My Makes

Favorite garments of 2020 and current WIPs

Winter solstice and the holidays are upon us, and it’s that time of year again to look back at the things I learned, experienced, contributed, and created. It’s been a strange year in many respects, goes without saying. I was less productive in 2020 than I’d hoped to be in many of the activities that I love, including my crafts. I did, however, learn a lot of things and grow spiritually. I hope this trend continues in the coming year, and will help me get out of a kind of creative “slump” that has slowly descended upon me, despite all my powers of resistance in these last few months of 2020.

I’ll continue this resistance by being positive and concentrating on the small things I did accomplish to my satisfaction, starting with my garment makes. After looking over this year’s posts, my favorite garments are the thrifted granny jacket, the pineapple shawl, and the Metropolis cardi.

I like them all for slightly different reasons. The jacket used for this “re-imagining” project was a thrift-store find and an experiment. I found the idea on Pinterest to insert some panels of crochet into a garment, and thought if I failed at it, no big loss – the jacket I bought was only about $3.00 US at a Korean thrift store. I had a lot of fun cutting out big chinks of material, and putting it back together with granny squares. There was no big technical lesson in this project; just a lot of fun trying something different and making use of thrifted clothing. The jacket is now at home in San Diego with my young niece.

The pineapple shawl was made in a style and with a color scheme that was totally outside what I normally do. It was the first time I’d tried the pineapple motif on a garment, and I didn’t realize how versatile it could be. I love this shawl a lot, and the sad truth is that I did not wear it at all in 2020 – it was going with me to Southeast Asia, but the pandemic had other plans for me, so it remains languishing in my shawl collection until I can travel again.

The Metropolis cardi was not the first cardigan I have made, but it was fun to make, and I got to try one with buttons for the first time. In fact, looking for buttons was one of my favorite steps in making this garment. If I were to make it again, I might use a different yarn that pills a bit less. I really do love the color, though, and it has such distinctive balloon sleeves in my rendition. The pattern also has a straight-sleeve option.

Right now, I am busy with finals at my uni, but I’m still chipping away at 2020 projects, including a mohair/silk shawl that probably will take forever to finish. This one uses two strands of laceweight yarn and a 3.00mm hook, which means the stitches are tiny and close together. The finished project will look like pale lavender angel wings, though, and I can’t wait to see it.

I chose this project from a Japanese website of free patterns called Gosyo, which sadly seems to have stopped updating in March 2020. The patterns on this site are all charts, which is a brand new world for me. I am getting the hang of reading charts, even though this one in particular is a big challenge. I think if I can read this chart, I can read most any.

That’s it for today, but I’ll be back soon to share my favorite toys and miscellaneous makes for this past year. I might also do a retrospective on travels from years past, and a peek at my Korean ski trip planned for January 2021.

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