recap of 2018

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of 2018. Granted, when I look back at photos I can see that it was cram packed with all kinds of things - family, friends, travel, kittos, nature, learning, and a fair share of knitting! While I didn’t quite get any more items complete from my 2018 Make Nine then I had at the halfway point, I ended up with quite a few FOs. (finished objects)

Before we get into those, I just want to do a little tally of all of the projects I’ve had my hands on this year.

Frogged: 1 (I only completely gave up on one project this year, yeah! It was the vest on my 2018 Make Nine knit entirely in Fisherman’s Rib and I had to translate all of the instructions from Norwegian. I was 3/4 done when it reverted back to rolled up yarn and I haven’t thought about it since!)

Finished: 14 (Wowsa! I really took a leap into some uncharted (and many charted) territories this past year. This number of completed projects includes 3 sweaters, 2 spring/summer tops, 5 shawls/scarves, 4 accessories, all pictured below)

UFOs that I’ll take into 2019: 4 (I really, really wanted to finish up all my wips by tonight at midnight. But then I got really stressed about it and (with the help of a pep talk from Dylan) realized that I was being quite silly putting imaginary (unachievable) deadlines on myself. So I dropped all of them. So they’re all still wips, and I’m totally cool with it.)

Sweater Knits

My first CO and FO of 2018 was The Weekender by Andrea Mowry. I tackled some new techniques like a tubular cast on and bind off as well as a three needle bind off. The sweater turned out gloriously warm and I’ve gotten a lot of wear out of it. I loved that it was knit inside out (so that reverse stockinette was just plain ole’ stockinette!) Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Caribou

Over the summer I joined a knit-along (my first!) on Ravelry for the Wool & Honey sweater (also by Andrea Mowry). The honeycomb pattern was addictive to knit (it’s not embroidered afterward, but knit using slipped stitches as you work the yoke.) I tried something different, which failed miserably, and then when I reknit as the pattern intended I discovered that my gauge was way off and had to rip back again. There’s probably the equivalent of at least 2.5 sweaters’ knitting on this one. But sometimes, that’s what you’ve got to do in order to be truly happy, right? Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Peerie in Klimt

My last sweater of the year was the most challenging knit I’ve ever set forth to complete. The Ixchel Sweater by Catherine Clark was on the cover of Pom Pom Quarterly’s issue 26 and I was instantly mesmorized by its beauty. I also did a lot (a lot, a lot) of frogging on the Ixchel because I was so new to colorwork, but in the end I couldn’t be happier. Bonus happy points because I got to meet the designer the first day I wore the sweater! Yarn: Magpie Fibers Swanky Sock in Empty Night and Moonbeam

Spring / Summer Tops

Both of my warmer weater tops incorporated lacework, which I was entirely new to!

Tegna, by Boyland Knitworks was my first ever lacework. I ended up making it a tank rather than 3/4 sleeves for two reasons. Firstly, I thought I’d personally get a lot more wear out of it as a tank and secondly, I was knitting it at the same time as a friend and wanted to debut it together at knit night, so I was in a bit of a hurry. I left the sleeves and the majority of the neckline with a raw finish, but I may go back one of these days to give them a more finished look. Yarn: YOTH Best Friend in Mint

I guess I was rather confident with my lacework abilities because shortly after I finished my Tegna, I signed up for a test knit design featuring lace. Just Nicole by Kate Oates was not initially designed as a short sleeve top, but when I got to the part of casting on for the sleeves I asked Kate if I could make mine short sleeved, and she loved the idea. She included both short and long sleeve versions in her published pattern and even featured my knit in the product photos :) Yarn: YOTH Neighbor in Natural

Shawls / Scarves

The only other knit from my Make Nine 2018 that I completed was my Find Your Fade shawl by Andrea Mowry (I am beginning to see a designer as well as yarn affinity in my projects!) This project called for a lot of firsts: first shawl; first time using a “small” needle (it was a US 4!); first time using stainless steel needles rather than bamboo; first time “fading” (I need more practice); first time with yarn overs; first time with picot bindoff. All in all, I really enjoyed the process and this is by far the piece I get the most wear of. Yarns: Madeline Tosh Sock in Geode; Tempting Ewe So Sparkly Sock in Muted and Junkyarn Smooth Sock in Eleven

My next two shawls were both test knits. I first finished the Big Braid Shawl by PremKnits featuring a large braided cable and some slipped stitches. I ran out of yarn in the process, and of course the yarn that I was using was discontinued, so I had to pick a different color for the last several rows. I think it adds a nice dimension to an otherwise solid color knit. Those are the “mistakes” that turn out kind of wonderful. Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Peacock and Moss.

My other test knit shawl was for my friend/famous pattern designer, Christina Danaee. The Sunrise Garden shawl featured the linen stitch, which was oddly satisfying. I picked spring colors to brighten both my mood and my wardrobe palette, and it totally worked. Yarn: Echoview Fiber Mill Botanically Dyed Merino in Madder, Light Madder and Goldenrod

You know when you just magically have the yarn for something that is an amazing pattern that just happens to be free? That’s exactly what happened with the Wonder Woman Wrap by Carissa Browning. When I first got into knitting, Dylan signed me up for three months of Knit Crate, a subscription knitting service. I got three boxes, each with a pattern and the yarn to complete the pattern. I was really new to knitting, and I didn’t really love any of the patterns, so I just stashed the yarn. When I saw the Wonder Woman Wrap, for the first time ever, I knew I had the perfect yarn for it. I loved, LOVED, knitting this wrap, and I think I completed it in record time (11 days). It now lives with a Wonderful Woman and dear family friend. Yarn: Knit One Crochet Too Crock-o-Dye Tomato and Amber

This past year we took a weekend trip to NYC, and I needed to knit myself a Gryffindor scarf for the occasion (are you a Harry Potter fan like I am? Have you gotten sorted on Pottermore.com?!?!) I had the perfect golden color and ran up to Black Mountain Yarn Shop to snag the perfect maroon. (When I asked for assistance with my color selecting, I was helped by a very nice Slytherin. Over Christmas, I found out that both my sister and her husband are also Slytherins and Dylan and my niece are Hufflepuffs!) I didn’t exactly finish the scarf to my liking, but I wore it anyways (I made the pattern up and found out a better way to do it beyond the point where I felt like I had time to start over). I’m thinking about frogging it next year and knitting it again (I got a cool patch at the play to add to it.) Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Peerie in Klimt and Vintner.

Accessories

Dog sweaters count as an accessory, right? In February of last year, I knit a cabled dog sweater for Sweater Pups, a non-profit that donates sweaters to rescue animals that go to live in colder climates. Oddly, despite it being so small, it was quite challenging for me! I kept messing up on my honeycomb cables and rather than let a poor pup have to walk around with a sweater full of mistakes, I kept going back to correct them. I never got to see it on a pup (and even Takk wouldn’t let me get it on him), but I am sure it looked adorable. Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver Solids in Burgandy

Another cabled accessory I knit was the Glendalough Hat by Verena Cohrs. Maybe I’m just not great with cabling yet and should stick to the big braids, as this hat was really really difficult for me. It was a test knit (that I stress knit, essentially) involving a lot of twisted cables and twisted rib and twisted brain. It turned out pretty, but I haven’t worn it. Yarn: Echoview Fiber Mill Fair Isle Merino in Purple

The third accessory I knit was the Underwing Mitts by Erica Heuser. It was my very first successful colorwork project! And I knit on super duper small needles - US 1 folks! Since I didn’t think I could manage colorwork on DPNs, I opted for small circulars. My hands get cramped thinking about it. But it really was a lot of fun watching the pattern unfold, so much fun that I’m knitting them again, as these lovely handwarmers live with my bestie. Another cool first with these guys: dupllicate stitch - applied after everthing is knit! Yarn: Magpie Fibers Solo Fingering in Selkie and Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Birthday Cake (I think!)

My final accessory was the Fidra Hat by Gudrun Johnston. I was super super excited for this knit because it was a sample knit requested by Echoview in their Hayley yarn, which had me drooling the first time I set eyes on it. The knit was fast and fun, and would you believe I didn’t even snap a pic of it before I gave it to them!?! All I have is a wip pic and great memories, but I can easily see myself making another one of these. Yarn: Echoview Fiber Mill Hayley in Undyed/Natural

And that’s a wrap on 2018, friends! Next year, I want to expand my repetoire of techniques while seeking what calls to me. I want to try different garments, new designers and new yarns! (The last photo in the grid is a couple of my wips headed into the new year with me!)

How was your year of knitting? Big plans for 2019? (I need ideas!)