2019 in Review

Updates

I started this blog in February and published in March of this 2019. It hasn’t been a full year of blogging just yet, but the year is over and now is the time we think about what we’ve done and accomplished.

  • Over 100 blog posts and 30 lovely followers! Thank you!
  • I photographed and uploaded the art I made in the year previous
  • I took regular walks out in nature
  • I wrote down some of my knowledge of plant identification
  • I tried new recipes and made lots of things from scratch
  • I tried making historical clothing pieces with the aim to supplement outfits I also want to make
  • I drafted my own patterns
  • I learned to crochet socks when before I could only make scarves. I also learned to switch yarns while crocheting and I learned a few new stitches and practiced them. I learned crocheting in the round and even how to make circles. I can now make scarves, hats, ear warmers, and socks.
  • I practiced weaving, which I haven’t done since I was a child
  • I made slippers
  • I learned that onion skins give bone broth a beautiful, rich color
  • I made an etsy to share my embroidery, sewing, and jewelry-making
  • I pared down my fabric (and fiber) stash to a more reasonable amount
  • I tried several new techniques of pen and ink
  • I took up watercolors again
  • I created art that I find beautiful
  • I had a little fun with oil paints
  • I practiced drawing plants from life
  • I grew new-to-me watermelon and potatoes

I am proud of the accomplishments I’ve made in the past year. I hope that you all are proud of what you’ve accomplished this year, too, and that we all have a wonderful 2020.

Fawns

Nature Walks

I went for a long walk in mid-fall this year. Around the same time, a pair of fawns were also going for a stroll! I was lucky and took several pictures of them. At one point, one of them was walking right towards me so I had to back up (be respectful and keep your distance from wildlife!) It was a beautiful day and I got some lovely pictures of the deer.

Third and Fourth Pairs of Socks!

Sewing

The all-black pair didn’t photograph well, but it’s made of a soft, squishy thick type of yarn and the ankles of the sock are tall, more like normal socks than like slipper socks. With the second sock of this pair, I finally figured out to fix the toes round like normal socks rather than just as rounded-off squares (round on the left, squared on the right). These are super comfortable socks and have probably become one of my favorite pairs. It was a great yarn to work with. (A mystery yarn, of course, as all of it is secondhand from someone getting rid of their yarn.)

P1030871 - Copy

The black and berry colored slipper socks were made from the remnants of the black yarn from the previous pair plus a small ball of yarn that was multi-colored fuzzy berry tones but not large enough to make a full pair of socks. I also used up a tiny ball of black puffy yarn on one ankle as I ran out of the original black yarn too soon. It blends pretty well.

P1030877 - Copy

This was my first try at making two-colored crocheted anything. Sure, the toes are uneven, but the textures are great and they’re pretty cute no matter what. You can see that now the socks have rounded toes! I’m proud of this improvement!

Again, I waited a bit after making these socks before posting so I could give them a proper test run. The all-black socks are super comfy, but the black and berry slipper socks have great powers of insulation from the other yarn used on the toes.

These are another installation of my 2019 Fabric Use-Up Project.

Second Pair of Crocheted Socks: Slipper Socks!

Cooking and Household

P1030850 - Copy.JPG

These socks are my second try at crocheting my own socks. I am making my own winter socks this year rather than purchasing socks that will fall apart way too quickly and likely be made by workers living in terrible conditions who get barely any pay. The yarn is what I have already had, so this project does not create demand for anything nor does it cost any money.

The yarn this time was fuzzy and thicker. The socks are thick enough that they stand up on their own, like slippers, so I’ve made them slipper-shaped. While the transition from heel to ankle was slightly uneven on this pair, the toes are mostly even and similar-looking. These toes are rounded but still a bit too boxy. The thickness of the slipper socks makes it look like I’m wearing cartoon shoes, but I can’t feel the coldest part of the floor in an unheated room- not even a little! The warmth of these slipper socks is fantastic.

I started this sock-making project a while before posting about it to give me time to test my socks in various ways. The first pair washes great and has been holding up well to frequent use around the house. This pair took a while to air dry but the stiffness of the slipper socks has decreased a bit with washing.

I crocheted my first pair of socks

Sewing

My aunt taught me the basics of crochet long ago, but I’ve only occasionally practiced since I was a kid. I know single and double stitch, but I can’t read a crochet pattern yet. I have some spare yarn in my 2019 Fabric Use-Up Project, and I needed to get more warm winter socks, so I figured now would be a good time to solve both problems at once. I found some instructions on the basics of sock-making and watched several videos of people crocheting socks to get the general idea of how it’s done. Then, I started on my sock making adventure! The result is a pair of blue socks. They aren’t beautiful, but they are warm. I intend to wear them until they fall apart.

P1030841 - Copy

By crocheting myself new winter socks when I needed them and by using yarn I already had (which was salvaged from things a relative was getting rid of), I am not adding to the demand for slave labor made socks from factories in terrible conditions in other countries, nor am I wasting resources by requiring still more yarns be produced for me to use. I’m also not spending any money on this project. It’s an all-around win!

P1030848 - Copy

The thick yarn makes my feet look huge, haha.

P1030840 - Copy

The first sock had a very boxy toe.

P1030849 - Copy

With the second sock, I managed to round out the corners of the toe for an improved look. I still have plenty of yarn to use up, and this sockmaking project will continue in a series until I have enough socks for winter.