Life With Yarn

Goodbye 2013

Posted on: December 31, 2013

On the needles

I’m always struck with a bit of an overwhelming urge to start each year afresh, or as close to afresh as I can make it. Once Christmas gifts are out of the way, I start to feel selfish with my knitting, wanting to cast on all the things for me, but quite often, I spend the time working on projects that I put down in early December and would like to get finished. Because of this, I only really have two things on the needles as the year ends: my Sock Yarn Blanket which I’ve not worked on at all this month because of gift knitting and my Shipwreck shawl which is what I’m currently working on, making slow but steady progress. For the shawl, I’m on the final lace work section (section six) before I begin what will no doubt seem neverending k2tog, yarnover section, although hopefully the beading will help make it seem slightly quicker.

Off the needles

I finished all my gifts in time for Christmas – firstly, Zoe’s socks:


She loves these – and her slippers – and can be seen wearing them every morning when she gets out of bed, and sometimes even in bed if her feet are very cold. This is a stark contrast to Eloise, who likes the idea of the socks and slippers but has so far only worn them on Christmas Day morning.

I also finished Duncan’s socks:


These have also been a success.

I can also now show a quick pic of my Owls jumper by Kate Davies as it has now found it’s new home at my sister’s house:


Also off the needles, but not yet photographed is my Mereweather vest by Sharon Boswell. I worked on this over Christmas, in Posh Yarn Harriet DK, which was lovely and soft to work with. I was initially disappointed with the top, partly because of my own mistake (I think) – I made the straps far too long and it meant that the vest didn’t fit me properly across the bust. Once I fixed the straps and got it fitting properly, I decided to add some more length to it. To do this, I could have just picked up stitches along the cast on edge at the bottom and carried on working down but I worried that if I wasn’t perfect with this, the line created would be quite visible. Consequently, I decided to unpick the cast on (which took a good 2/3 hours) and then knit down. This means that to the non-knitter or  a not-too-close knitter, it looks like it was knit in one piece. I can see where the join is if I look up close but it’s fine. It also means it’s wearable now and shall be getting an outing soon.

It just fell into my bag

I got lucky this year and won the Strictly Sweepstake for the 2nd time in 3 years in a group on Ravelry, which has meant a fair chunk of money being sent my way for spending on yarn. So far, I’ve spent about two thirds of it – firstly on a 3 month subscription to  YarnAddict’s Lace Lovers Yarn club and secondly on some Posh Yarn that will be arriving next week.

However, before Christmas, I picked up a bit of extra work and so treated myself to a couple of things – at some point, I may admit that I have a yarn addiction, but don’t expect that any time soon 😉

First up, YarnAddict Anniken Allis has stopped producing hand dyed yarn and so was selling off her remaining stock, so I bought some Merino Plus sock yarn:


I also bought some undyed wool/silk 4ply yarn from her, not sure about plans for this yet.

I then got worried about the amount of yarn I needed for Duncan’s socks so bought an extra skein of the Exmoor Blueface – which it turns out I didn’t need, but will come in handy for more socks for him, or me. But with that, I also picked up:


which is Malabrigo sock yarn, a sweater’s quantity.

I also managed to bag some Twisted Limone self striping sock yarn in her update:


I’ve heard a couple of podcasters rave about this recently and I’m looking forward to trying it out and maybe one day being quick enough to get some of her 7-stripe rainbow sock yarn.

Finally, this was actually ordered and paid for back in the beginning of December, but only arrived just before Christmas: some sock yarn and some lace yarn from Fibernymph Dye Works, run by another podcast (90% Knitting) that I love.



No firm plans yet for either of them, but when has that ever stopped me buying?

What I’m stalking/end of year review

It’s the end of another year and I’m enjoying spending time on Ravelry looking at my queue, stash and new patterns and trying to think about what I want to knit in 2014. This year, I wanted to learn how to double knit and I’ve still not managed to find the time to do that, so I really should make that a target of 2014. I’m also planning a 12 sweaters/tops in 12 months, seeing as I’ve been stashing sweater quantities of yarn for a good while now.

And how did I do this year? I completed a total of 42 projects, ranging from bunting and mug hugs for school fairs to sweaters for myself and others. In total, I’ve knit 16,202.7 metres over 12 months. However, I have increased my stash from 65,256.5 metres on January 1st 2013 to 102,012.4m today. I have to be honest, numbers like that mean nothing to me, so I worked out the length in miles. On January 1st, my stash, laid down, would cover 40.54 miles; today it covers 62.46 miles. That’s a good long way! I really need to get cracking with the sweater knitting!

I’m really happy with this year though: I’ve designed a couple of new patterns, and had pattern sales which is always exciting; I now do sample knitting for one my favourite designers so I basically get paid to knit designs that I know I’ll love; and I’ve sold a few hand knitted items as well.

So, apart from wanting to knit some sweaters/tops in 2014, what else do I want? I have a few design ideas noodling around in my head which I’d really like to get down on paper, and I won’t lie, more pattern sales would be brilliant. I’m realistic enough to know that, right now in life, I don’t have the time to do anything close to full time designing, so I’m happy with a few designs a year and a modest amount of sales. I’d also like to really keep this blog going and post regularly – I think a new diary might be called for to plan out my time! (Did I mention I’m a sucker for new stationery in January?!)

I hope you all had a lovely festive season, whatever you celebrated, and that 2014 sees dreams come true for you.


1 Response to "Goodbye 2013"

Beautiful things yet again and I’m glad you’ve had knitting success in all areas in 2013 – have a marvellous woolly 2014!

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