Here’s to 2016!

2015 was a pretty good year for me. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, good or bad, but it was a steady year of time with family, time at home, and time to create. I took trips, made friends, made some big lifestyle changes, and the like. I also, honestly, went through my first real bout of depression since before my son was born. You see, I’m a painter. You’d never know, because I don’t ever have an opportunity to do it, but creating is something that is deeply engrained in my core identity. Painting, specifically, requires a certain measure of calm and aloneness for me to do, and with a toddler, calm and aloneness just aren’t a part of life. About halfway through the year I had a very strong compulsion to create, and I realized that I had let creativity and making take a backseat to other aspects of life. I spent the second half of the year balancing that out. If I can’t paint, I need to make something, ANYTHING, to feel like a whole person.

This year I made a lot of things, several of which I didn’t share. I learned new things and pushed myself to be better, and I took more time to make for others. Next year I hope to do a lot more of the same. Here are some goals for 2016:

  • I want to paint. Even just once. Even if it isn’t any good.
  • I want to knit more. I find it very calming. I want to make myself a more basic, sturdy, warm and cozy sweater, and I want to tackle something that is considered “advanced”. I also want to do these things before it is too late in the year to enjoy them.
  • I want to try serger sewing. I acquired a lot of knits in November, and I’ve made some work, but I want to have them be better in their finishings.
  • I want to make a jacket. I have a lightweight, 3/4 sleeved jacket I got from a friend, but it isn’t very warm. I want to make another lighter weight jacket for spring and fall, but I also want something much warmer that I can wear next winter. I bought the new Clare coat pattern from Closet Case File Patterns, so maybe that will be my big sewing project for the year.
  • I want to sew more for others. I have a few late Christmas gifts I’m working on for some of my friends and family, and I’m hoping that making for others will force me to slow down and do quality work.
  • I want to finish at least one of the two quilts I started in 2015. I’ve never made a full-sized quilt before, and these need to fit our Cal King bed, so that is going to be quite an undertaking for me.
  • Lastly, I want to get back into the (heavily dreaded) routine of regular exercise. I took a break as I was adjusting to paleo eating, and chaos of the holidays, but this year I need to suck it up and be better.
  • I want to enjoy and wear the things I make. If they don’t fit right, I want to fix them and learn from them. If they fall apart, I want to learn from that as well. If I’m taking time to make things, I want to spend time using them.

That’s a somewhat vague list of goals, I know. I don’t have specific patterns or techniques listed. Of course, I HAVE specific patterns and techniques I’d like to use, but I’m not going to get myself stuck on that as much as in the past. I want to just make, and make well, and make myself better at the things I do and make along the way.

My final note on 2015 is this sweater:

I finished it between Thanksgiving and Christmas and was able to wear it both for Christmas and most of New Years Eve. It is a disaster. The yarn was cursed (maybe bugs at some point, or maybe just not as high quality as I thought when I bought it) and seems to dissolve and break as I breathe. I’ve probably got a dozen or more knots throughout, trying to mend holes. I don’t care. I love it! I plan on wearing it until it is a wreck and won’t stay on my shoulders anymore. I also plan on making it again with a sturdier yarn, maybe something with some silk for strength (and because silk is so fancy). I’m really proud of it. It isn’t a sewing make, but it is my favorite make of the year.

So here’s to 2016, and all the beauty and usefulness it will bring!!

Happy New Year!


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