One of the highlights of my 2019 was how I grew as a crafter. In June I went to a jeans-making retreat at Fancy Tiger Crafts and while there was no flash of knowing I was changed, I can see since coming home the difference it has made in my sewing. I made underwear and overalls, both of which I would have assumed were beyond me. But I made jeans! So I can figure out underwear (which, it turns out, are actually really simple!). This was also the year I began to feel more comfortable making pattern adjustments – grading between sizes and shortening pattern pieces.
Above are the 16 projects I completed and shared here this year (there are 3 more done but not blogged, but that’s a different story). I have sewing, knitting, and crochet projects. I’m sure this is the first year in my crafting life that my sewing projects outnumber my knitting, and I suspect it will continue that way in the future.
As I sometimes touch on, I am living with chronic colorectal cancer. This year I received 21 doses of chemotherapy, will continue to get treatment every other week for the foreseeable future. Every stitch I hooked and sewed and knitted this year was with cancer in my lungs and bones. These pictures are celebrations on days that I felt good. I think crafters in particular know the joy that comes with finishing the creation of a tangible thing and while I will never lose that, I want to value the days where I make nothing but carbon dioxide as I exhale.
I’ll be back soon with some thoughts and goals for 2020. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along here. If you want to keep up with my health, I have a cancer blog I update (more) regularly (than this one).
There is a feeling of intense pride when your child sees an item in a store and announces, “My mom could make that.” When shopping for this year’s ballet gear my daughter saw a crocheted bun cover and after bragging about my skills, requested one for herself. I am not an experienced crocheter, but I didn’t want to say no to her request so I made good use of the internet’s resources and made it happen.
Going through my stash at home my daughter couldn’t decide between three different skeins, so I offered to make her multiple covers. My crochet skills definitely improved as I went – on the first one I failed to notice the pattern switching from rounds of double crochet to single crochet, while the last one I was able to whip up in under 30 minutes without needing to look up any of the stitches. The pattern recommends finishing with a ribbon laced through the holes at the bottom, but instead I chose to crochet the final round onto a hair elastic. That has worked really well in practice – I can secure the cover mostly with the elastic and just use a couple back-up bobby pins to keep it there.
I made a wild guess as to how big to make the covers and ended up doing 3-4 rounds in the section you vary to adjust the size. That works well for her current modest bun, but it would definitely have to be bigger for someone with more or thicker hair. These are easy to make and I would happily make her a whole new set next year to match her new leotard color or accommodate her growing mane. Have you made anything to impress your kids with your crafty skills?