Friday, January 6, 2012

Crafted in 2011

So I'm a good bit behind, but the holidays managed to knock me out rather well and I'm still only just recovering but I still wanted to take at least a bit of a look back on 2011.

Now I don't want to sound too conceited but I made a lot of awesome things last year. Hooray for Ravelry keeping tabs on all of the craftiness (although there are probably non yarn crafts that are missed). Not sure if this is a good or bad thing but I'm pretty proud of myself looking back on it all:

I started the year knitting a hat for myself from some special hand-spun fiber. It was my self indulgent project after holiday that was filled with crafting for others. The knitting came out well but it didn't quite fit, and I never managed to take a picture. I really ought to rectify that.

Probably at the same time I was working on three scarves for the Special Olympics Project (awesome) that I never photographed before mailing. Oops.

Soon it was February and I was feeling the weight of the dreary cold yuckiness that is winter. So I decided to run with the project I had seen from Alice at Futurecraftgirl. My colorful and much loved hex tote was born.

Next I wanted to once again attempt socks. I decided that two at a time would be a much smarter idea to avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome. Unfortunately I ended up really not caring much for the color and the fit wasn't particular good. Plus these suckers took forever. Oops.

Participating once again in iHanna's postcard swap I needed a way to top the previous years amazing knitting post cards. So I opted for crochet post cards :-) Well plus a bit of painting cutting gluing sewing and taping.

I was still on a bit of a color phase so when I bought a spiffy phone it certainly needed a colorful spiffy phone case.

Being fascinated by the idea of using reclaimed yarn I ended up purchasing 5 or so sweaters from the thrift store. This pink yarn was sheep with some angora and I wanted to try my hand at knitting a full adult sweater from it. It took a while but things went really well. I love the pattern but the arm holes really are way too huge on me, live and learn once again. Also I probably should have taken a photo after attaching both sleeves.
By late spring early summer I had been bitten quite hard by the spinning bug (in preparation for the TDF) but I still wanted to have some kind of awesome knitting in process. So I made another attempt at socks. These suckers were once again ungodly slow. I think I only just finished in November. Plus the toes are really funky, the heels a bit odd (I think I lost count) and the amazing owls on the top of the socks make them way too tight. Actually I have in mind to rip back the owls and add in some increases before the owls this time. Ideally after this I'll actually wear them.
The years Pierre De Resistance however is easily this sweater. First I prepped Max's raw fiber. Then during the TDF I spun over a mile of laceweight yarn on my spindles. And after all that work the actual knitting wasn't even terribly daunting. I loves it.
It was off to the races when I decided to start crafting items to sell at the museum's Christmas Market. These little ornaments actually sold a few even. And really they were so cute and the tiny socks quickly became a favorite item of mine to knit.
These little critters were just so stinking cute I couldn't help but love them. Except that while the pattern was absolutely well written I still didn't enjoy the knitting. In the end while expected to do the best these little guys did not sell well at all. But they still made great gifts for a number of my friends and family.
The idea to recreate my hex totebag, except simpler, was actually the first idea of selling things. Working with lots of colors is always fun.
I fell headfirst into the awesome that is knitting with super-bulky yarn. I could churn out a whole scarf in what felt like no time flat.
I am constantly sharing my projects with my coworkers. And when one of them brought in a knitted headband from super-bulky yarn (commercially knit) I couldn't help but do some legwork and come up with a pattern that helped me create what was virtually an exact copy. Plus it was still a fast knit - one night wonders.
A friend requested hats to be donated to go to kids with cancer. First I churned out this pretty although maybe not my most favorite hat.
Then it was back to the super bulky for some quick and easy hats that are awesomely warm and squishy.
Bran needed a hat for a Christmas present as well and the love affair with super bulky continued. He is becoming quite good at appreciating the things I make him, even if he'll never pick it up again - haha.
While home for the holiday's I knew I'd be seeing the friend who got me started with spinning and alpacas. She has 5 pet alpacas and loaded me up with like 15 pounds of raw alpaca 3 years ago which was when I learned to spin. I still have yet to work through all of that fiber, although I am finally starting to make a dent. But anyways I do try to make at least one gift for her each year to repay her generosity. This little guy was surprisingly quick and easy. And un-surprisingly amazingly cute and awesome. He totally needs his own blog post.

Ok so I do believe it is safe to say that my crafting output absolutely explodes in the fall/early winter. Kinda should have known that already...

Also in 2011 we have a few projects that didn't quite make it onto the Finished Object list, but have enough progress that I think they deserve shout-outs as well.

The newly learned skill of 2011 was definately stranded colorwork. These mittens currently stand at one finished and the second still only needs the decreasing top and thumb (so about where this picture is at). The yarn is super super soft alpaca purchased at Knitters Day Out 2010 from Dunn Spun Alpacas. I am super anxious for these guys to be finished.
I discovered the wonder that is amazing yarns and very good prices. I couldn't resist ordering a sample card and managed to justify buying a cone of yarn at the same time. It's this crazy thin laceweight cashmere blend and I have like a zillion yards. So I decided to attempt my first shawl. Despite being a simple pattern (so far) this is not simple knitting. It requires gobs of attention and as it grows each row is taking longer and longer. But I'm pretty determined so I'll finish it in 2012 and it'll be amazing!

Here's to continued crafting awesomeness in 2012!!!

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