Last year around this time I decided to do a round up of all my knitting projects in 2014 so I thought I’d do it again. 2014 was definitely about keeping my feet warm. My feet, I’m happy to report, were just as warm in 2015, but other parts of me got to be warm too!
I knitted the same number of socks last year as I did the year before, but the big difference last year was in the accessories. All I managed in 2014 was one cowl for Andrew, everything else was a pair of socks, not so in 2015 but we’ll get to that in a bit.
So here’s a month by month breakdown:
January ~ Unsurprisingly the month started with socks. Pretty lace ones in a bright orange yarn. The pattern is Crescendo by Laura Jenkins and the yarn is hand dyed from Canadian dyer Tanis Fibre Arts in the Orange Blossom colourway.
February ~ Birthday socks for Andrew. Cheaper, big box yarn that he picked because of the bright colour and I think subconsciously, they reminded him of Giraffes! Just a simple rib patttern, he has big feet and I know a rib is going to fit him well.
The first accessory appeared in February too. Staghorn Cable Mitts to match a cowl I made at the end of 2013. The pattern was for wrist warmers but I lengthened them into fingerless mitts. Yarn is Stonehedge Shepherd’s Wool in worsted weight (UK Aran), my local yarn here in Michigan.
March ~Harry Potter inspired socks, these are Socks For The Deputy Headmistress knit in big box craft store yarn but they’re my favourite cheaper brand and they wear really well. (Patons Kroy).
April ~ A hat for me! This is Clun Forest hat, knit in a different colour of the Stonehedge yarn that I made the fingerless mitts with. A pretty, simple and quick knit.
And a pair of simple socks, Snow Queen Socks, for the Snow Queen in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe books/films. The yarn was hand dyed in Maine using old lobster pots as the dye kettle, the colour is Cape Sky.
Another pair of April socks were Alluvial Deposits, these were much more complicated and I thought they’d never be finished. I knitted them everywhere, even on a beach in South Carolina! These socks use my absolute favourite yarn for socks, Holiday Yarns Flock Sock, the colour here is Seaglass.
May ~ Back to the Harry Potter themed socks for May, these are Moody Stockings (though technically wouldn’t Mad Eye only require one sock?), a gansey inspired textured knit using a 75% bamboo/25% nylon mix so no wool in these at all. They’re very soft and surprisingly heavy and more of a sport weight than a fingering.
June ~ It seems I did a lot of fandom knitting in 2015 and I’ve only just realised it! These socks are Dr. Who inspired, Weeping Angels, named for those creepy angel statues that move! I bought this yarn whilst on holiday in South Carolina, although it’s a Californian yarn, Pagewood Farms. I wear these a lot.
July ~ More Literary fandom up next, these are Nemesis, named after the Miss Marple book/program of the same name. I loved making these, the yarn was sublime, it has cashmere in it, and I adored the simple, yet effective, pattern.
August ~ Mme Bovary socks, yes, more literary themed socks! These were a mystery knit-a-long, the pattern is split into four clues and you get one a week. I think these are my least favourite pair this year though, I’m never keen on all over lace at the best of times, but most lace patterns have an all knit rest row between lace rows. These ones didn’t and I hated the lace on lace rows as they hurt my hands. I almost didn’t make the second sock!
An August pair I did love though are these, Ugly Duckling socks, so called because you take an ugly skein of yarn and pair it with a solid yarn and a slip stitch pattern and an amazing transformation takes place. The results are remarkable and they look incredibly difficult, like stranded knitting only they’re neither stranded nor difficult! I made mine with scraps of yarn from other sock projects. The technique is called Mosaic Knitting.
September ~ A busy month on the knitting front with three projects started and finished in September, that’s a record. First up was another hat, Thistle Hat in more of the Stonehedge Worsted yarn, this was left over from a scarf I made for Andrew a couple of years ago. As you can see, it’s only small, so it knitted up in no time.
Next was a cowl to go with the hat I made in April, another quick knit and it used up the rest of the yarn I had used to make the cowl with so it cost me nothing, as did the Thistle Hat. It’s called Twisted Willow, and I still haven’t blocked it as I really like how it hugs my neck instead of gaping open.
Finally for September, a pair of socks, and we’re back on the Harry Potter theme. Tentacular Leaves. These have been in my queue for ages but they’re pretty complicated, seven charts, and I was more than a bit intimidated, but breaking it down in to individual pieces and not looking at all of the charts as one entity, meant I had them done in just 23 days! The yarn was also bought in South Carolina, and it’s incredibly soft and a bit fuzzy as it contains Llama.
October ~ I worked on a larger project and two pairs of socks but got nothing finished this month. I really thought I’d finished something every month last year, but apparently not!
November ~ My most favourite pair of socks all year, possibly of all time, were made in November. I used Holiday Yarns Flock Sock again (see April) and cemented my love for it, the stitch definition is amazing for cables, and I love cables too! Pattern is Wheatsheaf Socks and the yarn colour is Amethyst.
The second November pair were another of the Mosaic technique socks (see August) and I don’t know how I feel about these ones. The bright yarn is 100% Merino so it should be beautiful and sumptuous but it’s not, it’s very splitty; it’s also dyed in very short colour runs and it seems to contain every colour known to man! I would have preferred to pair it with black but I only had this dark gray. I think it’s a pair that probably looks better close up as most of the grey pattern on the sock is rather lost. The pattern is Zarathustra.
December ~ I seemed to finish the year with a bang! The “big project” mentioned above was finished. It’s a scarf/shawlette, my first. I made it with 100g of Stonehedge fingering weight yarn (4 ply) in the Roasted Pumpkin colour; the scarf is called Saroyan after a character in a TV show.
I also finished socks this month. These are Meera & Jojen from the Fire and Ice series of books, so more fandom ones, although I’ve never read the books. They’re simple ones with a fraternal lace section running down the outside of each one. The yarn is Araucania from Peru and as it uses pure new wool and not Merino, they’re very woolly socks, but they softened considerably after washing.
And over Christmas I started and finished a hat, Prim, and made my first ever pompom, as an adult at least!, to go on it. I made it to match the fingerless mitts from February and a cowl I made at the end of 2013, so I have my first matching set now, all made with the Stonehedge Worsted yarn which I absolutely love!
And below is the complete set of hat, cowl and mitts.
There were a couple of other things on the needles in 2015 too. I test knit for a designer for the first time to check out her pattern and ask questions/report any mistakes/ offer pattern advice for clarification etc. I only had to make one sock for that, but I do plan on making a mate for it, after all, one sock isn’t any use to man nor beast! But the pattern isn’t slated to be released until 1 Feb, so I can’t show any pictures of it until that time.
I also should have had a second pair of socks finished in December, but they got put aside in favour of the Prim hat! I’ve started working on them again and they should be finished soon, I have the heel and the foot to do of the second one, basically 50% of one sock or 25% of a pair left to do. Here’s the completed sock, it’s called Paragon.
So the totals for 2015 were:
- 14 pairs of socks
- 2 single socks
- 3 hats
- I pair of mitts
- I cowl
- 1 long scarf
And all of that added up to 3.17 miles of yarn used, or 5,581 yards, but that total doesn’t include the test sock or the half pair shown above.
So, looking forward to 2016, what’s on the cards, or the needles for that matter? I definitely want to try stranded knitting, you know, fairisle. Nothing big, like a jumper, I’ll start with a pair of socks and maybe move on to a nice hat of something like that. I’d also like to continue knitting more accessories, especially shawls. I have some fantastic yarn in my stash that’s 100% Merino wool, which won’t make brilliant socks because it lacks nylon content, but it would make fantastic lacy or cabled shawls. So that’s my plan for the coming months.