knit year resolutions 2016

We're nearly 1/12th of the way through 2016 and here I am, just now getting to publishing my new year's resolutions. As they say, better late than never!

This year I'm very excited to not only grow Goodstitch a lot and grow as a fiber artist, I want to leave a lot of room for experimentation, new techniques and crafts, while also diving deeper. 2015 was a lot of "What is it that I want to do?" and so for 2016 I'm thinking a lot more about, "How can I do what I'm doing better?" I know this year will bring so many surprises and changes, with the Mr. finishing up medical school and finding out where we'll be for the next 4 years for residency, and I'm excited to grow through those changes and also, to leave room for surprises and new desires because of those changes. As far as skills and techniques go, here are some things I would love to accomplish this year: 

  • Sew 5 pieces by the summertime for my wardrobe. Part of this has to do with skill development, and part of it has to do with making clothes that fit the way that I am comfortable, and embracing my body for however it is!
  • Sew a lap quilt. We are a ways a way from thinking about kids, but I'd love to be able to sew and quilt as one of my life-long goals for my children someday. So baby steps! (No pun intended)
  • Knit my 2nd sweater. It's hard to believe that it was last summer that I made my first one! I have 2 sweater's quantities of yarn in my stash right now that I'd love to dig into!
  • Knit Brandon a sweater. Because once you're married, the boyfriend sweater curse gets lifted, and also because this guy is the greatest and deserves a handknit sweater!
  • Knit socks for exercising. Perfect short little projects, exercising motivation through knitting. Hoping this will be a way to trick myself into running more often. :)
  • Keep building relationships in my fiber community. One of my biggest blessings in 2015 FOR SURE, and I'm excited to keep on connecting with new makers and getting to know the ladies in my knit group more, building community with people who share my passions near and far. 

I'd love to hear about your maker's resolutions, share if you have one that you're really excited about in 2016! 


sewing stitches: fen dress

Pattern: Fen by Fancy Tiger Crafts, View B with optional pockets and sleeves

One of my first finished makes of 2016! Fen is a beginner's sewing pattern that has options for a top and a dress, long sleeves or short sleeves, rounded top or v-neck, so I knew I would get a lot of use out of purchasing this one pattern. A few weeks ago I got the help from some lovely women at Downtown Knits in Apex, NC and after much deliberation, picked out this beautiful chambray (because I definitely don't have enough chambray in my closet already). Being a beginning sewist, I wanted to make sure my lines looked sharp, but didn't pop too much, so a coordinating blue cotton thread was what I chose to sew with it. 

Sewing, unlike other crafts, is not something that has come particularly easy to me. My lines tend to be imprecise, and being a lefty, I never developed fantastic scissors skills, both of which are pretty essentials skills when garment sewing. Ha! After taking a full week to trace, cut, and sew this lovely garment, I'm convinced that I'm probably the slowest sewist out there. The pattern was very straightforward to trace and cut, however, and I'm sure someone with better skills or a more experienced hand would fly through these steps much more quickly. The sewing itself was fairly straightforward, the only real problem area being the binding around the neckline. I had a hard time visualizing exactly what I was supposed to be doing with it, and ended up improvising a bit. Amber from Fancy Tiger Crafts was very helpful in describing what the neckline was supposed to look like, and on my next Fen I think I'll be a lot more successful. 

Favorite parts of this dress are definitely the sleeves and pockets. The sleeves are a perfect 3/4 length and the pockets are super sturdy. I just love dresses with pockets! I was able to sew the skirt, pockets, sleeves and finish the dress all in one night, and was so encouraged by how easy the skirt was to make so professional and clean-looking. Not all of my lines were so lucky ;)

This is a dress I hope I'm going to get a LOT of wear out of, and I'm grateful to have finished it during the crazy snowstorm that left me stranded on the top of the hill at our house for the past few days. Spinning and knitting are re-commencing this week, with many fun and exciting projects ahead!