Cozy Craft Club: Episode 22

It’s the first podcast of 2023! Kate is settled in Boston, and Amanda is living through never-ending home renovations. We both have crafty projects to share, and we are super excited the new Grady Hendrix novel is out! Come chat with us for a bit and share what you’ve been up to with the Club.

January 2023: Wrap-Up

Yardage Totals 2023:

 January: 530
February:
March:
April:
May:
June:
July:
August:
September:
October:
November:
December:
2023 Totals: 530 yds or 0.30 miles

And…now it’s 2023 and a full month into that, even.

Heading into the year, I was in a not-so-great place: I was burned out and overstimulated by what little social media I was still checking, and those in turn left me hiding in a blanket and eating chocolate all day while doing nothing but doom scrolling and buying shit from my phone or computer and feeling like nothing matters. I was desperate to self-soothe and couldn’t seem to get over the initial inertia to make things with my hands and find fulfillment that way instead.

So I decided something had to give in January of this year. I checked out of IG for the month and allowed myself one peek on FB every day specifically to check if an author I beta read for had announced they have a new project for us to read, which takes less than 30 seconds.  I was in, I was out, and I went on with my day. I even cut off one of my mindless games I play and am tempted to spend money on every month while I wasted 1+ hours of the day with it.

And you know what? It really improved my life to be way less online, even though I missed some very specific people I interact with regularly on IG. I felt less stressed, and not constantly being informed of things my ADHD brain would definitely want and see as a Need To Have It lifted a weight. I couldn’t feel FOMO if I didn’t realize anything was going on that my brain wasn’t going to be able to differentiate and prioritize from other things. I wouldn’t say I was peaceful by a long stretch, but that’s the best I’ve felt mentally in a long time.

I plan to continue limiting my social media time and believe I’ll use a timer for InstaGram every day to allow myself a cursory look and nothing more. If the anxiety and Needy feeling come back, I think I’ll stay away another month. We’ll see how it goes.

Anywho, this is a crafting blog—or so I’ve been told.

In 2023, I’ve decided to stick with the same knitting goal I’ve had since the ’20s started: knit something every month. Which, yes, I did knit this month. I finally evened up the strips on my handspun blanket and then added the border to complete the project. I now use it regularly as a lap blanket in my living room and have enjoyed it on all of the clammy days we have here instead of proper winter.

I spent the rest of January working on cross stitch projects and knocked out two. It was a rather satisfying month on the craft front, and now I have a few things to feel warm and fuzzy about accomplishing. I’m not on a No Buy, but I am attempting to use what I already own when possible for my makes. I’ve found I get more satisfaction when I do this instead of purchasing all new things every time I craft. I feel…clever somehow, even if I realize it really isn’t.

So. What about you, kitten? Is your 2023 off to a start you’re happy with? Have you been working on anything you’d like to share? Are you also going more analogue in life and trying to “unplug” a bit?

Take care of yourselves and each other.

XO,
Manda

Stash Track 2022: T3 + Wrap Up

2022 Stash Tracking

T1:
Fiber in: 0.0 oz
Fiber out: 19.7 oz
Ratio out/in: Impossible 🙂
Total fiber stash change: -19.7 oz

Yarn in: 17,763 yds
Yarn out: 23,152 yds
Ratio out/in: 1.3
Total yarn stash change: -5,399 yds

T2:
Fiber in: 0.0 oz
Fiber out: 0.0 oz
Ratio out/in: n/a
Total fiber stash change:  0 oz

Yarn in: 2,466 yds
Yarn out: 691 yds
Ratio out/in: .28
Total yarn stash change: +1,775 yds

T3:
Fiber in: 0.0 oz
Fiber out: 0.0 oz
Ratio out/in:  n/a
Total fiber stash change: 0 oz

Yarn in: 1,664 yds
Yarn out: 994 yds
Ratio out/in: .6
Total yarn stash change: +670 yds

2022 Totals:
Fiber in: 0.0 oz
Fiber out: 19.7 oz
Ratio out/in: Impossible 🙂
Total fiber stash change: – 19.7oz

Yarn in: 21,893 yds
Yarn out: 24,837 yds 
Ratio out/in: 1.13
Total yarn stash change: -2,944 yds

It’s that time again— 2022 stash tracking, Kittens. It’s over; 2022 is now The Past.

Third trimester was quite quiet, with a little stash coming in—some ordered months ago that I had forgotten about—and even less than that going out. Add very low knitting desire to that equation, and you get a slight increase in stash over the last 4 months. About the equivalent of 2 skeins of sport weight yarn. It’s nothing I’m feeling upset about: it’s clearly not a knitting or stashing season for me, so it balances out.

And that’s been the point of this on-going exercise: trying to find balance between stashing and making.

Absolutely nothing happened fiber-wise, and I’m hoping 2023 will bring some spinning desire along with it. I would love to spin up something. Anything, really. Maybe some thicker skeins for Spouse Socks or one of my tonal SQs for a larger project. Or even more single braids to do another handspun stripey blanket could be fun.

I did work through some cross stitching stash this trimester. Not a lot, but I felt good about the finishes I did have. One of my favorite things in the world is using up the final bit of something and having it be perfect for a project. I had the joy of that experience in November, and it felt amazing to have everything line up for a project that makes me smile every time I look over at it.

Overall, I’m totally okay with how the trimester went. I’m totally okay with how 2022 went in general, even though I ate through most of that huge dent I made in cleaning out my stash earlier in the year. I still finished down almost 3,000 yards, or a couple sweater quantities. I was unable to find the energy to process, list, and sell the stash I pulled off to the side as my New York Storage and Korea stashes came together to form a super stash, but I’m hoping to take it a skein at a time during the first part of this next year. It’ll get done, just not as quickly as I’d sometimes like.

How about you, kitten? If you’re tracking, how did your year shape up? Did some beautiful things enter your stash? Did you use up something precious that makes you happy to wear and look at? Or, did you get the greatest benefit of all from this: learning something about yourself.

Take care and stay healthy, kittens. I look forward to chatting with you in 2023!

XO,
Manda

December 2022: Wrap-Up

Yardage Totals 2022:

 January: 2,128
February: 742
March: 1,578
April: 25
May: 0
June: –
July: 821
August: 1,410
September: 450
October: 28
November: 650
December: 14
2022 Totals: 7,846 yds or 4.46 miles

And there went December.

I was back in a knitting slump this month—I did craft a little, mostly cross stitch—and only managed to seam up the strips of the handspun blanket so I could assess how much evening up is necessary, as well as if more width is desired. The answers, respectively, are: a butt ton of leveling out will have to happen as no two strips are the same length, and, it works as-is, but one more strip for width might be nice to have. So. We’ll see how I feel about it after I fix the first issue. (And adding a border to the project will give it another 1-2″ of both length and width to work with.)

In 2022, I’ve decided to stick with the same knitting goal I’ve had since this decade started: knit something every month. Technically…yes. I did work with yarn this month. And through out the year, I managed this. Only May was completely yarnless.

Now that 2022 is over and I’m looking back on the year, I’ve realized it had more knits in it than I previously thought. So, that’s all well and good. Looking into 2023, I think my Goal™ is still the same: knit something, anything, every month. I do desire to work through some stash and maybe have a few specific projects in mind, but I’m still working my way to what, when, and more importantly, How. Because the way I make is going to have to change quite a bit, and it’s going to become a much more involved and slower process. But I hope that means I will wear my handknits way more often and enjoy the finished object even more than the making.

So. What about you, kitten? Did you have crafty plans in 2022 and did you accomplish them? Have you given thought to 2023? Or like myself, are you playing things more loosely and seeing where your whims take you?

Take care of yourselves and each other. May we all have a gentle 2023.

XO,
Manda

November 2022: Wrap-Up

Yardage Totals 2022:

 January: 2,128
February: 742
March: 1,578
April: 25
May: 0
June: –
July: 821
August: 1,410
September: 450
October: 28
November: 650
December:
2022 Totals: 7,832 yds or 4.45 miles

November has come and gone. Like the rest of the US, we had a cold snap this month that allowed us to cosplay autumn for about a week—and it was lovely to be able to wear some light handknits like socks and fingering weight hats during that time. It’s hard to be a knitter in a hot climate and dislike working with plant fibers.

After October’s slump, knitting did happen again. I worked on two small projects that banked some yardage for me: new dishcloths and a second tinsel to pair with one I made in 2018. These were both practical projects, and they made me feel really good and satisfied. There’s something about making an item you know will have functional purpose and, in the case of the tinsel, be admired and add some sparkle to a space.

In 2022, I’ve decided to stick with the same knitting goal I’ve had since this decade started: knit something every month. Yes! Knitting definitely happened this month.

Now my sights are turned on the end of 2022 and what I’d like to work toward in 2023. There have definitely been a lot of Thoughts happening over here.

What about you, kitten?  Is it cooling down where you are—or warming up if you’re in the global south? Are you starting to get cozy and into the winter spirit as the seasons shift? 2022 is almost at a close, do you have any plans for the winter holiday season? Are you thinking about goals or resolutions? Do you enjoy the process of saying goodbye to the old and ushering in the new?

Take care of yourselves and each other.

XO,
Amanda

October 2022: Wrap-Up

Yardage Totals 2022:

 January: 2,128
February: 742
March: 1,578
April: 25
May: 0
June: –
July: 821
August: 1,410
September: 450
October: 28
November:
December:
2022 Totals: 7,182 yds or 4.08 miles

And there’s October. And it’s still summer hot here in the American South. We will see little change in the weather for at least another month. My handknits loving heart mourns for sweater weather.

I didn’t really knit this month—I have to fix some of my garter blanket strips and that caused my interest in the project to flag. It doesn’t feel like autumn, and I haven’t felt much like knitting. I’ve been focusing on embroidery instead.

Anywho.

This year, I’ve decided to stick with the same knitting goal I’ve had since this decade started: knit something every month. That’s it. Yes. Knitting happened. Barely.

What about you, kitten?  Is it cooling down where you are—or warming up if you’re in the global south? Are you starting to do seasonally appropriate activities? Maybe enjoying your weather with outdoor time? Did you do anything for Halloween? Did you work on anything you’re excited about? Maybe you read something you’d like to recommend?

Take care of yourselves and each other.

XO,
Amanda

September 2022: Wrap-Up

Yardage Totals 2022:

 January: 2,128
February: 742
March: 1,578
April: 25
May: 0
June: –
July: 821
August: 1,410
September: 450
October:
November:
December:
2022 Totals: 7,154 yds or 4.07 miles

September has come and gone. And while much of the northern hemisphere is starting to cool and settle into autumn, my area of the US was still hot as blazes until a couple days ago. We’ve finally reached Pleasant Summer Temperatures so it’s very warm, but not unbearably so. The very early mornings are chilly enough to maybe need a sweatshirt, but it’s not handknits weather by a long shot.

I managed to spend a little time crafting this month—my knitting desire was very sporadic and mostly MIA all month. I worked on another garter strip for the blanket I mentioned last month, which is a distraction from other knitting I could do. But if I’m really honest, it’s about as complicated of a knit as my brain can handle at the moment. It’s nice to see these older handspun yarns go down in amount or get fully used up as I work. It will clear a nice amount of room and be one less thing I’ll consider destashing to make my craft stash fit in the area I’ve assigned to it.

Anywho.

This year, I’ve decided to stick with the same knitting goal I’ve had since this decade started: knit something every month. That’s it. Yes. Knitting happened.

What about you, kitten?  Is it cooling down where you are—or warming up if you’re in the global south? Are you starting to do seasonally appropriate activities? Maybe enjoying your weather with outdoor time? Did you work on anything you’re excited about? Maybe you read something you’d like to recommend?

Take care of yourselves and each other.

XO,
Amanda

Cozy Craft Club: Episode 19

September is coming to a close, and we’re back, kittens! Kate and I haven’t been doing much knitting as of late, but you can see our blanket projects and talk books with us. I also share some small doodle art I’ve been making as well as my 2023 Hobonichi that I’ve been setting up.

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