Fiber Friday Friends! Totally making a "thing" of this! I have been busy sewing and knitting and crafting away, and I think that if I were to have "fiber resolutions", which would be a really nerd thing to have... i mean, who would make resolutions about fiber?  me. Well, if I were the type of person to make such resolutions, I would have them made. Like, I said, january has been a busy and fun month for me when it comes to sewing and knitting (I blame the cold weather and long nights), and keeping so busy with all these things that I love to do with my brain and hands has made me think about how I work, what I want to do, what I like to make... and then sometimes while I am working on things, and doing stuff, I have a brief existential crisis that I work through... and sometime that leads to fiber resolutions, you know, if i was nerdy like that. 

 So, the product of my latest crisis is my manta: the phrase "I AM NOT A MACHINE" So often I feel like I have an urge to chug out projects and work work work. Maybe this is on my mind because of the holiday rush, and how once January comes around and my little shop business slows down, I am needing to remind myself to calm down, take my time, enjoy my work. This phrase also bleeds into being a mom, and a nurse, and a human... I am not a machine - slow down and enjoy life. I am not a machine - take time to laugh with the babies and watch a stupid cartoon.  I am not a machine - take a couple minutes to do more teaching with a patient... re-explain something and make sure they "get it". I am not a machine - feed yourself real food. 

So, that is my mantra this year. I am not a machine. I am a human being. I make things with my hands because I love to. I sell things to people who want something made by caring hands, not a machine. I give things that are made with my hands and I use my brain. I take my time to teach my children about making things with their hands. 

which brings me to my resolutions... because, you knew it, I totally made fiber resolutions.

1 / Knit a pair of socks for each member of my family, for their birthday. Because I like to make socks, and don't make enough of them. Because many of my family members ask me to make them something to wear. Because I would love to wrap each of them in a sweater, but have waaay to many family members for that. A sweater for their feet though? I think I can handle that. 

First pair of socks, for my baby sister, modeled by Chlo.
 2 / Re-cycle more yarn and fiber. Knitting is not a cheap hobby, believe it or not. Yes, it can be more inexpensive to buy yarn than to buy a sweater. But then you have all the hours that you put into making that sweater, and in the end it's really not a matter of being more economical, but really just having an item that you love that you picked out the yarn and pattern (or design your own pattern if you do that kind of thing) for, and took the time to make. Also, if you are going to take the time to make yourself something, you want to use good stuff... and once you start using good stuff it is hard to go back to using anything else. So, if you like good yarn, natural fibers, and natural dyes (I am getting there), then you are going to spend a pretty penny on your yarn.

I bought some great cotton-linen blend yarn over a year ago and made a cardigan for myself, that then sat in a drawer. So this week I decided to rip the whole thing apart and make sweaters for my two kids. Recycling yarn is an excellent way to save some money, and reuse something that isn't getting any wear. Also, handmade pieces are pretty easy to take apart. I am thinking I have enough yardage for two short-sleeve spring sweaters for them. It was a great activity for Chlo and me to do together since she loves to pull at yarn already. I wrapped the yarn around a chunk of cardboard I had sitting around, tied them into little hanks, soaked them, and once they are dry I will wind them into balls and knit with them. This whole process takes a bit of time, but it can save a bit of money.

Oh, and I am keeping track of this project on my instagram feed, for anyone interested in recycling yarn. Check out #recycledspringsweaters , because I am really not too great with getting too creative with my hashtags.

3 / Stick to a fiber budget. I am giving myself $50 a month to put towards any materials or supplies  I might need. To some this might sound ridiculously stingy, and to others this might sound really extravagant. Because I have a whole lot of fabric, I am mostly using this on bits or tools I need to finish a project, rather than the bulk of the materials. I hope this is going to help me use what I have stashed (sooo much fabric), and really encourage me to make the most out of what I have. I want to make more quilts, so this month money went towards batting, and backing for this quilt, and some more yarn to make some socks for my brother (since most of my yarn is a bit feminine or bulky right now).

 4 / Take some time once a week to work on a quickie. This past week, after I had my kids in bed, I threw together this quick little doll. I have been wanting to make a "baby doll" for a bit now, and while this one needs a little work (i should have lined his entire head, which is made from an old sweater, with batting or muslin to make it more rigid and less likely to loose shape.). This doll was made with all used materials, minus his linen face, and embroidery thread used to sew his face on. I would like to make more of these and put them in my shop sometime soon. But, I have many little quickies I want to work on, and once a week it feels good to sit down and make something from start to finish.

and everything about this doll makes me laugh.

Do you have any "fiber resolutions"? Or anything that you would like to change this year about how you use materials or recycle things that you own?


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