Thursday 31 December 2015

2015 in review

Some of my handmade Christmas gifts: Honey Cowl for my mum, stockings for the kinder teachers, Purl Soho skirt for my neice.

It's the last day of the year and as the year draws to a close I inevitably begin reflecting upon the days that had passed. This year has been a big year for me as a maker. I learnt many new things and achieved some of my goals but also failed at things too because some things are a bit beyond me for the stage of life I'm currently in.

Looking at the post I wrote back at the beginning of January where I set out my goals and making list for 2015 I feel pretty happy with what I managed to tick off in the months that followed that post. You can read the full details of the post, or just for a recap here is what I aimed to achieve in 2015:

2015 Making List

Some general aims I have for this year are:
1) To stash less* and knit from my existing stash as much as possible.
2) To knit up those patterns that I have queued.
3) To finish those few projects that I hibernated a long time ago.
4) To give handmade = knitted gifts.
5) To keep trying new things and learning new skills.
6) and under the influence of ex-physio husband; to take care of myself physically as a knitter - stretching and resting the hands, shoulders and neck muscles regularly etc.

Finish Rye socks for Ba
High water for Sir S
Bonnet for Baby Cheng

Baby cardigan for A’s baby no.2
Livie for Miss L (birthday present)
beanie for Sir S (birthday present)

Mitini mitts for SIL** (birthday present)
Windschief for Bro  (birthday present)
Softie for Niece L (birthday present); needs to be sent to USA so I've got to work on it early.

Neon ski bonnet for me; in preparation for our snow trip.
Hat for hubby (anniversary present)
Neon ski bonnet for Miss L; because I want to make a matching hat for my little girl.

Finish Salander leggies for M; which is an overdue present from last year's birthday.
Bella Shawl or Span for me; I think either of these might be a good knit to travel with, but might turn out to be too ambitious.

Start Christmas projects; I know it sounds crazy but some of these presents need to be sent overseas so I better get onto them early.

Socks for BIL
Hat for SIL
Quaintly for Niece L

Scarf for SIL
Socks for Bro
Socks for Ba

Kinder teachers’ presents
cowl for Ma

Christmas stockings for the family
I remember beginning quite strongly in January and managing to tick off the items that I had listed and added a few too. Everything was following the list pretty swimmingly until about March when I got a bit too overconfident and started casting on an extra project here and there when I felt a bit bored with the existing WIPs. It was around this time that I took on a comissioned project for a friend. I found the experience of knitting for "work" challenging, but it was mostly because I accepted the project while I was already trying to knock out a couple of birthday presents for family members.

When little Miss L got really sick around Easter and I was majorly sleep deprived the only thing I (and she) found some joy in was a trip to the LYS and the purchase of a sweater lot of yarn. I haven't made anything with that lot of Shilasdair luxury DK yet but it kind of opened the floodgates to the idea that yes, I can be a sweater knitter. 

That leads me to talk about how I went with stashing less and knitting my stash. I failed miserably at stashing less. I probably went the other way than stashing less and actually began acquiring sweater lots of yarn throughout the year with big dreams of knitting so many cosy jumpers to build my handmade wardrobe. In reality I only managed one adult jumper, a tee, a shrug and a half and an assortment of accessories. The handmade wardrobe is slowly building, hence it being "slow fashion", but the stash is not getting any less. There has just been so many yarns calling out to me this year and you know there is always next year to try better at stashing less.

In terms of some of my other goals, I did manage to make most of the gifts that I gave this year. Even when I was feeling completely time poor and overwhelmed with the prospect of knitting another baby gift I felt even more overwhelmed with the thought of taking two children to the shops. So I pushed myself and made lots of baby hats and even a couple of cowls for girls who had invited Sir S to their birthday parties.

Happy Homemade: Sew Chic Kids have easy shorts that even a sewing newbie like me can manage.

I do believe I kept trying new techniques. I learnt to knit cables without a cable needle, I did a circular yoke for the first time, I knit socks cuff down and toe up, I did some test knitting, I did a couple of KALs and I started sewing. I also made it to The Craft Sessions and had a go at dyeing and weaving and in general had a fabulous time meeting lots of very talented crafty people.

As you can imagine with all these new things that I was trying lots of different projects were being cast on and I did kind of lose track of my making list. Everything kind of fell apart towards Christmas as I found myself becoming a bit of a selfish knitter and all my WIPs were 'me' projects. I decided I wasn't going to be able to knit all my Christmas gifting this year so I commandeered my mother's sewing machine and found the simplest and quickest sewing projects that a newbie like me could handle.

I made this apron for my brother and I got the 'pattern' from Purl Soho.

I guess it's no surprise that this year I made more than I have ever made before. I'm still determing what goals I will set for 2016 but I'm pretty sure it'll be another big year for little ol' me. 

Thanks for reading this little blogging adventure of mine. It's been a pleasure to put my thoughts out there this year and also such a delight to know that there are a few readers following my ramblings. I hope you've had a productive year too and look forward to continuing this journey together next year.

Have a happy new year everyone.

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