Happy New Year!
I know it's been pretty silent on the blog, but that's because I am still recalibrating my life a bit. 2014 was particularly a disaster in absolutely all areas of my life - you name it, it happened (aside from death and illnesses, thank God.)
I attribute what happened to being overly optimistic throughout that year as well as listening to others about where I should be and what I should be doing in my life.
I thought I should be pushing Manic Pop further. After all, didn't I go to school for design? Shouldn't I be using my degree? I thought I should have had a more creative job, should be working more 9 to 5. I thought that following the footsteps of others would lead me to more personal happiness.
Instead, I created less. I believed in myself less and got stressed out. Your art shouldn't be stress - it should be fun! I love having an outlet and creating for myself. If custom inquiries come along from things I am creating, I am not opposed to them by any means however.
That being said, I've been knitting a ton more.... and I knitted up this hat!
It was a pattern from Noble Knits. I actually had a knitted turban pattern from a Vogue knitting book but decided that it was not quite what I wanted.
This hat inspiration comes from a crocheted version I bought about 5 years ago at a Chicago thrift store. I have a friend I used to work with who LOVED that hat and was jealous of me in it every year. So I made this one for her!
Here's me in my green one out for a walk in the woods.
The one I made here is definitely a bit differently built, but the idea is completely the same.
It knitted up really fast! I used a number 5 weight yarn, designated as bulky. I'm not sure what the original pattern actually called for because I did not buy the Berroco yarns (though I am sure they're lovely). So while the original pattern called to cast on about 23 stitches, after doing a gauge test, I adjusted to cast on 19 stitches.
I used the yarn to stitch it all together like the pattern directs. It took me a few tries to get the twist just right but I eventually did.
I have another one I'm almost done knitting in the same exact color which I think will end up on the Etsy shop. I wanted to use up that last skein of yarn! I recommend this pattern if you're an experience novice at knitting since it's only getting to learn a k2tog yo stitch as well as slipping stitches.
I did knitwear in college - so I do have a good knowledge of knit pattern design as well as knitting sweaters, but I'm not super-experienced. Not like sewing and patternmaking anyhow!
I guess I like that harvest gold color because here is the sweater I designed and knitted in college using a crawling cable stitch.
Also, check out the knitted hood I designed myself and made in 2012 with a free pattern attached on the blog. It's not perfect but if you knit better than I do, then I'm sure you can come up with your own adjustments.
I'll be starting on some other knit hats from a book I got for Christmas as well as trying out some scarves from the new Pam Powers book I just ordered. I'm sort of working my way up to a beautiful Wenlan Chia knit patterns book I picked up sometime in 2007 but I'm not that confident in my knitting skills currently to invest in that much expensive yarn yet!
So for 2015, my current aim is to really just enjoy myself and the creative process in.... anything. From knitting, to print design, to sewing pattern design (and playing with patternmaking ideas I found on Pinterest!), to more Photoshop on the blog, and more abstract art pieces. I might finally finalize my PDF pattern I started in January 2014, but no promises.
I do lots and lots of creative things and it's time I stopped boxing myself in, like I had been for so long because I thought it would "help Manic Pop take off". Bullshit.
Do your own thing, do what makes you happy. Take time off if necessary. Enjoy life, enjoy your art. No sense in being stressed out and overworked with your art! That's never fun for any reason, even if it makes you money.