2015 has been a great year for knitting and fiber pursuits. It's amazing to me to look at this post from last year and see how much I've grown and how many of the ideas I had actually became reality. I suppose the biggest letdown from this year is how my Wear Handmade Project dropped off in the last 6 months. I have one project for every month from Jan-June, one for July & August, and one (unfinished) cardigan for the last four months of the year. But I'm deciding to focus on the positive and what did go well this year. Here are a few of the highlights:
I mentioned at the beginning of the year that I was hoping to make a few sweaters and even a cardigan. I managed two full sweaters: Lila from Carrie Hoge and Lesley from Hannah Fetig's book Home and Away. I adore both of them, and am really pleased with my choice of both patterns and yarn. And of course, I have my in progress Tamborine Cardigan. I've got most of the body and one sleeve finished, so I'm hoping to buckle down and just get it done.
2. de-stashing and (mindfully) re-stashing
Learning more about the wool I'm using was also on my list of things to do this year. I'm happy to say that I was able to successfully de-stash this spring to make room for new yarn. I turned some of the yarn into a scrappy crochet blanket for our home and gave the rest away. Then over the months, I slowly and mindfully built up a new stash. I discovered several new-to-me yarns this year. You can read about a few of my favorites here.
3. designing and releasing new patterns
This year I released two big patterns, the Moorland Mitts and Rain City Hat. I also re-released an edited version of my Archery Mitts and published the Islander Cowl as a free Ravelry download. I'm really proud of this work, and feel like I found my voice a bit more as a designer. I actually have a fully finished design hibernating since I got pregnant. I've just got to do the final edits, format and photos so hopefully I can share that soon.
4. knitting with my mom over the summer
This was one of the highlights of my whole year, fiber related or not. I will always cherish the mornings I spent over the summer knitting with my mom on the porch, the sun just warming up and the coffee plentiful. I worked on my Lesley sweater, some socks, and that new design I mentioned above. My mom knit the Lucinda sweater (again from Carrie Hoge), two pairs of self striping socks and probably a few other things I'm forgetting- she's a speedy knitter.
5. visiting Tolt Yarn and Wool
I will always remember the road trip with my mom and sister to visit Tolt with fondness. Even my sister, who doesn't knit, could see at first glance how special this place is. It was a really incredible moment to be able to finally visit in person. You can read the post about our visit here.
6. learning to spin
I've written about this extensively before but learning to spin from my Auntie, with her old tools was just amazing. I've also had a lot of fun since then expanding my knowledge and practicing my spinning technique.
7. building connections and collaborating
This was something my heart longed for at the turn of last year. Though it took some courage, I reached out in this community and built some real and lasting connections for which I am very grateful. I've so enjoyed starting the interview series here on the blog, working with test knitters on bettering my patterns, and writing guest posts for others. One amazing moment for me was when my Rain City hat pattern was used in a knitting workshop at Toska Studio. These connections are really what sustain this amazing community and I'm so happy to have been able to be involved where I could be.
So what's next for the following year? Well, I've got a list of baby knitting I'm hoping to get to in the next few months. I'm planning to finish my cardigan and cast on a second project from Home and Away. I'm also really hoping to finally learn about color work. I'll keep practicing my spinning and continue with my humble interview series. And I'd love to get that pattern released as well as work on an idea I have for a pair of socks.
What are you guys hoping to knit up this year?