Friday, December 28, 2012

Looking back on 2012

Wow, this year has gone by so fast! I wonder if it's a sign that I'm getting old, that I feel like time is going faster?!

I've done a lot of new stuff this year, but I think the biggest thing that happened is that we bought a house. We moved in March, so we've soon lived here for a whole year, and we love it! We haven't regretted that decision one second. The house is old, and we have mice in the walls, but I'm ok with that. The cats will catch them if they come into the house. I hope!

And speaking of cats: We got a new family member this summer as well. Toki is settling in very well, and after having spent Christmas at my parents' house, him and Hobbe seem to be much better friends too. They are just the cutest babies!

Knitting-wise I've managed to finish 20 projects this year, which is only one less than last year. I thought it would be a lot less, since I didn't knit very much during the move and the following unpacking period, but I think the last month's Crazy KAL when I knit down to zero helped me a lot. I'm quite happy with 20 projects, that's almost two every month. And since this year also seem to be the year of frogging (I ripped out nearly a whole cardigan when I decided that the Chili Gredelin Anastasia yarn and the Austin Hoodie pattern didn't work well together, and recently I ripped out more than half a shawl when I ran out of yarn on the Omelet shawl), I could almost say that I made 22 things :). I actually had to rip out the start on my Gray Havens sweater today as well, as it turned out way too big. I've restarted it with smaller needles and in a smaller size as well, so I'm hoping that will be enough.

I've branched out in my needle usage this year as well. Since I started this blog in 2009 I've almost exclusively used KnitPicks Harmony needles, both circular and dpn's. But this year I grew tired of the quality of the circulars, so I've tried some new brands. I have a set of interchangeable ChiaoGoo bamboo needles in the smaller sizes, and I really love those. They aren't as sharp as the KnitPicks', but the amazing cables makes up for that. I got myself two sizes of Blackthorn dpn's as well, in carbon fibre, and those are really amazing as well. I don't plan on using these exclusively though, as I still love my KnitPicks dpn's a lot. They are super sharp, and the hard wood makes them practically unbendy (except for the smallest size). But I like the Blackthorn's a lot, though they are very expensive. I had high hopes for the Knitter's Pride Karbonz needles that came out about a month ago, but it turns out that they are nickel-tipped, and as I hate working with metal I decided not to even try them.

Today I got a Christmas package in the mail as well (from myself, I spent some of my Christmas money at Garnkorgen), which contained a set of Addi Click Bamboo needles that I was really curious about. They are size 3.5 mm, and I can say without even trying them that they are pretty blunt. I think that the Addi lace needles are a lot sharper, but as I don't like metal I don't think Addi's are for me. I don't know about the sharpness of Signature needles, as I haven't seen them, but I think I might be set for now with my KnitPicks and my ChiaoGoo.

I've tried a lot of new techniques this year as well. I started the year by finishing the Ramona Mittens, which were double knit. I have used those mittens all this winter, and I love them! I think I'll probably wear them to death, and then make a new pair when they break! I made an Entrelac Cowl for my mother this Autumn as well, which was also completely new to me. I'm very happy with that result, and now that I write about it I realize that I completely forgot to take pictures of that one, and the Bobbie gloves that I also gave mom for her birthday, when I was home for Christmas! Oh well, maybe next time.

On one of the very last projects I made this year, the Companion Cube that I made for Thomas, I got to try out three new techniques! I made steeks and cut them, I did duplicate stitch, and I did matress stitching when I sewed it all together. I'm feeling pretty proud of myself for that one!

Finally, the last new thing I did this year was trying my hand at podcasting. I've only made three episodes, and there won't be a new one today as I'm still in my pj's. But that has been a lot more fun than I thought, and I think I'll ask Thomas to help me with that so we can set up the new camera he got for Christmas, and possibly try to get it on iTunes as well.

Ok, I think that was my year in hindsight! It's been an eventful year, but I've had lots of fun and learned a lot of new stuff. And I got a lot of yarn!


Ok, let's talk about the more recent events. How has your holiday been? I went home to my parents' house on Sunday, and came back yesterday. It's been a good couple of days, but there are always so many people that you want to see in such a short time! I feel like I've been driving around almost constantly. But I spent Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas Day with Thomas' brothers and father, and Boxing day with some friends. Then we drove back home yesterday, and it felt rather good to just sit on the couch and knit for the whole evening yesterday!

I think I told you that I got the Cookie A sock club from my parents this year, so I didn't get very much else from them. I got an electric blanket from my sister, which I freaking adore (why haven't I had one of these before?!), and I got a Sandman comics collection from Thomas that I'm really looking forward to reading.

I also got some money from my grandfather and some from my grandmother (they're divorced), and I've spent some already. I should never be left alone with an internet! I was bored the other night while I was waiting for my sister to call (she was out partying with her friends, and I had promised to pick her up in the night as her designated driver), so I went on a small shopping spree on Etsy. I ordered three new project bags, and some buttons for upcoming projects. None of that has arrived yet though, so I'll tell you more about it next year when it gets here.

I also got the package with the Addi needles from Garnkorgen, and they were accompanied by two skeins of Koigu KPPPM sock yarn, in colourway 860:

I have been looking at these skeins for such a long time, and now that I got some spending money I finally ordered them. They are gorgeous! I'm just really into self-striping and self-patterning sock yarns right now! That is quite good timing though, as the Stockinette Zombies are hosting a January KAL for self-striping yarns. Actually, they'll be doing one each month, as the goal is for Megan to finally use up some of her stash, and all the other participants are just joining her. I'll probably cast on for a pair of socks on New Year's day!

Oh, and speaking of KAL's! I finished my For Good hat!

It's made with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted yarn (100 % merino) in colourway Berry, and I love it! It's a little bit big on me, but I'm ok with that. I'm just waiting on the buttons I ordered to arrive, so I can sew them on! I actually have almost half a skein left, so I'm thinking about making another one in a slightly smaller size.

I've also made some progress on the Ill Met by Moonlight socks, that I'm making in the Mackintosh sock yarn:

I enjoy these quite a lot, and they are turning out pretty great. I can't say enough good things about Claire Ellen, as all of her sock designs are gorgeous. I'm planning on making a lot more of them next year!

I have barely had time to knit on anything else while at my parents', but yesterday I made a lot of progress on the Grey Havens sweater. This morning I decided to try it on, and it was HUGE! I'd only made the bottom ribbing, and it was anything but tight on me. So I ripped the whole thing out, and started over again. So I have no new photos to show you on that one. I haven't knit anything at all on the Morning Echo cardigan either.

But tonight I found the Christmas Ball that I completely forgot to unpin before we left, so I've stuffed it:

I'm pretty pleased with it, even though it isn't perfect. I just have to make a loop of that last yarn end, and hang it on the tree. I'm not sure if there will be any more for next year, as I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought, but maybe I can make a tradition of making one each year :)

Ok, I've been rambling on for ages! Tomorrow we're going into town to buy groceries for our New Year's Eve party, and Sunday will be spent cleaning and preparing the food. I'll be back next year, hopefully with a new podcast too.

Happy New Year!

/ Jenny

1 comment:

Ostickat said...

Beautiful Christmas Ball!