Thursday, 31 December 2015

12 in 2016 - getting ahead of the holiday curve

Now is the time to think about goals for 2016.  I don't make resolutions (I overthink my life on a daily basis, I don't need January 1st for that!), but I do make some goals to strive for as I look ahead to what worked and what didn't this past year.  Every year I get to December and wish I had stockpiled gifts.... so I'm going to try to do that this year.  I've decided to focus on accessories and have joined a "12 in 2016" KAL with the designers at Tin Can Knits.

They posted several patterns as 'gifts' this month in a "12 Days of Christmas" fashion, giving away a pattern a day for 12 days.  I queued almost all (I don't knit socks), and will knit them throughout the year.  In no particular order:

Main Street - coffee cup sleeves (one for me, one to gift)
Sweetness - a 2-colour cowl I'll knit with black and white yarn from my stash
Antler Mitts - bulky mittens that are adorable (I knit the Antler hat this year, may do another)
Paved - boot cuffs that are adorable and may be mine instead of a gift
Lowlands - a simple hat that will be a good 'teacher gift' perhaps
Sitka Spruce - a hat and mitts set
Honeycomb - super cute fingerless mitts
Gather - hat and cowl set that I'll knit with Arroyo yarn from my stash
Clayoquot Toque - a colour-work hat that I'll knit with yarn from my stash
Gothic Lace Cowl - a lace cowl in worsted/aran weight yarn, with buttons
Loch - a sport-weight hat and mitts set - I'll likely just knit the hat with some Rastita in my stash
Hipster - a basic hat with some slouch
Northward - a bulky cabled hat
2x2 - bulky cabled cowl (I knit one this year, it's fast and easy, with buttons!)
Bon Bon Toque - cabled hat

My other goal is to deplete the stash this year.  This is a goal I've set before but I'm determined to do it this year.  A few yarns I'll use for the projects above:

Malabrigo Arroyo

Malabrigo Rastita

Madelinetosh tosh dk


I have lots planned, but hope for a year with lots of knitting time ahead!

Monday, 28 December 2015


I have many WIPs that must get finished.  Mentally, I don't do well with things that are incomplete.  I like 'works in progress' at times, or the idea that there may not be a 'finish line'.  I run for the joy of running, exercise because I feel good, eat well because I like to feel healthy - not to get to a size or number on a scale.  I am happy to abandon books I don't like (life's too short to read boring books), or read parts of books that can be picked up and put down.

In my knitting this year, I want to finish what I've started.  I say this often, but am committed to getting things done.  I have a few projects that have lingered for a variety of reasons:  set aside to finish gifts, set aside to join a KAL, or set aside for something different.  Now, I want to finish all the things I've started so I can focus on knitting things I really want to knit (info on my plans to come soon...).  To get finished:

Bastille  - a cowl that I've been working on for more than a year

Long waistcoat (vest) - this is knitting up quickly, and will get a lot of wear over leggings with boots this winter

Mosaic sweater - the back and sleeves are done (solid brown ribbing) so I just have the front to go.  I'm enjoying the mosaic pattern, and think this will fit well.  

I've been able to knit a lot over the holidays, so I am hopeful that all will be done very soon.  I need layers - looks like winter weather is finally arriving this week!

Wednesday, 23 December 2015


It's December 23, two days until Christmas.  Gifts were finished on time, so the time pressure has been relieved for now.  I knit a capelet for my mom from Vogue Holiday 2015 using yarn with a thread of sparkle.  It's cozy, but will layer well over a casual outfit on a cruise ship (for an upcoming trip).   Not modeled, but may get a shot on the recipient in a couple of days:
Other hats and cowls made it into the hands of friends and teachers, so I'm now able to go back to projects started but not finished.  My knitting has been interrupted though, as I teach my two kids how to knit.  Young grade-school boys are not as patient as one would hope.  They've mastered garter stitch and have knit a scarf, a hat (I did the crown shaping and seaming), and a cowl.  Both want to knit more, but also realize it's a slow process.  Bulky yarn helps!  It's fun watching them master a skill, enjoy a hobby, and have something to do in the rainy days leading up to Christmas this year.  Maybe next year, they'll contribute to the gift pile!