First, I hope everyone is having a great and healthy start to the New Year. So far mine has been pretty uneventful which is a good thing. I'm not sick and there have been no major troubles my way. 2014 was a great year for me. I started the year off lifeless and angry and changes had to be made. In February I began the changes with a new job and a new outlook on life. I haven't looked back since. I focused on myself for once, making myself happy and learning what it was that I truly wanted and needed. My health started to improve, my energy returned, and new friendships blossomed while old/lost friendships resurfaced. 2014 brought me happiness, health, friendship, and a new sense of belonging. I'm hoping 2015 is just as kind to me. I wish blessings and good fortunes to everyone else as well. Remember life is what you make. Wrap on to that belief and own 2015 for yourself. I know I'm going to (or atleast try my best to).
With a new year comes a time of 'purging' and resolutions. I am all about making a new start to things but I am not a resolution kind of gal. It's kind of like obligated knitting for me. Once you start it just sucks the enjoyment out of things. So I don't bother with them, the few times that I tried making resolutions I have backed out of them within a few days of trying. Most times I can't help but feel like a poser when I make resolutions and try to follow through with them. With that being said I do make knitting goals. In fact when I started making knitting goals and challenges it was during the summertime. I had just picked my needles up after a long hiatus and was tired of always making the same types of projects. I wanted more challenge and I wanted to stop letting ideas and techniques intimidate me. I broke away from the same old same old (knit toys) and started expanding my 'skill' sets. I learned to knit socks, lace, shawls, and I even gave cabling a go again. I stopped letting larger projects put me off. I tackled my first sweater and moved on to a blanket. I quickly learned that I love lace work and that as much as I love the feel and look of cables that really wasn't my cup of tea. I also found a new fondness of socks and 'neck' accessories (i.e. cowls, shawls....ect). I almost always have a pair of socks cast on or a shawl on the needles. I went from a monogamous knitter to having several WIPs going at once. By having multiple projects of different skill levels cast on I was able to always find something to knit that would suit my mood and energy level. Making these goals was one of the best things I could have done. My knitting took off and my passion for the craft was reborn! This year when everyone talked about their new resolutions I thought of all of this and found I had met most of my knitting goals I set forth. It was time for new ones and I couldn't think of a better time to set new knitting goals than with a new year. This year I would like to tackle beading and color work as well as working more from my own designs. I want to design more and use everything I have learned meshing all of it together to see what I can come up with. I'm also going to reinforce my old gosl of stashing down. I did not stick to my stashing down last year and ended up buying way more yarn than I was going to allow myself. I have now run out of room completely to stash and need to save money. anyone who would like to join me for moral support can head over to the Ravelry group. ive started a chat and FO thread. I will be handing out prizes randomly through the year to those in the FO thread.......With that being said let me show you my December and January FO's.
First is the Winter Breeze Cowl I made and designed for my boyfriend's mother's Christmas gift.
The pattern is typed up and has been test knitted by some lovely ladies on Ravelry! I'm hoping to have the pattern released as soon as possible. I need to edit it but the file is unfortunately on my broken computer. When I do release it, it will have gauge and yarn suggestions for Worsted and Dk weight.
Next was a baby hat of my own design....this has truly been completely worked from my mind. I did not use any patterns I had seen before in other designs or libraries. I cast on knowing I wanted a baby hat with some type of texture and went to town playing with a ribbing and mock cable idea that seemed to just seep out of my fingers. I wrote it down and tweaked it as I went. I really enjoyed the process and end result. I have several more to make and once I do I plan on writing the pattern up to put on Ravelry.
I started it on New Years Eve and finished it the next morning. It was made to go along with a Baby Vertebra I made for a gal in my knit night. I used the same yarn for both the hat and sweater. The variegated is Bernat baby softee and the solid green is Caron simply soft.
For those of you looking for a quick and adorable baby gift I highly recommend the Newborn or Baby Vertebrae pattern by Kelly Brooker. I bought the e-book she has and am very pleased with it. Last year I knit 4 sweaters and will be knitting atleast three more this year. Everyone I have made them for adore them. They are also super easy to customize.
This was the last of my gift knitting...now I was ready to indulge myself with my own winter knits. I made myself a Winter Breeze Cowl, this time I also played with the coloring. I grabbed some left over skeins (woo hoo for stash busting) and threw them together trusting in my eye and hands to arrange them pleasingly. I love the end result! I started with some Malbrigo in Demasked Rose then switch to a section that striped Malbrigo in Apple Cinnimon with a single played worsted yarn I got from a friend. Unfortunately I do not have the brand name. It is a lovely dark variegated yarn though.
Once my cowl was finished I got working on a hat design for my boyfriend. I have offered to make him hats in the past but he has always brushed it off saying he already had one (store bought). Out of the blue he asked me to make him one. It seems...now that he has tried my hand knits (socks) he is much more interested in other hand knit items. I can't complain, he does wear the socks almost every day. I really need to knit him another pair. Maybe that will be one of my 'goals' this year as well. Anyways ... back to the hat... He picked out the yarn and wants a triforce design. Those of you who aren't familiar with what the triforce symbol is it's from Zelda. This will be my first fair isle project and he hasn't made it an easy one. I will be stranding 3 colors for most of the body. He graphed and charted it all out for me while I did a couple test swatches. We had to make a second trip to Joann's when the first set of yarns didnt work out in a swatch. Finally the colors and yarn brands were all worked out and i could begin. Last weekend I started it and stopped at the first color work row. I definately don't want to work on it while I'm tired so it looks like it will be a weekend only knit. Today is a snowy day so I'm thinking this will be my main project to work on.
In the mean time between yarn choices and week nights I finally finished my worsted weight green socks. The second one is slightly longer than the first but I still enjoy them and they are super warm! I am calling these my Grinch socks since I started them at Christmas time, and frankly the colors remind me of the Grinch.
I think I showed them once in the podcast. I was making a pair of pedicure socks for a friend's birthday present (which became a birthday/Christmas gift-oops) using 2 shades of cascade 220. The first one came out too narrow so I ended up makIng it into a regular sock for myself and cast on again for my friend. Her pedicure socks were finished up just after Christmas. Which worked out great because we didn't get to meet up until after the New Year.
I also crocheted up some mustaches. (Pattren:Mustache Necklace Disquise by Courtney Wiche)
This week was spirit week at work and Wednesday was Crazy Facial Hair Day. I started with 12 staches incase some of the kiddos needed one and they went like hot cakes! It was a good thing I brought materials to make more. I made about ten more during my lunch and the kids recess and lunch periods. Then I went home and made 6 more at the request of more students. I will have to make much more next year if they continue with the theme.
Oh! And I finished my Elephant finally. (Pattern: Girl Elephant in a Frondy Frock by Julie Williams of LittleCotton Rabbits)
I gave her to my Oh Loops Molly Weasley swap partner, Kate. I also gave her some reindeer ornaments which I did show off a bit in the last podcast episode. The reindeers will be a paid for
pattern on Ravelry once I can get to the documents to edit.