Thursday, 3 January 2019

Possibilities

I'm sure I am not the only one who finds the prospect of the new year an exciting one full of new possibilities, which is ridiculous when you think about it as every new day holds the prospect of new adventures and a fresh start. A chance to leave old habits and bad things behind, moving forward with a sense of discovery. Yes, we all know that but somehow 1st January seems endowed with significance, a chance to do things differently, a time for re-invention.

The first day of the year was a good one. The morning was spent taking down the Christmas decorations. I don't like them lingering into the new year and the tree was definitely past its best. Harnessing my inner Nigella, I do however leave fairy lights up in my kitchen. I think we could all do with some fairy lights during the first few months of the year. Once the house was clear we had some brunch, having skipped breakfast due to the vast amounts of food consumed on New Year's Eve, and then ventured out for a long walk to blow the cobwebs away. On our return I made large mugs of hot chocolate with some lovely raw cacao that Joe had brought us back from Costa Rica.


Then to round off the day we went to the cinema to see "Mary Poppins Returns", which I thoroughly enjoyed. Stewart's reaction was "What a lot of nonsense" but really what did he expect? Mary Poppins flew in on a kite to take care of a new generation of Banks children. There were lamp lighters instead of chimney sweeps but other than that there was singing and dancing, a cartoon sequence and pretty much all the elements of the original film. It was slick and well produced, with fabulous costumes so all in all an hour and a half of pure escapism. I think he enjoyed it really!


It did bring to mind a Brownies production of Mary Poppins that took place in 1966 where yours truly took the title role. A role secured largely by the fact I had the loudest voice rather than any other talents. My Dad kept this newspaper clipping and I'm the one on the right.... don't laugh!


Despite liking the idea of a new year with new possibilities I don't really go in for resolutions etc. I tried the trend for adopting a word for the year once... "Balance" if I remember rightly. That didn't last long so I only ever did it the once. However when I spotted an initiative on Instagram called the "Make Nine Challenge" it really appealed to me. It is supposed to be a slow fashion intitative where participants pledge to make nine projects throughout the year. Last year I tried to finish off things that I had started but I lost track once I started to make things for the weddings, but knowing I still have a huge stash of fabrics, yarns and half finished kits this seemed like a good opportunity to do a bit of stash busting before we move. So the following are my nine projects, which I will document here as well as on Instagram. You can ask me at the end of the year how I have done! In no particular order...


1. I will make a Hitchhiker scarf/shawl  by Martina Behm in either the green or the grey yarn... or possibly both should the fancy take me!


2. I will make this apron dress, bought as a kit several years ago after seeing someone else had made one on a blog I was following. I no longer remember the blog and the kit remains in its bag untouched, so I either need to make it or give it away.


3. Another kit I bought many years ago was this wall hanging kit that required machine embroidery skills before I even knew what machine embroidery involved. Yes, that long ago! It doesn't really qualify as a fashion item but it's textiles so I'm going with it.


4. I will use these fabrics to make something to wear. These were another purchase after seeing them featured on a blog. I fell in love with the colours and then when it arrived I wasn't sure I was brave enough to wear them. I'm now older and don't care so I'm thinking I will make a pinafore dress... or two! I sent for the pattern today.


5. Blogs really do have a lot to answer  for don't they.... An Attic 24 kit to crochet a blanket, bought on a whim and never started. Having resisted the urge (only just) to buy the latest Attic 24 crochet along Sweet Pea blanket, I might just crochet this one along instead.


6. A Camber dress by Merchant and Mills. I have the pattern and the fabric was bought and pre-washed two years ago. I have no idea why I've not made it yet. I just need to get it done!


7. This Kaffe Fassett sweater was featured in Living magazine in 1988. The photo is of the original page. I bought the yarn as a kit and it has remained in a drawer for thirty years. It has been so long ago I'm hoping it will be back in fashion if I finish it this year.


8. I'm pleased to say I only found this pattern last year rather than thirty years ago. It's a free pattern on Purl Soho but I fell in love with that yoke. It may require a yarn purchase though which feels slightly against my rules. Perhaps if I finish the other eight projects this can be a little treat to myself!


9. And last of all an Ehrman tapestry kit for a cushion... about a third completed so it really does need to be finished... although I'm not really sure I like it enough. Maybe it should just go?

So there we are, nine projects I aim to finish this year. I'd like to tell you these are the only projects I have to finish but despite there being others, these will do for now. What possibilities are you hoping to achieve this year? Whatever you do, in the words of Neil Gaiman I wish you "A year filled with magic and dreams and good madness"

29 comments:

  1. Good luck with the challenge you have set yourself Gina, as a huge fan of the eighties I love your 30 year old project.

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    1. I did start this one before Christmas and I’m loving the way it is turning out. Keeping my fingers crossed there will be enough yarn!

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  2. Happy New Year Gina! Your named projects remind me of what a capable and ambitious person you are. I particularly liked the fabrics of project number 4, which reminded me of Frida Kahlo. I wonder if you are making a dress on that theme? Happy making!

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    1. Now you have made me think of it as Frida Kahlil fabric I will definitely be making it up and wearing it,

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  3. What a lovely post! I think, as you do, that each day is a beginning, a blank canvas of sorts, and it is up to each of us as to how it will turn out by day's end.

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  4. Your first day of 2019 sounds nice. We spent most of the day clearing debris from our big Hogmanay party and Christmas.... feeling a bit tired and grumpy. Still, it was nice to have a clean house in the evening. Nine projects sounds quite manageable. I also love the Purl Soho jumper, the yoke is really nice. A bit of rule breaking (particularly those self-imposed ones) is perfectly ok, if the result is something that you'll wear and love for a long time. Happy New Year! xx

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    1. I have spent many a New Year’s Day feeling tired and a little grumpy so it was good to do things. I think it was the idea that nine things were achievable that attracted me - especially if I get to finish some stuff. Happy new year to you and the family Christina x

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  5. You already have plenty to do during the year! I love both those sweaters and good luck with all the dressmaking. I am just hoping for that Eureka moment when I find out what I want to do - creatively, that is - this year. Too many ideas tumbling over each other in my head. I hope 2019 will be a good year for you and your family and that you will look back on it with pleasure.

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    1. Sometimes it is best just to pick one of those ideas and go with it and see where it leads. Happy new year to you Heather

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  6. When I saw your post on Insta a few days ago it got me thinking about perhaps scraping together 9 projects, just any projects not fashion though. Good luck with yours! I may have to think on mine. Hmmmmmm

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    1. It does focus the mind! Unfortunately I could come up with a lot more than nine!

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  7. Oh, I think this is a great idea. Plus after seeing how long you have had some of your kits, I no longer feel too bad. Thank you for sharing. No to whittle my list to a managable 9 projects!

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    1. That was my problem but it has focused my mind. I’ve already made a start!

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  8. What a positive start to 2019 Gina. I don't feel so guilty about the UFO's I've got although, I was determined in 2018 to complete and mount some of them which I achieved. Still not sure when I'll complete the cross stitch on linen insect sampler bought in France 1986.I look forward to seeing your progress.

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    1. You have reminded me I have a cross stitch sampler or two... that I will never finish!

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  9. Yes, it feels like anything is possible at the start of a new year. Good luck with your 2019 projects. Looking forward to seeing you progress through them (you will, I know you will!) as the year unfolds.

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  10. I still have a knitting pattern for an Ossie Clark coat dating from about 1973. It was in a Woman's Own magazine. Not much chance of it ever being started but I do like to look at it now and again.

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  11. We saw Mary Poppins Returns last night. I thought the gorgeous costumes and colors were the best! The songs were nice, but definitely not destined to become the classics that Chim Chim Cheree, A Spoonful of Sugar, Feed the Birds, et al became. Looks like a wonderful list of projects for this year. Happy New Year!

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    1. I said exactly the same about the songs. The old ones are all such classics and it’s like we all knew them straight away. Happy new year,

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  12. I'm a week late. You are probably well into the next project already!
    My leaning tower awaits.

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    1. Would it surprise you to know i’ve Finished one and have got another three on the go? Although when they get finished is another matter!

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  13. I started a felt tunic does that count? It is looking okay, but patchy so now I'm thinking of working some embroidery into it. Hmmm! Too many ideas :D Hope you have a great New Year Gina and things turn around for you

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    1. I think a felt tunic definitely counts! Sounds very ambitious to me, especially if you are adding embroidery too!

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    2. So far it has been surprisingly easy, but it definitely needs the embroidery on it :)

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  14. Loved seeing you as a young Mary Poppins. Perfect casting? If only we could use some of her magic to get on with those unfinished projects. And I could do with her help to clear out my 'playroom' which is stuffed full of fabric hopes and half realised dreams.

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  15. Oh so pleased you have a project from 30 years ago and reading your comments page so have a few others. I have a patchwork quilt project that I intended to make for my first daughter. Laura Ashley used to sell ready cut squares so thought as a first quilt I could easily do it. I in my ignorance did not buy enough packs and when I went back to get more they were stopping making them so the bits I bought were not the same colour way. I did, however, make a couple of cushion covers but never the quilt so you have inspired me to get it done this year. I also have a canvas work which my aunt started and never finished and I promised my cousin I would finish it for her after my aunt died. Im ashamed to say its still not done. SO this is the year I will now go and make up my nine projects but get these two done first. Thank you!

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