It's Craftalong time!

It's Craftmas in July and Tour de Fleece time and I am so eager to jump in!

I'll be participating in both craftalongs this month, and vlogging my progress along the way. (This will be my first vlog-style YouTube video too and I am excited to try something new with my videos as well!)

Tour de Fleece is a giant spinning craftalong that takes place concurrently with the Tour de France each year. That means it starts today! I am excited to be participating with Team Spindlers, with the simple goal of spinning every day during the tour. I'm starting with fiber I began spinning for a previous Tour de Fleece (...ahem) and will focus on finishing that handspun project. 

Craftmas in July is a smaller craftalong that I started with Sarah and Christina two years ago. We wanted to make Christmas projects for our homes well outside of the holiday season. We post our progress using the #craftmasinjuly hashtag and welcome anyone who wants to make things for any holiday (with any sort of crafting) to join us! This year I'll be using the star ornament kit given to me by my friend (and super talented designer) Laura Nelkin at the summer TNNA trade show last month. I've never knit with beads before but I'm confident that Laura's instructions will guide me through. I can't wait to see these beautiful ornaments decorating my tree this winter!

With both of these craftalongs I'm keeping my goals simple, as you can see, and mostly looking to enjoy the process and the fun of participation and cheering along with the progress of other crafters. Last year, I was super motivated for Craftmas in July but lost my beloved grandfather on July 1, and it was a while before any I had the motivation for any sort of crafting at all. This year, I'm looking forward into dedicating myself to some quality making time again. 

Are you participating in Tour de Fleece or Craftmas in July? I am excited to see all the holiday crafts and beautiful handspun made this month! 

My 2015 Craftmas in July plan!

Craftmas in July begins tomorrow! I have not taken the time to finalize my projects for this craft-a-long until this evening, but I think the night before it begins is as good of a time as any to figure out what I'm doing, right? Right!

This year, I'll be keeping Craftmas simple and focusing on two gifts. 

Ravelry: rainydaygoods' Queue 2015-06-30 18-32-31.jpg

First up: a monster for my nephew! Already queued up on Ravelry, Rebecca Danger's Harold the Houseplant Monster , from The Big Book of Knitted Monsters

I'll use some stashed Quince and Co. Chickadee for this - leftovers from the wedding of my brother Michael and SIL Julie (Silas' parents). I knit wedding shrugs for both Julie and her flower girl from this yarn, and using the leftovers for a project for my nephew feels right. :) 

Next: a felt ornament for Jacob! So far a little sewn chocolate chip cookie is the front-runner idea. I had so much fun handstitching last Craftmas and look forward to doing it again!

If I have enough time and gumption: I'll plan - or even get started on - this year's ornaments for my coworkers' children. (Last year I made them little felt stockings with their initials that were copies of an ornament my great-grandmother made for me when I was a toddler.)

Are you participating in this Craftalong? Don't forget to tag your projects, tweets, and Instagram pics with #craftmasinjuly so we can all follow around! I can't wait to see all the festive projects we create together!