1. continue with posting my improvised patterns/ designs
So far this year I have only managed to post 2 of the patterns I have been working on the poncho in January and the hat in April. For me life with small children seems to be at odds with pattern design, I take my hat off to those that manage it and there are many of them out there. Perhaps as they get older some of my designs can come out of hibernation and see a bit more love. Having said that the patterns I have published through Ravelry have been more successful than I’d ever hoped, people have actually made them which is more than I expected. It still feels strange to see other versions of my patterns but it also makes me really happy and thankfully nobody has said anything mean about my pattern writing skills which is always a bonus. The fingerless mitts pattern I published last Christmas is by far the most popular of my designs.
2. operate a 4 out 1 in policy on yarn (I’m making no promises at all about fibre!)
Can we skip this one? No, oh ok then. Well to date I have used up 5,247g which I think is pretty good going unfortunately 3,107g has made its way back in to my stash. I’m not even hitting a 2 out 1 in target so far but the 7 pairs of half finished socks that I have waiting might just about get me there by the end of the year. I may have been a tad optimistic thinking I could hit the 4 out 1 in target. One thing I have managed to do though is to be a bit more thoughtful/ purposeful about my stash acquisitions, the majority of the yarn coming in to my stash this year has been for designated projects and I have actually used it for them, some has also come in and then gone straight out as presents and there were very few I’ll have it because it is pretty moments.
3. More colour work
I’m not doing too badly with this one, completed projects include;
- a baby vest based on the Milo pattern but omitting the cable detail and adding a band of simple Fair Isle around the chest – to colour co-ordinated with the striped blanket I made at the same time (July)
- an adult sized sweater with colour work on the yoke that I finished in time for our Welsh camping adventures (September)
- a 3 colour toddler dress with striping and stranded colour work on the body section that I designed and made for Crafty Toddler #2’s first birthday (September)
- a pair of woolly leggings with colour work on the bottom of the leg and the waist that I also designed and made for CT2’s birthday (October)
4. Learn new knitting techniques
I’ve broadened this to include new spinning techniques as well as knitting techniques and again this is one I feel I am doing quite well with. New skills added to my list are;
- top down raglan (January)
- chain ply (January – although I didn’t get any good at it until September!)
- Italian cast on (February)
- cable cast on (February)
- making and knitting from a hand wound centre pull ball (March – yes I am counting that as a skill)
- double knitting (March)
- Spinning over the fold using combed top (June)
- knotless cast on (August)
- making beaded yarn (September)
5. Make more things for crafty toddler and crafty baby
Far and away this is the goal I have had the most success with which I think is probably how it should be, after all once they get big they won’t want me to knit for them or if they do it will take an absolute age! Baby/ toddler knitting this year;
- 3 ladybird jumpers in 2 different sizes – 2 for CT1 and 1 for CT2 (January)
- crochet dress for CT2 (January)
- blue/ red and yellow crochet blanket for CT1 (February)
- Milo for CT1 (February)
- Milo for CT2 (March)
- socks for my new nephew (April)
- purple crochet blanket for CT1 (April)
- crochet blanket for my new nephew (May)
- wash cloths for my new nephew (June)
- Aviatrix hat for my new nephew (June)
- Milo with Fair Isle band for my new nephew (July)
- Fair Isle dress for CT2 (September)
- Woolly leggings for CT2 (October)
- emergency crochet bun cover for CT1 to smarten up her outfit for attending a Christening (October)
6. Make more things from my existing craft library (paper and digital)
In my list of finished objects for the year 9 of them came from patterns in my crafting library (well more than 9 if you count the multiples I made of some of them, but 9 different designs)
- Cadence sweater that I made in January and was from Knitty and had been in my library since 2014
- Ladybird sweater from the book “What to knit the toddler years” which I had owned since 2014
- Crochet dress from the book “Cute and easy crochet” which I was given as a present in 2012
- Aviatrix hat which had been in my Ravelry library since 2013
- Fair Isle yoked jumper which took elements of the Meava jumper from A Rowan pattern book and mixed it with other elements from a book on Scandinavian colour work, the first in my library since 2012 and the second since 2013
- Woolly leggings inspired by the book “The Knitters Almanac” and a tatty copy of “Nursery Knits” which had been in my library since 2014 and 2013 respectively.
- Crochet bun cover improvised pattern but using elements from a crochet motif dictionary that I’d had since 2014.
Seeing that written down it is clear that I tend to work only from some of the newer items in my library, this may be as a result of making mainly baby/ toddler items this year or that my older books/ patterns are complex ones that I didn’t have to brain power to tackle this year.
7. Knit at least 4 pairs of socks from my existing sock yarn stash
For completed pairs I’m at 3 out of 4 for this target – if I could count half pairs of odd socks I’d have nailed it! The socks of doom which had been on my needles for 3 years were finally finished in February, the wool for these had been in my stash since before I moved up north so over 4 years probably closer to 5! My spring forward socks that I knitted as part of a KAL with the a wee but knitty podcast were finished in April using yarn I bought on holiday in September 2014. And last but not least my Victoria swirl socks were knitted in June/ July from yarn gifted to me for Christmas 2014.
8. Finish my 2 sweater WIPs and make 1 more adult sized sweater
The Cadence Sweater and the Fair Isle yoke sweater were both projects that I started last year whilst I was pregnant with CT2 but then abandoned when I felt too fat for knitting garments. I’m really pleased with the Fair Isle sweater but the Cadence knitted up far too large and will be kept for lazy days at home rather than showing off my knitting skills. I did finish a 3rd adult sweater improvising a crochet design for it but I suspect this may well get frogged as I have yet to wear it and my OH pulled a funny face when I tried it on to show him.
9. Keep better Ravelry notes for knitting and spinning projects
I did really well with this in January updating my projects during night feeds for CT2 but then things started to slide in February when projects got added but didn’t necessarily get pictures or notes to go with them, by April they were not up to date in any way shape or form and this continued until October when I had a blitz and added all the missing projects. I still have to go back and add pictures and notes for a lot of them but at least it is a start.
10. Spin 8 new to me types of fibre
7 out of 8 so far with this one, I could possibly be hitting my target but some of the mini skeins I’ve spun this year didn’t have fibre content listed so whilst I suspected they were new to me blends I can’t be 100% sure. New to me fibres were;
- Blue Faced Leicester – I’ve spun some on a spindle before that I thought was BFL but this was my first lot on the wheel that I knew was BFL (January)
- Gotland (March)
- Recycled Sari silk (March)
- Manx Laughton (June)
- Jacob (July)
- Shetland (October)
- Teeswater (November)
Until looking over this epic post I had thought I’d not really accomplished much this year but when you see it all written down it looks a bit more impressive. Now if only I could stop buying yarn…or knit faster.