Monday, January 05, 2015

It's 2015!

It's time again to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the next. I think sometimes I feel that day to day I don't accomplish much but when I look back over my blog, I see that I really did do a lot.

Looking backward, my sewing machine got some use this past year. Hooray! I made some clothes for me as well as things for friends and relatives. My goal for this coming year is to do more sewing. I want to get past the anxiety I have about the number of projects I want to do and JUST SEW! I've been using OneNote not just as a database for all my patterns, but also as a way to capture my project ideas. In the past I had so many ideas floating around my head that I found it hard to pick the next project. With OneNote I can "clip" the pattern line drawing or picture, add a description of the fabric I plan to use (I could photograph it but that takes too long) and include notes about design ideas, notions, or other related information. I'm a list-oriented person, so having a "to do" list of sewing projects helps keep me more focused.

An example of my OneNote "Project Queue" page in my Pattern Library

The other piece of equipment that saw some use, albeit late in the year, was my loom...well one of them at least. My goal for this year is to get the sample OFF of my 4-shaft loom and put a real project on it. If I enjoyed weaving on my rigid heddle, I'm sure weaving on the 4-shaft will be even more fun. And if I do a lot of weaving on it, maybe this loom will be in my future:

Louet David

One item that did not see any use last year was my spinning wheel. For shame! But lately I've been thinking a lot about spinning, and I am itching to get back into it. I bought some fiber at a Christmas market and also bought some bargain fiber while on vacation in Turkey over Christmas. Since most of the bags in the below picture contained polyfil, it's likely that the intended use was for stuffing. However, I spied bags containing merino wool and cotton. With a little combing, I think it's spin-able.

Big bags of fiber in the Izmir shopping bazaar

What I bought - it's on my pashmina shawl on the hotel bed, in case you can't tell. Total cost: $2.60.

What I have been doing a lot of lately is knitting and reading, The weather has been very gray and dreary since we moved in - it feels like we've only had one or two sunny days in the last month - so I've been more inclined to snuggle up on the couch with a cat and my knitting or a book than getting the apartment set up, including my studio. I recently finished Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond and am now reading his follow up book, Collapse, as well as another book titled Women's Work - the First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber. All are fascinating reads and have made my recent trips to Malta and Izmir, Turkey that much more interesting. I highly recommend the books (and also Malta and Izmir!), especially the last book because it pertains to weaving and textiles.

Travel is the other activity I am very fortunate to be able to do. Once again we took advantage of living in Europe to travel as much as possible. Besides Germany, this year I went to:
  • France
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • USA
  • Spain*
  • Norway
  • Croatia*
  • Poland*
  • Italy
  • Serbia*
  • Malta*
  • Turkey
*new countries for me!