So, 2015 has started.  That means it’s time to make plans for what to make.  These are largely projects that fill a practical need, but also include things that are just for fun.  In particular I’ve got a couple things to work on, stuff I want to make, stuff I want to learn, and stuff I want to do.

Strawberry Jam  So, things to make.

  1. Clothing – Last year I worked on learning how to make basic clothing, either with sewing or knitting. This year I want to take that a step further and see if I can make clothing that meets or exceeds the standards of decent ready-to-wear.  This will mean working more slowly and carefully.  In terms of kinds of projects, this will likely be professional wear, dresses, sweaters and maybe some socks.
  2. Menswear – Another project last year was finding decent options for P.  There are surprisingly few patterns for men, so this year I’m planning to expand my collection of self-drafted men’s patterns as well as make some new clothes for P.  This will probably be professional wear again, with some casual shirts for fun.
  3. Household items – Time to make some useful things like flannel sheets, pillow cases and insulated curtains (what can I say, it may not be as cold here, but it’s damp all winter and that may actually be worse!).  There aren’t a lot of good instructions for these, so I think they’ll also make fun posts.
  4. Food – 2014 saw my first real attempts at canning and preserving, so this year it’s time to build on that!  This means making more jams, pickles, frozen veggies and seeing if I can put up some actual tomatoes this year! I’d also like to improve on keeping up with the make-ahead dinner options.


Next up, things to learn.

  1. Knitting Machine – It’s sitting in the living room in all it’s needs-to-be-oiled glory.  The circa-1957 instructions are pretty limited, so some experimentation needs to happen.  I want to learn to use it, maintain it and develop patterns for it.
  2. Plant propagation – Growing plants is awesome, having the means to generate more plants yourself for free is even more awesome. I want to learn to take cuttings from roses and save seeds.  I’ve got some pumpkin seeds from last year’s surprise pumpkins, so I will call that the first step!
  3. New Recipes – I want to learn to make desserts and new types of bread, so this will take some experimentation.  If I’m lucky though given that it’s bread and desserts, hopefully even the failures will be worth trying.
  4. Pressure canning – I’ve got a good start on water bath canning, so next is pressure canning.  I want to learn how to care for my pressure cooker and how to use it safely.


And finally, things to do.

  1. See more of the world – Making things, even practical things, is still a creative effort.  Getting out to see and do things like great music and the beauty of nature is necessary to fuel the ability to make.  So more of that!
  2. Share knowledge – I’ve learned a lot, and hope to continue that, so now it’s time to share that.  With any luck this blog will help with that.
  3. Work for myself – A lot of my crafts are practical, and I use them at home or for my family.  It’s a way of using my efforts to make our lives better, happier or just get a little closer to our goals.  I’d like to see if I can build on that.
  4. Grow things – I’ve got a couple gardens under my belt, so I’d like to see if I can make this year a garden I’m proud of from March to November.