21 finished objects: 13 hats, 2 sweaters, 2 scarves, 1 cowl, 1 pair of mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 toy. a slightly ridiculous amount of hats. an unprecedented amount of sweaters. 1,561 yards, though that is a very approximate conjecture. as opposed to last years 16 finished objects: 4 cowls, 4 hats, 2 mitts, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of slippers, 1 pair of legwarmers, 1 camisole, 1 sweater, 1 baby blanket. so less diversity than last year, but more FO’s.
goals for 2012:
publish one pattern
knit one sweater (doesn’t have to be for me!)
finish 20 knits
knit for pleasure
go back to spinning. maybe 6 skeins?
welp. i failed at a few of those. no patterns published, as i never could choose one to start pursuing! and i didn’t spin 6 skeins, though i did actually start making headway on that goal! i think i got 2 skeins spun up? but the balance on my spinning wheel got a little wonky, and i still need to get that looked at.
but i accomplished more goals than not! 21 FO’s, one more than i hoped for! 2 sweaters! knitting for pleasure and knitting selfishly. this was kind of a big deal for me. in 2012 i experienced a bit of… knitting malaise. primarily due to taking on projects i did not have enough interest in. so i tried to be more careful about the projects i took on this year. i tried to make sure that even when i was knitting for others, that i was making choices consistent with what i wanted to be making. and it worked out! i’m still knitting a little less than i used to. but my peak was when i spent a minimum of 10 hours on a train every week. i don’t commute by train anymore. and now that i’m more active in the producing of PoPS, i don’t know that i can expect my output to equal those heights. and that’s okay. it’s just an adjustment.
this next year:
– de-stash. i want to have a stash that inspires me, not weighs me down. i don’t mind how i de-stash. it doesn’t all need to be knit up, i can donate, gift away, whatever. right now my ravelry stash claims i have 93 yarns in my stash. let’s aim for… 85 by next year? i would also like it all to fit in the closet i have allocated for it.
– try a new technique. i made a toy for the first time this year! one of the things i love love love about having knitting as my favorite hobby is that there are always new ways to challenge yourself, to learn more. if there’s a ceiling to what you can know about knitting, i’ve never glimpsed it! that said, i certainly can get sucked into remaining in my comfort zone. so this year, i want to make sure there’s at least one adventure! maybe brioche stitch? i’ve never done that. or stranded colorwork with more than 2 colors per row? maybe it’s time to get over my intarsia aversion?
– work from some new designers. while i was doing the round up, i realized how many designers i admire but haven’t knit from! so i’d like to try at least one design by joji and alicia. i’ve admired both of their styles for quite a long time now, but never made anything they’ve designed!
and i’m keeping the following:
– knit 20 objects. this is just a goal, not a resolution. i’d be happy with less, if they were a little larger in scope this next year.
– keep spinning. i was really loving getting back to it before i got interrupted.
i think that’s plenty to accomplish, honestly! i wouldn’t mind publishing another pattern, but i’m still not sure which one to pursue, so i’m not going to toss it on the official list. what did you knit this year? which was your favorite project? are you making any goals for the new year?
i’m a little later getting this party started than i would have liked, but let’s see just how much of this party we can fit in before christmas!!! (for you chanukah celebrators, i apologize, the deck was stacked against me this year.) hopefully you will see something to inspire and delight!
$6.00USD. the cowl shown above is a modified version of the original mojave pattern, so make sure you take a peek at the original. but lane’s is a great shorter (therefore faster!) substitute. this is a good project to use up skeins leftover from projects that didn’t take as much yarn as you originally anticipated. i love love love the muted palette shown, and i have a hard time picturing it in anything other than muted dusty tones, or warm jewel tones.
$4.00USD for the neil pattern. this is probably going to be the fastest pattern of the bunch, clocking in at a low 240 yards. break out the chunky yarn and the bigger needles, and buckle in for an easy ride to a handmade holiday present! did i take that too far? i like the diamond pattern, and this looks both quick and fun to knit!
free! shandon pattern, featuring a fun chevron stitch. textural, gender neutral, what more can you ask for? this could also be easily modified by knitting it flat instead of in the round, if that’s a thing you’re interested in! the chevron ribbing is great for showing off a more complex yarn. it obviously works well with a gorgeous semi-solid, but i think a multicolored yarn would really shine in this pattern, too!
$5.00USD for the mesa view pattern. a nice textural cowl, with a scarf option and the bonus of buttons! the buttons are great, because depending on your choice, you can really change the aesthetic of this cowl. the boldly teal yarn with cherry red buttons shown is very quirky and contemporary! but in wispy cream yarn with crystal buttons? quite feminine! imagine it knit up in a muted dark green with some natural wood buttons. sounds pretty masculine friendly to me!
€4.50 ($6.35USD) for the gentille pattern, which is part of the feathery delights, all of which i find quite lovely. even this cowl, which features lace, could work for a guy. when scrunched layered around the neck, the lace in this pattern reads more as a textural elements than a lacy element. lately, that’s been something i’ve really been drawn to. i can picture it in a dark dark grey, almost black, so that it really amps up the element of shadow and texture.
colorwork cowls seem to be my favorite. more that i’m currently in love with: the flambeau cowl ($4.00USD), has a short and a long version. the pine bough cowl is maybe a little intense to take on as a christmas gift right now, but it’s free and so so gorgeous. i also love triangle loop (free).
stripes can be super addictive and make knitting easy! tilted shadows cowl (free! and i especially love this one) is fun. or if you’re feeling the striped cowl, there’s also the… striped cowl (free!), and ships & seaside ($5.50USD, and so so so addictive, y’all).
if you need something quick, this lovely lace ptarmigan cowl is less than 200 yards ($6.00USD). if you’re feeling lacey & ambitious, solaria ($6.00CAD) and rivendell smoke ring ($6.00USD) are both beautiful. if you’re feeling another option for a textured cowl, cocoon me cowl ($6.00USD) or avery ($5.00USD).
i feel like i overused the word textural in this post. and exclamation points. but that’s besides the point! which of the above is your favorite? have you found any new patterns that look perfect for some quick gift knitting? or any tried & true cowl patterns that you always turn to in a pinch? share in the comments!
FO: clean slate cowl <– ravelry project page
pattern: state street cowl
yarn: from a thrifted outdated gap sweater that i pulled apart.
needles: US size 11 & 13
mods: well, i knit this up on slightly smaller needles, as i don’t believe i own 15 circulars. and considering how massive this knit up on smaller needles, i think it’s a good thing! also, technically i did one row wrong, but good luck figuring out which one!
this is a pattern i’ve had a crush on for quite a while, and after my push to finish a couple of obligation knits at the end of 2012, i wanted to work on a purely selfish knit. but my queue of obligation knits is still a little long, so the large gauge and low yardage of this recommended it. clean slate is a bit of a misnomer, but calling it that made me feel a little better…
last FO post from my 2012 knits. only a few weeks late, no biggie! i only finished it in march! of 2012! and these pictures were taken in december!
FO: colorblock cowl <– ravelry project page
pattern: angora snood
yarn: wolle rodel kid-mohair, 4 skeins (one lilac, 2 purple, 1 blue), 440 yards (total. each skein is 110 yards)
needles: US size 6 (4mm)
the yarn was a present from my grandparents, who brought it back from a trip to southern germany.
isn’t the halo the funnest thing to photograph when it comes to mohair?
i love my booooots! the people i talk to on a daily basis are getting sick of hearing about it, so i’ll tell you folks. they are so warm! so comfy! so cute! i hope to have these for many decades to come. i bought some boots about four years ago in the hopes that they would last me a long time… they started falling apart during year two. so i have been on the lookout for my (hopefully) forever boots for a few years, and when i saw these shearling lined darlings, i fell in love. i also love this outfit. it’s my favorite palette, and i’m warm* and comfy and i feel cute. oh, wait, that’s basically what i just said about my boots. well, it’s true. whatcha gonna do?
* for the record, i’ve got wool blend tights under the leggings which is the most amazing insulator. cold in the winter? skip the bunchy long johns, go for wool blend tights. free advice from me!
thrifted grey herringbone coat – target cardigan & leggings – forever21 button down & tote – j. crew super tall grey socks – l.l. bean bean boots – handmade london fog cowl (handmade by me), & sierpinski’s beanie (by chronographia)
let’s talk about this cowl for a minute, shall we?
london fog cowl <–ravelry project page
pattern: stockholm cowl, by the talented julie of knitted bliss
yarn: actually is from a thrifted j. crew sweater that i pulled apart for yarn. it’s 100% lambswool, pretty close to dk weight, nice and soft, but also quite crisp, which is something i llllove in a yarn. yay for recycled yarn!
needles: US size 9 (5.5mm)
notes: i used a cable cast-on, my go-to cast-on (how many times have i talked this up? have i converted you yet? it’s really stable, has quite a bit of elasticity, you don’t have to eyeball how much yarn it will take and then either end up three stitches short or having a flippin’ yard of yarn hanging out at the end.) and ez’s sewn bind-off (again, strong, flexible, provides an attractive complement to the cable cast-on). this was the knit that i carried around with me throughout our trip to england, and then for a month or so after returning. i love this cowl. but it was always intended for someone else (merry xmas, mimi!), and my other stockholm cowl got gifted away as well, sooo…. i might have to make a third? oh well. worse things have happened!
do you have any knitting techniques that you are as passionate about? what should i keep my mind open to when i get a chance?
lovely cowl (free!)
got a partial skein of some yarn that was too expensive to just get rid of? use it for color B in this cowl. this is my *favorite* kind of cowl to knit. knitting circularly, with a tiny bit of colorwork (this would be a good first project to give colorwork a try!) makes this zoom along! the provisional cast-on and kitchenered end make this project a little more tangy, but are easily subbed out for easier options, if you aren’t feeling up for it.
everett cowl ($5.00USD)
this pattern is lovely AND reversible! i always love melissa’s updated classic style. i like the longer version, but if you’re feeling pressed for time, there’s no reason you couldn’t cast on half the stitches and make a smaller cowl, like:
dovetail cowl ($5.00USD)
i’ve had a major crush on this pattern since i first saw it (though i haven’t managed to cast on for it yet…). this cowl is a more gender neutral option, with it’s emphasis more on texture.
gap-tastic cowl (free!)
nothing like this good ole basic pattern! maybe you have some bulky stashed? maybe you have two skeins of the same yarn, different colorways? i really like the way it looks in two colors.
smooth edge (€2.90)
another awesomely textured option!
need more suggestions? check last years quick knits cowl post! i also love triangle loop (free), tilted shadows cowl (free! and i especially love this one), or if you’re feeling the striped cowl, there’s also the… striped cowl (free!), and ships & seaside ($5.50USD, and so so so addictive, y’all). if you’re feeling another option for a textured cowl, cocoon me cowl ($6.00USD) or avery ($5.00USD). if you’re feeling lacey & ambitious, solaria ($6.00CAD) and rivendell smoke ring ($6.00USD) are both beautiful.
there’s an absolute deluge of fabulous cowl patterns out there. what’s your favorite?