Maker's Bingo Update
In the first few weeks of 2019 I noticed a lot of ideas for yearly project planning going around on social media, and the one that appealed to me most was the "Maker's Bingo" card I found on the Amusing Yarns blog. I figured it would give me a bit of direction and sense of working toward something without limiting inspiration throughout the year (I chose the version with 5 “free” spaces). Since we’re coming up to the end of the year I checked in on my card recently and marked off some completed projects.
Of my most recent two finished projects one was planned and one was “free”. The planned one was the pair of slippers I’d crocheted for my boyfriend last winter and then ripped out again after I realized the yarn and pattern weren’t a great match. They more-or-less fit, but were too floppy and kept sliding off his feet. I’d promised to re-make them before the weather got too cold, and managed to finish them up by the middle of October. I chose a knit pattern this time (Corduroy Casual from 10 Hours or Less), and the slip-stitch fabric is a much better fit for this yarn. These ones are still a tad on the loose side, but my boyfriend wears them on a daily basis, so I’m considering this version a success.
My other recently finished project is a crocheted Amish Puzzle Ball, which is intended for a friend’s new baby. I’d seen this free pattern a while ago and when I was looking for gift ideas I realized this would be a good match with our new Winfield yarn. The puzzle consists of three rings that can be fit together to form a ball. The texture of the wool worked really well to create a sturdy dense fabric, which will hopefully help to ball last a long time! I figure that it will be more of a tactile toy while the baby is young, and she’ll get to play with the puzzle aspect of it when she’s a bit older.
Having crossed off those two projects, I looked over the card again and decided my best chance of getting a bingo this year is to work on the diagonal row that goes from bottom left to top right. I crossed off both ends earlier in the year (two pairs of socks finished) and have made good progress on all three projects in the middle.
Of those three, my next priority to finish is Spring Ice from the Saltwater Mittens book, since it’s gotten cold early in Montreal this fall, and I want them to keep my fingers warm! I’ve also got the deadline of November 30th if I want to finish them off as part of our Saltwater Knit-Along on Ravelry. I’ve made good progress on them this week, and hope to finish them off this weekend.
After the mitts are done I’ll move on to the Attic Windows blanket that I’ve been working on since the summer. This is a prototype for Elizabeth’s design idea, and we’re hoping to have the pattern and kits ready early in the new year. The main part of the blanket is done, so from the right side it just looks like it needs a little border and a good blocking...
But I was not smart enough to weave in any of the ends as I went, so that’s going to be a big job too... With 24 squares, 3 colours per square, and 2 ends per colour that’s 144 ends!
The last thing I’ll need to finish to get my “bingo” is a spinning project that’s been languishing on my wheel for ages. I started spinning up a hand-dyed gradient in January, and just haven’t had the time to make very much progress on it since the spring.
I do have all the singles spun though (I'm planning for this to be 3-ply), so it really is just a matter of sitting down to do the plying. I’ve been regretting not spending more time on spinning this year because I feel like my technique would improve so much faster if I did it more regularly and less sporadically. Maybe a goal to set for 2020?
I'm not sure yet if I'll use a bingo card again for project planning next year. I'm thinking about setting broader goals that I can fill in the details for throughout the year, challenging myself to make more big projects like sweaters and blankets, and to find a way to get some sewing, weaving, and definitely more spinning projects in too.
Do you have a favourite way to plan projects, set goals, or challenge yourself in your crafting life?
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading Saltwater Mittens when we started carrying it last spring, and was delighted to find out earlier this year that there was a sequel in the works. Saltwater Classics is now here!
Saltwater Classics continues in the style of Saltwater Mittens, and includes several more mitten patterns, but it also includes many patterns for hats, caps and vamps. What are vamps? From what I can gather after reading The Great Vamp Debate, vamps are usually thick short socks that are worn as an extra layer inside boots or as a slipper indoors – with many regional variations of course. All I know for sure is that I definitely need a pair or two!
One of our big goals for Sweet Paprika this year was to source a new line of Canadian wool yarns. We started contacting farms and mills last January, researching options, connecting with farmers, and collecting samples.
Eventually we settled on working with wool from Circle R Livestock, a family farm in southern Ontario. Over the spring we worked out the details to have the wool milled in New Brunswick, and we then spent the summer doing dye tests and creating colour recipes for our new Winfield (worsted) and Sutton (bulky) yarn lines.