Last Christmas, I dusted off my sewing machines and got reacquainted with them by making some simple dresses for a friend’s little girls (both of whom I would declare are the two most delightful children I have ever met. I’m sure it’s entirely coincidental that they are also the two most appreciative of the things I make them.) It was such a great feeling being in front of my machines again that I really wanted to make more time for the simple pleasure of making things with my hands. I decided to join in on the #2018makenine challenge hosted by Rochelle of Home Row Fiber Co. because I thought I could use the inspiration and motivation. To my surprise, I did complete most of my Make Nine projects and made several more things in addition to that. Seeing as I suspected I would abandon ship mid-year, I’m pretty good with how it went, but in this new year, I’m going to change it up a little.
I think I’d like to have a little more latitude in choosing my projects this year instead of laying out a list of nine projects at the start of the year that may lose their shine in several month’s time. I still don’t want to be completely rudderless, so I decided to draw up a Maker’s Bingo Card with 24 possible projects I can choose from (all using stashed fabrics or yarns, because, yeah, to my shame, I have more than 24 projects’ worth) and one (traditional) “Free Space” for an unspecified project of my choice. Am I going to regret giving myself too many options once I get mired in indecision? Maybe, but this year, I haven’t got a list of nine must-make items, just a lot of stash and a few gaps in my wardrobe that I’d like to fill, if the opportunity arises.
I’m still deciding how I want to fill out the 24 squares, but here’s a possible card:
So far, I have some specific projects, some general ideas for projects, and some specific stash (mainly just skeins of sock yarn for easy, portable projects). My criteria for drawing up this list was that everything on it would be made with fabric or yarn that I already have. I’m continuing my efforts to reduce my consumption, so the plan here is to identify items that I could really make use of but that don’t require me to do any real shopping beyond small notions or possibly patterns. I don’t urgently need all 24 items on this list (and I seriously don’t think I’ll make even half of them, if that!) but some of the projects are really more about expanding some of my skills in addition to making useful items. I haven’t picked out any specific patterns this year because although I know it could potentially save me a lot of time, again, I just want the flexibility of choice.
I’ll still be following the #2019makenine tag on IG because I think #makersbingo is going to be as lonely a hashtag as my #mendormodifynine which even I couldn’t trouble myself to keep up because it would have necessitated taking photos of fairly boring things.* If, by some chance, Maker’s Bingo is of interest to you, here’s a blank bingo card for you to print and fill in. Of course, it’s a pretty simple thing to sketch on paper so you can always just draw a 5x5 grid of your own in your own style, but for those of you who prefer low-resistance, this is for you!
You can list anything you like. For example, you can just identify a yarn or fabric (or whatever material your particular making hobby uses), specific patterns, general categories, techniques, or clearly defined projects and arrange them anyway you like in the grid. You can even cut small samples of fabrics and yarns and affix them to the card, or sketch a design in the square. I tried to make sure that none of my potential projects overlapped with another square on the same grid, such as having a specific yarn in one square and a project like “mittens” that might be made with the aforementioned yarn. I suppose making multiple cards could help with avoiding overlap. For instance, one card could list fabrics or yarns and another could have patterns, or techniques you’d like to practice. The goal is to call bingo this year so more cards could increase your chances!
Now that’s done, I should probably stop avoiding making actual New Year’s resolutions for 2019. So far, I’ve got: buy less stuff and keep a real-time record of which WIPs my various knitting needles are buried with or else I’ll have to keep buying more stuff.
UPDATE (jan-06): It didn’t take long for me to realise I could use a few more free spaces on my personal bingo card. My revised card along with some further thoughts on how to play Maker’s Bingo with friends and/or in conjunction with other make-a-longs you’re participating in this year can be found in the post: More on Maker’s Bingo. Also, I have added another blank card with extra free spaces and I now have a tab in the top right corner for all the printables I make available on this site!
*My mend or modify project actually was mostly a successful endeavour for me—I just couldn’t make myself photograph everything because I am highly resistant to photographing myself. However, I plan to continue with this project and I’m going to make more of an effort to document it because I sometimes feel like I’m just talking about what I bought and what new things I made, as if having more new things is a goal in itself. My real goal is to balance my making hobbies with my efforts to consume less by only making what I need and making the things I have last as long as possible.