Jul 16, 2012

Summer Crafternoons

A few summers ago I realized that if I didn't have structure to my summer vacation, I'd feel like the time was just slipping away. Fall would arrive and I'd pout because I didn't have much to write for my "What I Did on my Summer Vacation" essay in my head.

Last summer, I had strict schedules. Monday:chores. Tuesday:chiro appt, massage, social knitting. Wednesday:dinner and knitting with friends. Thursday:kayaking. Friday:date night.
Plus I had a trip to Portland and Sock Summit, Michfest, and the Allegan Fiber Festival thrown in for good measure.
It worked. At the end of the summer I felt like I'd done a lot, but that I'd been running all summer.

This year I took a few things off my plate and decided I wanted to spend more time sewing and knitting. I thought Tuesday would be the perfect day for sewing and crafting. I planned to keep the kayaking and dinner and knitting, but just switch up the days a bit. But you know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men?

I woke up somewhere around the fourth of July and suddenly realized that my summer was almost over and that I hadn't done much of anything. Sure, there was some knitting happening. I'd sewn a dress and had cut out some knitting bags to sew too, but nothing was getting done. I had no finished piles, only to do lists.

Suddenly everyday was Crafternoon. I've been working on a pair of socks for a friend, (I can't show too much in case she's reading, but will try to post some photos from camp)

a vest for another friend, sewn up about a dozen bags for camp,

purged some old projects in my sewing room, I've spun a couple of pounds of fiber into yarn,

completed swatches

and mending and planned out Christmas projects for my family...things are getting done. And just in time too. I leave for Knit Camp this week. When I get home, I have a few days to prep for the Wine and Wool Festival, then I head to Michfest, and get ready to go back to school. But what I've realized is that there is plenty of time to do the things I love. I just need to make them a priority. Napping and lounging the VERY cool basement after summer school is great, but doesn't make me feel good about using my time to the fullest.

Accomplishing things and trying out new techniques does, as does using up the beautiful fiber and fabric stash that I've accumulated over the years.

Here's one of the mending projects I enjoyed recently. It might be a fun up-cycle project for you to try before the summer fades away...

A friend had some shorts that didn't fit any longer, but that she didn't want to part with. You know how sometimes there are memories in clothing? She'd worn these shorts while hiking the Appalachia trails, working at a camp she loves...they were part of her history that she didn't want to let go of yet.

We secured the side pockets with a quick basting stitch, cut the seam out of the sides of the shorts and did some measuring. The width remaining in the shorts was about nine inches smaller than her waist circumference. We were adding two gussets, so each piece needed to finish at 4.5". We added seam allowance, made the hem edge slightly wider and cut a trapezoid shape that was the finished length of the shorts plus a few inches for waistband and hem. We then fused some stabilizing interfacing at the waist, sewed a hem and a facing for the waistband and stitched it in. Now she has some cute "new" shorts, all for far less expense than a new wardrobe, and they're already broken in!

Here's to sucking the life out of summer...in whatever way you choose.