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It’s the holiday season...

...and my not-so-nimble fingers have been working up ornaments and gifts. Due to some unexpected circumstances, I have been trying to hand make as many gifts as possible this year. I will hopefully share them with you next week as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for others. At the same time, my queue has gotten deeper from the Indie Gift-A-Long, I published a new pattern a couple weeks ago, and I’m trying to sort out what my priorities will be for 2019. Not busy...nope...not in the least bit!!

This was my first year falling to the temptation of all that is the Indie GAL. My Ravelry library got a healthy influx of new patterns, and I began pairing them with yarn from my stash. Here are just a few that I’m hoping to get to sooner than later.

Faye Kennington’s Mine slippers had me at hello. Super bulky yarn, a little cable on the top, and a skein of Malabrigo Rasta, and I’ve got the makings of a perfect weekend project!

(Photo credit Faye Kennington)

I fell off the wagon when I saw the Sunkissed Hooded Vest by Sonya Blackstone. Miraculously, an sweater quantity of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Waist Coat that happened to be on sale landed in my shopping cart and went through the checkout. I'm calling it a Christmas miracle. This pattern may quickly bubble up to top of my queue because I really want to wear it. (Photo credit Sonya Blackstone)

Each year, I make Christmas ornaments to give to our kids' teachers and the staff at their school. This year, I chose Christmas Star Ornaments (9) by Irina Mulyavko, which I was excited to see was part of the GAL. I love how they look, but when I make them again, I will not use the same thread as I did because the metallic in Aunt Lydia's Crochet Thread was difficult to work with and pull through. Live and learn. The pattern is beautiful and quick to make. I think each ornament took me around 15 minutes with weaving in the ends. I ended up making 22 of them, and feel like I could have made more.

And, amidst all the holiday making, I published a new pattern! It was such a thrill to work with Shea Bennett and her Cameo Yarns Merry & Bright kits. Her amazing colors reminded me of Christmas lights, and with them, I created the Twinkle Lights cowl.

The kits included 6 Mini skeins of Oh So Charming Sock in truly merry and bright colors, one easily fading into the next. This kit created a long-hanging 45" cowl (it may be able to be worn doubled, but it would be close to the neck). I’ve written instructions to make a shorter, 32" cowl if that’s what you would prefer. If you weren’t able to get one of these limited edition kids, no worries! This pattern works great with any weight of yarn, or any of those many skeins you have that you haven’t been sure what to do with them.

I happened to have another skein from Cameo Yarns in Illustrious Sock, so I decided to make the 32" version in that. It works just as well in one color as it does in the six! I have a couple other cowls planned in other yarns, and I hope to get to them sooner than later. This ended up being one of those patterns that I just kind of want to make in all the different colors.

Want to make one of your own? This pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry, KnitCrate, and Etsy.

Now onto those priorities for 2019…

My ambition has a tendency to get away from me. I want to do much more than what’s really possible in the day-to-day life I have with my husband, three kids, and multiple part-time jobs. I try to cut myself a little bit of slack because having a baby, getting her through that first year of life, and just basically living life during that time is a lot to accomplish in itself. But my ideas and my need to continuously make things with my hands demand attention from me as well, so I’m trying to get a handle on those and get them set up in a reasonable way for the new year.

So far, I’ve been able to identify three things that I need to organize.

#1: My Designs. I have several ideas that are drafted out or have notes on them or are sketched out, and I haven’t fully finished them to where I can make the sample and publish the pattern. That is something I want to change in the new year. The goal I gave myself last year was to design more patterns than I had the year before, and I just about did that. So that’s the goal I’m giving myself again for this year, but I hope that I’m able to accomplish even more than that. Now, life being what it is (you make a plan and anything and everything can come up to step in front of that plan), I’ll just hope for the best during whatever this year brings and I will accept the year for what it’s going to be.

#2: My WIPs. Holy cow...I have way too many projects that have been started and not finished, and some don’t take all that much finishing. I just need to actually do it. So I need to figure out a way to comfortably get that into my plan, give those projects the attention they deserve, and not continuously create new projects that end up getting so close to being finished but end up just sitting.

#3: New Projects. I will never be able to get away from those new projects that just grab my attention and I need them on my hooks and needles now or the sweater projects that I’ve got the yarn for, and they just need to be made. That will need to be a priority as well for the New Year, because there’s nothing more thrilling and exciting than winding that new ball of yarn, starting that project, seeing the colors and feeling the texture of the fiber between your fingers. It’s wonderful and it brings me such joy, and I know that it’s not something that I’m going to be able to say no to. I think it’s reasonable to indulge that side, but indulge it in an appropriate amount, and set up plans for finishing as to not add to the WIP list.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year! Enjoy whatever time you have celebrating with friends and family. And if you’re working away at those last-minute Christmas projects like I am, may your fingers be nimble and your stitches be quick, and let them work up lickety-split!

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