22. Craftmas and the Start of 2021

Happy New Year! There is a lot to be said about 2020, but I want to reflect on the positive aspects for myself and my family. For me, this was the first time I ever had to do my job from home and I have loved it. I love being in my house and I have been able to do my job without any problems from home. This is mostly because it has changed significantly this last year because of the pandemic. I have juggled home working with home schooling but this has also been a positive thing for me as I got to spend so much extra time with Faye. We are ready for the challenge again over the coming weeks and who knows how long for thereafter.

Our most special part of 2020 was welcoming our gorgeous pup, Cosmo, into our home. Our first dog. We have thought about having a dog many, many times over the years. In fact, Faye has been desperate to have a dog her whole life. 2020 gave us the perfect opportunity to be home all day and train him up which so far I think we have done successfully as he is a lovely little pup. We will have new issues to navigate as life continues to change but I don’t think we could have chosen a more perfect time to have him.

2020 has also been a year of crafting! I have made lots of lovely things and learned a lot. I have enjoyed all that making so much and am thoroughly looking forward to lots more in 2021.

With that in mind, onto my finished objects over the last week or so, or what I have been affectionately calling: ‘Craftmas’. How joyful it was to wake up every morning and ask myself, ‘What do I want to work on today?’

I cast on the Silent Night Socks on Christmas Eve using the new Christmas colourway ‘Silent Night’ from West Yorkshire Spinners and a contrasting mini skein from stash for the heels and toes. I used the Comet Sock pattern from Winwick Mum but I modified it to just do 40 rows in pattern down the leg of my socks. This was mostly because I wanted to get them finished before the end of the year and they required concentration. This way, I felt I got the best of both worlds and I’m really happy with them.

I received the beautiful book ‘Romantic Crochet’ by Emma Escott for Christmas and there are so many projects in there that I want to cast on. I decided as I actually needed a pair of fingerless mitts, that I would cast on the wrist warmers from the book and use up some stash yarn too. The yarn was from Stranded Dyeworks in the colourway ‘Inappropriate Crush’. I learned three new techniques to make these mittens and I loved crocheting them so much that I can’t wait to make another pair!

Over the holidays, I worked a lot on my Elton cardigan in the hopes I could get this off the needles before 31st December, but it was just a stretch too far. I did, however, finish the second sleeve on 1st January and now just have the button band to go.

Rob and I decided that this year, we would order our own gifts from each other to save the other person any stress. I know this isn’t very romantic but we were both happy with the decision and after 21 years together, I don’t see it as a problem. Love is more than a surprise gift after all! I ordered myself a Liberty jelly roll from Alice Caroline with the vague idea of making a quilt. I didn’t really know what I was getting as I’m new to quilting. It’s absolutely beautiful and after much time browsing the internet for ideas, I decided to just keep things straightforward and sew the panels together in stripes. I soon realised that I would in fact need a second jelly roll to complete it this way, so I ordered another!

I absolutely love how it looks so far even in it’s un-ironed, half-sewn state. More to come over the month with this project.

“Rob” also treated me to a cross stitch kit that I have been coveting for some time: The Little Doves Year Cross Stitch. My plan with this is to cross stitch the month in the month so it will be a year long project to be savoured and enjoyed.

I’ve been so excited for the start of January so I could cast on my first pair of socks for the Rainbow Sock Chronicles. This is a year-long knit-a-long set up by Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet and Kelly of Lay Family Yarn. The first month is ‘pink’ and I did buy the corresponding mini skein kit to start with from Kelly. I absolutely love these colours and have decided to keep it simple and stripe the yarns in the basic sock pattern.

I am also purchasing the palette pack of 10 x 10g minis from Kelly so that I can make a beautiful granny stripe blanket. I absolutely could not resist casting this on when I finished work on Christmas Eve Eve (23rd) and it was just such a pleasure to crochet those rows. I cast on 302 chains using a 3.5mm hook. This wasn’t a very good measurement in terms of doing so many rows per mini but it is perfect double bed width. Rather than waste any yarn, I decided to just crochet continuously changing mid row and it still looks absolutely beautiful. I’m just banking on Kelly doing 12 palette packs so that I can make a full blanket!

I have lots of beautiful projects on the go already this year with more in the pipe line. However, I also have some big projects from last year (and before that), that I would like to get finished this year so I have hopefully come up with a way to manage them. I have a bullet journal / goal tracking notebook to help me organise myself month to month, with goals for the month and how I will achieve them.

I have planned this for the first quarter of the year but then I’ll review how I’m doing before I plan beyond that. I have set myself loose goals for my Battenberg blanket, Cosmo’s striped blanket, Faye’s hexies quilt, my rainbow granny stripe blanket and cross stitch. For each, I have tried to give myself a manageable amount to do for the month rather than daily goals. I find that I over plan my days and then get disheartened when I can’t keep up. And let’s face it, sometimes you are just not in the mood for a particular project.

For my Battenberg, I am going to aim for 4 squares a day (they are only tiny), but with the overall goal of 80 squares a month. I could use the weekend to do a few more to either get ahead or catch up if I’m behind, so I’m still allowing myself some flexibility. And obviously the world will not end if I don’t meet my quota. It’s just a guide to help me reach the finished blanket.

My sock goals for 2021 are obviously to knit 12 pairs for the Rainbow Sock Chronicles but I also want to knit more Christmas socks for my Christmas Box of Socks project. I’m not setting a goal for this but I know in my head I’d love to add 10 pairs this year. It might be a bit ambitious though! It’s just that last year, I aimed for 12 pairs and knit 14. I didn’t do a great deal of knitting over the summer because I focused on my garden more. We also had Cosmo at the end of August and for a few weeks there, I only did a few Battenberg squares as I was exhausted! I also had a reading goal last year to read 50 books (I managed 45 so not bad). In 2021, I’m not setting any reading goals as I’ve lost my reading mojo a bit. I also won’t be growing any veg in my garden next year. We are scaling down on the garden since my back diagnosis and also to create more room for Cosmo to run around in so there will be much less to do out there in 2021.

Theoretically, I should have even more time for knitting and crochet!

My 2021 sewing goals are quite relaxed. I would like to keep using my sewing machine so that I can continue growing in confidence. My only plan is to always be working on something. I have quite a few ideas of what I would like to make but we’ll see!

The only thing left to tell you about is my word for the year. Last year, I chose ‘organised’ and goodness me, did I need to be organised last year. When I chose it, I obviously had no idea how important it would be!

My word for 2021 is ‘Enjoy’. I really want to focus on enjoying as many things as I can. I have a tendency to stress myself out over the smallest things. I hope having this word in the back of my mind will remind me to just relax and take time to do things I enjoy every day.

Do you have a word for the year? How about making goals? I’d love to know!

Until next time, happy crafting! xx

3 thoughts on “22. Craftmas and the Start of 2021

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