I think that I may be the very last to Gillian’s Top 5 party but I was largely avoiding the internet over the holidays (a mixture of business, travel and a dying phone). And I needed to think about it! Now that I have given this some thought, I have a feeling this is going to be a long one… so brace yourselves!
Before we get into my me-made hits and misses of the year, I’m going to start with the people as this was by far the best part of the last year. Bitty and I started this blog nine months ago now and I have to say that it has been a blast! I can’t even remember what our motivation was for starting it (meeting like-minded individuals…?) but I will say that it has been a genuine pleasure to get to know my little sister again through it. I’ve lived far away from most of my family for over a decade now and we’ve lost touch. Guess that’s life and it happens to all of us but there is no denying that it sucks! I still have high hopes that Bitty and I can convince (sucker) other family members to come and post some of their crafty endeavours. Our mom is the original fibre goddess who loves to crochet and knit. When we were kids she also made a lot of our clothing and if I were anywhere near Vancouver right now I would astound you all with a picture of the eldest three Hamilton Chicklets in some amazing matching polyester jumpsuits. Amazing, I tell you! Alas, you’re just going to have to take my word for it… for now! And our older sister Kelley used to be a fantastic sewist that now paints these giant murals for her kids and their friends. Wish I had such talent! My brother Chris cooks and dabbles in woodworking… in the same obsessive way we all dabble in sewing and knitting! He has a couple of really beautiful pieces in his house and is apparently now making a guitar. And our youngest brother sometimes knits, which is just awesome!
Catja, Andrea, Clare, me and Gillian (photo totally stolen from Andrea’s blog… see below for a link to her meet-up blog post)
Moving on to my new blogging friends! So.Much.Fun!!! In the past several months I have met the most amazing group of fellow sewing and knitting enthusiasts! It started in August when Clare was stopping in Toronto to meet her twitter peeps (Gillian, Catja and Andrea). They graciously let me (a stranger at the time) crash the party and it was such a blast! Fabric shopping and tequila really is a winning combination! Andrea posted about our afternoon here. Clare was visiting Ontario at Christmas so we all met up again and it really felt like I was catching up with old friends at this point (Clare posted about our shenanigans here)! Since my initial sewing meet-up in August, it has been a blur of meet-ups in Toronto, Guelph, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo where I got to meet Leila while she was visiting Gillian, Andrea, Kristin, Chloe and many others!
Christmas visit! Catja, Gillian, Clare, me and Andrea
As an added bonus, Kristin, Andrea and I share a LYS (EweKnit) and live within blocks of each other so our meet-ups are becoming a fairly regular event (see Kristin’s post here about one of our first knitting meet-ups). Did I mention the fun?! And this does not even begin to cover all of the people I have met online! Gail, for example? Between blog comments, instagram and Andrea, I feel like I’ve met her already and found myself initially adding her name to the list of people I met IRL this year! Anyway, I hope I get to meet more of you in 2014 (NYC meet-up this Spring? Hope so!). OK. Enough sap. On to some actual sewing and knitting!
Me, Kristin and Andrea at EweKnit. Photo courtesy of Kristin!
To keep it easy, I’m going to stick with the ones that I have actually blogged about and have some photos of! Sadly, that omits the vast majority of the things that I have knit or sewn in the last year.
My all time favourite make is easy! Though I technically made this in the last two weeks of 2012, it didn’t debut on this blog until 2013 so I say it counts! This would be the Gramps cardigan! Clearly not made for me… I made this for my nephew Dax for Christmas and I still love it! The yarn, the colour (Grasshopper!), an adorable little boy dressed as an old man. Dunno why but this is still one of my all time favourite makes!
The rest of my favourites are in no particular order.
There is my Anna dress. Probably a fairly obvious pick. While I seem to keep making dresses, I’m generally not a huge fan of actually wearing dresses. Silly, I know! I just find them so impractical! Winters in Toronto are not exactly an ideal time for them as even if you’ve got some nifty wool tights to keep you warm, the constant wind downtown will not be your friend! Anyway, I digress. A silk Anna dress is not for every day wear but for those special events, this one is a real winner! So lovely to wear with the silk lining and a simple and flattering style. Love it! Definitely a hit in my books!
Then there is the Mathilde blouse that I made for Project Sewn. This white poplin version was only meant to be a muslin and it is a wee short for my liking but I wear it all of the time. A total win in my books. I have fabric set aside for a couple more versions so I should really get my shit together and make more!
My Darling Ranges dress. For a self-proclaimed dress hater, I’m a wee amused that two of my favourite makes are dresses! I won’t admit to wearing this often but I do still love it. Maybe because I made it at the cottage and every time I see it or wear it, I’m reminded of good times and excellent friends? Besides, how can you not smile when you wear such happy fabric!
And finally, there is the Renfrew. This version is one of several that I have made and these suckers easily get the most wear. They’re just so easy! So far I have only made the cowl version but I’ll get around to the other soon enough!
This post is already epic so I am going to save the misses for another post. You may not see it for awhile as I tend to procrastinate on such things. Besides, its time for Project Run & Play so Bitty’s turn on the blog!