Archive for December 2012

2012: accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

Over the last couple of days I’ve been thinking about my crafting year, and haven’t felt particularly compelled to write a post. However, for posterity, it’s probably a good idea to write down a few words.

2012 knitting.jpg

This year was again a fairly quiet knitting year, filled mostly with relatively quick to knit accessories and not one jumper to speak of! Using Ravelry as the definitive source of my knitting productivity, all of my finished objects were fun to knit and featured elements that kept me interested (even the very basic stockinette stitch beanie I knit in July). Some of them, Jan and Wavy Line in particular, get a lot of wear. Seeing all the finished objects together made me realise something quite disturbing; there was a distinct lack of grey yarn. Before you start fretting about the future of grey in my wardrobe, let me assure you that there is some grey yarn at the top of my stash, ready to go for next year.

There are quite a few WIPs lying around the house, more than I care to contemplate. Late this year I broke my slightly arbitrary ‘only two WIPs at a time’ rule, thinking it was a temporary measure so I could keep knitting on my commute to and from work. However, I overestimated my enthusiasm to finish up those WIPs. As keen as I am to start on the year of vintage patterns, my first job next year will be gather the unfinished knitted objects that have been artfully strewn around the house and finish them. An exception to this is my wretched Pickadilly Cardigan, which needs to sit in the corner and think about itself for a little while longer. I never thought I could harbour as much animosity towards an inanimate object as I do with Pickadilly! In general I consider myself a relatively patient knitter, but that project has had me on the expressway to tantrumtown a number of times.

2012 sewing grid

Aside from knitting, I made (another) tentative foray into sewing. This attempt seems more successful than the last, even though the projects I took on were all pretty basic. Despite being fairly simple, I use them often (with the exception of the baby bootees) and I’m still quite happy with how they all turned out. As with my knitting projects, I’ve got a few sewing WIPs as well that I need to finish before starting anything new. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to start doing something about that fabric stash of mine.

Now that I’m here on the last day of 2012, I don’t really know how to describe it. From a crafting and non-crafting perspective, it wasn’t a bad year. However, I couldn’t say it was a great year either. Let’s just split it down the middle and call it neutral.


Brown paper packages tied up with string.jpg

This Christmas season, my demeanour can be best described as frazzled. I’ve not got into the Christmas spirit at all this year, in fact it’s only been in the last couple of weeks that Christmas has been on my radar! Once all the wrapping is finished (hopefully today) and work finishes (tomorrow), I’m looking forward to having a short rest, where I can spend some quality time with my knitting and sewing.

However you celebrate the festive season, I hope it’s a safe and happy one!

Switch swatch

The version of Orangina in my last post wasn’t really feeling right, and that menacing curl created enough irritation for me to want to start again. In the end it wasn’t so much starting again as experimenting with a looser cast on. If it didn’t curl as much, then I could rip out the first attempt — if it had the same amount of curl, it could either be used as the front piece, or I could reconsider whether I wanted to go ahead with making Orangina at all.

Orangina Swatch.JPG

After digging up my gauge swatch (thanks Lynne for jogging my memory with your suggestion!), it seemed that perhaps it was my tight cast on causing the issues. There was a wee bit of curling at the cast on edge of the swatch, but not to the same degree as the back piece.

So, the back piece was taken off the needles and a new, more relaxed, cast on was attempted. I think the curling situation is now much improved:

Slightly less curly Orangina.jpg

I’m also working one less repeat this time around. Despite careful measuring, the first attempt was a bit big. Orangina is a top that doesn’t seem particularly forgiving when it comes to fit; for it to work with my body shape, it needs either no or negative ease. Now that it’s one repeat smaller, I think it’s probably just right.

In my dreams I wanted to have this finished by the end of the year so I could start the year of vintage knitting with a clean slate. This doesn’t look likely, which leaves me with a small dilemma. Do I finish it off next year, meaning that at least one FO will be from a modern pattern, or should I leave it until the following year? (Insignificant) decisions, decisions.