Bienvenue janvier 2021

2021 written on a road.
A New Road to Travel

I don't mind January much, except for the snow, ice, and cold. I'm happy when life gets back to normal after the holidays. And...January means that we are on a straight, however long, path to spring, summer and so many other good things this year.

In “normal times” January is sort of a vacation month for me. I don't have to travel to shows. I can stay home and do things like clean, cook, dream up new designs, and just have time to think. Well, last year I could do all those things throughout the year because of Covid, probably true for at least half of 2021. But I'm still looking forward to a productive month without many demands, except shoveling snow. Last January I created this website, yay!

My Studio
My Studio

Shortly after Christmas I start my yearly studio cleaning, called the “Purge”. I'm a tidy person, but there's always bag loads of things to throw out, or give away. I have a “take no prisoners” attitude which can be dangerous. Often in June, I'm looking around for some fabric, or gizmo that disappeared. Then I realize it was discarded during my winter frenzy.

I start in the back corner and work my way to the studio door. No bin, box, drawer, or rack is left untouched. Along with throwing out, so many things lost over the course of the year are found. Money is the best! Every evening I admire the days work, and look forward to beginning again in the morning. It takes about two weeks, but worth every minute.

Another view of my studio.
Another View of My Studio

After all is orderly and clean lets get creative. There are always a few new ideas rolling round in my head. It takes time for my imagination to become reality, and the finished product rarely resembles those early concepts. I have a bad habit of over complicating things. Why walk straight through the barn when you can walk around it three times and end up in the same place? So I try to keep good notes, and make samples and swatches of everything. When I designed clothes I could spend a couple days just making neckline samples, and weeks to perfect the whole garment. There's no rhyme or reason to why one design works straight away and another is a long slow slog.

Knitting swatches and charts.
Knitting Swatches and Charts

The last crocheted pattern I designed, 70's ish Cloche, came together on the first sample. Of course, it's a very easy design. You may remember in my August 2020 journal entry I spoke of a turtleneck cowl pattern that took months (mostly because I was bored with it) and ended up as a clown collar. Sometimes it's better to just give up and go in a different direction. Let's do that.

Crocheted cloche on a mannequin.
70's ish Cloche

Now it's time to head down to the kitchen. I love to cook, but there is rarely time to experiment. Who said recipes are just a starting point? It's so true. Recently, I tried a new cassoulet recipe. It was so salty I had to throw it out. But with a little tweaking, and a couple of tries I got it just right. Think I might make it this weekend.

I have a recipe notebook that I started before my husband and I were married. It's filled with recipes from our family and friends and my own clippings. Some of those dishes haven't been made in 25 years. It's about time to blow the dust off and re-jigger them for 2021. It's going to be a busy month.

Ok, I sound like some wack-a-doodle optimist. Not true. I do hate ice and shoveling snow. Let's see how optimistic I am on February 1. How are you feeling about January, and what do you have planned?

Happy New Year,


January 1, 2021

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