Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Year In Yarn - 2013

Wordle: Show and Tell Meg Year In Yarn 2013
(Sorry for the horrible sized Wordle - anyone know how to make them bigger?)
Well, another year is coming to an end. I feel old for saying this, but I can't believe it's already over! I'm always one who enjoys seeing what others have accomplished in their year-end posts, so hopefully you will bear with me as I recap this year for myself. I've officially been knitting and crocheting for 1.5 years now and while I am always learning new things I feel very proud of all that I was able to accomplish even given my short time in these crafts. So this post is mainly for me to be able to look at it all and smile :) So, this year in yarn looked something like this (these are listed from beginning to end of the year) (p.s. this is all from my Ravelry board, so it may be boring to my friends on there):

1. Fran├žois the Lobster
2. Sheila the Oyster Puppet - Made as a gift for my dear Katrina :)
3. Basket Weave Scarf for Circles of Service
4. Mort the Alien - Has now been donated.

6. Russ the Chick and Egg - Was given to my friend Leigh's boys. Leigh is the reason I am able to crochet, after all :)
7. The Slugingtons - Made for the Slug-A-Long with FreshStitches
8. David the Gnome - Has also been donated
9. Linda the Ladybug
10. The Slugasaurus - Also made for the FreshStitches Slug-A-Long
11. Jake the Dog - Made for our Adventure Time House Party
12. Fiona Hat - Also for the Adventure Time House Party, but also ended up being my Halloween costume this year.
13. Valentina the Owl - Made this as a holiday decoration
14 - 16. Heart Bookmarks - I kept one of these but gave the others as gifts. This made my new goal of reading more books much more fun, as silly as that sounds :)
17. Tree Love - A truly dedicated affair - so much sewing on of leaves! lol But he's so cute!
18. Mr. Peanut - I'm super proud of my freehand-designed bow tie he's wearing :)
19. Cuddles the Cuttlefish
20. Chiquito Rene the Monster - This was my first experience buying a kit from FreshStitches - such nice yarn!
21.Gray Leaf Headband - A specific request from my sister ... which lead to many more.
22. Bow Headbands - I actually made several of these, some in hot pink and some rainbow variegated. My sister specifically requested them and I think they came out nice. I freehanded the pattern for these.
23. Gray Triple Row Headband - Another request from my sister, and another freehanded pattern. So easy to make!
24.Red Triple Row Headband
25. Scrappy Ball Monster - Made for the FreshStitches Scrap-A-Long, now lives with my nephew.
26.The Plumbing Headband
27 + 28. Jay and Little Red - Made for Sawyer and Jack, two of my favorite little men :)
29. Purple Triple Row Headband - Made as a commission :)
30. Petey the Purple Penguin - Made as a donation for the Purple Plushie Drive
31. Blue Boy the Bird
32. Nemo - One of my items that got the most Facebook attention. I made this for my cousin's new baby, Brantley, and it sits on his crib in his Under The Sea themed room.
33. Buddy 2 - Made to buy the affection of my friends' daughter, Morgan, lol. I'm happy to say it worked.
34. Pokie the Pinata - My first time using a translated Japanese pattern
35. Norman the Giant Squid - This guy is huge!
36. Nina the Rattling Butterfly - Now given to Natalie :)
37. Hot Pink Leaf Headband - Made for my sister to give to our friend in exchange for hair bows, lol.
38. Maynard the Mallard - My first use of a HollieJolly Design
39. Quincy the Horse - Love the hair technique on this one!
40. Mushroom Rattle - Made for my nephew
41. Amber & Cody - Made for the FreshStitches Mystery Crochet-A-Long.
42. Fritz the Fox - My first project from an Adrialys design - isn't he cute?!
43. Henrietta the Dragon - My first time makings the felt eyes from a Monster's Toy Box design.
44. The (Not So) Itty-Bitty Giraffe - My prized animal! I made this with the Craftsy class and know he will be a family heirloom in the future.
45. Jungle Finger Puppet Set - A set commissioned by the dad of two of my favorite little guys, Sawyer and Jack, in an effort to give them quiet toys to play with during church.
46. Punkin' Head Baby Hat - Made for my best friends' new October baby, Natalie :)
47. Wee Ones Elephant - A learning experience all the way - I made this with the Craftsy class and I would have been lost otherwise.
48. Sackboy - Made for my new Brother-In-Law for his birthday.
49. Reversible Duck/Bunny - My first foray into making reversible toys - definitely started an addiction here - I'm actually surprised I haven't made another yet. Soon...
50. The Ruffled Cloche - Made for the lovely Natalie :)
51. Louise the Elephant - My experiment with using a pattern differently than the designer intended, lol. 
52. Tiny Mr. Pig - Made for the FreshStitches Tiny-A-Long
53. Bigger Pumpkin Hat - I made this for my nephew only to discover he absolutely hates hats and will not wear them. Oh well, I'll just save it for when I have kids :)
54. Magnetic Fishing Game - This gift went over much better with my nephew. This was one of my more inventive projects this year as it took actual power tools to make the other pieces, but everyone who sees it wants to play!
55. Justin's B-Day Hat - I finally made my husband the hat he wanted back in 2012, only for him to have yet to wear it. Hopefully it gets cold again soon so I can harass him about it.
56. The Cambridge Scarf - My lovely staple item that took me over a year to make. It was worth the time though because it's such a neutral color that I can wear it much more than my other items. Even though I usually only get to wear it when I walk the dog on cool nights, it makes me happy to look down and see it :)
57. The Hope Shawlette - Ah, the almost 1 year long project. I finished this with just 1 day left to the year mark and I absolutely love it now. I wear it as often as weather allows, and it has made me want more shawls in my life.
58. Hello Kitty Headband - The headband was a free pattern, but I freehanded the bow myself. The best part is that my sister loves it! She will fit right in walking through Tokyo wearing it :)
59. Alvin the Turkey - a quick little project that made a fun holiday decoration :)
60. Teal Broomstick Lace Scarf - This was a Christmas gift for my Mother-In-Law, and I'm proud to say she liked it :)
61. Lattice Cowl - A specifically requested item for my sister. She said it looks like I bought it, so I will take that as a job well done :)
62. Red Rosie Hat - Another item made just for me. Also my first time making cables in knitting.
63. Classic Hello Kitty - Made for my sister in Japan for Christmas.
64. Bobble Beard Beanie - Definitely the biggest hit of a Christmas gift this year :) I have several requests to make more, so there will probably be more of these in the next year.
65. The Stylish Nadine - My cute little piggy play set, lol. Her wigs crack me up :)

My Personal Favorites:
I love most all of the things I've made this year, but there are a few I'm definitely most proud of. The top would have to be the (Not So) Itty-Bitty Giraffe. This guy was definitely a labor of love as he took an entire month to make! I have him sitting on my shelf in my sewing room and I just love looking at him :) My favorite crocheted animal is Norman the Giant Squid - yet another large animal, and he's just so cool! lol Are you seeing a theme? I'm also particularly proud of my long time WIPs that I finished for myself, The Cambridge Scarf and The Hope Shawlette. Both of these took over a year to complete - since they were just projects for myself they kept being set aside while I made things for other people that had more pressing deadlines. These were the first things I've made for myself in all my time knitting and crocheted (if you don't count the animals, of course) and to be perfectly honest, they made me want to do more selfish stitching for a while. Don't get me wrong, I love making gifts for people, but I also want to make sure I have something nice to show for all my time and effort that I know will be loved and appreciated - not always a guarantee with the gifts. 

Works In Progress (WIPs):
Even with all of my 79 items I did complete this year, I still have a few left to mark off the list. I am really proud that I only have technically 5 items! Woo hoo! I've listed 6 below, but one was just started this last week, so it's not longstanding like the others and I just don't think of it the same. So, here is what I still have to finish:
1. The Gap-Tastic Cowl - I had high hopes for this one back in August of 2012 (oh my gosh, the shame I feel in typing that date) when I started it. It's just a seed stitch cowl on big needles, so it should be quick, right? Well not for me apparently. Honestly, I find it a bit boring to work on. So, I have dutifully picked it up between projects here and there, but I'm in no big rush to finish it as sad as that sounds. One of these days, lol.
2. The Purple Boob Holder - This one will not get the better of me! I'm determined to finish this even though I messed it up royally and had to pull back, only to mess up with pulling it back as well. I just need to devote some uninterrupted time to sorting it out so I can continue. I'm about halfway done at this point and I am really itching to wear my first ever sweater :)
3. Sunny Granny Square Blanket - I don't believe I've ever even blogged about this project. I started this on January 1st of 2013 as a plan to use up the 10 skeins of Cascade Kaleidoscope yarn I got through a steal of a deal on Craftsy. It's a super fun yarn, and I had never made Granny squares before. In an effort to back track my learning to something most all crocheters can make, I started makings squares. The plan is to make a zillion squares and then crochet them together with white yarn. This is still the plan, but like my Gap-Tastic cowl up there I just find it very boring to work on. It's hard to go back to something so crazy simple and mindless when you're used to harder items, at least if is for me. So this is another that I'm in no hurry to finish. It'll happen one of these days :)
4. Winnie the Pooh - Ah, poor, dear Pooh Bear. I was incredibly excited about this project when I started it. I found the pattern at a local thrift store only to discover it is out of print and highly sought after nowadays (meaning it is very expensive). I got as far as the first leg before I realized that this is one of those projects that really has to be crocheted through both loops (traditional style), and I had done it all through the back loop only. This made the intense shaping incredibly more difficult. The pattern has lots more intricate shaping than I'm used to anyway, but add in my user error and you have a sad Megan. I'll finish this up when I am in the mood for a challenge :)
5. Happypotamas - This pattern so seriously so cool that I want it in my life! The reason this has sat so long unfinished is back to the same reasoning as the Sunny Granny Square Blanket - I find Granny Squares kind of boring. Also, this is my first experience with a crochet hook smaller than a size D, so it's not all that enjoyable to get used to. Most of my projects have been made with a size H - much easier to see and work with. I love the animal though and the pattern is so inventive! I will make it a goal to finish this in the near future.
6. The "My First Sweater" Sweater - This was only just officially cast on last night, so it's hard to feel guilty about it, lol. I'm making this sweater along with the My First Sweater Craftsy Class. I feel like my knitting ability has surpassed the need of this class per se, but I liked the pattern and I got the class for $9.99 through and email sale. I figured, "Hey, why not?" and bought the class so I could make the sweater, lol. The class does show seaming on this piece and demonstrates picking up stitches for the button bands, so that part was new. I also love that this is designed in Wool Ease yarn, so it was very inexpensive - I caught it on sale a few weeks ago and got 7 skeins for $18 :) So far it has been incredibly easy and just enough to keep me occupied while I wind down at night. Plus I'm really excited to have a sweater that I made! Once I get this simple design tackled, I know I will feel more confident to try some of the other more interesting designs I've been planning.

I'm very excited about the projects I have planned for this new year! I'm so glad to have a fun and satisfying hobby that can bring joy not only to myself, but also to others. I've learned so much, but still have so much left to try.. Is it even possible to try everything? Here's to another fantastic Year In Yarn!

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