crafts · knitting · Life · Sewing

Wearing handknits: Vaila + resolutions 2010

I only wear Vaila when the weather gets super cold – and as we aren’t breaking the freezing line this week, I think it qualifies!  Made of Malabrigo, it’s soft but tends to pill and catch lint.  After a year’s distance, I like it far better than when it was new.  I wouldn’t make it again, because I have sworn off of bottom up sweaters knit in one piece, but it makes a nice cozy sweater on a day of teaching indoors.

I have an update for you all about my attic!  It isn’t finished yet – we will be working on it during this long weekend (Marc has Friday off.)  The floor is in, and the paint is done on my side.  We have another window and the stairwell to paint, and then I have to panel in around my windows where the wall is exposed.  The biggest change was probably the floor, going from this:

to this:

Believe it or not, that’s vinyl.  It looks very realistic, and I just love it!  It looks great with the new wallcolor

I made a trek to IKEA this weekend and got a desk that was on sale, as well as a table for cutting and crafting.  I set it up, and I’m so pleased with my area!

Oops, need to put that vent cover back!  Having the extra space is going to be wonderful, I can already tell.  I’ve put the futon at the end of the room, in front of the windows – it hides the duct back there for now, and makes it harder to see in at night from the street, though there is still a ton of light.

Of course, all this work means that I haven’t actually made anything in weeks, but that’s ok… it’s going to be worth it in the end.

As for 2009… farewell to you, I say!  I’ve had a hard year, which involved me making a major job change and starting my own business.  The first half of the year I was very depressed and felt trapped… now it’s as though I’ve come out into the sunlight and can breathe again.  Church work was not for me – I found that working that closely with church officials produced a level of cynicism that I’m having a hard time dealing with… but in time I think I will feel better.  I also had a lot of difficulties where my personal beliefs conflicted with church teaching… let’s just say that I’ve never been good at not speaking my mind, and while I succeeded in keeping quiet it only made me miserable.

But that’s all over, and building my studio has been a great experience!  I’ve also been doing quite a bit of performing again, which is great… and most of all I actually get weekends, and I get to spend them with my wonderful husband, who has been there for me through all this strife.

I’ve made a lot of new friends this year, and I feel as though my shyness is finally behind me.  I’ve learned to sew, which has been great and has opened a new world to me.  So while it’s been a difficult year, it was necessary to get me through to a healthier place.

Now to the hard part… my resolutions for 2010.  Let’s look at them more as “suggestions,” shall we?

1. Continue to build my teaching studio.  I want to maintain between 30 and 35 students, and right now I’m at 30.  I need to remind myself to be selective about who I accept – I don’t necessarily take everyone as a student, because sometimes I can tell it’s going to be a bad fit.

2. Build my sewing skills.  I’ve really taken off with sewing in the last half of 2009, and I want to build on those skills.  I want to sew from some vintage patterns and work towards my goal of having 50% of my wardrobe be handmade (I won’t get there this year, but it’s a goal for the future.)

3.  I’m interested in going further into vintage dressing/hairstyles (and to that end I’ve been setting pincurls in my hair often, as in the photo above.)  I’ve gotten positive reactions from the people around me, which pleases me.  I don’t want to look costume y, you understand, but I have a passion for those styles that I have been stifling in order to blend into my position.

4.  Knit more basics.  Look, I love color.  Everyone knows it.  But sometimes you need a little white or black cardigan, and I don’t have one.  I’m definitely going to be focusing on basics in the first part of the year.  I also want to really try to know from some of my vintage patterns.  I resolve to slow down – I have 90 bajillion sweaters, and I need to stop rejecting beautiful small gauge knits because I think they take too long.

5.  Don’t keep unhealthy relationships going.  Enough said.

6.  Continue to become more comfortable with who I am.  I’ve made great strides, and I want to come to a place where I don’t apologize for myself anymore.

7. Take more weekend trips with Marc, now that I have weekends.  We love to travel, and there are lots of little places to visit in easy driving distance.

That’s all for now – I hope you all have a great 2010.  This blog has really meant a lot to me, and I appreciate everyone who has stopped to read and comment!

39 thoughts on “Wearing handknits: Vaila + resolutions 2010

  1. Wow, sounds like you’re off to a great start of the New Year. Congrats on doing things to make yourself happier! I love your attic space..the floor looks so good.

  2. I’ve only been reading your blog for a little while but I can totally see you in the style you described for yourself. In fact, I sort of already thought of you that way. Your hair looks lovely, the sweater looks great and the floor is fantastic! Great all around!

  3. Happy New Year!

    The studio looks *wonderful!* I love the floor, and the wall color you chose. I can’t believe you had that beautiful space just waiting up there for you. (We put in a door to our attic last year in the hopes we would be able to do something with it, but alas, the ceiling is only about five feet at its highest point and there is no floor, loose insulation, ductwork, and lots of sharp nails sticking down from the rafters everywhere. We have been using it for storage, so at least we got something out of it.)

  4. Well said!! Excellent goals for 2010, I’m definitely looking forward to a new year, too, I totally hear you about the basics- I find I never pick black yarn when I’m making a sweater, I end up thinking to myself, ‘but it won’t photograph well for the blog…’

  5. Best wishes for a happy new year! It sounds like you have a wonderful set of plans. I think amazing experiences come after a rough patch in life. It sounds like you have a lot to look forward to.

  6. I feel the same way about 2009, see ya!
    Hello 2010! It sounds like your world is opening up…awesome. I love your hair curled, it gives you a different look which is very becoming and the sweater is lovely on you.
    Happy New Year!

  7. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog this past year and like seeing the progress in your crafting. Best of luck in your resolutions and wardrobe. I’m very envious of your craft room. Love the fabric laying on the table!

  8. Your attic looks great! I am envious of your space – I am confined to the corner of our small bedroom/office. And your Vaila and hair look great as well!

  9. I enjoyed the more personal opening up in this post. Must be part of overcoming your shyness. When I read about your passion for vintage, it struck me as a great fit . . . you have that look . . . you look like all the models on those vintage knitting patterns! I like your resolutions. Productive, possible, practical. I will follow your model. Happy New Year!

  10. The attic studio looks fantastic. Love the wall color.

    Your hair looks adorable too. With the blue sweater…stunning.

    Ok, enough praise. :p

    I have a cute, 40’s/50’s pattern, for a dress, that I think is in a small size, such as yourself. Would you like it? It’s yours if you do.

  11. You look so beautiful in that pic with your hair and that blue sweater. You are the best knitter I’ve ever seen. I just happened to come across your website about a month ago and I’ve read everything on your blog. You are a very interesting woman with so much to do! You are adorable and so is your hubby. Because of you I’m going to take up knitting. I’ve crocheted since I was 14 but now at 52 I’m wanting to start knitting. I’ve also discovered that I like goth clothing, the feminine ones. (not outlandish stuff) All the best to your future endeavors!

  12. Being comfortable with who we are. Awesome resolution for this year. I’m going to try it, too!

    I was checking out your shoes, by the way, in those two photos. Hah! Then I realized they were about the FLOOR. Oh, duh. Great job with your attic, too. I can’t wait to see what you sew this year! (Of course, all knitting is appreciated, too – I need to live vicariously here, as I haven’t knit in ages).

  13. I’ve looked forward to each blog posting and have noted the ‘light’ come into your entries as the year went by. So, keep up the exploration into curl in the hair and clothing choices. The room looks wonderful and is making me anxious for my new crafting space which will hopefully be ready this spring. Keep posting those pictures of what ever catches your fancy. Happ 2010.

  14. Happy new year!
    The craft room is great. I think it will be wonderful to work there.
    Hope that all your wishes may come true.


  15. Your space is beautiful — it’s been wonderful seeing the transformation.

    I started reading your blog last year, and I just wanted to say that I really enjoy it. In fact, I check it every morning when I do my blog-reading before I begin work. Just wanted to pass on the good vibes!

  16. I don’t know if I’ve told you this before, but your blog is one of my favorites and I always enjoy reading what you have to say. I love your list of “suggestions” (I call mine “goals” – “resolutions” is such a problematic word – leaves no room for seizing the opportunities of the moment) and lastly I really like your hair in pincurls! When I saw the picture something looked different about you but I didn’t figure out what it was until you mentioned that. It sounds like you are really finding yourself and becoming even more comfortable in your own skin. That’s kind of what I have been doing lately too. Happy 2010!

  17. Thanks for the update on Vaila. I just finished mine and I really like it. I love the pincurls!

    Your crafting space looks great. I think the floor you chose is very classy and will go with the rest of the house.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you make in 2010!

  18. Your posts are always inspiring. Kudos to you for pushing to be yourself, and knowing what that really means. Good luck to you in the new year at continuing to meet your goals!

  19. What a fantastic post – sounds like 2010 is going to be a great year for you! Your attic is fantastic – well done on all the hard work, its going to be such a fantastic space!
    First time commenter , but I have been reading your blog for a while, following you from Ravelry where I drool over your projects, can’t wait to see what basics you make!

    Sarah (sezza on rav) 🙂

  20. Your blog, and your honesty, is really inspirational to me. Like you, I was feeling depressed and trapped in my former job. When the company was bought out by a competitor, losing the job was probably the best thing that could have happened. I’m finally beginning to feel better, am planning a little business of my own, and hoping 2010 will be a *much* better year. Your success with your music studio is a big encouragement — that’s great you’re doing so well!

    I love your vintage style and look forward to hearing more about your experiments with clothes and hairstyles. Do you like vintage jewelry?

  21. Glad to see some more progress in your attic.

    Also, resolutions/suggestions #5 and #6 are also up my alley. You don’t really know it’s an unhealthy relationship till it’s over. By then you realize how it affected you and become more aware the next time you get a similar feeling when dealing with a person. I’m still learning to cut certain relationships earlier. As for #6, still a work in process. I’m the opposite. I tend to clam up. But I do speak my mind a little more now. Like I said WIP.

  22. Happy New Year and congrats on an awesome crafting space! I too am a piano teacher and church music director so I really relate to all you have mentioned in this entry. I am lucky to work for a super-liberal (both in clothing choice, music and politics) kind of church but I completely agree with you on the difficulty of the job. The cynicism that comes with being on staff, the degree of dealing with people (not that a piano studio is that much easier in that regard…), and the misery of never having weekends to spend with your loved one! Congratulations on your teaching studio- 30 is a great number of students! Reading your blog is a huge inspiration to me and I wish you all the very best in 2010!

  23. Wow! Your space is beginning to look both light and cozy at the same time. Putting in that floor and painting over the wood paneling is the best thing that’s ever happened to that room. I hope you were careful when you removed the old floor, though — asbestos removal is tricky business, and you don’t need that stuff in your lungs.

    I love that blue on you. The color works wonders with your hair. And I like your resolutions. Find clothes that make you happy. It’s a plus if you can also wear them to church, but as someone who’s been the only goth at church in several churches, I can tell you that people are OK with a surprising array of things. Heck, we have some teen-agers who come in ripped jeans and band shirts. Everybody is just happy they’re there. So… yeah. Buy/sew/knit what makes you happy. Unless it’s a micro-mini and a boob-revealing halter top (and you don’t strike me as the type for either), you’ll be fine.

  24. I really really like your goals for 2010. I found you b/c I looked up knitting blogs. Learning to Knit is one of my goals for this month and hopefully going to open me up to a more relaxed and calm state of mind. Oh, and hook myself and friends up with some groovy cool scarves and scarves and more scarves unless I venture out further….

    Your studio flooring is gorge.

  25. love your new crafting space and your resolutions. especially like the one about not harboring unhealthy relationships. that’s great, but hard when it’s one of your parents (my case). cheers to the new year!!!

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