2013 year in review, continued

  1.  no-waste subway tile Christmas quilt
  2.  triangle robots in space quilt 
  3. krazy kat quilt
I would be remiss if I didn't reflect on all the other crafting I completed in 2013, which primarily consisted of quilting! I finished three quilts this year--two twin quilts and one full size quilt. And I love all of them! I'm getting more accurate with my cutting and piecing, so the quality of these quilts is much improved over past quilts I've completed.

The other project that I made a lot of progress on was an old love: needlepoint! I finally finished a horse needlepoint project I started as a teenager with my Sunday's Stitches project. All that's left is turning the finished work into a pillow (or framing it). I'm definitely going to resurrect my Sunday's Stitches weekly post in 2014--the commitment of posting once a week gave me the accountability I need to make slow but steady progress on my needlepoint projects! I have a bright and cheerful pillow kit that I'm itching to get starting on next--bright pinks, yellows, orange, turquoise flowers. It will match perfectly with the Moda jelly rolls I've acquired to make a new quilt for my bed in 2014! I also plan to continue my Christmas quilt tradition, and try the quilt-as-you-go technique while making a Christmas quilt for my son's big-boy bed. If I really go crazy, I may even try my hand at making some clothes for my daughter. But we'll see about that! 

2013 knitting resolution round-up

So, how well did I do this year?

  •  Goal #1: Learn a new knitting technique (I'm thinking brioche stitch, or mosaic knitting!)... Major success with this goal! I really spread my knitting wings and dabbled in several new techniques this year:
Starting at the top, and proceeding in a clockwise fashion, I knit my first shawl and actually blocked something for the first time ever with my Storm Fir Shawl (still excited about that one!!), tried "illusion" knitting for the first time with my candy corn illusion cloth (definitely going to make more illusion knits, so easy and fun!), tried duplicate stitch for the first time when making the mouth/teeth on my minion, fell in love with brioche knitting, knit big bobbles for the first time, learned and fell in love with magic loop while making these ballet legwarmers, and knit applied i-cord for the first time this year (LOVE this way to finish an edge!). These were all really fun, gratifying projects so I was doubly happy to learn something new.
  • Goal #2: Try dyeing yarn (I have undyed wool, I have the dyes, I have a pot ready to designate as my "dye pot" ... I just need to do it!). DONE! Successfully attempted dyeing yarn with food coloring and Easter egg dyes. Loved it, and need to do some more dyeing!
  •  Goal #3: Finish at least one sweater in 2013. Do children's sweaters count? Because I knit four kid's sweaters this year ... sadly, my intention was to motivate myself to finish a long-languishing WIP with this resolution and that still didn't happen. I'm down to one more sleeve and finishing, so one step closer though!
  • Goal #4: Make one project a month out of my current library of craft books, magazines, and knitting patterns. Well, I certainly did not quite manage one project each month this year from my current library, but my personal Love Your Library challenge did get me knitting more from my current stash of books and magazines than ever before! These are all the projects I finished from magazines or books currently in my library:
1. Jewel Vest from KnitSimple magazine
2. Montague Bulky Lace Vest from New England Knits
3. Shawl Collar Sweater from The Expectant Knitter
4. Mock Cable Wristers from 60 Quick Knits
5. Bobbles & Cables Cap from 60 Quick Knits
6. Crosshatch Lace Socks from More Sensational Knitted Socks
7. Easter Egg Dyed yarn with the guidance of Teach Yourself Visually Hand-Dyeing and Hand-Dyeing Yarn and Fleece.

Sadly, these seven projects are a major victory for me! I also "count" projects that require purchasing the pattern that I actually knit this year, as I have a a problem of purchasing patterns and just not quite following through on my intentions to make them, ahem. If I count those projects, then I easily exceeded my goal of 12 projects knit from my library. But these seven are from older library items, so these are the ones that really deserve some celebration! 

So what are my goals for 2014? I thought I was getting simple in 2013, but my knitting goals in 2014 are even simpler:
  • Goal #1: Knit down my stash. 
  • Goal #2: Finish, frog, or otherwise eliminate my current WIPs.
  • Goal #3: Continue my Love Your Library project!
In doing my annual year-end cleaning I discovered numerous languishing WIPs that I really really really want to finish, and got excited to see again. And as I continued to shove more and more yarn acquisitions into my "yarn dresser" (I have a chest of drawers in my guest bedroom that is solely devoted to storing yarn), I realized that my stash was exceeding my storage capacity. As in, if I shove one more skein into this drawer, something's going to explode capacity. A point which was further driven home when I purchased a couple of those humongous 30 gallon plastic storage tubs and promptly filled both of them. To the very top. And then some. My stash seriously exploded this year, and (excitingly!) I acquired some really pretty, awesome, good stuff (MadTosh, anyone? Plucky Knitter? Oh yeah ...). All stuff that I really really really want to knit with, but somehow I keep. buying. more. So that's got to stop this year. That really is my biggest goal, knitting my stash down to a level I'm comfortable with. Which, let's face it, will still be an amount suitable for stocking a small yarn shop, but as long as I feel good that's all I care about! Heh! Frankly, the easiest way for me to put a good dent in my stash is to actually knit up the sweater quantities of yarn I've been acquiring ... but I'm afraid that will never happen if I specifically put that out there as a resolution (look how far that got me in 2013!). So we'll see how that goes ... I recently have acquired some really exciting knitting books, so continuing my Love Your Library challenge will help ensure I have some accountability in following through on knitting out of them!

What are your knitting resolutions for 2014?

2013 knitting year in review

(pictured clockwise, starting in the upper left-hand corner)
5. Azalea Hat (my own free pattern!)
10. Another Azalea Hat
11. Luuk

 13. Minion!

20. Earthen
(not pictured: an additional two wash cloths, two charity scarves, and a water bottle cover)

I don't know about you, but it's hard to believe that another year has passed. And man, it's been another productive one! Lots of small projects (not surprising, given my propensity for instant gratification knitting!), which helped me increase my total number of projects completed when compared to last year, but did NOT surpass last year's total yards knit numbers.  As you can see, 2013 was the year of the hat and the kid sweater! But my favorite projects had to be the minion and all the bulky weight lace ...

What were your favorite finished projects of 2013? Next up, I will revisit the knitting resolutions I made last January ... did I fulfill them?

merry christmas!

Wishing you a very merry Christmas and some happy, relaxed knitting post gift-giving mania! When I get a chance, I'll be working on my Vanilla Latte socks (freebie pattern!) in some awesome String Theory Colorworks self-striping yarn. When I purchased this yarn, I was totally seeing funky watermelons, but given the season it now looks like non-traditional Christmas yarn! Either way, I'm loving how fast this is knitting up! This is my first pair of socks using the magic loop method, and I think I may have finally stumbled upon a method of knitting socks that I love. I've turned the heel and am racing to finish this sock now. Merry Christmas!

a manly hat

My last-minute giftmas knitting is complete! I love how this turned out ... hopefully so will the recipient!

Pattern: Earthen by Alicia Plummer (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 5 and 7 Addi's
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Tonal (approximately .75 of a skein, "Thunderhead" colorway)
Modifications: None! Fun, fast knit!

Hope all your last-minute holiday preparations are going smoothly!

last minute giftmas knits

Decided last weekend to make a hat as a last-minute Christmas gift ... good thing hats knit up fast! This is Earthen by Alicia Plummer, a nice, manly guys' hat pattern. I'm using some Knit Picks Swish Tonal (Thunderhead), and it's knitting up nice and squishy and soft!

What are you finishing up for Christmas this year? Wishing you speedy needles as Christmas nears!

storm fir shawl

It's done! My first attempt at lace that forced me to actually block something for the first time in my life ... and I love it! Now I completely and totally get the magic of blocking lace. Prior to blocking, this shawl was a lumpy, bumpy mess. After blocking = flat, beautiful stitches! LOVE! I'm hooked. This won't be my last lace ... I'm already scoping out more bulky weight lace patterns to add to my endless queue! I will definitely knit this pattern again. So fun!

Needles: Size 10.5 Addi's
Yarn: Knit Picks Full Circle (4 skeins of the Latte colorway)
Modifications: None! I blocked it by soaking the shawl in water, then getting as much water out as possible by sandwiching it between towels, and then stretching and pinning onto the spare bedroom mattress. It took the entire length of a queen-size mattress, and then some!

bulky lace

The storm fir shawl is nearly done! It doesn't look like much in this picture, but I'm really happy with how this project is turning out. Would definitely be done by now if it weren't for the interruptions of Thanksgiving and work! Should definitely be able to get this blocking by the weekend ...

2021 year in review

  Who would have thought that the second year of a pandemic would be worst than the first, in terms of crafting mojo? Not I. But this chart ...