Every year December comes and suddenly none of us can believe how quickly time has gone. Isn’t it funny that we have this same conversation every year when nothing and everything has changed?
In 2017 I finished 21 knitted projects, plus several additional small projects.
I have 9 Works in Progress at this point…one or two of them were started in 2015! Yikes!
I learned a little bit about crochet and finished 2 projects, with one more in progress (the pattern for the shawl on the right will end up being released in Knotions Magazine in March).
I also learned to weave and finished 2 projects with another currently in progress.
This was a good year for spinning – I finished 9 spinning projects in several different weights. Most of my handspun is from combed wool top, but this year I spun my first batts and my first silk. I am so proud of my Rumpelstiltskin yarn. And, yes, I have some spinning in progress as well.
I sewed quite a few garments this year, mostly tops, but the crown of my handsewn garment collection is actually a pair of undergarments – my Watson Bra and Bikini.
Lastly, but certainly not least, this year I launched my own line of knitting patterns. I have published 4 patterns this year: two I published myself, and two were published in Knotions Magazine.
And we can’t forget the gnomes…but they have a whole page all to themselves here.
During the year it is very easy to get bogged down by the details, and it can seem like I’m not accomplishing anything. I think taking a little time for us each to focus on our achievements is healthy and uplifting. So now it’s your turn: What did you do this year?
Well, friends, I hope you had a delightful yesterday. My husband and I spent Christmas day with his family, talking and knitting (for me) and eating too much. My advent garland did not get finished in time for Christmas, but I have reconciled myself to that. It is quite lovely, though, to see 9 knitted ornaments on my tree.
Today I am resting and getting ready to go back to work. I’m planning to do some crafting prep work while I’m off, since I tend to only work on things throughout the week that I have already started. I will be warping my loom and cutting some fabric, cuddling my kitty, and drinking a fair amount of tea, all while watching something delightful in the background.
At some point I will also need to make a Post Office run, because Heather from The Knitting Nurse has won this hand-felted gnome ornament!
Heather, email me with your address at dramaticlyricATgmailDOTcom so I can get your prize to you. And congratulations. I hope your gnome makes you smile for many Christmases to come.
Whew, is this a busy time of year! I can’t believe the holidays are already upon us! I think they come faster and faster every year.
This year between work and chores and family and travel and baking I’m having a hard time finding time to knit. I have knit 3 rows on a slipper and 6 rounds on a sock this week. Clearly this is not enough knitting. I am off work for the long weekend now, though, and I am looking forward to rectifying the knitting situation.
I hope that your holiday weekend is as full or relaxed as you want it to be and that you can spend it with the people you most want to be with. Happy Christmas, all.
P.S. If you haven’t entered my gnome giveaway yet, you have until Christmas day when I will be choosing a winner.
Over the past few months I’ve shared lots and lots of gnome pictures with you. I can make a needle-felted gnome in an hour or less, and that means I have a lot of them. I don’t think there’s a limit to how many gnomes a person can have, but they are starting to build up into a bit of an army, and I’m a little worried about an insurrection. In the interest of keeping the peace and the Christmas Spirit, I want to share my bounty with you. If you would like to have this adorable gnome ornament, leave a comment below telling me about your favourite Christmas ornament.
I will announce the winner on Christmas Day.
*Small Print: Due to postage costs, I will only be able to ship to US addresses.
This Christmas I decided to knit an advent bunting. The patterns are all by Frankie Brown, and my plans are all here.
Part 1 of the knitting is here, and part 2 is here.
It’s been almost a week since I knit an ornament, so I am very much behind. I’m trying to be ok with this, since my health is important and knitting isn’t fun when it hurts.
Day 7: I knit a tiny ship using US 2.5 DPNs. The brown is The Fiber Seed Sprout Seedlings in Ginger, and the cream is Ella Rae Lace Merino in Natural. Frankie instructs the knitter to make an i-cord mast, which you then stuff with a pipe cleaner. I elected to use a tooth pick, and hot glue it to the base of the boat. I also stuffed the boat with a little extra yarn to make it a nice shape.
Day 8: This “paper” chain was fun and easy to make. I cheated and used several weights of yarn for this ornament: the pink is a Wild Iris color from Miss Babs on her Madison (aran weight) base; the purple is Noro Silk Garden; the blue is a cotton/cashmere blend (oh, so lovely!); and the green is KnitPicks Stroll in Rainforest Heather. I love how the colours flow into each other.
Day 9: This tiny pine cone is adorable!!! It is knit in a long strip, then sewn into shape after a picot bind off. So quick. So easy! I might have to make a few dozen more.
How is your Christmas knitting going? Have you knit any Christmas decorations?
Hey friends! I am thrilled to tell you that today the pattern for my Angerthas Mitts has been released in Knotions Magazine!
This pattern came about in an interesting way for me. Several years ago when I was a new knitter I started knitting a cabled scarf. I guessed at how to cable from instructions in books and on the internet, but I barely knew how to knit and I didn’t have a cable needle. I hated that project. I ended up putting it away for several years before turning it into a cowl just so it would be done (I talked more about it here).
Fast forward to a few months ago. I still hadn’t knit much with cables and they scared me. So what did I do to make them less scary? I designed a pattern with all sorts of cables going every which way (I’m crazy, I know). The Angerthas Mitts are what emerged from that exploration. I won’t say that I love cabling so much that cables are the only thing I will ever knit ever again, but they are less daunting now.
Is there a knitting technique that scares you? How have you overcome fear of the unknown (in knitting and in life)?
This Christmas I decided to knit an advent bunting. The patterns are all by Frankie Brown, and my plans are all here.
I wrote about the first few ornaments here.
Day 4: Frankie’s original pattern has a snowflake with buttons for today, but I wasn’t really feeling it. So I switched out the snowflake for a gingerbread cookie. I used US 2.5 DPNs, and The Fiber Seed Sprout Seedlings in Fawn for the main colour, and the embroidery is done in Ella Rae Lace Merino in Natural. A little search through my button stash, and day 4 is done and dusted!
Day 5: Frankie has an angel for day 5, but I decided to knit a Christmas tree instead. I used Ella Rae Lace Merino DK in colour 201 (such an evocative name) for the tree, and The Fiber Seed Sprout Seedlings in Ginger for the trunk. Decorating this tiny tree was such a delight! I bent some gold wire into a star shape for the topper, then wrapped a bit of my yellow handspun around as a garland. Finally, I sewed on some coloured beads as ornaments. I think it’s pretty nifty.
Day 6: I’ve started to have some wrist pain over the last few days, and as I was knitting this tiny stocking I got to the point where I just couldn’t keep going. So I set the stocking aside for a few days. I’ve had wrist pain before, and it’s usually from overuse. I get this idea in my head that I can just keep going and going with no consequences instead of stopping when I start to have problems. So this time I set the project aside and rested. It made me think how fortunate I have been to be in such good health for so long. It gave me time to reflect and be thankful.
I finished the tiny stocking on December 10th. The yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino in Natural for the top and Knit Picks Stroll Tweed in Marine Heather for the main portion of the sock.
Today is December 11th, and I am 5 days behind on my advent knitting. I don’t know if I will finish it before Christmas or not, but I’m not letting myself be stressed about that. I’m enjoying the making that I can do, when I can do it. And for now that is enough.
Whew. This is a busy time of year! About a month ago my husband and I moved into a new apartment. We are loving the new space. I especially love our new wool rug!
And then this past week I started a new job. Wrapping my head around my new responsibilities has been a bit of a challenge, especially since I am working from a remote office and my boss and coworkers are all far away. I didn’t love my old job, but I had a lot of downtime, which I used to knit (I know, lucky me). My new job is much more challenging (I love a challenge), but I don’t get to knit at work anymore (boohoo). Also, in my new job I am typing and using the computer a lot more and I have hurt my wrist somehow and can barely knit. But that’s all part of life and I will get through it.
By the way, I am still looking for a few testers for my Ribless Hat. If you’re interested click here. I love this hat so much that it has become my go-to hat! It fits great and has the perfect amount of slouch.
What have you been up to?
Is anyone else struggling with Startitis right about now? I feel such a weight of “MAKE ALL THE THINGS NOW” that I hardly know what to do with myself. Do I give in to the madness and wake up next week with 25 projects, or struggle valiantly to finish at least a few of the things? Here’s what I’m currently working on.
- Slippers for Grandma (Ssh, don’t tell). I’m using this pattern and 2 yarns held together: the white is my own handspun (it’s a singles yarn in Southdown wool) and the pink is the leftovers from my Watermelon Socks.
- I’m in the middle of a crochet shawl using Miss Babs Yowza! in the colourway “Friday Afternoon.” Assuming I get it done in time, the pattern will be released in the March issue of Knotions Magazine.
- I’m a sucker for unusual patterns, and these socks have been on my list for a long time. Worked on US1 DPNs and using Knit Picks Felici in Mint Chip. I love KnitPicks sock yarns for their softness, thinness, and ability to be washed and dried(!) without harm or shrinkage to the sock. I try not to put them in the dryer, though, just to be on the safe side.
- I’ve had 6 balls of Burly Spun by the Brown Sheep Company since 2013 when I bought the yarn to make a jacket. I couldn’t get gauge, so the jacket never got made. This yarn has been weighing on me, so I decided to weave with it and make a long vest. This one is totally stash-busting. That makes it not count as a new project, right?
- And, of course, I have the Advent Bunting (today is day 6)…
What are you working on? Are you knitting gifts?
December is here, and I have begun my Advent Bunting (the plans are all here).
Day 1: Using Nuna by Mirasol Yarn and US 2.5 DPNs, I busted out the tiniest mitten ever.
No blood, no sweat, no tears. I can totally do this for 23 more days.
Day 2: It turns out that I have precisely 1 colour of yellow yarn in my stash, and it is not a warm flamey yellow. It’s a good thing I know how to make my own yarn.
The candle part is in Ella Rae Lace Merino in Natural, and I used US 2.5 DPNs again.
Done and dusted.
Day 3: This teensy weensy gingerbread house is darling!
I used a Sprout Seedling by The Fiber Seed in Fawn for the main house color. The door is in KnitPicks Stroll in Rainforest Heather, the windows are also Stroll in Dandelion, and the snow on the roof is Ella Rae Lace Merino in Natural. All the tiny bits were rather fiddly, but totally worth it.
How is your Christmas knitting going?