Well, that was quite a blogging hiatus. Nearly 3 whole months with nary a post nor a pic. I've been off the blogging radar partly by choice, partly by necessity, as I have felt increasingly tied to my computer over the last couple of months and I wanted to dedicate more time to non-screen based activities, plus my Christmas making and doing rather took over. Still, this means that I have quite a bit to talk about now!
So, following the traditions of diarists everywhere, and to put things into perspective, a review of my first ever knitting year.
I learnt to knit on 7th June this year. I can pinpoint the date as Rhona taught me the basics at my first KTOG meeting in Baldock. Needless to say I've not looked back. My cupboards are now full of yarn, I have needles galore from raids on charity shops, and have ventured into many corners of knitterdom. I'm going to list my 2007 FOs now, so look away now if you are of the opinion that "beginners" should not attempt anything other than garter stitch and scarves for at least the first 10 years (yes those people do exist - cowards!)
Pictured (not in order)
- Fetching fingerless gloves (Marisol Hacho)
- Knucks fingerless gloves (Rowan tapestry)
- Short row wavy scarf (Rowan tapestry)
- Zig zag scarf (Sublime extra fine merino)
- Thrummed mittens (Wensleydale DK and Shetland combed tops)
- Very warm hat (Twilleys Freedom Spirit and Wensleydale DK)
- Baby surprise jacket (Sirdar Baby Bamboo and cotton)
- Saartje's booties (Patons DK cotton)
- Breeze socks (random cheap sock wool from t'shop on t'market)
- Kiri shawl (Garnstudio Alpaca)
- Watch cap (x 2 - Rowan Freedom wool and Manos)
- Tea cosy (Matchmaker DK)
- Lace scarf (Handmaiden Lady Godiva)
Plus (not pictured):
- Monkey socks (Violet Green Sheherezade wool)
- Easyknits basic socks (Plums and Custard Easyknits yarn)
- Foliage hat (Brigantia fusion wool)
- Odessa hat (Rowan cashmerino DK and some loverly green beads)
- Koolhaas hat (Debbie Bliss Rialto)
- Bias garter stitch scarf (various shades of Rowan Scottish Tweed)
Other craft-wise, I was rather overwhelmed by my latest obsession, and haven't therefore much to show other than knitting (see below). I did make a start at the end of the year to wean myself off the yarn, and made some pretty stitch markers for myself and a couple of swaps (knitting related I know, but not actually knitting). I also, with the help of my handy husband finished this just in time for the arrival of the recipient.
I love the felt softies all over the web at the moment, and have been wanting to make something felty for a while. I drew out some random blobby shapes using circles as a basis, then cut out lots of them and arranged the pieces on the dining room carpet, distributing the colours by squinting from a distance. I happened across a massive bag of embroidery threads in a charity shop earlier in the year (I yelped - v embarrassing, but its usually slim pickings in our local shops) and used random colours of these to stitch up the shapes and hang them from the beautifully cut, drilled, fixed and sanded frame. There are also some bells in there for added interest/parental annoyance, and some of the shapes are stuffed with bean bag beans rather than stuffing. I think the small one appreciated it, although he was still at the cross-eyed snuffly phase when we met him so it was a little hard to tell!
I participated in a few swaps in 2007, with varying degrees of success. The International Scarf Exchange was by far the most fun, as knitting something secret for someone you have never met, on the other side of the world, and knowing that someone else is returning the favour for you is a marvellous experience. Both my up- and downstream swap partners were lovely people, and it was amazing to see my scarf being worn thousands of miles away. I'll be hostessing for the next round of this exchange in a very short while, so come and join in the fun!
I was also a member of the Monkey Sock Swap, Stitch Marker Exchange, and Secret Pal 11, although I am not sure if I will participate in the latter again. I received some nice bits and bobs from my pal, and I think my downstream secret pal appreciated her parcels, but sending random stuff is not quite the same as handmaking something for someone.
Speaking of which, I received some amazing handspun skein from Yoshimi (pic to come once I dig it back out of the yarn cupboard!) as part of a Pay It Forward scheme. If any of the 3 people who signed up to receive something from me are reading this - rest assured that I am raring to go after the Christmas present debarcle, and your gifts will be in the post in the near future.
Finally, I must mention a couple of purchases. I was incredibly lucky to become the adoptive parent of Sven, who is of course, a Little Cotton Rabbit.
I have never typed a blog comment so fast as i did to snaffle him, but am very glad I did. Here is Sven posing for you (he took a fancy to other people's Christmas trees and was last seen in our drinks cupboard - I can see that he is going to be a fun rabbit to own!)
Secondly, my sock knitting now travels in style, in one of Monkee Maker's mini totes.
My own monkee made of knit still sadly lies in pieces, but may be revived in the new year so that I can join in with the monkey business spreading like wildfire across the globe.
Next, some plans for 2008. I'm not calling these resolutions as I will never keep them if I do.
I would like to branch out and put my crafty tendencies to good use by making some things to sell. Not sure what yet, but there is a limit to the extent my stash can grow without good reason (or cash).
I will make bigger things. I've already started knitting a hoodie, although I discovered the other day the perils of knitting with variegated yarn and starting a new ball in semi-darkness. Namely, a big stripe right across the back. Sigh. I've decided to press on though as the wool is 50% wool and 10% alpaca, so I think it will probably overdye quite nicely. I'll not be put off though and already have a couple of other 'big' things in the pipeline.
Finally, I will become a 'Fearless knitter'. I think I am already quite fearless, but I'm sure I can be more daring ...