2016 sucked in so, so many ways. In 2016, I had to do real battle with anxiety and depression, face rejection from job after job that I wanted and thought I needed, spend my time doing work I did not believe in, and watch as my country actively chose hate over hope and love. The almost-comedy of the amount of people writing and tweeting and moaning about the terrible-ness of 2016 at the end of the year made me laugh but also made me want to weep. How is it possible that a whole year was so hard for so many of us, beyond the nightmare-ish election even? Somehow, a year of collective sadness, weirdness, badness. Not without beauty, not without light, but certainly a year that almost everyone seemed happy to say goodbye to.
Still, something important happened in 2016 for me, namely in October. I started really making things. I bought some yarn and I began. I learned the things I didn’t know, I spent the hours and hours. I gave a purpose to my anxious hands. I learned that I am powerful if I want to be. Something new, and something really, really good. Here are the things I’ve made since October. I can’t wait to see what gets added to the list this year. So much more, I hope, I know. Only the beginning.
Stitches, actually still in progress, but I’ll call this one a 2016 make because most of it happened then. I’ve set down all my embroidery for awhile in favor of knitting and sewing, but I have big, big plans for incorporating it into my sewing and quilting more in 2017.
This tank top was made from a pattern in Lotta Jansdotter’s book Everyday Style, which I highly recommend for its thoughtfully simple patterns and overall wonderfulness. I got it from the library, and all the patterns were still happily living in the envelope at the back of the book, a CPL miracle. Super easy to make, and I love the fit, so I’m expecting to make quite a few more of these in the future.
Oh, my dear, dear Agnes, the one that started it all. Maybe the single most empowering thing in my life so far, not even kidding. So proud of this sweet sweater and so grateful for the impulse to make it. I wore it yesterday and felt like amazing, beautiful, and real. More about it here and here.
My very first quilt! It’s the Sun Star Quilt by Cortney Heimerl, and making it made me want to make so, so many more quilts, quilt after quilt after quilt. So inspired by Cortney’s designs, and excited to keep making beautiful simple quilts like this one. More about it here.
After a first sweater, some first socks. I loved knitting these. They felt like a puzzle in the best way, and the tiny, tiny stitches felt really satisfying. Also, I was knitting this sock as I silently watched the election results unfold in November, and I think that fact alone makes them endlessly, solemnly special. That terrible night when everything changed, with socks and stitches, and keeping going, and more life.
A Scout Tee (finished yesterday in 2017, but who’s counting), made of Rwandan fabric. It fits perfectly and makes me feel beautiful and like cheerfulness may be possible after all.
Half Square Triangle coasters, aka my first self-drafted pattern/tutorial. It meant a lot to me to come up with an idea on my own and see it through, simple though it was. I use these coasters daily, and there is so much I love about them and their scrappiness. More about these here.