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Friday, December 31, 2021

Year in Review (2021)

What I like when I come to write about my year of crafting is looking back to the end of last year to see if what I am making has changed and looking at my plans at the start of the year also to see if they changed.

One thing I definitely didn’t take into account was a yarn store closing, resulting in a big addition to my stash and two projects being started as soon as yarn was purchased. Although it could be argued that this was balanced out by no big events in 2020 and 2021. And there was the sudden decision to start another left overs blanket.

I had 43 items on the needles in 2021. Four of these, including the mitred squares, were from previous years. I then cast on four new things on January 1st. Having got rid of a load of WIPs it makes sense to create a load more, right? And creating numerous new projects is an idea worth repeating as you will see in my 2022 plans post.

Of those 43 projects, only one was frogged and I am impressed that I made the decision in the same year that I started it although I did not have plans for the yarn. Seven of the total were crochet projects and only three were gifts but nearly all the hats (14) were for charity.

In 2021 I completed 7 shawls or wraps, 16 hats and 1 headband, 1 garment, 6 pairs of socks, 1 toy, and 3 dishcloths. The total is close to the total number of finished items last year although made up of smaller items. In all I knitted 7960 metres and crocheted 2024 meters. This was less than the total in but not surprising due to the closing down sale.

I really did not have big plans for 2021. I completed the two specific items – Advent socks and project from frogged yarn. I wrote that I was not going to buy yarn for hats but that changed as I made hats for a specific charity that required a specific type of yarn. The other type of knitting that was not planned was the dishcloths. I had that on my radar for 2022 to use up all my scraps of dishcloth cotton but I found myself in December with no mindless knitting but not wanting to start a major project before the end of the year. So I decided to make some dishcloths. It was surprising how many dishcloths I could make from scraps.

Happy New Year.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

A Recurring Theme

Initially I thought the theme was cheeky cast ons but it could be WIpping Wednesday or velcroed cats. Although that last one is a theme of my life. As soon as I sit down she is there. And by there I mean on my lap her body stuck to mine. This is why humans don’t have T-Rex arms – so our arms can go around cats and still work.

The theme I was thinking about was finished WIPs and cheeky cast ons. The WIP I finished was the crochet toy. I did not work on it consistently as I could only work on it when the recipient was not in the house and it was fiddly. The good thing about this finished item is that the recipient loves it and I am pleased that I don’t have to think about it anymore. It was fiddly because it was small pieces at a tight gauge with not tightly spun wool. Add to that a not brilliantly written pattern. I have drafted and re-drafted a post about patterns in general and composed a post in my head about this pattern in particular. Currently they are too long for a post but I hope that a post or two will appear at some point on the subject.

I purchased this pattern as a kit at the closing down sale and I am glad that I did not pay full price. Anyway here are a couple of photos. One of all the pieces and the other showing the finished dinosaur.

As for the cheeky cast on, which I started on vacation, that I am happy with. The yarn is left over from this project and works really well with this pattern which is WandererCap. I worked the rib with leftover yarn from the last hat shown here, working until I had insufficient yarn to finish a full round.

I am showing three photos of the hat so you can see the top and also how the yarn changes through out.


And as for WIPping Wednesday. I am down to three WIPs – one of which I have put aside. I am working the sideways border on the shawl and binding off the long band on the jacket. Neither of these are easy to pick up and put down in small chunks of time but slow and steady wins the race.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Finished Object, a Frog and a Sneaky Cast On

The finished object is the Advent Socks which I worked as a year long project. The pattern (from December 2020) was set up for one sock to be knit over 12 days. I knit one section on each sock every month. At the end of part 10 (October) I knew I was very close to the required length. In November I worked the few rows required before starting the toe shaping and then just decided to keep going and finish both socks so that would have to be one less thing to worry about in December.

These are not the best socks  have knit. Although I used sock yarn, as it is all leftovers, there is a difference in thickness and make up of each yarn. Also my swiss darning (duplicate stitch) is not wonderful in some places. But as the pattern is worked all around on the leg and foot they are double thickness and cosy and I was not concerned about exact fit. But I am very happy with them and will wear them around the Christmas season. The socks are made entirely from leftovers. On both socks I used up all of the original main colour but had other options to add in. 



I did not intend to frog the next project especially as I was using yarn that had come from a frogged project. I started a shawl on vacation in May and it was designated my vacation shawl but the yarn and pattern did not go together so I (metaphorically) ripped off the band aid and the shawl is now back to yarn. I really want to use this yarn as it was a gift (and I like it) but I think I am going to wait until I see just the right project and not try to force the yarn to fit in with something.


I was on vacation and did not want to take one of my WIPs because they weren’t at a convenient point to just pick up and knit. So I grabbed some needles and yarn for easy poolside and reading knitting. I completed a hat and a bit. The completed hat is the Molly hat and the yarn is more than likely YOTH Big Sister. (It was part of the big load that I was given from a friend of a friend's stash.) As this hat will go into next year’s charity pile, I worked the pattern as written and did not worry about the slouch which, generally, I am not a fan of.  The first photo shows the pattern and the second photo shows the colour.


I then used leftovers to cast on the Wanderer hat. Although this is intended for vacation knitting, if I can fit it in I will finish it before the end of the year just so that I have one less WIP.

Excluding the hat I cast on for vacation knitting, I have four WIPs plus two blankets and I am really excited by this number. In September the number was nine plus two. I am not working on one of these projects at all so that leaves me just under four weeks to finish three projects. As my husband said, that's one week for each project with some extra days leeway.

Of course, none of this is going to happen as I am writing this with a cat “velcroed” to me.