It had to happen at some point didn’t it! Other years I had either made dishcloths or socks, or both, so it wouldn’t have been too exciting looking back on them per se! But in 2013 I started to make other things too, still only small projects, and there were still a lot of socks in there too as they’re a great staple and being small projects, they’re easy to transport. So last year was the year that I feel that I branched out a bit more with the knitting, and using different yarns and techniques meant that I learnt something new with practically everything I made.
I started off with these plain Jane socks in January, technically they were started over the Christmas break, but I didn’t get them finished until mid January 2013. They used a cheap bamboo/wool mix bought from a big box craft store:
Next up was Andrew’s hat. Started and finished in March. It was made predominantly with wool that was produced here in Michigan from a little farm off the side of the road called Maple Ridge in Boyne City. The black is a blend of undyed Alpaca and Icelandic sheep from the farm, the red is a branded wool that was dyed on site.
A pair of fingerless gloves for me came next, started in March and finished in April although they were never seemed up until October so I don’t know if technically, I finished them in April or October! This was my first foray into “good” yarn, ie, expensive! And also my first foray into buying from a local yarn store instead of a big box craft store too. That’s another money pit right there, good yarn stores have way too much temptation! I also had to learn how to increase and decrease as I was going along, so these little mitts were a big jump forward for me.
More socks came next, the patterned pink pair were started in January but finally finished in October as they bored me to death for some reason, yet I make plain socks all the time that don’t bore me to death so I never really figured that one out! The multi coloured pair were just plain Jane socks that I started when I was in England in May on holiday. I love the colour of them but it also took until October to finish them. Both of these yarns ware cheaper brands from JoAnn’s, I have quite a lot of this type of yarn that I had a mad splurge on when I first started sock knitting. I’ve got some really nice colours and I’ll definitely keep plugging away at it and use it up.
My next project (after another visit to the local yarn shop) was a cowl for me. Loved making this and did it in three days flat, and I’ve worn it a lot too. I love the wool, Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool from Michigan, and it has fast become a favourite for me. I want to get another skein of this to add to my leftover bit and make some wrist warmers and a hat to match this cowl, sooner rather than later I think as we’re having some of the coldest weather SE Michigan has seen for a good 15 or so years (-16F since you ask, that’s a bone chilling -27C).
I did a little bit of Secret Santa knitting at work too during my lunch breaks for a few weeks. Andrew had asked me for a scarf he could wear with his hat and we had picked out the red wool when we were on holiday in Northern Michigan, it was Stonehedge again and it was my experience of knitting with this that prompted me to buy the purple skein for my own cowl. This scarf was started in October and finished at the end of November but was never blogged as Andrew looks at my blog from time to time and he might have seen it. As it was, he was very surprised and pleased to open this surprise gift on Christmas morning as all he’d seen me “selfishly” knitting at home was “stuff for me”!
Next up is another pair of socks for me, this time a cabled pair. I used some nice yarn for this too, Cascade Heritage Paints Sock Yarn in Forest. It knitted up beautifully and is a brand I’ll definitely use again. The cables were a big thing for me last year, I decided to learn how to do them and then went on to make a number of items with different cable patterns.
And that’s that for the fully finished items for 2013! I do have three WIP’s though, there’s this bag which has been on the go since June I think! I’ve made the bottom, one handle and one side panel, so just another handle and side panel and it will be ready for seeming and lining. I’ll pick it up again at some point as it’s taking up a project bag and I really don’t like too many WIPs about the place, I find them depressing for some reason, like I think I’ll never get them finished! Nothing has been washed or blocked yet, which is why the big cabled panel looks a bit scrunched up.
I also have two more pairs of socks on the go. The first is a ribbed pair for Andrew and I’m on to the foot of the first one, it’s nice yarn, Cascade Heritage Sock yarn again. Excuse my hand inside the sock! The ribbing doesn’t show up unless you sort of pull it apart, it’s going to make the socks very snug which is what I want as he says the first pair I made him are too big.
The second is a plain Jane pair for me with really jazzy colours in a bamboo/wool mix form the local craft store.
Although my list of makes isn’t large, I’m pleased with them. I set out to play with cables and to learn something new and I managed that quite well. For 2014 I want to do some small lace projects, that’s my goal, and to make something a bit bigger like a shawl or a wrap. But what I’ve started first is a quick little cowl for Andrew in a basket weave pattern with lovely smooshy wool that he chose from Madelaine Tosh. Like my own cowl it’s knitting up really quickly so I hope to have my first Finished Object of 2014 ready very soon.