Thursday, 31 December 2015

2015: A Look Back at the Year of Knitting. . .

Wow!  It's been a great and fun year of knitting and looking back, I'm pretty amazed and proud at all I've accomplished.

One of my knitting resolutions for the year was to try and complete 12 garments in 12 months.  I didn't really think this would be possible (and it wasn't, though I came really, really close) but I'm still chuffed at what I did manage to finish. Ten full garments and a few others that just need some sleeves!  One of my favourites of the year is the first one - my colourful chunky Wendy Sweater knit in Rowan Big Wool colour.  I wear it all the time.  The Sous Sous was lovely to knit but alas, just was too big for me but I gave it to a friend and it looks terrific on her.  I was pleased to finish my Wytham which had been a longtime WIP and is a nice dress-up cardigan.  My Hap Cardigan was part of a really enjoyable Hap-a-long but if truth be told, I'll probably unravel it and use the wool for something else.  It's not the most practical of garments - I made mine a bit too long and if it's cool enough for a wool cardigan, then it really does need some longer sleeves.

Having completely broken my yarn diet at the Black Sheep annual sale, I came home with four large bags of discounted and discontinued Rowan Summer Tweed.  My challenge was to get at least six garments out of the lot.  I finished four this year and will look for new inspiration for my remaining balls when the spring/summer patterns start coming out.

I'm quite pleased with how these turned out, but I'm not so enamoured of the ragged holes in my Humbug anymore, although I love the fit and feel of this top. I may try and sew them up so that they still provide an interesting textured feature.  My Scout (top right) was challenging to knit in this yarn.  I still wear it but am not completely happy with it. I find the weight of the back pulls up the front so that the v-neck doesn't stay put where it should be.  Not sure how to fix this.  The bottom two tops, Chard (bottom left) and Kiku (bottom right) are great for summer and I love them both.

Finally, there was my Scollay cardigan and my Viajante, both projects that I took on my trip to Norway so happy memories knitted into them, and also they are both garments that I absolutely love to wear - the first because the fit is so good and the yarn is so cozy and warm, and the second because the colours of the yarn are so gorgeous and it's such a unique piece in my wardrobe.  Viajante also wins the prize for the most stitches in anything I knit this year.  I don't want to think about it and it may be some time before I knit another garment in laceweight.

There were also many shawls knitted in 2015.  The year started and ended with two Stephen West mystery knit-a-longs: Exploration Station and The Doodler.

In between was a Byatt (knitted, frogged, knitted, ripped back, knitted, completed then not happy, ripped back and knitted again in a different colour)

I also had fun with Lucy Hague's cabled shawls: Nine Maidens (alas, knitted on too small needles so not the size I wanted) and Ishneich.

And knit two lovely lace shawls: Hap for Harriet and Mahy.

There were mittens:

And my first pair of socks!

And lots of Baffies (love this pattern, both the striped and stranded versions - these are SO comfortable to wear around the house).

I also improved my crochet skills with the Rowan CAL designed by Lisa Richardson.

And knitted a boyfriend, bought a loom, and tried weaving for the first time, making this project bag.

Whew!  That's a lot of projects in one year.  I think I may slow down a bit and think more thoughtfully about what I knit next year and try to refine and polish my skills.  I also really want to finish a number of WIPs and yes, try yet again to focus on reducing my stash.  But it's lovely to look back and reflect on new skills learned and confidence gained.  Bring on 2016!  I'll be pondering my resolutions for the new year over the remaining hours of this one.   Happy New Year to all.


EMartin said...

Fantastic and impressive achievements! I have been following your blog and (some) forum posts with interest and enjoyment, especially your love of Herdies and Swaledales and their landscapes, and the British breeds SAL.

Blithe Spirit said...

Thank you so much for your kind comments - looking back, I'm mostly amazed at how much I knitted, especially the number of shawsl, several of which I'd forgotten about. This year it will be all about the British sheep breeds!