2017 – My Year in Yarn

As the year draws to a close and with my last project off the hook I want to reflect back upon the last twelve months in yarn based projects.  And also crunch the numbers, I love statistics!

When I think back over the year the first thing that comes to mind is blankets as they took up the bulk of my crafting time.  I made two blankets this year, my Spice of Life Blanket and my Sunny Log Cabin Blanket.

While the blankets may have taken the most time, I think the most exciting make of the year would have to be publishing my first two patterns for a Swaledale Sheep and a Woolly Bully.

Last year was all about the wreaths with 16 wreaths made!  This year I only made 4.  My Moorland Wreath in the colours of Attic24’s CAL and with the interchangeable sheep or cow sitting inside; my Balloon Bunny Wreath; and two Mini Autumn Wreaths with little gnomes.

2016 also featured more socks, I made just two pairs this year Rhian Socks and a pair of basic socks.  I intend to make more next year and branch out further into patterned socks.

Sticking with the wearables I made six pairs of wrist warmers; Victorian Shell MittsGreen Thumb MittsRainbow Shell Wristwarmers; and after my children saw the rainbow mitts and declared them just like Wonder Woman’s gauntlets and requested a pair each, 3 more of the same pattern!

From feet and hands lets move up the body to shawls and scarves. Three of them this year.  Reyna ShawlSeafoam Scarf and Close to You.  I have several in my Ravelry queue for next year so I expect them to feature heavily in 2018.

To finish off the wearables, hats.  I also made a baby cardigan this year but as it had a matching hat it can sit in here!  So one hat for me, my Sweet Trellis Beanie, two Pixie Baby Hats, one hat with a matching cardigan and a Rainbow Toddler Hat.

Which brings us to the stuff which can’t be neatly categorised!  I made 8 butterfly flowerpots which I sold as Mother’s Day gifts. A Yarny. Three little sunflowers for A Flower for Jenny.  A Scottish Thistle.  A Yarndale Creative Heart.  A Fat Fabulous LadyChunky Holly, Two Baby Sloths, A Yarny Christmas Card and 7 little things to go in Christmas Crackers.

And finally two beautiful mandalas to bookend the year.  I made my Starflower Mandala in the first week of January and finished my Sophie’s Stool today with just a few days of the year remaining.

 

So drumroll please…

… 2017 a year in yarn in numbers.

2 blankets, 2 patterns, 4 wreaths, 2 pairs of socks, 6 pairs of wristwarmers, 3 shawls, 5 hats, a baby cardigan, 27 things that defy classification and 2 mandalas.  Phew!

54 separate items (if we count the pairs of socks and mitts as just one thing each).

Just 12 of them, or 22%, knitted the rest in crochet showing a clear bias towards my yarn craft of choice.  I would say that this is because the majority of the fiddly little bits are crochet but the biggest items, the blankets, are also crochet and so it seems fair to say that crochet is dominant here.

I wonder how next year will measure up!

Christmas 2017

I am planning to gather together all of my makes for the year into one post in the next few days but for now I am desperate to share some Christmas things.  I find it so hard to be crafting things without sharing all about them but at the same time I love a Christmas surprise! Although to be fair these have been on Instagram where most of my family are  not.

First up, my Christmas card.  When my children were younger (and less numerous) we put photographs of them on our Christmas cards but this has become more challenging as the years have gone by and I now tend to put something crafty on.  This is this year’s.

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The penguin is my own design (and also features at the very end of this blog post with links), I usually make it using my trusty Stylecraft Special DK yarn but this one is slightly larger because it is made from some aran weight yarn.  The big snowflake pattern is from the fabulous book 100 Snowflakes to Crochet by Caitlin Sainio, the little ones are by Lucy at Attic24.  The cables, I think I’m going to have to knit some cables next year, are a RTW jumper from my wardrobe!

The next one is not a Christmas gift as such but a secretive seasonal make.

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Aren’t they sweet?!  A lovely friend sent me a link to the pattern for these Crochet Baby Sloths by The Twisted Crocheter back in October.  We had a chat about how cute they were and she mentioned that if I had time she would love to buy a couple for Christmas.  Of course the mere mention of being paid to do something I enjoy for someone I cared about made me want to make them and send them as a surprise and so that is what I did!  We discussed it no further but in early December they arrived out of nowhere through the post for her.

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I am quite ashamed to say I bought a kit to knit this Chunky Holly from Sue Stratford Knits at Yarndale, not this year, or even last year, but waaaaaaaay back in 2015!  I’m not sure quite what it did to deserve being stranded at the back of the cupboard for so long but it was a lovely knit when I finally gave it a chance.

I learned two new to me techniques in the construction of this, cable cast on and three needle bind off and I’m really pleased with how it looks.

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The little mouse is very teeny and knitted from gorgeously soft angora yarn and is very popular in his new home.

This year I also decided to fill my own crackers for the Christmas Day table.

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There is an interesting mix of characters for the filling!

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Septic Eye Sam has been requested for a while from my children (no, I don’t really understand either!) and so this seemed a good opportunity to make one. I used this pattern by Mommy Made Crochet but with a couple of adjustments to make it a bit smaller as I was worried about getting it to fit inside the cracker!

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Very little explanation needed for this one!  The sloths that left in the post earlier in the month were coveted!

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The last of the not-immediately-recognisable-as-christmassy items is also my least favourite.  One of my children is a big fan of tigers and I just couldn’t find a pattern for one of small enough that I liked and so I just made it up as I went along.  I can see lots of things that I would change should I do it again but it was well received. I found it really tricky in the busy pre-Christmas rush to find time to sit and crochet and harder still to find time to sit and crochet where no-one was watching and so I just didn’t have time for experimentation and tweaks.

The other things were for the adults around the table and were more traditional.

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This little guy is from a pattern called Yummy Brussel Sprout by Made Out of Things but I certainly wouldn’t fancy eating it!  It is brilliantly sprout like though and nice and easy to make up.  I might make some more of these in the future!

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This little snowman is my absolute favourite and is now living on my husbands desk and making me smile as I type this on his computer. I absolutely love how it turned out.  I used this pattern by Lucy Ravenscar with a few changes to remove the hat and change up the shape slightly.  The scarf is knitted, just 3 stitches knit in garter stitch, with a scrap of yarn left  over from my Seafoam Scarf.  I want to make lots and lots of these, with a rainbow of scarves between them and then arrange them in pleasing shapes!

The last two cracker stuffers are my own patterns from last year (which I have been hoping to write up for over twelve months but never got round to!) I first mentioned them way back in November last year in a post called Teeny Creatures and there is a lovely photo of them being wreath dwellers in my little mini wreaths in my 2016 in Review.

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And so, the children are deeply engaged in the serious business of playing with their Christmas gifts, there is no need to cook as there is plenty of food to sustain us for days and there is nowhere we need to be and nothing we have to do. I wonder if I will manage to finish my current work-in-progress before the end of the year or if it may carry over?  Either way I’m going to enjoy this downtime.