Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Knitting 2014

I'm running rather late with my knitting round-up for 2015. I finished fourteen projects in 2015 - perhaps fifteen if you count the Honey Cowl that I've not yet figured out how to block. This is an increase over 2013 when I only managed to complete eleven projects, though I think there were more large pieces of knitting in 2013 than in 2014. I've decided to continue my tradition of awarding my projects prizes in various categories as it's a fun way of reviewing just what I've achieved.

First, the prize for the project of which I'm most proud. Hmmm. This one's difficult, so I've decided to award it jointly to the four hats I knitted to experiment with fair isle colour and motif combinations.

I've really enjoyed playing around with fair isle knitting. Thank you Mary Jane Mucklestone for both your personal inspiration and the book '200 Fair Isle Motifs'. I'm now a bit loaded down with hats and I'm wondering what other garments or objects I can use for playing around with fair isle - maybe wrist or arm coverings? Maybe cushion covers?

Then there's the prize for the project most favourited on Ravelry. There was a clear winner in this category - my Copenhagen shawl:

The shawl was knitted to Melanie Berg's Ashburn pattern using Geilsk Tynd Uld (thin wool) in toning grey and pink colours. Two skeins of the yarn were a generous gift from Bente Geil, the designer of the Geilsk yarn during my visit to Copenhagen in August last year. I think the drape and texture of this shawl shows just how suitable the 'sticky' Scandinavian yarns are for shawl knitting.

The prize for the most frequently worn project is also easily awarded. It goes to my Saffron Hap:

This is Kate Davies' pattern, A Hap for Harriet. I love everything about this shawl that's really a wonderfully drapey scarf. I knitted it from Cascade laceweight Forest Hills yarn that's a mixture of merino wool and silk. It weighs almost nothing but is warm when needed. I particularly like the colour and frequently declared when wearing it that yellow is the new neutral as it seems to go with everything (well, it looks great with grey and black which is mostly what I wear in winter).

And finally there's the prize for the project that was the most fun to knit. This is more difficult, as I think my fair isle hats are also a contender for this category. But in the interests of being generous to my knitting I'll award it to the Unmatched Mitts:

These were fun because they were quick and unproblematic and because knitting with Noro yarn is always fun. I have a self-imposed Noro rule which is to knit with it however the colours fall, even if I've been unlucky enough to have bought one of those problematic balls of yarn that reverse the colour sequence as you're knitting. In this case, sticking with the colour sequence resulted in a completely unmatched pair of mitts. Fun! I didn't really need a pattern for this knit but I used Best Friends Mitts by Sandra Ruppert as a guide.

If I were feeling optimistic I could judge it a relatively successful year of knitting. But if I look back exactly one year to a similar blog post from January 2014 I have to admit that I've not been very diligent about achieving the goals I set then. I wrote:

Of course I want to be more productive - what knitter doesn't? I think the best way of achieving this is to finish some of the part-completed relatively major projects, so that's my first goal. Then, a practical goal. I want to knit another go-to cardigan for my grand-daughter. And finally, I want to face up to the unadventurousness of my knitting and learn some new techniques and challenge myself.

Completing some part-completed major projects? Fail
Knitting a cardigan for my grand-daughter? Fail
Learning new techniques? Probably, given my experimentation with colour-work.

Maximum achievement, one out of three. This year I'm not going to declare any goals...though my grand-daughter still needs another cardigan.


Sel and Poivre said...

I know! next up you should knit a cardigan for your granddaughter with a colourwork yoke!

Anonymous said...

so many lovely things here. i think your experimenting with fair isle is amazing, look at those results! im so inspired by it that i will set myself at least one knitting goal: to at least attempt fair isle this year!