Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 - A Year In Yarn

This year has certainly been an interesting one, and while I'm not sorry to see it leave I still love to reflect on the good things - namely the things I made :) My knitting and crocheting certainly have improved, and while I don't has as many items to show, most projects were decidedly more complicated than last year's. So, here are all the knitty gritty numbers of how much I did make...
Not to shabby, right? Quite a few items were the first of their kind I'd ever made. Also - I MADE 5 SWEATERS! For Me! Adult Sized! lol Considering I went from never making a single sweater before to accomplishing 5.5 in a year sounds pretty good to me and I can't help but feel a little proud. So, here is a recap of everything I spent so much time on this year. 
1. Another Gray Leaf Headband - this project went unblogged since it was a total repeat of this one, just for a different sister. Always a great pattern though.
2. My First Sweater - this was certainly a huge accomplishment for me and it started an addiction. I still keep this sweater in my work bag and use it all the time - definitely a success :)
3. Petunia Pig - I was given this pattern as part of my prize I won from the lovely Natasja and it's such a cute piggy!
4. The Wormsleys - This was a big experiment of a project that turned out better than I hoped for. This was my first foray into using a completely Japanese pattern and translating it, also this pattern book was sent by my sister so it had special added meaning. These guys still sit in my sewing room.
5. Blue Angel Shawl - This was quite the learning experience - my first Faroese style shawl. It came out pretty in the end, even if the bind off wasn't stretchy enough. One of these years I'll redo the bind off...
6. Husky Dave the Dragon - Just a purely fun project and he was named by my husband, lol.
7. Purple Boob Holder - This is technically my first sweater since I started it just a month after I learned to knit. Once I finished my other large sweater, I finally figured out the issues with this one and finished it off. I really wear this a lot, especially with the outfit in the photos. 
8. Confused Moose - Still one of the most adorable things I've ever made, lol. He decorates my sewing room now.
9. Lacy Boot Cuffs - These were a specific request from my friend Tara, but I made them as a surprise for her b-day earlier in the year. She just went to Tennessee for Thanksgiving and told me she wore these the whole time :)
10. Spud the Sheep - Holy cow was that twisted stitch annoying, lol, but he's so adorable that it was worth all the tedious work in the end. I'm particularly proud of this project because MY photo is used as the main example photo on the Ravelry page. What an honor!
11. Egg to Alligator - I started this project on the fly when I found out there was a knit-along going on for it - it;s such a quick and fun project to make.
12. Birthday Zombie - To this day, this wins the prize for my most unintentionally ambitious project ever. Holy crap was this thing a lot of work! But my brother loves it, and I get compliments on this project all the time.
13. Charlene and Jake - This was my first experience with a Fuzzy Mitten pattern, and it was also part of her Mystery Knit Along of the year. I had so much fun making this up, and I still think it's one of her cutest pattern designs.
14. Turtle Tote - I got this book for my birthday last year and I had yet to make any of the projects in it, so I decided my nephew needed a turtle tote bag. He uses it for his toys and all that, but his mom loves this bag. Gotta love functional and cute :)
15. Jeffrey Duck - This guy was made for the unofficial monthly knit along on the Fuzzy Mitten Ravelry Group. I totally adore the fuzzy yarn I used for his body too.
16. Hazel Rabbit - This guy got his name because I had just finished reading Watership Down when I made him. He was finished up just in time to sit on the dinner table at Easter :)
17. Bethany the Butterfly - This was my first time testing a crochet pattern, and it was such a fun experience :)
18. Mother's Day Rose Brooches - Mother's Day came around and we just could not figure out what to give my husband's grandma, so I racked my brain and made her two rose brooches.
19. Flip Flops - This was a big experiment to basically just see if I really could make functional shoes, lol. They are a good trial run, but I definitely learned what to do differently in the future. I kind of just use these around the house.
20. Ferdie Firefly - This was my next experience with testing out a crochet pattern, and I just love how this guy turned out!
21. Princess Jasmine - A friend of my sister's who is stationed in Japan saw these adorable Disney doll patterns and posted how she wished someone could make some for her daughter. Shannon suggested she ask me, and a commissioned job began. Princess Jasmine was the first one I finished.
22. Birthday Zombie 2.0 and Comrade Ratlovich - This was a special project that I made for a special little girl's birthday. It was a ridiculous amount of work just like the first one, but I am told she loves her doll so I'm happy I went with it :)
23. Cinderella - After conquering Jasmine, I tackled Cinderella - one of these days I will make another with an extended skirt to be a toilet paper roll cover, lol.
24. Ariel - This was the last doll for my Japanese job. Her top is removable - how scandalous! All three of these dolls were given to a 3 year old little girl who calls them her "babies", lol, so cute.
25. Soepkip - I saw a friend of mine made this pattern up months ago and it was just such a strange creature I had to make one for myself, lol. I had to translate the pattern into English from Dutch, but it worked great and she's really cute.
26. Minty Miette - Other than my first sweater, this is the sweater I wear the most. It's just such a "me" color and style, plus it's cotton yarn so I don't feel like I'm going to get heat stroke when I wear it, lol. I wouldn't be surprised if I make up this pattern again sometime.
27. "Meh" Myrna - I made this with the intention of joining in the Outfit Along, but life happened and I didn't finish it on time. It didn't come out at all like I'd hoped and I still have yet to wear it. I do plan to dye it eventually, but I just can't decide on a color, lol.
28. The Hulk - Another commissioned item, this was made up special for my friend's son's 22nd birthday. I designed this guy from scratch and I am really pleased with how he turned out.
29. The Bird and The Bee - This set was commissioned by my sister for a baby shower gift. The birdie was the main gift, and all of the shower guests were asked to contribute something to the baby's mobile too, so I made the bee. My payment for this project was the book that the bee pattern is in, lol, not a bad trade.
30. Ashton The Mystery Puppy - This little guy was the FreshStitches Mystery Crochet Along project this year, and man did Stacey succeed in stumping us all this year! His body shape is so different than her other patterns, but I really love him.
31. Marion KAL - When I heard about the Marion Knit Along, I knew I had to join in since I had long admired this pattern. I took a chance and used some cheap acrylic yarn from my stash, but it all turned out really nice. I've worn this several times already, and I know I will get more wear out of it once the temps drop here.
32. Luke's 2nd Birthday Present - This was yet another project of epic proportions that turned out great. Luke calls these his babies and likes to take them out and tell us which one is mommy and daddy, lol. He uses the bag a lot to carry his toys, so I am really proud of this whole set.
33. Doge Hats - I saw a beanie on Ravelry that had Shibe Doge style phrases on it and immediately decided that my husband and brother in law needed some for Christmas. My husband thinks the Shibe Doge meme is hilarious, so his hat was a big hit.
34. Nanny's Christmas Shawlette - I decided that a shawl might be nice for Justin's grandma this Christmas. I had always wanted to make up this pattern and I had this variegated yarn in her favorite colors so it worked out great.
35. Monsieur Splat Cat - After making several Christmas projects, I realized I needed a birthday gift too! Enter the Splat Cat - a totally cute pattern that saved the day :)
36. Mittens for Kelly - This was my first experience making mittens, and while I'm not so sure the recipient thinks they are useful where we live (lol) I really enjoyed making them.
37. Slugbert - Ever the selfish person, I needed a fun project in amongst all the gift knitting I did this year, and the cheezombie garden slug was the perfect choice. I seriously love this guy and he sits with all my favorite animals in my sewing room.
38. Paulie the Poly - I should have resisted making such a large project for myself at the holidays, but how can anyone resist such an adorable roly poly? This has become my most useful amigurumi to date - I sleep with him as a pillow every night :)
39. Accidental Ornament - I originally made this wee mitten as part of my sister's mittens for Christmas, but when the mitten idea for her turned out to be a bust and this mitten was too small for my nephew anyway, I decided to make it into my Christmas ornament for the year. I'm actually much happier with this choice and I love seeing it on my tree.
40. Vernon the Winter Walrus - Yet another project I shouldn't have made, lol. This was the Mochimochiland Christmas pattern this year and he was just too cute to set aside. Love it!
41. Escargot Cloche - I made this up for my sister, Shannon, for Christmas and it seems she likes it :) I love how the color combo turned out.
42. Frilly Scarves - These were my first experience with using Sashay yarn, and while it's kind of tedious to work with I was really happy with how quickly they came together. My mother in law and sister in law loved them!
43. - 47. - All of these were part of Luke's Christmas present. Everyone liked how they came out, and Luke couldn't resist trying to rip R2-D2's legs off, lol. I have to reattach them already, but for a 2 year old I think that means he likes them.

So, there you have it - all the projects I finished this year :) Looking at everything all nice and orderly in rows like this makes my heart happy. I love looking at what I was able to accomplish and how much I have grown in the time I've been knitting and crocheting.

I also started a few projects that are still WIPs. This isn't all sad though, considering that out of all that I got done I only managed to have one that is thrown in a corner to be worked on who knows when, so I'm calling this a success. Here are the projects I didn't manage to finish yet.
1. Emelie Cardigan - I've been working on this sweater on and off since mid August. I love the design and I love the yarn, but I just kept having to set it aside while I worked on gift projects that had more pressing deadlines. I have the whole body finished, and i hope to really kick butt on this project now that Christmas is over so I can finally wear it since I know it will fill a big wardrobe gap.
2. Lacy Socks - I needed a travel project two weeks ago that didn't have to be hidden from view of my family, so I cast on this pair of socks. Since taking the above picture I have pulled out the sock entirely twice, lol, but hey, it's a sock so it's not a big deal. The yarn is really lovely though so I'm hoping I can slap these out quick enough to try out before it gets too warm.
3. Brainie Beanie - This brain hat was requested by my younger brother for Christmas, and I decided to surprise him with it. Iwill admit that I put it off a smidge too long, but I would have finished it ... had I not run out of yarn two days before Christmas! The horror! I felt awful, but this thing took an unanticipatedly ridiculous amount of yarn for the brain ruffles - I used a full 1.6 skeins on just the frontal lobes! I've ordered more yarn, but I gave it to Briggs as is - turns out he loves that it looks kind of like a Revolutionary era powdered wig and many humorous photos were taken on Christmas, lol. He says he might just want me to leave it like it is, so this may turn out not to be a wip.
4. Just this past weekend I got all excited about being able to knit things for myself again - Me, Me, ME! lol I'm just a little selfish. After the Marion KAL, all the participants were allowed to choose any of Andi's patterns as their prize, so I requested the Agatha. I've long wanted to make one, then Craftsy had a yarn sale of epic proportions and it was as good as done. I cast on officially on Saturday and I'm loving it so far.

As this year comes to a close, I've been contemplating goals for the year about to begin. Generally I tend to stay away from goal making as I lose interest when something feels like I have to do it, but I do have a few ideas that I believe are vague enough to actually happen, ha ha.

Goals for 2015:

  • Try knitting colorwork
  • Knit something in double knitting (reversible)
  • More sweaters by different designers
  • Make things for my husband
I've never knitted colorwork, but I've had the itch to try it out and I feel this is definitely do-able sometime over the course of the next year. Also I'd like to finally try double knitting. I bought this Craftsy class at the very beginning of this year, and while I've watched several lessons, I have yet to actually make any of the projects. I think I can make this happen next year. I also really want to continue with my sweater making, but I want to branch out and make up designs from someone other than Andi Satterlund, lol. Not that there is anything wrong with her patterns, clearly I'm a fan since I've made 3 of her designs and I've just started another. I just feel like I'm taking the easy way out a bit because I've already figured out what changes I need to make to her patterns to get them to fit me better, and I am not a fan of math so I like to avoid it wherever possible, lol. I've really loved the Emelie pattern though, and it's been neat to make something completely opposite of how I had before. I'd like to keep that trend of exploring new possibilities and techniques going in the new year. And finally, my husband. We had a chat about a month ago where he said how much he loves when I make him things and that he would love to have more - aw :) He specifically requested some gloves he can wear at work, so I plan on at least making that happen in the near future. It's hard to resist a cute guy who genuinely is proud that his wife made him something he can wear, amiright? So he will get more than just his yearly hat in 2015.

Sorry this post has been so long, but thanks for hanging in there! I know it's more a cathartic thing for me than it is for anyone reading, especially considering all of these items have already been posted here throughout the year. I just love the closure that comes from putting things in these yearly categories. I love getting to look at it all together and see it as a body of work that represents where I currently am at in this craft that I have grown to love so much.

See ya, 2014! Here's hoping 2015 blows you out of the water :)

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