Friday, April 1, 2016
A is for Ambitious
I started this blog with grand ambitions of doing a craft every month, maybe every week! I would make photo tutorials and patterns and design everything myself and make everything from scratch and brew my own lye and learn to sew historically accurate Victorian walking gowns and build a log cabin in my backyard. Then I took a step back and thought about it and decided that I could scale it back a bit, and just have fun with it. I posted a few things, made some yarn dolls, and discovered that the Christmas chapter, with its two pairs of mittens and Charlotte, came a lot sooner than I recalled. Then I got sick, and the boys came down with every malady small children can catch, and my husband had his driver's license suspended, and my dad died. Somehow that made trying to design a simple children's mitten into the hardest task I could imagine. I started and ripped back a dozen swatches and samples. I toyed with the idea of just posting a list of links to suitable mitten patterns. I toyed with the idea of just posting a picture of some mittens I had knitted for Silas for Christmas in the past. I even toyed with the idea of plagiarizing someone else's pattern, with enough tweaks to make me feel somewhat better about it. That would be in keeping with the pioneer spirit, right?
If there was one thing I had really wanted to do in this blog, though, it was to write my own patterns, or to work from actual historical patterns in the public domain, making my own adaptations and updates along the way. I'm not looking to become the next Nancy Bush, but I wanted at least the knitting in this blog to be authentically mine, if not historically authentic.
So I continued swatching and ripping out until my yarn began to look very haggard indeed, and then I got an email reminding my that the April A-Z challenge was coming up.
"Ha," I thought to myself. "Like that's going to happen."
I had been reasonably successful last year, on my other blog, managing about four posts a week on schedule and catching up the other two a day late or on Sundays, but I couldn't imagine trying to come up with all new ideas this year. The thought of trying to do an A-Z list of Little House on the Prairie themes here was intriguing, but the thought of doing that much research and writing, with four family birthdays this month, a bridal shower, and, you know, two toddlers and a full-time job, quickly nixed the idea. I couldn't even manage a list.
Somehow, though, the idea of doing an A-Z of designing and knitting a pair of mittens in a month crept in, and stuck. I started drafting entries. I started making concrete plans. I started looking for links . . .
So that's my ambition for this year's April A-Z. To bring you all along on my design process, haphazard as it is, and let you watch a pair of Little House in the Big Woods Christmas Mittens grow.