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!
welcome to round 2 of quick knits leading up to the holidays! if you are anything like me, and knitting pairs of things means you need to knit something in between the first and the second, you should probably start working on your pairs now! thusly, it is time for the mitts!
pattern is in the blogpost in the original norwegian, or, for those of you who don’t read/speak norwegian, translated care of google. the translation is a bit rough, but between the translation and the pictures, you can get all of the info you need. i have faith in you! anne is working on translating the pattern, and i will update this post as soon as it becomes available! (free free free!)
these are awesome and basic mitts. the nice thing about such basic mitts? you can modify them any which way you want! toss some cables on those puppies! how about stripes? embroider initials or flowers. or duplicate stitch some polka dots on the stockinette body (ooh, i want those!). sew a couple of buttons that serve no purpose but add a little style! or, heck, toss a random offset buttonhole near the edge of the ribbing, and give your buttons some function! why not?
bramble mitts (free!)
for those of you who get the cable urge, but don’t feel like going to the fuss of figuring it out yourself! feeling a little pressed for time? shave off a repeat at the beginning and save some yarn.
susie’s reading mitts (totally free-stylin’! as a quick note: this project was made using an archived version of the pattern, but the pattern link is to the current version.)
love these mitts. they are the perfect mix of engaging and mindless. they start out with a fun picot edge, transition to a bit of easy stockinette, and end with the same fun edge.
dustland mitts. $6 (USD).
i love these textured gender neutral mitts. these are another one, where if you are feeling pressed for time, or unsure if you have enough yarn, you could subtract anywhere from 1 to 5 of the different textured stripes from the arm.
[antler mittens; aran, around 200 yards on US 8 (5mm)]
antler mittens ($5 CAD).
excellent gender neutral cozy cabled mittens, for those of you who like over the finger coverage (nothing like grabbing the steering wheel in a cold car that has sat out overnight to make you want finger coverage!)
want some more suggestions? try last years post on quick knits: mitts & mittens. or, if nothing has caught your fancy yet, check out zombie vixen (free pattern, for your cousin/brother/niece who llllllloves the walking dead), muckle mitts ($5 USD for some colorwork fun), straightforward mitts (free, with a fun undulating twisted rib pattern), the woodsy association ($10 for 5 different options. make the badger ones for a hufflepuff friend!).
did i miss any of your favorite go-to quickly knit mitt patterns? share in the comments! thanks to all the knitters who were so accommodating with permission for me to show their work!
OR: what i got!
look what ness made me:
the lavender-grey-blue is the yarn what made me swoon, by the way. it’s madelinetosh tosh dk in ‘steam age’, and it might possibly be *perfect*! the alternating stripes are fangrrl yarn sherlock worsted in buckwheat, which ness recently waxed poetic about, so i was very flattered that she would use that yarn for me!
ness also threw in some nail toys for me, knowing the massive crush on coral that i’ve been nursing this year, as well as my penchant for fancy nails! can’t wait to try them! as soon as i get decent-ish results, i shall shares pictures!!!!
thank you, ness!
my cousin sara was talking to me about trying to find some colorwork mitts on the manly side, as she is hoping to make some for a friend, so i thought i’d whip up some inspiration for her!
latvian fingerless mitts by veronick avery. this might be a harder find, it looks like it’s a book only pattern. the book is knitting classic style: 35 modern designs influenced by fashions archives. check your library, or maybe inter-library loan it!
ix mitts are convertible! they are $6.00 online.
there’s loads of beautiful colorwork mittens that could be easily modified into fingerless mitts with a little finesse and know-how. or even with brute force or trial and error!
and of course colors have a lot to do with it… brownscale, greenscale, bluescale and greyscale are all very masculine. grey & black, or grey and a deep mustard-y gold, or silver grey and burgundy, or brown and a deep blue with just a hint of green, or brown & green… it all depends on the guy.
and these are just for colorwork inspiration! masculine cabled mitts is a whole different can of worms. what’s your favorite ‘masculine’ color combo? have i overlooked any fabulous colorwork mitts?
psst- i’m about to embark on a very busy weekend with limited internet capabilities, but i’ll be wearing 30 for 30 outfits, and i’ll be documenting them! see you on the other side!