Time-out crafting

I still want to show you guys the gifts I made for Christmas, but since it kind of follows on from my semi-resolutions-y post the other day, I’ll show you some selfish knitting quickly first.

I said in that post that I am claiming 6 months of commission-free crafting (well – unpaid, friendly commissions, at least). And as I also said, this isn’t necessarily to make more stuff for myself, but mostly to have the spare time to explore some ideas I’ve had, catch up on projects I’ve started and had to set aside (I’m lookin’ at you, Sajou Sampler. I miss you!), etc.

But sometimes I will just make stuff for myself! Anyone who works for themselves in any capacity – full-time, freelance, or just starting out like myself – will tell you that the work will fill up the time you have. Betty Friedan said some stuff about this in relation to housework back in 1963 and it really struck a chord with me when I read The Feminine Mystique at university. Politics aside, certain tasks really will do that, extend to fill up whatever time you have available to give them. And when you do any self-selling, there’s always something else you could get done, something you feel behind on. You seem to always feel you should be doing more, no matter how much you were doing before. This is just the way it is, I get it and I totally accept it as part of the trade-off for the chance to try and do what I actually want with my life – though I happen to be feeling it especially hard this morning – but sometimes you really have to grab just a little time back for yourself.

So I made a drawer. I took an afternoon off a few weeks ago and went through my Ravelry queue, marking any project that could be done in a weekend. Quick, instant gratification projects, projects that aren’t even practical but would be fun to knit. I matched them to yarn in my stash, put each in a bag with the printed pattern, and filled up the drawer. I have set a goal for myself that I will do one of these projects every month, under the theory that it will force me to have at least one relaxing weekend just to myself, crafting-wise.

In time there will be some quickie embroidery projects in there too, but for now there’s just knitting and that’s what I really craved over the Christmas break. So here’s what I did with my time off:

Pink Loop
Pink Loop

I finally blocked the Pink Loop cowl that I knit in November. The yarn is Malabrigo Arroyo which is as delicious as you’d expect it to be, all bouncy and fat and squeezable. I had stashed only one little skein, just because it was lovely, so finding a one-skein sportweight project was tricky. The pattern is A Grey Loop by Helen G which was great – simple, quick, easily customizable. I basically just knit until I started to run out of yarn. Only thing is that I’m not entirely sure these long-loop cowls really suit me. Hmm.

Abra Alba Mitts
Abra Alba Mitts
Abra Alba Mitts

These are Abra Alba mitts by Matilde Skår and I have been smitten with this pattern since the moment I saw it. It would actually be great for leftovers, because you use so very little of each color. Of course I happened to have no DK-weight scraps, so I snagged myself an awesome deal in one of those Drops ‘Alpaca Party’ sales. I got the yarn – Drops Lima – for these for £6 and have enough to make, I suspect, two more pairs of mittens as well. I already put the leftovers back in the project drawer with new patterns. I can’t say how it will wear, but I loved knitting with the Lima, it’s both cuddly and a little rustic and is quite buttery to knit with. And the whole project took about, I don’t know, 6-ish hours total.

A gift for a hedgehog

This is a gift for a little hedgehog who is going to need a scarf soon enough, so I can’t show too much just yet. I sure hope he likes it and I seriously can’t wait to send it to him!

I also did some pattern-development knitting over the break that I’m enjoying very, very much. Here’s a little sneaky peeky for you:

Sneaky Peeky 1
Sneaky Peeky 2

So, what selfish crafting did you do once your handmade gifts were finished, or maybe just as a treat to yourself during your time off?

2 Comments on Time-out crafting

  1. Sasha
    January 8, 2013 at 14:08 (6 years ago)

    This is a wonderful idea. I really need to do this. I feel like I’m constantly struggling to keep up with my “business sewing” and I miss just knitting and sewing for myself. I love your projects so far =D I was thinking of making A Grey Loop with some of my handspun.

    • julie
      January 8, 2013 at 19:54 (6 years ago)

      Ooooh, a handspun grey loop would be lovely!

      I’m glad it’s not just me that has this crafting balance issue. I hope my drawer will help – if you make a drawer of your own, be sure to tell me how it works out!


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