Saturday, January 13, 2007

Recapping the year

Now that we're well into January, I thought I'd take a look back at the year 2006 -- from a knitting perspective. Strangely, I could only list about four finished items when I thought back. Looking at my blog archives, though, I came up with a total of 10.

Now, that's nothing for Wendy Johnson or Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, but, for me, ten finished items is an accomplishment. So, here they are:

Number 1. The Dachshund Lovers Sweater. This is the sweater I knitted for my Mom's birthday in honor of her little dachshund, Heidi. I've never actually seen her wear it, but at least she knows I love her.

Number 2. Felted Mittens (Red and Green). I count these as one because I did them at the same time. They were really fun and quick to knit and I love the magic of felting. I ran slightly short of yarn for the ribbed cuffs inside the felted mitten body and I was a little annoyed at Knitpicks for that. But they still turned out O.K. I thought they might be good Christmas presents when I made them, but having to substitute some white yarn in the cuffs made me too self-conscious about them to consider them gift material.

Number 3. Felted clogs. This is the Fibertrends pattern for felted clogs. People either love it or hate it. I love it, but it can be a little tricky. These are definite gift material and I hope the recipient -- who has not yet received them -- likes them.

Number 4. Green Knitpicks Self-Patterning Socks. I love these socks. They're comfortable and washable and they match a sweater I like to wear. The only problem with them is, again, there was slightly less yarn in the Knitpicks skein than I expected and I had to finish out the toe on the second pair with another sock yarn.

Number 5. Illusion Scarf "Seeing Red." This is the scarf that I made for the Guild's "Black, White and Red All Over" competition last summer. It's knit in black and white KnitPicks wool and has the word "red" worked into it several times in illusion knitting. This was a really cool and fun project and the Guild awarded me first prize for it. I was so proud!

Number 6. Socks That Rock Socks. These are lovely socks but I think the gauge knits up a little larger than I'm used to and they turned out sort of big. Sloppy me, I didn't swatch it. Still, they're quite wearable and very soft and squishy. Next time I buy expensive sock yarn like Socks That Rock, I'll have to be more careful. Another thing about these socks -- one is paler than the other. As is common with hand dyed yarns, one of the skeins was significantly lighter than the other and it really shows up in the socks.

Number 7. The Shrek II Pillow. I got the idea for this pillow when I ordered some raw Shrek II wool from Elizabeth Ashford. Shrek was part of a group of merino sheep that were lost for about six years in the wilds of New Zealand. When the group was located by helicopter and rounded up, they were sporting six years of unshorn fleece. I ordered a little of the fleece, washed it, combed it, spun it and knitted into this pillow. The Shrek wool is the white. Then I sent a picture of it to Elizabeth Ashford to enter in a competition for making something out of the Shrek II wool. I WON! It was so cool. My pillow is featured in "The Wheel" magazine along with some of my comments about making the pillow. Elizabeth also sent me a pound of her new alpaca blend wool top.

Number 8. White School Socks. I made these for Kate in response to her request for some school socks. I had a really hard time finding any solid bright white sock yarn, either wool or cotton. Finally, I ended up with some KnitPicks sport weight white yarn, knitted them up and she took them with her on her school trip to Washington, D.C. For a long time we thought she only returned with one sock, but the second one finally turned up. Unfortunately, just wearing the socks apparently felted them pretty thoroughly. They look sort of strange now and Kate has never worn them again. When I went by the LYS today, I found two balls of bright white Cascade Fixation and I think I may try again in cotton.

Number 9. KnitPicks Fair Isle Socks. These socks were so fun to knit! They look incredibly difficult but actually you only use two yarns, one solid and one varigated. My sister, Kathryn, made the same socks out of black and jewel tones. Since I usually wear brown shoes, I altered the wool to brown and natural tones. I was afraid as I was knitting them that they wouldn't fit: the fair isle doesn't make a very stretchy sock. However, I was pleasantly surprised and I can wear them.

Number 10. Lily Chin's Beaded Shawl. I made this shawl for the Friendship Spinner's Christmas exchange at the Shakertown Retreat. It's made of lilac Suri Dream yarn, which is Suri alpaca spun around a core of nylon to make a yarn that looks like mohair, but is much softer. The shawl is crocheted and it has over a thousand #6 seed beads worked into it. It was really pretty easy to make, but a little tedious to work all the beads into it. Nancy Reid received the shawl and she really seemed to like it.
So, that's my year in knitting.
Right now my UFOs are:
a. Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino socks for my Dad
b. My Qiviut moebius lace scarf
c. My red oak leaf lace alpaca scarf (which has been languishing for years ....)
d. The second sock out of the handspun wool won in the Shrek competition
e. My "winging it" rare wools handspun vest needs a back.
And today I bought yarn for two more pairs of socks ....

1 comment:

Celine said...


That dashund sweater is awesome! It makes me want to transfer the idea to a schnauzer for my own Mom. Again, the black, white and red stunt is just so very clever, you well deserved this award! As well as the shrek one :-)))

I love this idea for the socks, alternating a patterned yarn with a solid one. I think that will be the recipe for my next pair (yes, I am thinking next pair already...)

You did accomplish a lot! And you did not make an inventory of the other stuff I am sure you made as well... plus being a parent, a wife, a daughter, a woman in your community, an inspiring blogger and a supportive wooly friend. Kudos to your 2006 and all the best for 2007!