Thursday, December 30, 2010

Resolutions, old and new

Tis that time of year. I resolve to do something new, grow in some way, (or shrink :-D ).

The other side of that coin means it's time to review the resolutions from last year.

For some reason, (I was in the middle of a job hunt) I never got around to writing my resolutions down for this year. Usually that's a recipe for disaster with me. I'm a visual person, and if an idea doesn't get written down it usually gets lost in the ether. I must have been really motivated about these though, as not only do I remember them, but they all had pretty good success.

2010 Resolution wrap up:
1) Finish my purple quilt. Bind and tie it. -- This one did get done! It only took 5 years to get that quilt finished. But, that's to be expected with a first quilt, right? :-P I was really worried about the quality of the quilt, as the first couple dozen blocks didn't have a single point line up right and I was sure the whole thing would look stupid, but it was surprisingly forgiving and it really looks great.

2) Sew more clothing. -- I polished my sewing skills on baby gear. Before my pregnancy I would have put my sewing skills at the Confident Beginner stage. After the diapers and wetbags and diaper bag and blankets, I really felt like I had kicked it up a notch to Solid Intermediate. I knew a weak point was clothing though. I needed to move beyond baby gear into clothing for me, and Dave and a growing boy. This went well I think. The first set of pants for Dave had some hiccups, and the first set of pj's for Rowen had some hiccups, but both were salvageable in my opinion. I made a couple of really cute shirts for me, and those both turned out really great. I even made a dress for a summer wedding and that (with some last minute assistance from Mom) turned out really pretty. Rowen has a set of lounge wear in the Solstice present pile. No hiccups and they turned out really cute. I have material and patterns for some more work clothes for me, and material for lounge pants for all of us. :-) I'm really happy I pushed past my nervousness on this one.

3) Repair more clothing. -- This might have made it into a post at some point. I wanted to try my hand at mending. This can be tough with clothing that's factory made, as I don't own a heavy duty machine, or a serger. But, I repaired some shorts for Dave, and repaired a t-shirt for baby boy. There's more in the repair pile, expect to see another push in this area as I finish up winter sewing projects.

4) Learn to knit -- I'll be honest, this resolution was entirely based on a desire to buy lots of pretty yarn. I have heroically suppressed this desire, and I have only bought 3 balls of yarn, 1 to tie the purple quit, 1 for my first knitting project, (a scarf,) and 1 plain black wool that's waiting in the wings for my 2nd knitting project. So, I bought the yarn, I bought a little pamphlet-like book on Learn to Knit, and 1 set of needles. (size 10 bamboo) Hubby learned to knit from his mother at some point in his childhood, so between him and the book and the internet I figured out how to cast on and do the knit stitch. I'm about halfway done with the scarf I think. Not too shabby.

5) Try to save some new seeds. I've gotten pretty good at my annual veggie seed saving. With things like lettuce, basil and tomatoes, the saving seed is second nature. I wanted to try this year to save something a little different. At first I thought I would try potatoes, but I never got around to processing the seeds, so that one will have to wait. Then I decided to try my hands at turnips. They are biennial, which means they won't make seed until next year. I left 4 turnips in the row and mulched them well. I'm hoping at least one makes it through until spring and decides to make some seed.

It was a busy year, but I'm really happy with my personal growth. I think I accomplished a lot of what I was aiming for and I'll continue to build on that growth with this year's Resolutions.

Resolutions for 2011
1) Finish the scarf, learn a second stitch, Purl maybe, and use that in a second project. (Right now I'm leaning towards a hat using the black wool.)

1b) Do some darning, with the wool socks I love so much.

2) Sew more clothing, focusing on work clothing for me and play wear for Rowen.

3) $2000 in savings by Samhain. The date is arbitrary, I just do better with concrete time lines. 10 months means we need to put 200 away every month. This would be double what we have been putting away this year. I think it's doable though because we're no longer playing catch-up from our period of Jennie-unemployment. Attainable, but still a bit of stretch to push us.

4) Finish the Blue Quilt, (Quilt #2) by mid January. Do some actual quilting on this one! Nothing fancy, but something more than the cheater method of yarn knotting. The top is together, (picture above) and I think it's going to look great.

5) Start Quilt #3. At least Queen sized, 85x85" or bigger, so that it can replace the 15 year old quilt from my grandmother that needs to be honorably retired.

6) Make progress with getting a Community Garden started in my new town. I need to find a group of people, find a good spot, and find time to go to a city council meeting. It would be nice to get some of that done this winter. The first step here is to organize a seed swap I think.

7) Regain my pre-baby muscles. I miss my leg muscles and ab muscles. I never had much arm muscles, but maybe I could work on those while I'm at it. Bike riding all season, with some yoga/belly dance would do the trick. Setting and sticking to the schedule is the missing link here I think.

8) Finish seed saving attempt for turnips. Try again with potatoes maybe. Try parsnips too possibly.

9) Continue food storage, work on improving grain storage. That means we need a grain mill, and probably some whole wheat.

3 comments: said...

I've had all the material to start a quilt for over 2 years now - and I'm just so intimidated by it! I need to just do it. You may have just motivated me.....

I hope 2011 is a wonderful year for you and your family - and you get further, and further down that path to freedom.

Jennie said...

Don't feel bad, I needed lots of hand holding during the 5 years it took me to finish my first quilt. :-D

It was totally worth it though. I can trace my growth as a seamstress through those first 2 dozen blocks with their points that don't line up. Through the borders that were done much better and finally the binding that looks down-right awesome.

I'd definitely say go for it. My favorite quote from this last year said something to the effect of, "Quilts are great, no matter what you mess up, at the end you have to remember, it's just a blanket."

If some e-help would assist, just holler and I'll help if I can. (Pick an easy block, no curves.)

Muhammad Hamza said...

Happy new year..!