2012 Year in Review: 12 for Myself

Back in January, I joined the Ravelry group 12 for Myself (now called For Myself!) with the hopes of making some crochet projects for me!  I’m that type of crocheter who always makse things for others and rarely for myself.  You know, the one who never has her own scarf finished in time for the winter because she was finishing a baby blanket for a colleague’s wife so she ends up buying one at the last minute.  This tendency has gotten even worse now that I’ve been designing, because I also have design deadlines that take precedence over gift and charity projects.

The original idea was to create 12 projects for me in 2012.  I actually made more than 12 projects, but there are only 5 that I actually use on a regular basis.  Others were repurposed as gifts or charity projects.  Since I probably only made one thing for myself in 2011, I consider this a good start!

My favorite projects were the two infinity scarves I made.

The All Weather Cowl (Ravelry project page/free pattern) is great because I used a neutral color so I can wear it a lot.

 

On the other hand, the Eyelet Ripple Infinity Scarf (Ravelry project page/for sale pattern) is really vibrant and bright, and I love to wear it on grey days.

The most unlikely project for myself that I actually love is this bathroom rug.

The backstory: I wanted to participate in as many competitions as possible in the Ravellenic Games.  This rug started out as the only partially completed project I was willing to unravel that was old enough to compete in the Frogging Trampoline.  At the same time, my current bathroom rug was looking really sad, so this seemed like the best usage of 1″ wide strips of cotton fabric.  I have used it every day since!

I’m also very proud of myself for finally finishing the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructors Program in Knitting.  I consider the swatches I made for the program one of my favorite gifts to myself this year!

The final project for me success story is this placemat.  In many ways, it is totally impractical – after all, it has an uneven texture and the yarn doesn’t match my dining table in any way.  But I love it and it gives me a happy feeling to put my plate on it at dinner time.

After looking through what worked and what didn’t work for me this year, I learned a few things that will help me make more projects for myself in 2013.

  • I prefer functional projects for myself.
  • I still have a lot of trouble making things for me, so combining a “for me” project with an “obligatory” project (such as a design, testing out a pattern as part of a book review, or trying to use up stash yarn) seems to work best.
  • Although it helps to have some guidelines (“I’d like to make myself some winter accessories!”), I seem to use projects made spontaneously – and not necessarily with me as the intended recipient – more often.

Are you the type of crocheter or knitter who makes a lot of projects for yourself?  Do you plan to change that in 2013?

FO Friday: Certified

Back in February, I attended the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructor’s Program in Knitting on-site training.  I had an amazing time during the three day training, and met some great knitters!  We had to prepare quite a few swatches for the class…

My swatches, and the envelope with the proof of my teaching hours.

Even though I mailed off the proof of my 30 hours of teaching months ago, I didn’t receive my certificates (and super awesome pins) until yesterday.

My Level I certificate.
My Level II certificate.
My super snazzy pins.

So now I’m officially a certified knitting AND crochet teacher.  (If you’re considering certification, here’s a post I wrote about the pros and cons last year.)  It’s been about a year in the making, so I’m glad to be finished!

For more finished objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

Knit and Crochet Design Week with Stacey Trock

Stacey Trock from FreshStitches is one of my favorite bloggers and designers to follow.  She shares some really great projects, tips, and photos on her blog, and she is hosting Knit and Crochet Design Week from March 12 – 17.  I’m really excited to participate and to share my introductory post!

Who am I?

Welcome to everyone visiting for the first time!  My name is Marie Segares and I’m a crochet and knitting teacher, blogger, and designer from New York City known as Underground Crafter.  I learned to crochet from my maternal grandmother when I was about 9 years old, and have been hooked ever since.  She tried to teach me to knit, but let’s just say that it never “stuck” – everything I tried to make ended up looking like a really oddly shaped trapezoid.   Since I was in college, I have always turned to crochet as a way to express my creativity, relax, and make gifts that I could afford (but which were worth much more than what I paid in supplies).

In 2008, I became a Craft Yarn Council Certified Crochet Instructor and Teacher, and I’ve been teaching crochet lessons on weekends and evenings around New York City.  About 18 months ago, I picked up knitting again with the help of an awesome video (reviewed here).  I started teaching knitting to beginners about a year ago.

My Goal for Design Week

I’m currently teaching a knitting class at my local union, and my students wanted to learn to use circular needles and design their own hats.  Although I generally teach crochet or knitting about 4-6 hours a week, I usually don’t make anything during class.  I often end up with little swatches that I rip out afterwards because it is pretty difficult to make a project while teaching!

I plan to use Design Week to get started on my own hat project using the steps for designing a beanie that I shared with my students.  (I make no guarantees that my actual beanie will be finished by the end of Design Week!)  If I like my hat, I’d like to write it up as my first knitting pattern.

Although Stacey has an outline for the week on her blog, my posting schedule will actually be based on the hat design process I’ve shared with my students.

 

Monday, March 12: Choose a stitch pattern and yarn.

Tuesday, March 13: Make a gauge swatch.

Wednesday, March 14: Take measurements.

Thursday, March 15: Design the hat by writing out a preliminary pattern.

Friday, March 16: Cast on and follow your pattern.

Saturday, March 17: Finish off the project and update your pattern.

 

Each day during Design Week, I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts about each stage of the process.  I’m looking forward to reading more about everyone else’s design process!

 

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Bullion stitch blocks, week 2

This post contains affiliate links.

This post is part of my Year of ProjectsCrochet Master Class series. You can read the other posts in this series here.

I was under the weather this week, and I’m taking the Craft Yarn Council Certified Instructor’s Program in Knitting this weekend (14 hours of fun, preceded by many days of swatch making), so I haven’t made as much progress with my bullion stitch blocks as I would like.  I did share an update on Wednesday.

I finished one Poppy Bullion Block, with several added black borders to bring it up to 12″.

This is such a fun block. I definitely recommend it.

I’m so excited that Heartmade Blessings only wants 12″ squares with all of the ends unwoven.  Yes, folks, you heard that right.  Apparently, they received too many donations where people just cut off the yarn when they were finished, tied a little knot, and then everything unraveled later.  So since they can’t tell if your ends are woven in or don’t exist at all, they ask you to leave a 6″ tail at the start and end of every color.  This has admittedly made me more interested in blocks with multiple color changes :).

I hope to have a lot more to show for my bullion stitch explorations next week.

For more Year of Projects posts, visit When Did I Become a Knitter.