Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Three quarters of the year

I had sort of hoped that September would be a much less sickly and more productive month all round, but alas, it mostly wasn't. In fact, parts of it were supremely grotty. However, I did manage to do a little something sewing or knitting related most days, even if it was just ten minutes here and there.

Sewing wise, this month I made two Estelle cardigans that I've already worn loads and love and an Ottobre faux wrap knit top (wear update: very nice indeed to wear, no serious problem with the facings except one little section at the neck that I think is due to bad sewing more than anything). I have another knit top (Simplicity 1063) in pieces on my sewing table but haven't actually started sewing it yet. I have a tiny logistical problem that I can't seem to bend my mind around and figure out, so I'm just... stalled.

Since I could my fabric use from when I cut it out, however, I am able to report that unfinished top in my fabric usage numbers and say that I have used almost 8m of fabric this month. This is a pretty decent outcome from the point of view of my stash reduction plans, especially as I have not bought any new fabric since JUNE! I am feeling so smug and virtuous right now, pardon me while I wreck my shoulder muscles by vigorously patting myself on the back.

Wanderling progress in October (not shown, the THREE attempts it took me to get as far as the second photo on the left)
If you follow me on instagram you'll already know about my latest knitting project, which I started on the last day of August.  I charged through the body of a Wanderling (Ravelry link) by Isabell Kraemer and managed to get it done in about three weeks (after several, very painful, restarts). I cast off the hem on the 19th and was quite pleased with the fit so far. Since then all I've done is put one sleeve back on the needle and get to where it's just a case of setting off and knitting it. However, I then decided to take a little break from it, and put it away for a week or so. I plan to start again this week, with the intention of finishing it up in October. It's a nice lightweight sweater  -- 4ply with a loose-ish gauge -- and it would be great to have it available when the weather cools down properly in the second half of the month.

Since it's three-quarters of the way through the year, before I talk about this month here is a tiny update on my overall progress towards my 2015 sewing goals:
  • Stick to my 2015 budget. I am 5% over, which is fine, especially since I was 10% over at the mid-year point. I should be more or less on budget at year end. I also wanted to spend less on patterns this year, but while I am below my planned expenditure on envelopes/PDFs, I bought a lot of magazines instead. As of right now, my overall spending on patterns is pretty much a wash compared to 2014. Apparently pattern buying is an obsession I just have to feed. /o\
  • Sew more fabric than I buy, reduce bag stash by 20m, garment stash by 50m. Let's all laugh hysterically at the idea I could reduce my garment stash by 50m, shall we? HAHAHAHA. Ahem. A very (very) small positive: thanks to my unprecedented streak of not buying fabric and this month's sewing, I am currently about 3m down from January 1st. That is better than being above, or at par, I guess. If I managed a 20m reduction overall by the end of the year at this point I would think that was a job well done, though, and even that seems quite ambitious (over 6m out a month for the next three months). On the other hand, I have very successfully sorted through my bag stash for culling and I'm down by 27m. I listed the excess on eBay and am in the process of selling it. I won't get much for it but it's better than fabric I am just never going to use lurking about in my sewing room.
  • Reduce my yarn stash by half (by weight). Totally successful! I decided to sell several yarns I bought in a fit of early knitting enthusiasm and then came to realize I was unlikely to use. I dithered about selling because I knew I wouldn't make back what I paid for them, but in the end I decided it was better to get a little money back and send the yarn out into the world to someone more likely to use it than just sit on it like a dragon with a hoard. My knitting stash is therefore down to: my current projects; my next major project; enough sock yarn to make three pairs of socks; some leftovers and scrap. My dream stash level is basically that minus two pairs of socks, so I feel I've made massive progress. I'm also way ahead of schedule and have already completed SEVEN knitting projects compared to my goal of "Complete 6 knitting projects", and I have two WIPs (Wanderling, described above, and a lace-weight project) that I should finish this year. I've also made a couple of things this quarter that are noticeably more complex than anything I attempted in 2014 so I am calling my overall knitting goals well and truly a win at this point already!
  • Maintain and stick to my wardrobe plan. I have SO MUCH to write about wardrobe planning and sewing. I haven't done it because I feel like there are so many OTHER people writing about it at the same time, and why would anyone care. I mean, not that I won't write it anyway because I am not sure that I care that people don't even care, but that's the reason why there's been a lengthy pause in my wardrobe planning posts. However, in the background, I've been really working the wardrobe plan thing, and I am really happy with how it is working out for me. More on this soon, I hope.
  • Various skill-building goals: I have achieved nothing against any of these, and am not sure if I will in 2015 no matter how much I want to. :( This is this saddest admission.
As for October, well, in addition to finishing up my jumper knitting WIP, this month I'm planning to sew some more knit tops -- once I figure out my problem with Simplicity 1063 that will be the first thing, probably in the next dew days. Thanks to the kindness of fellow sewing people, I also now have StyleArc Issy to play with (thank you, thank you, thank you Nakisha! :D) and I also want a boring basic top as well. I also want to make my autumn weight Lekala hoodie, and something new I've added to the list: a quilted knit bodywarmer thingy.

I do have LOADS of other things in my queue, but I feel burned out on making ambitious plans and then being too sick to do actually get started on anything. If I get my handful of knit tops done I will consider myself to have been really quite successful this coming month!


  1. You are most certainly welcome!!!!

    Now, please always post wardrobe planning posts when you think about posting about wardrobe planning! I love reading those posts from people so much!!!

    YAY for going MONTHS without stashing! You should be smug and arrogant and just having a go at the back patting! That is awesome! Boooo for not feeling well this month but another Yay for knitting! You are a very good knitter and I love seeing your projects fly off the needles!

    1. I will definitely write those planning posts then :D

  2. I just want to jump and say that I can NEVER read too many wardrobe planning posts. I love to see what other people are thinking about sewing.