What I made in 2022

I like to do these end-of-the-year recaps of what I finished in a year. It always makes me feel productive, and I even want to start more projects.

Knitting

Hats were my thing this year. They are my go-to project when I need something to do. Several were donation hats, and the rest were gifts for friends.

Left to right, top to bottom: tape yarn pouch with vintage cloth lining, Antler toques for donation, Feather and Fern wrap, Year of hats, March hat, Scrapy shawl, Felicity hat for donation, Jelka hat, Kaarre hat, Maize mitts


I’ve also been slowly getting rid of my yarn stash. Luckily I meet “L,” an amigurumi crocheter, at the thrift shop. I’ve been giving her yarn for projects.

Stitching

I’ve been using stitching in my upcycling project this past year. The stitching keeps me present as I usually don’t have a well-laid-out plan, and I’m letting the stitches inspire me on the subsequent placement.

Left to right, top to bottom: Stitching to cover up staining, bookmark, top stitching on the underside of the whale, stuffed whale out of a vintage dress, Hawaiian quilt pillow for donation, Aloha shirt patchwork, blanket stitch top of trivet, trivet made out denim scraps and hand stitching, cat toys made out of scraps of fabric from my cousins mask making venture.


Cooking

I’m breaking this section down to savory and sweet, and I’m not including the jam I made this year. I’ll say the strawberry guava is always a hit and the cherry jam is also a favorite.

Savory

I’ve been trying to be more healthy for dinners. I need to use a lighter hand on the salt. Ahh, signs of getting old. My recent favorite is Mapo eggplant. Here’s the link to the recipe I used from Just One Cookbook: https://www.justonecookbook.com/mapo-eggplant/

Left to right, top to bottom: roasted tomato salsa, zucchini and caramelized onion quiche for Julie, my attempt at pad see ew, cheesy biscuits, tuna and tofu patties, pickled veggie slaw, lemon and capers halibut (thank you, Dave, for the fish), mapo eggplant, ginger pork.


Sweet

I’ve been going through my mom’s recipe box, making my favorite recipes. One day, I’ll put them in a book for my family. I made several batches of Tanaka bars (a family favorite) for my holiday bake, and a few bakes came out too gooey. I googled “blondies too gooey” and found an article from food52 saying the batter needed more air. I need to return to my hand mixer to get the air into the batter. Here’s the link to the article: https://food52.com/blog/21928-why-your-blondies-are-raw-in-the-middle-the-stella-parks-cure

Left to right, top to bottom: Pumpkin bread, pineapple cookies, garbage cookies, lilikoi coconut pie, mixed berry creme fraiche scones, Nutella rice crispy treats, Tanaka bars, Laurie’s pear cake, cherry scones, lemon loaf cake, Tre Leche cake, apple crumb cake, apple vanilla pound cake, lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate birthday cupcakes for the birthday girls.


To my surprise, I worked on a lot of stuff. It didn’t feel like it. I’ve been struggling this year to find what I should be doing with my life since my freelance gig has dried up.

I’ve discovered myy stitching is good for my brain. It lets me move through the piece spontaneously, letting the stitches decide for me. So I decided 2023 would be my year to sell or show more of my works. I need to be brave and put it out there. So there will be more to come. I hope you stick around to join me on my journey.

Mending

If you look up stitching or mending, you may notice the term slow stitching. For me, slow stitching is a mindful practice to keep my anxiety at bay and to create and learn something new.

This spring, I found an online workshop called Making Zen from https://www.zenstitching.ca/ with demonstrations of all different stitching techniques and processes. The workshop lit a fire in me, seeing what others were creating out of stitching and mending. I posted about the blanket stitch technique I used on my scrappy jeans trivet in Seams and Scraps.

I’ve recently started doing random stitching projects involving upcycling items being tossed out. They still had a lot of life in them. It would be my job to address the staining, broken zipper, hole, or tear to have another round of enjoyment by someone.

Aloha Shirt

I got this long sleeve aloha shirt from the 2 for a $1 bin. Its only real problem was a brownish stain on the front pocket area. I had an idea about using a running stitch technique in a lighter blue to disguise the staining.


Slouchy Hippy bag

I should have put this bag out to pasture. Broken zipper, tears, and staining on the inside, especially on the big pocket. I saw its potential to continue to carry things.


I decided to address the staining on the inside pocket. I didn’t have a real plan, but I knew I needed heavier coverage at the bottom, with most of the staining. I don’t know what this stitch is called, but I’ve used it with flowers and grass. I like adding other colors to give it more depth. It is still a work in progress.


I’ll post more when I start working the outside, patching up the holes. Then I’ll tackle adding a working zipper back again. Stay tuned.

One Crafty Lady

I got a bunch of craft supplies from a very crafty lady. Among the collections, there were several unfinished projects. I decided to take on a few of them and finish them up.

The pattern and shawl


First up is a knitted shawl. I found a handwritten pattern with it. It wasn’t too clear. There were a lot of cross-outs and items that seemed to be missing. But I decided I could figure it out.

I took apart a bunch of rows where I could see mistakes. I tried to knit the pattern as I could interpret it and what I could see the stitches were.

After ripping out the mistake rows

“Ugh! Curse, curse, curse.” I moaned.

It wasn’t working. It didn’t look like the existing stitches. I rip out more stitches to try and decipher why the stitches look so different.

Ahhhhhh! Backloop!!!!! [0+++++++++++++++++++m,./ ] Orange the cat wanted to contribute to the post.

Our crafty lady knitted and purled most of the stitches in the backloop. I solved one major issue and on to the next issue.

Charting it out

I didn’t want to mark up the original pattern, so I decided to try to chart it out. I used the app stitchfiddle. There is a free and a premium version. I thought I’d try out the free version and see if I like it. I’ve never charted out a pattern before. There is definitely a learning curve. I had to figure out how to indicate the decreased stitches on every other row.

Section of the chart, gray squares indicate “no stitch” for my decreased stitches.

Once I got close to a finished chart, I decided to test it. Instead of continuing on the original unfinished shawl, I started with Berroco Vintage in purple. It’s a softer yarn (acrylic, wool, and nylon blend), much easier on my hands. The original was knitted in Red Heart acrylic, which is very rough on my hands and makes me not want to knit it anymore.

The beginning of the test shawl


I’m still testing my chart and making corrections as needed. Once I finished, I’ll post the pattern on Ravelry for free in tribute to our crafty lady. The test shawl will go to the crafty lady’s daughter, from whom I got the craft supplies. I’m not sure what I will do with the original shawl. I feel like I should finish and donate it. Maybe knitting it in fall will be easier than at the hottest time of the year.

Scrapy Shawl

Remember my Scheepjes d’Histoire Naturelle blanket I finished in August 2021? I had a bunch of extra yarn and wanted to use it up. I decided on something easy, nothing that I have to concentrate too much on.

It still needs the ends to be woven in. Sigh!

Here’s a simple gather stitch triangle shawl. Used most of the leftover yarn with a few small yarn balls for Orange the cat to play with. I cast on two stitches. I slipped the first stitch in every row and a knit front back increase (kfb) at the 2nd to the last stitch in every row. On the stripe sections, I knitted two rows of one color and two rows of the other color. I knitted to I ran out of yarn. At the widest edge, 64″ and from the bind-off edge to cast on 34″. Nice weight, not too heavy, perfect for a cool evening. The Scheepjes Stone Washed is both soft to work with and wear.

Quilts Galore

The hospital thrift shop I volunteer at has a donation of Hawaiian-style patchwork quilts. The hospital has a group of craft ladies that made up these patchwork quilts for use within the hospital. The hospital did not need the quilts, and the volunteer service group decided to sell them at the thrift shop. These quilts have become very popular with our clients. They are always asking for more.

It was my job to get the dimensions and price the quilts. I got to see them all and have taken a few pictures of my favorites.


Last week, as I sorted through another batch of quilts and asked the volunteer services manager about them and the group who made them. He told me it’s not a group but one lady that made all of the blankets. He said she would talk to him about how she would think about the placement of the prints and layout of the patterns for each quilt.


The volunteer service manager said she hasn’t brought in a quilt since covid started. I hope these aren’t the last of her quilts. They are so fun and inspiring to me. I want see more of her work.