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?
lifeline pattern ($4.00USD) another fabulous example of how the knit doesn’t need to be intricate to have wow factor. handspun or special yarn really elevate a knit, or a gift! i can’t tell you how frequently i stop back to stare at this picture. so beautiful! i think i’ll tear out my handspun cowl that i was never really sold on and use that yarn for a pair of these mittens…
from the splitbark pattern ($6.00USD). i love the unexpected juxtaposition of the garter stitch with the offset honeycomb cabling, all amplified by this perfect yarn choice. neutral and unexpected!
these quick and rustic mittens are a free pattern from marthastewart.com. i’d be willing to bet you could crank out a pair of these in one evening. set the tree to twinkle, pop in ‘it’s a wonderful life’, and i bet you could have a pair of mittens to show for it!
early grey mitts ($2.00USD) are sweet and simple. little mitts to warm your hands and give a chance to use up partial skeins and play with colors! i have a pair of these (made by the self same urbanizer!), and these get loads and loads of wear! last year, when it was bitterly cold, i found out the ease with which they slip under other mittens/gloves, and how much that extra layer of insulation helps!
thoroughbred mitt pattern ($4.00USD) a lovely parallelogram textured mitt pattern. a totally neutral knit, i can’t imagine anyone they wouldn’t work for!
if you wanted some cabled mitts, i’ve been loving the vancouver fog mitts forever (free!), and still intend to make them. if you want a little more of a challenge, there’s the cam cable mitts ($6.50USD), with an unusual cable, and patterning on the front and back. other textured mitts include raw honey ($4.00USD). if you’re jonesing for a bit of bobble in your life (but not too much!), there’s the emerald mitts. the most unusual techniques i’ve seen are on these cool zimtstern mitts (free!), which are started at the thumb, and use surface crochet to give the effect of radiating stars. if you’re looking for something a little more feminine, there’s the lovely katinka mitts ($6.00USD), or astri mi astri.
tinkerbell mitts <– ravelry project page
these took me a long time to knit because… well… cotton. i just don’t like knitting with it. calmer is by far the best cotton yarn i’ve knit with, but…. it’s discontinued. it’s 25% acrylic, which gives it a lot more elasticity, so it doesn’t hurt my knuckles as much to knit with it.
you can find calmer online still, which is what i did. these mitts are for my lovely mother-in-law, who is extraordinarily sensitive to wool. i’ve knit for her before with bamboo (wow! so long ago, i did not know how to take pictures of knits AT ALL), but i knew that wouldn’t suit mitts at all (too little elasticity, too much desire to drape). i was searching for blue, and i found this colorway called tinkerbell, and i just knew it was the right choice for my disney-loving mama-in-law!
what are your favorite non-wool/cashmere/alpaca yarns? are there any hidden gems out there that i don’t know about? or do your knuckles start aching just thinking about working with plant-based fibers, too?
w00t! sneaking in an FO under the wire. i gotta say i’m glad. i try not to judge things by numbers, but i have significantly fewer FO’s for 2012 than i have in many many years, and it’s been bumming me out. so i’ve been busting my butt trying to finish a few that were languishing just before the finish line. by a stroke of good luck (or bad, depending on how you look at it), i couldn’t sleep well last night, and ended up giving up on sleep and worked on finishing these instead.
kalin’s mitts <– ravelry project page
pattern: my own. i grabbed a few key numbers from pink sonata, but those ended up being more points of reference as my gauge was completely different.
yarn: koigu kpppm (lavender), and sandnes garn lanett (navy), less than a skein each.
needles: US size 2 (2.75 mm)
notes: cast on 56 sts, a few rows of stockinette for a rolled edge. corrugated rib, stitch pattern lifted from some fair isle mittens. if i were to do this again, i would leave a single column of the navy on each side of the thumb gusset, for a cleaner graphic quality.
the rectangles (for some embroidery) are 18 total wide (with one row of lavender edging), set five stitches from the thumb (could’ve pushed it another couple of stitches).
turned facing for the main portion of the hand. cast on more stitches than necessary for the thumb, as i’ve learned that i tend to knit thumbs a bit too tight. this worked nicely! ez’s sewn bind off for the thumbs.
i have some slipper socks reallllly close to being done, but sewing the soles on has been a trial and error process. i’m going to work on those some more today. cross your fingers for me, and i might have another FO for 2012! i’ll do my annual wrap up sometime in the next week.
if i don’t pop in for another post later today, have a great new years, you guys!
i keep seeing february photo challenges floating around the interbone, and i’m super tempted by them. but i’m going to resist, because i think the 30 for 30 challenge is enough for this month! but hey, check out robbie‘s. his is crafty oriented, so that definitely appeals to me. i also found this one on pinterest, which is more general… maybe i’ll give one of those a go? i feel like my knowledge of my camera does not do justice to it’s abilities, so maybe i could use one of these challenges as a way to work on that?
FO: made upon request <–ravelry project page
pattern: manly mitts (free pattern!)
yarn: stonehedge fiber mill shepherds wool (my favorite!)
needles: US size 6 (4.0mm)
my grandpa dropped a very heavy handed and amusing hint to me when he was admiring jake’s well worn mitts. needless to say, i picked up on the hint, and made him his own pair.
the pattern is good. basic, manly. these were the traits i was looking for. i kinda wish that i had continued the pattern across the thumb gusset… maybe if i make them again!
i la-la-love this yarn. stonehedge shepherds wool is soft and beautiful, and it’s got great spring. i’ve mostly used it for hats, so it’s durability will be more effectively tested with these mitts. i almost never react as strongly to yarn as i do to this. i could literally write it an ode. maybe i will? anyways, if any of y’all run across it in you various travels, i highly recommend it.
stay tuned! coming up: first outfit from my 30 for 30!
the time has come again! 2012 is in its infancy, and i’m taking a look at what i accomplished in 2011.
i made some strides in terms of knitting. i finished several long term, slightly larger scale projects. jake’s big bear beast sweater was kind of huge for me, and it took me over a year from cast on to cast off (and still isn’t 100%…). also kind of a big deal was my urban bolero, which i began reverse engineering three years ago (three!). it was a lot of math and a lot of charts, which is why it was easy to put down and a bit of headache to pick up. so i’m really proud that i finally finished it.
stash-busting: 25 of these projects were knit out of my stash. i am including remnants of the day in that count, because despite the fact that i bought one skein of yarn for it, i used every inch of that skein in the project. the rest that weren’t knit out of my stash were commissioned knits, and i either didn’t own yarn to their specifications, or the commissioner’s bought the yarn for their projects.
i’ve been stash-busting for the majority of the year. part of that means that i’ve knit several projects that have been in my mind for eons, like sideways and schmetterling. but somehow i have managed to sneak a good bit of yarn into my stash without ever buying from a local yarn store. i’ve pulled apart thrifted sweaters, and helped others by taking some of their overflowing stash, and i certainly never turned down gifted yarn. and EVERYONE knows it doesn’t count when you buy yarn on vacation. so while my intentions were good, and i have totally managed to not spend much money on yarn this year, you would never be able to tell by looking at my stash.
the projects that were the most fun during and after were lavendulus marina, rain on bricks, remnants of the day, and oops, what just happened here. lots of fun to knit, and i’m so so pleased with all of the finished objects.
2011 was kind of a big deal. at the end of 2010, i switched from livejournal to wordpress, which probably didn’t effect most of you guys in terms of my blog, but for me it was huge. the structure and organization of wordpress has been huge in making blogging easier and more enjoyable for me. i meant to do a big shebang for my wordpress changeover blogiversary, but when it passed, i was in the middle of about umpteen things. i may still do a belated changeover blogiversary. but only if i can think of a snappier name. stay tuned.
i finally published a pattern! huzzah! it wasn’t duck duck goose, as i had intended, but that ship has sailed, and i was pleased to not have to worry about those troublesome decreases anymore. it was, in fact, one of the easiest patterns of ever. but it turned out that’s a good place to start! i’d like to keep going and publish some more patterns this year.
this year, for the first time in my life, i made it off my home continent. traveling (especially to europe) has been a dream of mine for as long as i can remember, and this year i finally got to start chipping away at turning all of my dream travels into reality travels. (i don’t really have a specific post about germany, but here are all of my pictures!)
this year i also started blogging about my outfits. it’s something that had been quietly lurking in the back of my thoughts for a long time without any real impetus. but when a friend introduced me to kendi, and she started her summer 30 for 30 (maybe her last? there hasn’t been a word about it recently), i jumped aboard. i did a summer 30 for 30, and one in the fall as well. (i’m thinking i’ll do another in jan/feb, per-maybe-haps?)
27 finished knits this year. honestly, the technical number is higher. there’s multiple projects that i have completely knit up and and bound off on. but some of those are bound for frogging, and some of them need a little more work and a photoshoot before they are done. i was feeling a little sad about how low my FO number was until i remembered that.
1 pattern published.
no sweater knit for myself.
-i would like to publish two more patterns in 2012.
-i’m just gonna keep saying it until it happens: i want to knit myself a sweater.
what about you guys? what are you happy/proud to have accomplished in 2011? what are your 2012 goals? dish.
all right, 2012. bring it on!
we were watching nativity! on christmas day and i saw these cute fingerless mitts. you can almost always count on british films to have abundant knits and woolies!
they’d be easy enough to make. the market mitts from my mitts quick knits would do just fine! so would some toasties, for that matter! one skein as the base color, and a little leftover yarn from some other project for the edges. i’ve been loving that tiny edge that a little contrast provides (as you may know from the cowl i made recently. and on pinterest in these mittens, and i’ve also been loving the dipped quality of these mitts and these mittens)