#83 End of Year Review – 2020

I make my knitting plans on a calendar year. 2020 was actually only my second year of doing a plan. The first few years of knitting I mainly bounced from project to project based on what knitting class I was taking. I was learning how to knit socks with various heels and how to knit shawls and sweaters. My yarn buying was frequently based on “that’s a pretty skein” versus having a project in mind.

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by my collection of yarn skeins as well as my local knitting friends were interested in creating a year long knitting challenge. So we all developed a challenge for 2019. We even assigned points depending on the size of the project although we all agreed it wasn’t about winning the challenge, it was about creating a sense of accomplishment. That was certainly true since we never did add up points and select a winner!!

I believe all my friends have stopped doing plans but I continue as it gives me a sense of control over my knitting. I feel better when I buy yarn based on a pattern I plan to knit and then have a rough idea of when I plan to knit it. I put my plan on a calendar, not just a list of projects, so that I can be sure I have them reasonably spaced over the year. I do not feel tied to my plans – both in terms of projects and timing. That’s part of the fun; seeing what stays on and what falls off over the course of the year. Patty Lyon’s Roselle Tee has been on my plan for 2 years and is still only a maybe for 2021.

So how did I do in 2020?

☺💃Gloves/Hats – I planned to make one pair. Instead I made 3 pairs. Plus I include the Christmas stockings in this category (fast knits). So planned for 1 – made 6.

☺💃Socks – I planned to make 3 pairs (2 of them anklets) and instead made 6 pairs (1 of them anklets). I didn’t knit a pair with the Redbird Studio self striping yarn that I love, love, love. So it has moved to my 2021 plan. I have a 7th pair on the needles that will be carried over into 2021 as well.

☺Scarves/Shawls/Shrug – I planned to make 2 and I made 2. Neither were the ones I had planned!! Instead I used up excess yarn from a sweater I made to make a matching cowl. Then I made my first shrug with some cute sparkly yarn I was gifted.

☺Sweaters/Tees – always my downfall. I planned to knit 4 sweaters and instead knit 3. I did start the 4th sweater (my non-shellseeker). Plus I did finish a 2019 carryover sweater that I had barely started in 2019. So I don’t feel too bad.

😴WIPS – I had 2 including the sweater mentioned above. The sweater I finished but the second was a pair of argyle socks. I find these magic loop socks difficult to manage the color change so I want to knit them in person with my friends that have already knit them to be sure I’m doing the color changes right. So they are in hibernation until we can meet again in person.

☺ Completed. 💃 Happy Dance – more than planned

I’m feeling very good about how well I did on my plan. I really only missed on my sweaters but I feel I covered the missing sweater with the extra socks and mitts I knit. I assign points to each project (1 for mitts, 2 for socks, 3 for shawls, and 4-6 for sweaters depending on how complicated the sweater is or if it has long sleeves or tunic length. This has helped me be more realistic about how many and what type of projects to put on my plan. My 2020 plan had 42 project points. The items I finished totaled 39 points. A goal for 2021 will be to add estimated stitches for each project so that yarn thickness as well as pattern difficulty is factored in for better estimating.


#82 Christmas finishing touches and Non-shellseeker Sweater

Well, this wasn’t on my plan but a pair of Christmas stockings that I started 2 years ago finally got finished this week!! I took a one evening class, from my friend that now has her own business of dying yarn, 2 years ago. At the time I hadn’t knit very many socks so the heel was still intimidating. I also didn’t have the right needles to finish the toe with the ridiculously thick Macro yarn by Berroco. The intended recipient of the stockings turned out to already have themed stockings so didn’t want them. Plan B recipients also already had stockings. So the stockings went to the “someday” never neverland.

After my recent success with the quick knits of fingerless mittens, I decided to pull out the stockings since I figured I could finish them quickly. I now know how to make sock heels and I also know how to “wing it” by using a needle that isn’t necessarily the right size to hold the stitches while using the correct sized working needle. So after 2 years, the stockings are completed. They are now going to my youngest son and his girlfriend. I detested “knitting” with such thick yarn. It was like knitting with rope. But I’ll probably make 1 or 2 more with the intent of using up the remaining yarn.

I’m a little over halfway through my advent calendar from Wool Interrupted. The minis are much “duller” than the yarns I like. I like vibrant colors and speckles. Oh well. The maker has included nice “extras” so far, a wooden shawl pin, a packet of wool soak, and a snowman stitch marker/progress keeper. Ravelry did have a nice sock pattern recently, Fairy Glen, that would be a nice use of these greyish minis.

Beside the time spent on the stockings, I worked on my non-shellseeker sweater. Not going to get it done by the end of the year probably but still should get it done fairly early in January which would be record sweater knitting time for me!! I had intended this project to be a carryover WIP.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas celebration. This will be my last post from the cold north. My next post will likely be in the new year when I’ll share my knitting goals for 2021. Indeed I’ve already made a change to my draft plan as my hubby volunteered that he would like a sweater. I indeed will use up, and possibly need to add to, my Summer Silk leftovers from my non-shellseeker sweater.

#81 Christmas bits and Sweater

My stepson asked me if I could repair his childhood teddy bear not understanding the difference between knitting and crochet. Sadly I’m only a knitter. It is a very worn and well loved teddy bear so finding yarn to match would be impossible. So I got out my trusty thread and needle to stitch the foot closed. Then to draw attention away from all the gapping holes on the body and arms as the yarn has stretched I suspect due to multiple washings, I knit a scarf. The scarf helps hold up the head as well. I hope he will be happy with it. My husband found his baby book while cleaning out the garage last week. What a baby book was doing in the garage we have no idea. So I think I will give him his baby book and teddy bear at Christmas. The baby book is extra special since his mother died when he was 11. I suspect there will be lots of tears.

It’s the 13th so I get to start opening my yarn advent calendar!! Today’s mini is a slate blue. I was never a mini person other than the mini’s Lollipop yarn includes with her self striping sock yarn skein. But now I have a set of 12 to match the minis I put in my friends” advent calendars and I’ll get 11 minis with my advent calendar. One of my 2021 projects, I’ll be sharing the plan as my first post of January, is to knit the Advent 2019 socks from Ravelry (https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/advent-socks-2019) . I will be working on them periodically over the months of 2021 with the intent of having them done by December 2021. I need to plan the colors that I will use for each stripe so that I can pack the needed minis for my extended stay in Florida.

Advent mini

Finally besides the little scarf for the teddy bear, I’ve worked on my “shellseeker” sweater. It’s really not the shellseeker pattern since I changed the neck, use the wrong thickness of yarn, do increasing stripe width instead simply doing 2 row widths for each stripe, and won’t do the pouch pocket on the front. The only feature from shellseeker that I’m doing is the faux darts. For shellseeker, these lines of k2tog and ssk created the lines where the front pocket pouch attached. For me they are the decorative feature. Since it’s basically a stockinette sweater, it’s an easy knit.

Less than 2 weeks till Christmas!! Hope you shopping is going well. Due to Covid we will keep it small and skip our usual traditions of attending church services and dining out. I’m very thankful that our local public radio station and playhouse will broadcast a 1 hr radio play of Scrooge Christmas Eve. It’s a one man play done by the actor that has performed as Scrooge at the playhouse for the past 15 years. https://www.wvxu.org/post/playhouse-park-brings-christmas-carol-wvxu-0#stream/0

#80 YOP Update – Shellseeker Sweater, Yarn Buying, and Florida Packing

I’m enjoying knitting my shellseeker. You would think that would motivate me to be more focused on my knitting but you would be wrong, unfortunately. I still piddle away too much time. I love the yarn I’m using , Berroco Summer Silk. It’s so soft. So it’s a pleasure to knit. The pattern is pretty braindead so it’s not a taxing knit. Still I get distracted. Plus with Christmas that means taking time to address and send Christmas cards and do some online Christmas shopping.

I think I greatly over purchased yarn for my Shellseeker so I’m going to have to come up with another striped project to use up the remaining yarn. Hmm, now that hubby is on blood thinners he actually needs and does wear sweaters. Something to think about. The photo shows how the stripes are coming. I used an excel sheet to look at and decide how many and what width to make the stripes as I increase the stripe width from top to bottom. It was nice to look at how the stripes would progress using different options. I’m glad I did it as I was able to see I wasn’t going to like the striping of my original plan.

My knitting friends are indeed loving their advent calendars. I’m so happy!!

No photo description available.

I’ll blame it on my local knitting friends….. I ordered more yarn. We were discussing Simply Socks Yarn Co. which led to checking out their website which led to seeing sock yarn on sale. Three of us combined our order to get free shipping and well…. more yarn is on it’s way. Hopefully I’ll get to share next week. If you haven’t watched the latest Grocery Girls podcast watch out. It’s 3 hours of them sharing their favorite yarns and notions. So now I’ve found another yarn company to checkout, Rose Hill Yarns.

I’ve started my knitting project packing for our 3 month stay in Florida. Besides finishing my Shellseeker and a pair of socks I already have on needles, I’m taking yarn for a summery top, for another sweater (Sailormoon), for a shrug, and 2 more pairs of socks – all for me. Plus I’ll take the yarn for my daughter’s top as well. We will likely visit her on the drive back north the end of March so it would be nice to have it done. There is no way I will complete that many projects but it will be nice to have choices.

Ok, enough piddling. Time to get back to my Shellseeker knitting.