Happiness Project 19 in 2019- Part I: All the Crafty Things

February 25, 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s taken me quite a bit of time to sit down and write this first post of 2019 because I was too relaxed when I was off work and too stressed out once my vacation was over. Since a lot of podcasters haven been talking about their 19 happiness projects for 2019, I’ve decided to write a series of posts, beginning with all the crafty things on my list. A lot of my projects are long-term goals, but I am hoping that this list will be a lot more tangible than the new year’s resolutions I’ve made in the past. Hopefully, I will be able to check off most of the items on my list at the end of the year.

1. Buy a spinning wheel

As mentioned on the podcast, I got back into spinning when I had two weeks off from work around Christmas and New Year’s. My initial plan was just to finish spinning the project that had been languishing on my wheel for months, so I could put my wheel into storage. However, I had so much fun spinning because I felt like I was finally making progress that I started another spinning project and then another. Long story short, I decided to invest in a “regular-sized” wheel because I felt like my little Ashford Joy travel wheel was a bit limiting, both in terms of seating position and spinning ratios. I received my wheel, a Schacht Flatiron, almost a month ago and I am in love! I will definitely write a separate review post once I’ve spun a bit more on her (I call her “Nessie”), but she was certainly the perfect choice for me. First item checked off my list!

2. Knit mostly from stash

I aim to mostly knit from stash every year, but have always failed miserably in the past. This year, I think it is actually achievable because I feel quite overwhelmed by how much yarn I have. Unless I knit a lot more garments than I have yarn for — unfortunately, I have a lot of single skeins of shiny sock yarn — I think I will be able to refrain from purchasing yarn until the fall. We have a trip to New England planned for late September/early October, and I am fully aware that at least a few skeins of yarn will have to be purchased there. In the meantime, I think I am quite happy buying a few braids of fiber whenever I feel the urge to treat myself. My fiber stash has never been extensive, and except for the box of fiber from different German sheep breeds, everything else still fits into two very small drawers.

3. Spin yarn for a garment and knit it up

Speaking of spinning and garment knitting, one of my big goals for this year is to spin a sweater’s quantity of yarn and knit it up. My friend Cary (@mywoolmitten) has a wonderful podcast and talked about spinning yarn for a garment before Christmas. She actually inspired me to dust off my spinning wheel late last year, which got me hooked again after not really spinning much for a long time. Somehow, the thought of being able to control all the characteristics of the yarn, and consequently also the garment itself, really appeals to me. I even already bought yarn for my project from Hey Mama Wolf, three braids of naturally dyed German fiber in three different shades of green. I still need to practice spinning a bit finer though and I also have to buy at least one more bobbin to be able to make a 3ply yarn. I am really excited about it in any case!

4. Participate in the Tour de Fleece

Now that I have a new, “regular-sized” spinning wheel, I am excited to participate in the Tour de Fleece in July. I always felt like spinning on my Ashford Joy travel wheel was really slow so I wouldn’t have had a large output at the end of the challenge. When I was younger, and had way more time on my hands, I always watched at least some of the Tour de France stages because I’d had a road since I was about 12 or 13 years old and used to cycle a lot before I started rowing and while living overseas. I even took my road bike with me when I studied abroad in Switzerland and bought a new bike in Canada before actually moving there. At the moment, my bike is gathering a bit of dust, but I think it will be a lot of fun trying to spin every day during the Tour de Fleece and perhaps even go on a few bike rides in the summer as well.

5. Knit six garments

I am primarily a garment knitter these days. I have only knit a few garments for myself in the past, so I feel like it fills a void in my wardrobe. A lot of my store-bought sweaters have started disintegrating, and the thought of replacing them with hand-knit ones makes my heart skip a beat. There are so many wonderful patterns on Ravelry and I am fully aware that I will almost certainly never be able to knit all of them, but I will just work on one after the other. My plan is to knit a variety of styles and weights. I am currently in the process of finishing two sport/DK-weight garments, Engi by Jennifer Steingass and Hometown by Verena Cohrs. Once they are finished, I will probably already start focusing on thinner-weight garments because I won’t be able to finish much before it gets warmer in the spring. I have already swatched for another DK-weight cardigan, Lush by Tin Can Knits, but I might wait to cast it on in the fall. Since we’ve booked a last-minute beach-vacation, I will continue working on my Nina cardigan by Dawn Catanzaro and potentially also cast on a cotton/bamboo tee. In the spring and summer, I will probably primarily work on fingering-weight garments, perhaps Grace by Jane Richmond and So Faded by Andrea Mowry.

6. Sew a dress for my cousin’s wedding in September

I love wearing handmade garments, but I always need a kick in the butt to actually sit down at my sewing machine. I used to hate cutting out patterns before I got a rotary cutter late last year. I think it is a lot more convenient to use pdf patterns as well because I can just cut out my size without having to worry about ruining the paper pattern. Because I would say that I am just an advanced beginner, I am not confident enough to sew a more intricate dress for a wedding. Therefore, I am planning on sewing a few easier patterns from Sew Over It’s Work to Weekend collection, hopefully even before our vacation in March. Ultimately, I am hoping to get hooked on sewing more regularly/often again, similar to what happened with my spinning mojo. Sadly, there are only 24 hours in a day and I have too many hobbies.

I hope you enjoyed reading about all my fiber-related goals. In the next couple of weeks, I will write up two more posts on the rest of my 19 “happiness project” goals for this year. I am really excited about hopefully being able to tick as many as possible off my list. Are you also taking part in the happiness project? It’s certainly not too late to join in ;).

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