Monday, January 2, 2017

A Year In Yarn - 2016

I usually love doing this yearly wrap up, but this year I have to confess my list of yarny items leaves me feeling unaccomplished. I know I keep saying it, but life really kicked my butt this year and left very little time for making things. So I'm just going to shut up and be proud of what I did achieve :)
1. Bub the Bird - This was my "palette cleanser" project just after Christmas last year. I love this bird. He sits on my étagère with his legs dangling down.
2. Luke's New Hat - Some necessary knitting for my large-headed nephew when it was cold outside. It fit him for about 5 minutes. At least it was quick.
3. Smocked Guernsey Socks - I made this with Craftsy's Sock Knit Along class which was free last year. The class included one pattern for January, February, and March, but I only managed to actually make the first pair. I totally love these socks - so much so that I have now knitted more socks when I thought socks were boring to make before these. Glad I took the leap because socks are really fun.
4. The Unintentional Pillow - This was a "lemons out of lemonade" item. I originally intended to make an extra large Grab Crab, and I doubled up the yarn and used a larger needle and made the entire body piece. Once I stuffed it, I realized it was not a tight enough fabric (my nephew immediately started picking stuffing out through the stitches, lol), but it was a big, finished piece at that point. My dad is always looking for small and comfy pillows for random naps, and he still uses this to this day :)
5. Ginny Cardigan - Man, I love this cardigan. This has turned into my "It's a little chilly, let me grab a sweater" sweater that comes with me most of the time. It's light weight, so it's convenient to carry around in my bag, and since it's wool it keeps me warm when I need it to. Plus it's pretty :)
6. Grab Crab - I'm told Luke still likes this, lol. It turned out adorable, so I was happy.
7. Arne & Carlos Socks - These are good sleeping socks, but the heel isn't exactly right so they slip down when walking. Not terrible, but not perfect. Such great yarn though!
8. Bradley Mystery CAL - I had so much fun making this turtle. This was the Fresh Stitches Mystery Crochet Along this year and it involved Kool-Aid dying, which I will confess I was skeptical of until I finally tried it and now I just want to dye everything. It was magical. The turtle still slightly smells too :)
9. Hetty Cardigan - I made this as part of my outfit in the Outfit Along :) It's a fun piece, but I will confess it doesn't get worn a ton. Well, none of my sweaters get worn a ton since this is Florida, but this one hasn't been around in cool weather yet so it's just kind of hung out. Hopefully it will be cooling down soon.
10. Meadow Stripes Socks - I made these with the Smooth Operator Socks Knit Along when this pattern was released. The pattern is great and it helped me make my first ever stripe matched socks ;) I love these socks.
11. Blaster Cardigan - I made this with the Blaster Knit Along when the pattern was released in the fall and I sprung for fancy yarn :) The yarn is delicious feeling, but sadly it grew a bit in blocking. It still gets worn though, so again I'm hoping for cooler weather to show it off.
12. Pokéballs - These were my nephew's birthday present this year and he was pretty stoked about them.
13. Eric's Bro-In-Law Hat - his year's Bro-In-Law hat was the Instant Love hat and this was the first oen I made. It was instant love :) And Eric likes it too, so that's a plus.
14. Briggs' Pencil - Briggs requested an animal from Huge and Huggable MochiMochi, and this was the only one I had all the yarn to make so he got a pencil, lol. He likes it though :)
15. Justin's Bro-In-Law Hat - Another Instant Love, this one made with Wool-Ease Thick and Quick which I was surprised I liked so much. He says he likes it.
16. Marisa's Slouchy Beanie - This was a specific request by my sister. She sent me a link to the pattern and said either deep red or black, lol. She really liked it and now she wants me to make more.
17. Mom's Ginny Cardigan - This is the first sweater I've made for anyone other than myself AND the first sweater pattern I've used more than once. My mom liked my sweater so much that she requested the same pattern when I offered to make her a sweater for Christmas. The yarn is Isaac Mizrahi Merino Blend that I got for a steal when it was clearanced after being discontinued, and red is my mom's favorite color :) This was a big win.
18. Justin's Chilly Podster Mitts - The only knitted Christmas gift that I didn't finish in time. These were originally going to be part of my husband's gift last Christmas, but with how things went I never ever started them. Since he's still around (we're taking it easy right now...) and I needed a gift, I figured it would be good to make these this year. These were a request he made years ago, and now he has them :) Just in time to be able to actually wear them here. I liked the pattern so much that I want some for myself now.

All of these things were completed this year, and that's pretty great considering everything else that went on :) I mean - I made 4.5 sweaters! And 3 pairs of socks! Those are all larger projects, so that's pretty decent stats all in all. I do have several WIPs though, which is sad but was unavoidable. Many of these are over halfway finished at least and I hope to get cracking now that holiday making is over.
1. Antarktis Shawl - This is about halfway done and I just need to buckle down and finish. I have a love/hate relationship with shawls. I love them when the rows are relatively short because it feels like you're really making good progress, but I hate them when the rows are longer (as they are wont to be) because it feels like an eternity just to get through one row. The project itself is fun and really very simple, so I'm hoping having a bit of time off from working on it will help me enjoy it again. My yarn rubs dye on my hands like no other, so it's not great for taking around with me (ask me how I know). Gotta just get it done.
2. Fuzzy Mitten Mystery KAL 2016 - This was a bit of a sad trombone "Whomp Whomp" of a project for me. I love this KAL and look forward to it every year, but this year was slightly different. See, 99% of Fuzzy Mitten designs are animals - adorable, realistic, clothed, and moveable animals. I love her whole aesthetic, so I never question participating in the mystery KAL. This year though, she diverted from the norm and the toy is a "wood elf"... And it's clothes are a romper and a cape... This is fine since it's what she wanted to make, and I'm all for that, but I was really expecting an animal. As soon as I realized it was a humanoid (and a naked one at that since I am used to the clothes being optional on animals and therefor did not change color for the optional undies) I completely lost interest. I'm just an animal maker. I do have a plan for my elf guy, but I will be making his clothes in a more traditional elf style than the pattern did. I'm thinking a vest and shorts in green. You know... like an elf... I have his entire body done (isn't the belly button adorable?!), plus his head with one ear sewn on, the other ear and his hair yet to be attached. Really he's made, just not put together and naked, lol. I really should finish this soon...
3. Alecia Beth Cardigan - This one is going to be finished soon, and I was really cooking on it until I had to set it aside a few times for other projects with deadlines. This is knit in sock yarn (Cascade Heritage in Navy - which I love) so I'm pretty proud of the progress I made and still finished 4 other sweaters this year. I love this pattern - it's really simple yet looks difficult. I love how the cables end in a diagonal line - so pretty. I'm pretty sure I just have the ribbing to finish on the body (I stopped at this point because I had to wind another skein) and then I have to make the sleeves and button bands. I'm excited to wear this, so I plan to put it to the front now that Christmas gifts are over.
4. Lady Russell Shawl - Last January, I had major start-itis, and this came about as part of it. I was tired of knitting things for other people and went a bit crazy starting things for myself, lol. This shawl was all because I wanted to use this yarn - it's a 100% cashmere yarn I obtained from a thrifted Ralph Lauren sweater and it's heavenly feeling. I want this stuff on my bod. I thought it would be nice to have a shawl in case I get chilly in the temple, so I'm keeping it white. It will happen eventually...
5. Serpentine Socks - I was really into the Craftsy Sock Knit Along at the beginning of the year, and I successfully completed the Smocked Guernsey Socks (the first pattern of 3 they released), so I immediately cast on the Serpentine Socks since they were next. This was around the same time I started the Lady Russell and Antarktis shawls, plus I had just completed a pair of socks and was a little bored with them, PLUS I screwed up on just the little bit I managed to make (notice the lack of any detail whatsoever on top of that toe - there should be a raised serpentine design - oops) - all of these things contributed to the decision to set them aside. I'm really digging the yarn, so these will hopefully get made. Or maybe the yarn will be a different pair of socks. Who knows!
6. Ishnana - This plan is still in place, but I just didn't get farther than the swatch. I swatched the Alecia Beth and Ishnana at the same time and decided to do the Alecia Beth first thinking I would shortly get to Ishnana - ha ha ha. It's in my queue and I adore this yarn - Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Kerfuffle colorway that I bought off a fellow Raveller this year. The color is awesome. This sweater will happen...
7. Baby Doll Set - Oh, you cute little baby doll... one day you will be made... I started this in May of 2015, but it always gets set aside for other projects. I did manage to work on it this year quite a bit and made the head, arms, ears, and started the first leg. This will be adorable once I actually finish it.
8. Little Super Dudes - This was a Christmas gift that I decided not to make last year, lol. It was just too ambitious at the time. I did manage to make these two faceless little guys before I gave in. They need hair and faces and they are done. So sad. They did come in handy for my MochiMochiLand photo shoot though (to be blogged about soon). When I decide what I officially want to do with these, I'll finish them. It's not like they take up much space in the meantime :)
9. Dishcloth - Really, Megan?! A half finished dish cloth?! I started this one of the times I was teaching people to knit at church and this was the example I started that night to demonstrate stitches and show what their piece should look like at each point. I could probably finish this up in about an hour, but I keep having other more pressing projects. So it just sits in the bag and taunts me.

That's more WIPs than I usually like to have, I will admit. At least I always have a project I can grab, right? lol 2017 will see the completion of many of these.

So that's 2016 in yarn for me :) Knitting is definitely my favorite activity when I'm stressed lately, so there's very little crochet. I just enjoy the process of knitting more, while crochet feels like I'm racing toward the completed item. I still plan on joining in several knit and crochet alongs this coming year, plus making sweaters (more with fingering weight), plus making gifts and much more so who knows what 2017 will bring!

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