Due to our trip away over the Christmas break I didn’t do my usual posts of my Top 5 Christmas Cards and my Top 5 Favourite Cards of 2014, so instead, I thought I would regale you with 2014 In Wool!! 2014 was the year that I became obsessed with making socks, I have no idea why but I still can’t stop making them and I never seem to have less than three projects on the go at any one time! I’m desperate to make something else, but here we are, five days in to the New Year and I already have two pairs cast on and I’m eying up patterns for February too. In fact, I’ll go as far as to admit that I’ve made an Excel spreadsheet with a month by month breakdown of which pattern to knit in which month with which yarn, there’s even a backup pattern and yarn if my first choice doesn’t work out!!
I started 2014 out really well by making a really lovely cowl for Andrew in a simple basket weave pattern. He chose Madeline Tosh Yarn in Glazed Pecan for this and I have to say that he was spot on. It looks really great and he wears it a lot too.
Now we begin the Sockfest!!
January ~ Flying Arrows Socks. My first lace pattern. I had a goal in 2014 to try lace for the first time so quite a lot of my socks last year featured that technique.
February ~ Raspberry Twist Socks. Cables and moss stitch, I thought they would take a long time to knit but at just three weeks they became my second quickest pair of the year.
March ~ A Nice Ribbed Sock. A pair for Andrew and these ones did take forever! That boy has big feet! He likes them very much but considers them to be very special, so he will only wear them in the house!
March ~ Three Leaf Clover Socks. Another lace pattern, this time in 100% pure Merino wool. They’re incredibly soft and luxurious but pure wool doesn’t wear as well as socks reinforced with a bit of nylon so I have to be careful with them.
April ~ Cathedral Grove Socks. Cables, lace and ribbing all combined! This pair also have a heel knitted in pattern (instead of a plain heel) which was a first for me.
May ~ I worked on three pairs this month but got nothing finished, probably because the weather finally warmed up and I was busy outside more. Plus we had a 10 day break in, very humid, Mexico towards the end of the month.
June ~ Spring Ferns. Another lace pattern but one that I made a lot of mistakes with for some reason, they’re also a bit tight which is very unusual for lace as it’s typically very stretchy. They’re my least favourite make all year, I’m not even sure they made it on to this blog.
July ~ Tribute. A Mystery Sock knit-along! The clues were released on the first four Mondays in June and you had until the end of July to produce a finished pair of socks. I waited to see how they were shaping up before starting my pair though. Another pair with a lot of lace in them.
July ~ Hermione’s Every Day Socks. Part of a set of Harry Potter tribute socks, I have plans to knit more but started with these, the second most popular sock pattern on Ravelry with 8,471 pairs made so far! These are a plain-ish sock but they turned out to be one of my most favourite pairs ever.
August ~ Harlequin Socks. These were a pair of Plain Jane’s that accompanied me to race tracks, plane journeys and even to Mexico. I had absolutely no deadline with them, they were just picked up and put down whenever but they were finally finished in August.
September ~ Amble. Another pair that I ended up not liking but I persevered with anyway. The problem was that the sizing was out a bit on the pattern and they could have done with being a bit bigger. That and the fact that I picked a yarn that mostly obscured the pattern so that they really don’t look like much of anything!
September ~ Jaywalkers. At 10,564 projects this is the most popular sock pattern on Ravelry, I had to give it a go to see what all the fuss was about! It makes a really fun pair out of what might otherwise be, fairly boring striped yarn, yet the pattern is super easy to remember so they fly right off the needles!
September ~ Rhombus Socks. Back to the lace after a break, I loved the way this pattern flowed, it was quick and easy. A lot of this pair got knitted whilst we were on a break up in Northern Michigan, the weather was a little cooler than normal with a chill wind blowing in off Lake Michigan. We found a perfect spot on the beach in a sand dune that acted as a perfect windbreak, so I would set my chair up and knit for an hour whilst Andrew read!
October ~ Aquaphobia Socks. A pattern designed to break up yarns that are dyed with very short colour runs, these yarns often look fantastic in the skein but when you wind them into a ball you see their true nature and you think “what the hell an I going to make with this”!! Thankfully there are patterns out there to make ugly yarn beautiful again. You can see the colour pooling around the heels, that’s what the whole sock would have looked like if the colours were not broken up by the pattern. Having said that, the yarn these socks are made from is wonderfully soft and has proved to be hard wearing too.
November – Busy knitting away but never got anything finished. I also tried toe up socks this month as it’s a very popular way of knitting socks, but everything I made came out huge. It’s not for me, but as so many people swear by it I’ll probably give it another go and see if I can figure out what I’m doing wrong.
December ~ Neldoreth Socks. This is the pair that I’m most proud of this year. It’s by far the most complicated sock pattern that I’ve tackled yet with nine charts to their construction. They took a lot of persevering and I had to ask a lot of questions on Ravelry as I got confused a couple of times, but I’m so happy they worked out. They’re probably the most commented upon pair this year, especially by my work colleagues who saw me making them during my lunch breaks!
December ~ Kalajoki Socks. This pair turned out to be the speediest knit of the year at just 11 days, beating my previous record by a whole 10 days! It’s amazing what a deadline will do for you!! I gifted them to a friend, a Japanese colleague who was returning to Japan full time. I taught her to knit in October and she loved seeing how my socks turned out so I made her her very own pair to take home. I got them finished the evening before her last day in the office so it was really down to the wire. I really enjoyed making these ones actually and plan a pair for myself at some point.
And that was it in terms of finished projects at least. I did mention that I tried toe up socks twice but pulled them out, I also knit one complete sock called Petoskey Stones but it’s sized for dwarfs I think so that needs to be ripped out, and I’m also making another pair of the ribbed socks for Andrew and have one completed, just need to make it a mate.
The stats on all of this was 15 completed pairs. September was my best month with three finished pairs, followed by two in March, July and December. May and November had no completed pairs. In total I used 3.28 miles of yarn on the finished projects, but I’m willing to bet that more yarn mileage than that entered my house this year!!
And goals for 2015? I really, really need to knit something that ISN’T a sock!! Really, anything!! But I do still predict a good number of socks will be knit too. I also received new yarn for Christmas presents and I have it on good authority that more will be coming in a few days when it’s my birthday, so I have a nice lot of yarn to play with now and will be “Cold Sheeping” for a while, that is, I’ll be knitting from stash for as long as possible.
Already on the needles are two pairs of socks, one of which is the mate to Andrews half completed socks and one is the start of a new pair, and don’t faint, but I’m also working on a set of cabled fingerless mitts for me to go with a cowl I knit myself in 2013. And as it’s -13C (feels like -23C) outside right now I’d better get a move on with those!!