Wrapping up 2018: Knitting

It’s the first few days of 2019, I posted my year in sewing a couple of days ago, so what better time to talk about and round off the knitting I did in 2018?  My knitting output -as in the actual volume of projects I made- was on the low side and it has been like that for the last couple of years. Nevertheless, I don’t think I’ve ever been happier with the things I’ve knitted! I’ve knit some long longed-for projects, I’ve knit complicated and time consuming projects and I’ve made time to knit some things for my favourite people. All in all, I’m really pleased and wouldn’t be mad if next year showed a similar picture as this one. So let’s get into my year in knitting:

Year of finally finishing my oldest wip  

I finished my Kokkeluri Mittens knitted in Buchaille this year. This was my work in progress that had been languishing the longest of all my WIPs. After finishing the first mitten when the pattern came out in 2015, I  shoved said mitten in a corner, and forgot about it for a couple of years. I finally came back to it at the start of this year to make and finish the second mitten.

Looking back, I can hardly understand why I just let it sit there for years. The actual knitting was done in a couple of days and it’s been my most worn hand armour since I’ve finished the second mitten. What can I say, second mitten syndrome is a thing. A terrifying, mystifying thing made of some dark, dark stuff. To other knitters with hibernating WIPs hiding in the cupboard: do not despair, for there is hope!

So nice I knit it twice

I knitted the Brackett hat, from Laine issue 3, twice this year. First I knitted the blue version for myself and shortly afterwards the green version as a gift. I love this hat pattern and it reminds me a bit of an updated fisherman style hat. I love the squishy cables and how it uses so little yarn to great effect. It is a great stash buster and a cost effective hat so if you were looking for one look no further. These colder days the green one is used all the time by it’s recipient so I definitely feel my knitting effort were appreciated there as well which is always nice.

Looking back I like seeing that I did branch out a bit designer wise: I have quite an established style and I know what I like now better than ever, but I’d never knitted a pattern by Whitney Hayward. I have some firm favourite designers and know that whenever they will put out something new, I’m probably going to like it. It can be hard to keep my eye out for new designers through that wall of faves, especially when my queue list is the length of the Nile. But it is nice to see it still happens, even without me making a point of it.
The year of forgetting accessories exist 

I have always been more of a sweater and big project knitter but this year I basically forgot accessories exist after the first two months. Not entirely sure where this was coming from. I don’t dislike knitting them and the hats and gloves I made at the start from the year are some of my favourites ever. I guess I just really like knitting sweaters and throwing myself at big projects. This year I threw myself into some really big and complicated projects, more than any other year, and I guess they just took and kept all my attention this year. I wonder what my mood will be next year.
Returning to an old favourite

I rarely knit the same sweater twice. It happened once in my early knitting days when I knit the

“Fair Isle Yoke” from a Stitch in Time vol 1 twice. However, since I designed an entirely different yoke for the second version I’m not sure if it entirely counts. I knit my first Puffin a few years back in the original puffin colours. It is a firm favourite in my wardrobe, but I had visions of a spectacularly more colourful sweater inspired by another bird when I was knitting that first sweater. This year I decided to make my Puffin-but-make-it-parrot visions come true and knit up this pattern a second time. I’ve worn this cheery jumper quite often this autumn and winter even though it is a slight deviation from my normal colour palette. I guess can put any doubts about whether I would wear such a bright colour decidedly to rest now.
The year of more gift knitting than I give myself credit for

This year I knit a hat, a Pippi doll and an adult sized sweater as gifts for loved ones. As someone who considers herself predominantly a selfish knitter that is quite a tally. I knit the Pippi doll as a Christmas present for my nephew, and this was the last project I made and blogged in 2018.

The biggest gift project I did this year was the lopapeysa I made for my partner. The sweater still needs to grace the blog in a post of its own – and that will happen in the new year- but since you’ve seen it in project posts and flatlays on instagram I figured I would include it here anyway. I do feel proud of this achievement and it does makes me happy seeing someone else wearing a sweater I made, which I wasn’t expecting. Now, I’m not unsubscribing from the ‘selfish knitters’ group just yet, most of the things I make will always be for myself, but I can see myself knitting a garment gift again… somewhere in the far future…. after I’ve recovered and put in enough selfish knitting mileage.
The year of the  fair isle allovers

Knitting wise if I had to stick a theme to this year it would be the allover. I knitted three allovers this year, one minimalistic take and two more involved colourwork garments. My love for stranded colourwork and fair isle is no secret and for years it’s been what I knit the most of each year. It has been evolving every year though. I love a good yoke sweater and have knitted my fair share of them. Since knitting my first allover last year, I’ve developed a taste for those. I always greatly admired them, but I also had been intimidated by them and put them on a pedestal as some sort of unreachable goal. When I made Windermere I felt like I broke through that mental block. This year I’ve proven to myself well beyond doubt that it no longer is an issue for me. Huzzah! More colourwork possibilities is more fun!
Unst
 
The first part of the year Marie Wallin’s Unst cardigan was my big project. This was the first multi coloured allover that I attempted. I significantly changed the colour scheme and added an additional colour. I relished the planning stage for this one and greatly enjoyed putting together a palette that suited my taste. It helps that the yarn I picked (Jamieson’s spindrift) has a vast array of colourways to pick from and I was truly spoiled for choice. Even with careful planning though, there is an element of uncertainty when you come up with your own scheme but I am super pleased with the outcome of this cardigan. As with any fair isle project it was great fun seeing each band of colours emerge.
I well took my time for this one, and it took longer than I expected it would take. At the same time I couldn’t be more pleased with the result and I never lost my enjoyment in this project at the knitting stage.

Ashland 

 My next sweater was a much simpler and minimalist take on the colourwork allover. I’ve worn this one quite a bit since the colder weather set in. I especially wore it all through the holidays after I realised I accidentally made a low-key festive sweater. I got some questions about the festive nature of the sweater while wearing it over the holiday period, so I guess the red really speaks to our collective Christmas mood? In any case I hadn’t intended it like one, I made it over the summer because I just like wearing red, but it was a nice coincidence.
I wore this to the Christmas celebration with my family at my brothers place and when I came home I noticed a small hole in one of my armpits where the seam broke. This could say something about the yarn strength, but because it’s plied, it should be sturdier than most tweeds. The break started at the end of the seam, so the yarn I used there had to suffer the most to get there so to speak. It was an easy fix the next day, but if it happens again I’ll keep that in mind the next time I use this yarn and I’ll find another yarn for seaming.
Orkney
Orkney was the final multi colour allover cardigan that I did this year. She still needs to grace the blog with her presence (and she’ll do that soon) but since you’ve seen progress shots on instagram I don’t think I’m giving away anything by including her here. Orkney is another fair isle design by Marie Wallin, and like Puffin I have longed to knit project for a long time. It had been in my queue since it was first published in a Rowan Magazine in 2012. I think making Unst liberated me of my feelings of inadequacy, and liberated me to start this project.

One of the interesting things about this pattern is that sleeves and body have different patterning and use different colour combinations. Instead of mirroring each other, they echo each other, which made playing around with colours even more interesting. You’ll see more of Orkney on here soon so I’ll share more of my thoughts then.

The Verdict
It’s hard to pick faves and fails from this lot. I mentioned at the start of this post how I love all of the projects I made this year and consider them all roaring successes. I can’t really ask for more than that. My favourites are probably the two allover cardigans Unst and Orkney. However, Riddari has a special place in my heart as the first lopapeysa I made for someone else and Parrot Puffin because it was a long held idea and vision that I realised this year. So while my knitting felt a bit slow at times and progress tedious, if that was the trade off for such a successful end-of-the-year knit pile then I’ll take it!
As with my sewing I don’t have any grand year goals or year challenges that I’m setting for myself or am participating in. These days it is less about the amount of stuff I make and more about the time and consideration put into that project. This certainly wasn’t always the case for me, but it’s been like that for me for a while now. Especially with sewing I deliberately take things a bit slower: knitting is always slower than sewing, but I always used to aspire to be one of those bloggers who has output every week (lol, never got close). I still admire these bloggers and makers, but it is no longer something I aspire to be and I’m way less focussed on the number of makes(Is this what getting older does to you? What would I do with all that stuff anyway?). I have some loose goals and things I want to make but I have these year round and they are fluid and adaptable. I find I work best that way, and enjoy things more if I don’t put myself under extra self imposed pressures. Everyone is different though, so tell me if you have any fun challenges or goals planned for yourself for 2019!

I have one more post about 2018, in which I will talk about some of my favourite things that came out of 2018 (expect a listicle!) and some personal bits. See you then!

xxx

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