’m admiring all things starkly contrasted.

1. black and white modern isosceles triangle baby quilt, Erica of craftyblossom on Etsy
2. untitled, amish bars variation, Lindsay Stead
3. hourglass quilt, Sarah of Orange You Glad
4. black and yellow “inspired” quilt, Sarah of Bluprint Textiles
5. migration, flying geese variation, S. D. Evans Quilts
6. improv quilt, cinzia allocca