Blogging Challenges for the New Year

I started blogging again this past November after leaving my blog dormant for over a year. In the final two months of 2013, I managed to publish 12 new blog posts, which all together add up to well over 10,000 words. My return to this blog has been one of the highlights of my year—I’ve been having a lot of fun sharing the things I’ve been making and am finding blogging a great source of inspiration. I’m looking forward to keeping up with my blog this year, and I already have a lot of post ideas to keep things rolling. But I’m also giving myself two blogging challenges for 2014 that I hope will help me develop my sewing skills and give me an opportunity to share some of my knitting knowledge.

Challenge #1: Make a Garment a Month

As I said in an earlier blog post, the reason that I started sewing again this past summer is that I wanted to start making my own clothes (beyond the sweaters I knit myself). Now that I’ve done some more crafty projects that have helped me get a better handle on some sewing basics, I want to get back to focusing on sewing clothes. To help me push myself, I signed up for the Make a Garment a Month blog challenge run by Sarah Liz. The challenge is pretty self-explanatory: you sew one garment for yourself each month and blog about the details. I think this challenge will set a nice pace for my sewing efforts, giving me enough of a challenge to keep me motivated without demanding more than I can reasonably keep up with. My stuff won’t be very impressive or terribly exciting since I’m just starting out, but I’m looking forward to acquiring some new skills and to learning from other, more experienced sewists participating in the challenge. I’ve ordered the fabric for my January project and will blog about my sewing plans for this month as soon as it arrives.

This particular challenge is officially sponsored by my dad, who bought me a new steam iron for Christmas (yes—crafters ask for the weirdest gifts), and by Aidan, who just got a fancy new job that will hopefully allow me to replace my crappy sewing machine in the coming months. So if nothing I make turns out, it’s all their fault.

Challenge #2: Write About Sweater Knitting

The other crafty/blogging challenge I’m giving myself this year is my goal to write a new post each month about some of the things I’ve learned (and continue learning) about knitting sweaters. Awhile ago, before I revived my blog, one of the sweaters that I made was featured on Modification Mondays over on Knitted Bliss, and I got some comments from people about the challenges of knitting plus-size sweaters. (I use the term “plus-size” less because it’s a term I like and more because it is a convenient referent.) I’m no expert, but I do feel like I have some good tips to share and now that I’m blogging again, I figure people might be interested in reading about some of them.

My version of Ravine. More details available on Ravelry.

I struggled to knit sweaters that fit me well for almost as long as I’ve been knitting. When I got serious about learning to modify patterns to fit my body, I spent a lot of time reading sweater-knitting resources on blogs, on Knitting Daily, and on Ravelry. There are lots of great resources available, but the majority of these resources fail to address issues that are more specific to knitting plus-size sweaters. But knitting plus-size sweaters isn’t just challenging because of a lack of resources or patterns—it’s made even more difficult by a whole host of cultural ideologies that can make talking about, respecting, and crafting for a fat body fraught and difficult. My aim with these posts I plan to write is to not only add to the pool of plus-size knitting resources that are already available (one of my absolute favorite resources and blogging inspirations is Knitting At Large), but to also affirm that every body is deserving of a great, hand-made sweater.  My goal is to write at least one blog post about sweater knitting each month, and my first sweater post will go live later this week.

What About Baking?

I don’t have any specific baking-related challenges in mind. However, my dad gave me a copy of Baking with Julia and a bunch of high-quality cake decorating gear for Christmas and I have a copy of The Cake Bible that I haven’t even touched yet, so there’s bound to be some baking fun happening this year.

The cake I made for our godson's 2nd birthday. Photo taken by Aidan.

The train cake I made this year for our godson’s 2nd birthday. Photo taken by Aidan.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to another year of crafting and creating. Have you given yourself any crafting or baking challenges for 2014?

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4 thoughts on “Blogging Challenges for the New Year

  1. YAY! Hmm… I’ll have to think about challenges for crafting in 2014. I didn’t get a lot of “making”-based projects done in 2013, but since submitting last semester’s grades I’ve been knitting a ton. My needles are actually hot to the touch from all the action. Seriously. I’ve been thinking about putting a knitting project in every room of my house so I always have something at hand when a spare moment appears.

    We’ve also been cooking our way through Isa Does It, which has been fun and delicious. Maybe I should choose a cookbook and make everything in it? Hmm.

    The other budding activity from 2013 is (barely) starting a knitting group so maybe I should set a goal of knitting with other people once a month, whether at our library’s knitting gathering, at my LYS, or with my new burgeoning group. Yes, I think that last one is good.

    • I’m kind of in a knitting lull right now. Maybe I need to also start a knitting group to relight my knitting fire?

      I think I’m going to end up working my way through the Baking with Julia book this year. So many good recipes and I’m itching to make bread!

  2. Do it! Knitting works really well in social contexts (as you well know) and, for me, I have reached a point in my life where I am not that interested in a lot of social stuff if I can’t knit during the event/gathering. Yes, I just admitted that. I am trying to be extremely efficient with my time so if I can’t cook, read, or knit while being social then, well, I’d rather just do those things at home with my family! Ha! I am embracing all my old lady habits with exuberance!

  3. Pingback: January Sewing Plans: Kwik Sew 3766 | Sweet Alchemy

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