A 2021 Review

A 2021 Review

I had another blog where I was doing these monthly posts, wrapping up what I made that month, completely inspired by my friend Rebecca and her monthly posts. I liked doing those, but I completely fell off after I started feeling not-so-hot in mid August that lasted until the beginning of November. I’m hoping to get back on the horse for 2022, but I’m also not going to put too much pressure on myself about it because there are some life changes coming in the beginning of the year.

I did have the foresight to start making a spreadsheet at the beginning of the year to track everything I made and when I finished it. I’ll keep doing that because it’s a very handy way to centralize everything, especially since some of the database-type sites I’m on are highly focused and I can’t create entries for other crafts (also a reason why I started this blog).

I don’t want to do a massive, gigantic blog post, so I created a gallery instead. In theory I want all the images to link to the blog post where I wrapped up the project, but alas, since I started this blog late in 2021 and I’ve been tallying since the beginning of 2021 many of the images will just be images. By this time next year the plan should work. I do have a few projects not included that aren’t complete yet, and they’ll go on next year’s big old list.

I didn’t quite get photos of everything, so not pictured are:

  • 2 small embroidery projects
  • 1 Bear Paw coaster
  • 1 Sewing wall caddy I made out of naturally dyed fabric scraps
  • 1 Lago tank top in light grey (this was the tester, and the way I found out I needed a few sizes combined to get a fit I like)

    One of the samples I worked on this year – lac dye reacting with a mixture of different tannins on cotton.

    I also spent my summer testing many cotton samples with different tannins and natural dyes. I have a really awesome swatch book that I’ve started with these, but I haven’t quite figured out how to showcase them, so unfortunately no, big overall pictures of that for now.

    All together I have a total of 32 completed projects, some big and some small. I have one I completely abandoned (a lacy shawl that just wasn’t working), two still in the works (mini quilts that need to be quilted and bound), and one little embroidery that’s been languishing but really wouldn’t take much to finish.

    Do I count value in how many projects I complete? Not really, but it is a nice metric in order to look back and see. Looking back on all these projects I can see how I pushed myself this year. This year I:

      1. Dipped my toe in embroidery
      2. Really learned how to draft my own patterns for quilts, and wrapped my head around the math for that
      3. For the first time adjusted sewing patterns to get a fit I wanted (thank you t-shirts and tank tops)
      4. Practiced the hell out of my long draw technique
      5. Made my first 100% naturally dyed by me, large hand quilted quilt. I am so in love with this process and I never, ever thought I would be
      6. Got really comfortable the the process of dyeing cellulose fibres

    Looking Ahead to 2022…

    I don’t do resolutions, but I do do “things I’d like to learn this year” in terms of craft/making. Usually I have a bullet point of several things, but this next year due to the aforementioned big life changes, I’m going to be a little bit more laissez faire with myself.

    What I would like to do is really look at different weaving capabilities with my rigid heddle loom. I’ve had it for a few years, used some different fibres, but it’s all been plain weave (even if I have gotten some really fun pseudo-plaids out of it). I’ve been gifted a few rigid heddle loom specific books, and I want to dive deeply into them and really expand what I can do.

    To make my life easier I think I will have to invest in a floor stand for it, which is almost as much as the loom itself. But it will make my life much easier since none of my tables quite fit the loom I have easily (rounded corners on tables and all that). Plus I want it to be more mobile, and with a stand I’ll be able to move it around and collapse it down and tuck it away when I’m not using it.

    Other than that, I’ll just continue with things I really dove into this year – natural dyeing of cellulose and quilting. And of course there will be the spinning (always the spinning), but I don’t have any big giant goals on those fronts (except maybe catching up with all my Long Way Homestead Fibre of the Month club which I have really enjoyed).

    One specific project I may like to continue working on is Tour de Fleece from the past year. I spun up some DK weight North Country Cheviot, about 625 yds worth. That’s not enough for a sweater, so I’d like to expand on that and spin some more. I should only need about 400-500 yds to get enough for a cardigan, so I may look to do that in 2022. Hopefully at that point I’ll have enough yarn to knit my yearly hand spun sweater, which is a tradition I started a few years ago but didn’t get to do this year. I missed taking that time around Christmas to knit myself a new sweater.

    And, more generally, I’m really looking forward to 2022. There’s a lot of new discovery waiting for me, and I cannot wait.

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