2014 Year End Review

Wow, what a year 2014 has been! I just can't resist making these montages of everything that was completed this year--and clearly I was productive, because I've never had to make this many before!

  1. Swedish Fish mitts
  2. geek girl mitts
  3. koolhaas hat
  4. stripey socks #1
  5. stripey socks #2
  6. cowgirl cowl
  7. give 'em the slip mitts

My Ravellenic Games finishes!

17. squirrel dish cloth
18. apple dish cloth
21. bitty bot

39. luuk I

44. luuk II

And the grand total is ....

Phew! That was a lot! And looking at the numbers, it really was my most productive knitting year to date! I nearly doubled the yardage I knit, and subsequently had a big jump in number of finished projects as well! Which really isn't all that surprising when you take a look at all the hats, mitts, and accessories I knitted this year.

Now for the moment of truth--how did I do on the resolutions I set for myself back last January? My 2014 knitting resolutions were to: 
  • Goal #1: Knit down my stash. Results? MIXED. I knit more yardage than I ever have before, and I successfully maintained a six-month stretch with ZERO yarn purchases (wahoo!!) ... BUT I made a lot of yarn purchases in the first six months of 2014. I never did the painful calculations, but I would guess that my stash grew this year despite my productivity and yarn dieting.
  • Goal #2: Finish, frog, or otherwise eliminate my current WIPs.  Results? Big fat FAIL on this one! LOL!
  • Goal #3: Continue my Love Your Library project! Results? MIXED. In total, I knit six projects from books currently in my library. I ended up taking advantage of a lot of amazing free patterns this year, but I still struggle in knitting from my vast library of pattern books.
So what am I thinking about for 2015? My biggest goal for 2015 is a net reduction in my stash size. To that end, I'll be starting another super strict yarn diet tomorrow (another six monther!) and am excited to start working on some "big" projects--I have two blanket quantities of yarn sitting in my stash that I'd like to knit up, for example. And possibly some sweaters.  My goal is to consume 100 skeins this year--I'm participating in a challenge that counts partial skeins as a "skein" so this will be easier done that it sounds (and with the added benefit of encouraging me to knit up scraps and pesky remainders!). And despite my failure with Goal #2 in 2014, I'm going to continue in that vein again in 2015. I use a coat rack in my dining room to store works-in-progress in project bags, and frankly the thing is protruding with how many bags are piled on it! So I'm thinking that I will deal with one bag a month, and slowly whittle the coat rack down to a less embarrassing size.  Finally, I plan to continue my Love Your Library challenge, but with a twist. I've been accumulating knitted toy books like no other--and despite my love of knitting toys, I have only knit a handful of patterns. So in 2015 I'm going to work my way through a handful of the toy books in my stash. I think the small size of the toys will make this less intimidating, and the focus of staying within a handful of books will be helpful for me. So in short, my knitting resolutions for 2015 are the same as 2014 just with little revisions of focus:
  • Goal #1: Knit down my stash.
  • Goal #2: Finish, frog, or otherwise eliminate my current WIPs.
  • Goal #3: Continue my Love Your Library project!
If you'd like to join in on the 2015 Love Your Library challenge, come back tomorrow! I'll post more specific details and reveal the books I will knit from throughout the year. Happy New Year!

Christmas finish: minion mayhem!

Have you recovered from all your Christmas gift knitting yet? I have one last minute finish I can now show off--another minion! This little guy was finished at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Christmas day--with the recipient to receive it the next day! If you compare this guy to the first minion I made in 2013, he's much taller and narrower. And in my opinion, more accurate in terms of looking like a minion. What a difference gauge makes! I used some yellow Lion Brand Wool I had in my stash, and despite using the same needles (size 6) this guy turned out more lean than the first. It also probably helps that I was more purposeful with stuffing him to maintain that shape, as well. The other modification I made this time was to pick up stitches and actually knit a bib front and back (instead of using duplicate stitch) and i-cord for the should straps. This approach looks soooo much better than duplicate stitch I think. The other mod I made was accidental--I totally forgot to cast on 10 new stitches after moving the arm stitches to waste yarn while making the body. Sooo.... the arms are about six inches smaller in diameter than the pattern calls for. I like this accidental mod! I wasn't super happy with how chunky my first minion's arms were.

So in short, I love how this turned out! If I ever make a third minion, then I'll probably repeat these "accidental" modifications! For more specific details about yarn and quantities, you can find them on my Ravelry project page. And the final verdict? My nephew, the recipient, went crazy and carried this guy around the entire Christmas party. Success! Now onto some selfish stitching....

fun frosty washcloth

How's your Christmas knitting going? I'm surprisingly ahead of the game for once--but it helps that I was not ambitious at all this year! I always like to send something handmade to my Grandma, as she is 200% knitworthy and one of my crafterly role models. This year I was indecisive, which meant something big was off the table. Earlier this year, I made some cute mosaic stitch (slip-stitch colorwork) wash cloths that she liked. And an idea was born. I found this cute frosty the snowman pattern, and away I went! Being thrifty, I used up some color-changing cotton I already had in my stash. I like the effect, but the face would show up better in a solid. Final verdict? Another fun, fast, good last-minute gift pattern!

Pattern: Frosty's Cloth by Becky Curran (link to my Ravelry project page)
Needles: Size 7 Addi Turbo's
Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream Stripes (colorway: country stripes, used approx. 1/3 skein) and mystery cone of white cotton
Mods: None!

Christmas baking has begun as well ... here's my first batch of yummy candy. Pretzels + rolos, melted for about two minutes in the oven, then squished with an M&M on top. Can become "turtles" if you use a pecan half instead of an M&M ... YUM!


Finally, some finishes! It's been awhile since I posted on a FO Friday! Above you'll find my finished sidewinder hat for my husband. This was a fast, fun knit and has sat for over a week waiting for me to seam the very top of the hat and weave in ends. It was fun to knit something flat for once--this pattern uses short rows to create the "decreases" at the crown. This is a perfect "manly" hat pattern--I will definitely make this one again! 

Needles: size 7 Addi Turbo's
Yarn: Berocco Ultra Alpaca and Knit Picks Bare DK (dyed jet black by moi). Used about 1/2 a skein each!

But wait--there's more! I finished two needlepoint ornaments in the past couple of weeks as well. Now I need to put up the tree ...

Six months strong!

I did it! I did it! I did it! I pledged to not buy yarn until January 1, 2015 so I'm sticking to that pledge ... but after that all bets are off. I think an achievement this big deserves a reward! But don't worry, I haven't worked this hard to undo all my hard work in one fell swoop.  :)

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 ...