So here it is, January 1, 2016, the start of a brand new year. As is my custom, I’ll start the new year by taking a look back at the old. And, because today is Friday, this look back will include all the FOs that haven’t been seen yet because, um, Christmas. In fact, let’s start with that first. You can click on each of the pics to be taken to the Ravelry project page for all yarn and pattern details.
Two of my colleagues had babies near the end of the year. Colleague number one received a version of what has become my go-to quickie baby blanket, the Great Granny, from the sadly defunct magazine, Crochet Today. This one was made with acrylic worsted left over from the Tunisian Terror.
Colleague number two received something I called the Jets Stroller Blanket, from another Crochet Today pattern. This was also a repeat use of the pattern: I made my mother a larger version of this blanket several years ago. Why “Jets Stroller Blanket”? My colleague is a huge New York Jets fan; he was expecting a baby boy, so naturally said boy will become a Jets fan (unless he suffers through a major teenage rebellion phase, but that’s years away, so let’s not worry about it); therefore, the color scheme of the blanket is the Jets’ team colors. This is made with a chunky washable wool that feels marvelous.
A young friend (the woman who was the stage manager of the play I did in May) had a birthday late in the year. She is a big Harry Potter aficionado, so I found out her Hogwarts House and made her a Gryffindor Scarf for her birthday. This is my own pattern because I couldn’t find one I liked that I could knit fast enough (I found out about her birthday late late late). I haven’t decided if I’ll write it up and put it on Ravelry — there are so many other Hogwarts scarves out there already. Regardless, she loved it, and that made me happy. The yarn is Universal’s Uptown Worsted, which is fast becoming my preferred acrylic now that Bernat Berella 4 has been discontinued. (I borrowed my husband’s college robes and mortarboard for the picture. You must imagine him rolling his eyes while shooting.)
Now let’s take a look at the Christmas gifts. I started working on gifts early in the year — and have posted blog entries about several finished projects already — but even with that head start, I had to rush rush rush to finish the projects shown here, and a couple of them didn’t get finished until the weekend AFTER Christmas. Oops.
First up is the Saroyan Scarf, a free pattern made using Cascade 220 Superwash in a brilliant red. I like making these crescent scarves knit from side to side. The knitting is more manageable when done along the short edge, not to mention the ease of casting on.
Then there’s the Gansey Cap from Vogue Fall 2015, using Cascade Longwood in Navy. The Longwood is an Aran superwash, silky soft and perfect for people who, while not allergic to wool, may have sensitive skin and get itchy with wool worn right next to their skin. This wool is not itchy in the least. It may become my new 100% wool hat yarn.
The Harald Watch Cap is an Elsebeth Lavold pattern that kept my interest the whole time I worked on it. I had to pay close attention to all those crossing cables. Unfortunately, the photographs turned out like crap, so you can’t really see the intricate detail in the finished hat. The yarn is from Copper Corgi Fiber Studio and is a deep chocolate brown worsted that somehow showed up as nearly burgundy when photographed.
In another photograph fail, this striped watch cap (using Ann Budd’s Basic Hat pattern) is made from the same yarn as the Jets Stroller Blanket shown above, although you’d never guess from the picture.
I learned the braided yarn technique while making the Brim Braid Hat (an Interweave Knits pattern). I also economized a bit by using Cascade 220 Superwash left over from previous projects.
I used Cascade Longwood again, in a bright blue, for the Vermeer Hat (free pattern if you’re a Rowan member). The pattern also includes fingerless mitts with the same cable pattern, so you can knit a matching set if you wish.
Back to the Cascade 220 Superwash for the Windsor Hat, another free pattern from Rowan — part of their 2012 Jubilee Collection to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne.
Finally, I pulled out an old old finished scarf that had never been blocked and plopped it into the gift pile. The yarn, as best as I can remember, was Plymouth Encore, and the pattern is the Forever Scarf from Interweave Knits.
And that’s it for the FOs. Well, at least the FOs that can be shared. I actually finished a project today but it hasn’t been blocked or photographed, so we’ll save it for another blog post.
Now for the rest of the year in yarn.
Projects completed in 2015: 19 total, and every single one of them a gift for someone else. I didn’t make one single thing for myself this year. If I have to make a New Year’s resolution, it’s that 2016 will be the year of selfish knitting.
Techniques learned: The braided brim technique shown on one of the caps above, which involved two colors in the same row, convinced me that, yes, I can indeed handle Fair Isle.
Yarn used: This is the reason I use Knit Meter. The visual representation is cool, plus it’s easier to keep track in one spot, especially since it does the math for you.
Yarn purchased: 59 skeins of lusciousness, including a couple of skeins of 100% cashmere and several more skeins of cashmere blends. A number of yarn stores within a reasonable drive of Atlanta closed their doors and put their stock on sale at a deep discount. My friend Alice and I went hog wild. Plus I went on a couple of trips. I always have to buy local yarn when on a trip. *sigh* I don’t even want to add up the yardage acquired. Another friend and I were discussing our stashes recently and she figures that, if I never bought another yard, and if I knit at the rate of three sweaters or seven small projects (such as scarves and socks) per year, I have sufficient yarn to last the next 40 years. I’m in my mid 50s, so that’s enough yarn for the rest of my life. Personally, I think I’m good for more knitting per year than that (ahem, 19 projects this year!), so let’s call it a 20-year stash. I’m ready for the apocalypse,or retirement, at the very least.
I can’t find anyone to link to for an FO Friday round-up. If I thought I had enough self-discipline to manage such an undertaking, I’d start one myself. If next week is the same, I’ll investigate further. Perhaps an automated post with a “Mr. Linky” set-up might work.
Stay tuned, please. A project planning post is forthcoming in the next day or two, as is a post about the year in books.
Oh, yeah, and Happy New Year!