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November 18, 2010

Progress is a funny thing.  I’m certainly a much more comfortable and accomplished knitter today than I was 7 years ago when I first picked up the needles, but that progress was quite gradual.  There are a couple of “ah-ha!” moments in my knitting history (the moment when I learned that my yarn overs kept disappearing because I was twisting my purl stitches is a notable example), but by and large I picked up a little bit here, and a little bit there, and my skill improved with my muscle memory.  The coolest thing about sewing, I think, is that with each new project I tackle, I can almost measure the amount of learning I’ve done. Obviously I still have so much room for improvement, but actual, tangible progress is kind of intoxicating.  (I think this is especially true when progress in other, more lucrative, areas of my life is a bit reluctant to manifest, but that’s a discussion for a shared cup of tea and another day.)

Which is all long way of saying, “Look what I made!”

It’s the Rag Bag from Amanda Soule‘s Handmade Home, minus a couple of frills and plus one fabric paint-stamped label.  It brightens up my dining room in all of its yellowy cheerfulness, and stands as a lemon-printed reminder of skills learned and progress made.

What’s that you say?  You’d like proof?  Alright:

Left: my first acquaintance with my sewing machine, which has a fabulous 1970s pedigree and, um, technically belongs to my mom. (Yes. That is also a picture of me getting a sewing lesson in Yosemite.)

Right: my first buttonhole!

Conclusion: progress!

This project was fabulous for teaching new skills without being complex and off-putting.  In addition to buttonholes, I also learned how to make bias tape (which is actually a skill that could use a lot of improving) and how to create a functional drawstring.

Plus, this thing seriously gets daily use at our house, which absolutely equals success in my book.

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