Sunday, December 29, 2013

Year in Review

It's that time of the year for reflection on the past year and looking forward to the next. I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, but I think planning for the next year's crafting is its own thing. But before I get to that, I want to look at the crafty highlights of the previous year.

2013 was another year of knitting Ysolda patterns. I have a few favorites from the year, including my Veyla replacements and a Gretel for me, but the one that takes the takes the cake is my handspun Strokkur sweater. It's definitely the best thing I knit in 2013.

I also did a little sewing in 2013. While my second Peony dress was a great project, my favorite sewing project of the year was definitely my dirndl. I have already worn it twice this year and I'm sure that living in Milwaukee will offer many more opportunities for wearing this outfit.

In terms of other crafty projects, the best of 2013 was definitely the rosary husband and I created for my goddaughter. Not only was it a great team project, but it turned out beautifully.

I hope that 2014 yields results that are just as wonderful. I'm already planning to knit a few projects--a Stripe Study Shawl and Ysolda's Mystery Knitalong (!)--and hope to do a little sewing as well. More importantly, I would like to finally finish one of the two big WIPs I have laying around, either my Telemark Ski Sweater or my PhD quilt. The hope is to be able to "sleep on zero" (have no WIPs) at some point this year, but we'll see what the year brings. I hope it's a great one!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Star Bunting

I love having random bursts of crochet inspiration. I never know when this inspiration is going to strike, but it's always fun to take a break from my knitting needles and pick up a hook. My most recent crochet inspiration came when I ran across this adorable "twinkler star" pattern on Pinterest and immediately wanted to make some stars.

First of all, I must say that I love this little pattern. The stars are simple to make, quick to finish, and by my second star, I had the pattern memorized. About the same time I memorized the pattern, I realized that the stars would make an adorable bunting strung along a crochet chain. So that's what I did and hung the results in my previously plain cubicle where it makes me happy while I work.

I should add that I blocked each star to give it nice points, but the stars are also pretty cute in their chubby unblocked version. There may be more crocheting in my future because the blog that published the pattern, Cherry Heart, has me ogling over all types of crochet and wee buntings. I definitely want to crochet All The Things right now.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

OWL Mittens

I love finishing handknits right in time for a cold snap. This winter's just-in-time knits are my OWL mittens, which I started at the end of August. The project was slow going because the pattern was so detailed but things did speed up a bit once I learned an easier way to manage long color repeats in fair isle.

So now I have some decidedly nerdy mittens. At least the low color contrast means that they don't scream their nerdiness for everyone to see. It makes me quite happy to know that I'm wearing Harry Potter mittens that others won't recognize.

For all that I like these mittens, it's sometimes hard to see the words clearly on the palms if the light isn't right. Part of me likes this subtlety but another part of me is annoyed that I did all of that work and the pattern isn't coming through clearly. If I had to do it all over again, I would up the contrast a bit to make the words sharper. At least the back of the hands look great in all lighting.

All in all, this was a fun project and I'm looking forward to seeing how these mittens wear now that it's cold.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Scaling Back

It's been a little quiet on the blog lately and I'm sad to say that it's likely to be that way for the next year or so. I have some big projects on the docket and I don't expect to have a lot of time for knitting, let alone blogging, in the near future. For all I'm going to miss being here, I know it's best for me to not try to keep up with this blog right now.

The good news is that I'm not going on a complete blog hiatus. I plan to drop by every so often to share what's on the needles. So thanks for understanding and I look forward to popping back in here in the near future and sharing my yarns with you.