New Year, New President, New Goals.

Happy New Year everyone!  I know i'm a little late, but i've been so busy already this year.  I first want to say how tickled I am that Barack Obama was sworn in as President today!  This year is already off to a good start! So, I guess I should back up a bit.  I had a really nice holiday season spending a little time with my family who generously showered me with new cookware (Le Cruset to be exact) which I am very excited about and it's already been put to good use.  The gifts for mom, dad, and bro were recieved well also.  My mom especially loved her Frontier Blues Jacket. Also, Nick gave me the most awesome thing ever...a Cuisenart!

New Years was spent at Lake Tahoe at my friend Matt's family cabin.  We had good times making Pizza, drinking god beer and wine, and playing lots of Bandu--the best game ever!  Thanks to my brother Jon, Nick got his own copy of the game for Christmas (which is no longer being produced and was found on a vintage game website) so we can play anytime we want! Let the games begin! Elle's already off to a bad start... Micah and I had a build-off... Clearly I won that one... Notice Elle is wearing scarf and hat, both made by yours truly! Happy New Year!!!!

I've been working on my Prudence Sweater for the yarn shop.  It's my very first shop knit so I am kind of eager to please.  I'm taking a leap and converting the pattern to a bottom-up sweater knitted in one piece.  It's already a raglan so i'm not too worried about the conversion.  I'm going to be posting all the modifications I make on the Jimmy Beans Project Log so that customers can reference that if they want to knit it the same way I did.    The pattern is from the Amber book by Kim Hargreaves for Rowan.  She is known for her vintage-style patterns and subtle elegance.  I am so in love with this yarn!  It is Rowan Bamboo Soft (100% Bamboo) but it feels and drapes like silk.  I love that it is eco-friendly and so nice to knit with. Prudence

I have decided recently to focus more of my energy on knitting pattern design rather than making and selling Neckies.  I'll still keep a few for sale on Etsy, but I really want to venture more into design.  I'm working on about five patterns right now actually to hopefully be debuted through Jimmy Beans.  I'll keep you all posted on my progress.

Lastly, I've been recently inspired by another blogger to do an experiment this year.  Seeing as last year was kind of an experiment in how frugally I could live on my AmeriCorps Salary, I thought it only fitting to begin a new experiment for the new year.  In an effort to cut back on needless spending and consuming as well as the desire to work more on my sewing skills (and knitting, of course), I am going to begin a year-long, no clothing shopping experiment.  I will not be tempted by sales or even the Goodwill, my favorite place ever.  I will learn to take better care of the clothing I already own by darning things more often, taking the time to make my own clothes and better my sewing and knitting skills, and re-inventing clothes I am bored with or don't fit quite right.  I've just been feeling for a long time that I need to do something like this.  It's just too easy to go out and buy something new to wear.  Cheaper too i'm sure.  But the bottom line is, where does it end?  When do we start to value our clothing like our ancestors did?  My grandmother has always made most of her own clothes.  I have always admired that in her.  She is a very accomplished seamstress and quilter.  My mother too is also very talented with a sewing machine, always making clothes for my brother and I when we were young (until we started begging her for store bought stuff of course.)  As I get older I want so badly to cling to these roots and to go back to a time where people bought less, made more, and treasured and cared for the items they owned.  I've never been what you would call "trendy" or "hip."  I've always just worn what I feel good in.  It's much easier to feel good in well fitting clothes, and it's even easier for them to fit you well when you make them yourself.  So that is my new experiment, and in the end, I hope I find a new appreciation for the clothes I wear and the skills I have gained. Goodbye Anthropologie and Goodwill, hello Singer Sewing machine!

  I must add however, that in this experiment, I am giving exceptions to the following garments:

Shoes- as I can't make those and I will be in desperate need of a new pair of running shoes soon

Undergarments-I will not torture myself with trying to make these and I really don't foresee this being a need in the near future, however you never know.

Jeans-always in search of the perfect pair and seeing as I only own one pair right now that actually fit, I could really use another.

Also, I will be able to buy fabric, yarn, patterns and notions as needed for new items but I will be trying to use up some of my stashed fabric and yarn this year. So that is the grand plan.  I think I will begin by making this cute smock by Meg from Sew Liberated.  I've had the pattern for over a year and haven't taken the time to make it yet, I love that it's reversible.  Wish me luck!