Thursday, January 12, 2006

My 2005 Knitting Year in Review Post

I posted this last month on my 'other' blog. It's funny how in the other blog this is the 'other' blog. I thought it would be fitting here.

I give you my Reflections in Yarn for 2005 from a meme I found over at Knit One, Purl Two.

1. List your finished objects, or just list your favorite FO.

I'm referring back to my blog for my FO list.

ChicKnits bucket hat in acrylic camo for C, it's very MASH. Great pattern, ok yarn. I ended up knitting five buckets total over the year. None of them really turned out spectacular. One was pink with pink eyelash on the brim. The best Bucket Hat was in a skein of MOM yarn for A

Clapatis in variegated acrylic, terrible yarn, wonderful pattern. It's not a good item to have around a two year old, the ladders are just asking for little fingers to pull them out. I'd be sick if Evelyn pulled out a ladder on an expensive Clapatis so it's probably just as well it's in cheap yarn.

Toddle in pink acrylic from the Grandma Janette stash yarn for E. First attempt at cabling. Take that back, second. First attempt was a Learn to Cable headband on ChicKnits, ended up making two in acrylic, one for me and one for Evelyn but that was last year so the Headbands don't count for this year.

Little Poncho for E in purple acrylic GJ stash yarn. Cute and little. Tried to make a bigger one for me but it did not work, wrong yarn, wrong gauge.

Bob in white acrylic. Gauge was off, it's too big but my first sweater in years. (Tried to start Cozy three times and gave up.)

Bonnie Marie's Ucan2 Shell in blue variegated acrylic. Good fit, terrible yarn.

Pair of top down socks in Lion's Brand magic stripe following the pattern on the yarn sleeve. Bit too big. Not a fun knit. First official pair of socks. The yarn was ok but not thrilling. I do wear the socks.

3timesChic sweater in pink acrylic, great pattern, gifted yarn, not inspired. Gauge is off but fits ok.

Minisweater aka the boobholder in Berroco cotton twist, had to frog and reknit but a great FO. Added little purple triangles with silver coins for belly dancing. First FO made with yarn from LYS and not JoAnn's.

Harry Potter trapped bar Gryffendor house scarf in acrylic, took FOREVER To finish but the little girl I gifted it too loved it.

Sitcom Chic in red Lion Brand Cotton Ease, great knit, not perfect, but gauge is on and it fits.

Haiku in teal Lion Brand Cotton Ease for E, great knit. And good fit. If only E would leave the buttons alone.

The Vader Helmet for E's Halloween costume finally knitted up in Lion Brand Thick n Quick, also tried Lion Brand Homespun and Reynolds Lopi. Variation on the Hallowig. Great FO lots of praise from others. First thought I would felt it but that was just not going to work so I went with the Thick N Quick.

Entrelarc test knit. Just a little swatch but a good first try.

Tychus, learned long tail cast on. Knitted four Tychus, one for dad one with no home one for a PEO sister and one for E. All in acrylic or Lion Brand Wool ease.

Felted dresser tray from Felted knits in Reynolds Lopi, heavy bloom, first time doing applied I-cord, good felt. HiP in acrylic for A. It rolls too much despite blocking but A loves it.

Mary Poppin's scarf in Lion Brand Homespun with matching roll brim hat for MC friend's daughter.

Nantasket, in Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, three so far, one in original handle pattern and two more with modified handles. Great pattern, great yarn, great felting. Very popular end product.

Fulled Lopi Tote for K in Wool of the Andes. Quick. Wanted to do the intarsia skull and cross bones but was not up for learning intarsia yet.

Felted trivets pattern from Felted Knits. Eleven or twelve total in Wool of the Andes and one in Cascade 220 that did not felt well. One in entrelarc, most in stripes. Quick, easy Christmas gifts.

Felted Toddler sized mittens from Felted Knits for E in Wool of the Andes. They fit and work well. Great knit.

Ester William's from Poor Miss Finch in Lamb's Pride Worsted. I've found yarn nirvana. The hat was a HUGE hit.

Hatmione and matching mittens, aran styled cabled and bobbled in Cascade 220 for A. Great skill builder. Wonderful yarn.

Lion Brand Homespun bucket hat gone terribly wrong, wrong yarn wrong gauge looks awful.

Mark's, Butch, Macho, Rolled-Brimmed Seaman's Watch Cap in Evergreen Lamb's Pride Bulky for N.

2. List your works in progress. Branching Out in purple Reynolds Saucy Sport, started in September and have not finished it, at about 15 repeats out of a suggested thrity some. Ester William's # two in Rosado Rose Lamb's Pride Worsted for me or possibly FAD. Warm A** Hat in Casscade 220 from the Blue Blog for D.

3. What skeletons are in your knitting basket? The Branching Out scarf? It sort of mocks me. I'm not 100% sure of where I am in the pattern and am afraid to start it back up. Considering just binding off and leaving it as is, but it's not usable as is. Cotton is really not a good scarf yarn choice. But it's easy to see and tink as necessary. I'm not sure how I feel about lace knitting.

4. What's your favorite project? The Ucan2 shell fits well, it's probably my best garment followed closely by Sitcom Chic, but is made of crappy yarn, it would be gorgeous in a silk, merino blend. Really enjoy the Nantasket basket pattern. It knits up fast and is such a satisfying felt. It's a bonus that you have this practical little basket when you are done. I even made one to mimic the Longaberger Horizon Of Hope baskets I display in E's bedroom. She loves the little felted HOH basket.
5. What project(s) will you never knit again?

Anything in Lion Brand Homespun.

It's awful.

It splits and pulls apart.

Horrible to knit.

No more.


6. What was your major knitting accomplishment for the last year? I successfully finished all of my planned Christmas knitting (five hats, a Nantasket, two mittens, and 11 or 12 trivets) on time and did not drive myself crazy doing it. I feel that I've expanded my skill set.

7. What's your favorite yarn from the last year? Lamb's Pride Worsted.
8. What's your favorite yarn overall? Lamb's Pride Worsted.

9. What new knitting techniques have you learned. Mattress stitch, tons of new stitch combinations to do Clapatis, that was a watershed in learning to follow a pattern for me. Tried Kitchener stitch for my socks, still working on that technique. Blocking in general. Being sure gauge is correct. Using the right sized needles really can make a big difference. Long tail cast on. LOVE it! Gave a go at continental knitting. Even though I'm a lefty continental is difficult. I've taken my felting to a new level, felted knits the book has been a huge resource. Tried Entrelarc. Applied I cord. Cables in Toddle, Hatmione and mittens, bobbles. Learned to knit from a chart working on Branching out and the Hatmione set.

I've actually purchased patterns and yarn online with great success.

10. What are your knitting goals for 2006.
In no particular order.

Passing Level One to become a Master Knitter.

Evelyn Clarks Flower Basket Shawl, not sure if I'm ready yet but it's a goal.

Unbiased, or something, anything, in recycled silk.

I want to try socks again, Jaywalkers in a great sock yarn, maybe two from the toe up on circs.

A felted Booga Bag in Noro Kureyon. Who am I kidding anything in Noro of any kind. Klaralund in Silk Garden would be a treat.

A hat in Manos de Uruguay. Ok, anything in Manos.

The Entrelarc Suki. I think I'm ready.

An Aran styled sweater, maybe a small one for E.

Crumpets for E in lavender Cotton Ease and some nifty little glass beads.

The Ribby Cardi from ChicKnits. I like the idea of learning to put in a zipper.

Fuzzy Feet

Fiber Trend Fleted Clogs

I've been toying with the idea of knitting and felting as art for a while now. Grandma Elsie worked in oil at the end of her life. Her paintings are proudly displayed in a number of homes. I like the idea of creating some sort of fiber based art that has longevity beyond a knitted garment that can be displayed. Not sure of when or how I will go about this but it's something I'm thinking about.

My Thoughts on My Knitting

It was really interesting going through my FO's for this meme. I've been knitting for awhile but I really did not become confident reading patterns until this year. I had not done a sweater in years before I tackled Bob. Bob did not turn out so great but I felt good about actually completing a sweater after so long, and this time following a pattern and not just making things up as I went along.

It was interesting to see just how much acrylic I was knitting. It was cheap and easy to work with, but it produced lackluster FO's. I was not willing to spend the money on higher quality yarn at that point. Cheap acrylic made sense at the time. But I feel like I have worked my way through the cheap acrylic stage and have entered the yummy yarn stage. I've found a decent LYS and several online stores. I'm now willing to spend a bit more on higher quality yarn because I'm feeling more confident in my skill.

Not to knock acrylic too much. Acrylic has it's place, except for Lion Brand Homespun it's just terrible.

I think I found this meme at a good time in my knitting. So for I've been knitting whatever looks good and is in my budget and skill set, or just beyond my skill set so I can stretch a bit. But I've really not been very purposeful in my knitting. I like the idea of setting knitting goals for 2006. I like the idea of continuing to improve my skill set. I really like the idea of trying out different yarns.

Looking at my list of goals above I really want to try out different yarns. I'll just keep the really expensive yarn projects small.

Regarding Stash Enhancement

I'm all for stash enhancement. I do want to reevaluate the stash. It might be time to purge some things. I really want to continue to work through my stash. I struggle with some of my stash especially the high end Grandma Janette yarn. I don't have that much left. That yarn is like a physical connection between us. Maybe that yarn would be good to keep and use in a fiber art project. I like that idea.

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