Wrapping up 2018: Knitting

January 05, 2019

It's the first few days of 2019, I posted my year in sewing a couple of days ago, so what better time to talk about and round off the knitting I did in 2018?  My knitting output -as in the actual volume of projects I made- was on the low side and it has been like that for the last couple of years. Nevertheless, I don't think I've ever been happier with the things I've knitted! I've knit some long longed-for projects, I've knit complicated and time consuming projects and I've made time to knit some things for my favourite people. All in all, I'm really pleased and wouldn't be mad if next year showed a similar picture as this one. So let's get into my year in knitting:

Year of finally finishing my oldest wip  

I finished my Kokkeluri Mittens knitted in Buchaille this year. This was my work in progress that had been languishing the longest of all my WIPs. After finishing the first mitten when the pattern came out in 2015, I  shoved said mitten in a corner, and forgot about it for a couple of years. I finally came back to it at the start of this year to make and finish the second mitten.

Looking back, I can hardly understand why I just let it sit there for years. The actual knitting was done in a couple of days and it's been my most worn hand armour since I've finished the second mitten. What can I say, second mitten syndrome is a thing. A terrifying, mystifying thing made of some dark, dark stuff. To other knitters with hibernating WIPs hiding in the cupboard: do not despair, for there is hope!

So nice I knit it twice

I knitted the Brackett hat, from Laine issue 3, twice this year. First I knitted the blue version for myself and shortly afterwards the green version as a gift. I love this hat pattern and it reminds me a bit of an updated fisherman style hat. I love the squishy cables and how it uses so little yarn to great effect. It is a great stash buster and a cost effective hat so if you were looking for one look no further. These colder days the green one is used all the time by it's recipient so I definitely feel my knitting effort were appreciated there as well which is always nice.

Looking back I like seeing that I did branch out a bit designer wise: I have quite an established style and I know what I like now better than ever, but I'd never knitted a pattern by Whitney Hayward. I have some firm favourite designers and know that whenever they will put out something new, I'm probably going to like it. It can be hard to keep my eye out for new designers through that wall of faves, especially when my queue list is the length of the Nile. But it is nice to see it still happens, even without me making a point of it.

The year of forgetting accessories exist 

I have always been more of a sweater and big project knitter but this year I basically forgot accessories exist after the first two months. Not entirely sure where this was coming from. I don't dislike knitting them and the hats and gloves I made at the start from the year are some of my favourites ever. I guess I just really like knitting sweaters and throwing myself at big projects. This year I threw myself into some really big and complicated projects, more than any other year, and I guess they just took and kept all my attention this year. I wonder what my mood will be next year.

Returning to an old favourite

I rarely knit the same sweater twice. It happened once in my early knitting days when I knit the
"Fair Isle Yoke" from a Stitch in Time vol 1 twice. However, since I designed an entirely different yoke for the second version I'm not sure if it entirely counts. I knit my first Puffin a few years back in the original puffin colours. It is a firm favourite in my wardrobe, but I had visions of a spectacularly more colourful sweater inspired by another bird when I was knitting that first sweater. This year I decided to make my Puffin-but-make-it-parrot visions come true and knit up this pattern a second time. I've worn this cheery jumper quite often this autumn and winter even though it is a slight deviation from my normal colour palette. I guess can put any doubts about whether I would wear such a bright colour decidedly to rest now. 

The year of more gift knitting than I give myself credit for

This year I knit a hat, a Pippi doll and an adult sized sweater as gifts for loved ones. As someone who considers herself predominantly a selfish knitter that is quite a tally. I knit the Pippi doll as a Christmas present for my nephew, and this was the last project I made and blogged in 2018. 

The biggest gift project I did this year was the lopapeysa I made for my partner. The sweater still needs to grace the blog in a post of its own - and that will happen in the new year- but since you've seen it in project posts and flatlays on instagram I figured I would include it here anyway. I do feel proud of this achievement and it does makes me happy seeing someone else wearing a sweater I made, which I wasn't expecting. Now, I'm not unsubscribing from the 'selfish knitters' group just yet, most of the things I make will always be for myself, but I can see myself knitting a garment gift again... somewhere in the far future.... after I've recovered and put in enough selfish knitting mileage.

The year of the  fair isle allovers

Knitting wise if I had to stick a theme to this year it would be the allover. I knitted three allovers this year, one minimalistic take and two more involved colourwork garments. My love for stranded colourwork and fair isle is no secret and for years it's been what I knit the most of each year. It has been evolving every year though. I love a good yoke sweater and have knitted my fair share of them. Since knitting my first allover last year, I've developed a taste for those. I always greatly admired them, but I also had been intimidated by them and put them on a pedestal as some sort of unreachable goal. When I made Windermere I felt like I broke through that mental block. This year I've proven to myself well beyond doubt that it no longer is an issue for me. Huzzah! More colourwork possibilities is more fun! 

The first part of the year Marie Wallin's Unst cardigan was my big project. This was the first multi coloured allover that I attempted. I significantly changed the colour scheme and added an additional colour. I relished the planning stage for this one and greatly enjoyed putting together a palette that suited my taste. It helps that the yarn I picked (Jamieson's spindrift) has a vast array of colourways to pick from and I was truly spoiled for choice. Even with careful planning though, there is an element of uncertainty when you come up with your own scheme but I am super pleased with the outcome of this cardigan. As with any fair isle project it was great fun seeing each band of colours emerge. 

I well took my time for this one, and it took longer than I expected it would take. At the same time I couldn't be more pleased with the result and I never lost my enjoyment in this project at the knitting stage.


 My next sweater was a much simpler and minimalist take on the colourwork allover. I've worn this one quite a bit since the colder weather set in. I especially wore it all through the holidays after I realised I accidentally made a low-key festive sweater. I got some questions about the festive nature of the sweater while wearing it over the holiday period, so I guess the red really speaks to our collective Christmas mood? In any case I hadn't intended it like one, I made it over the summer because I just like wearing red, but it was a nice coincidence.  

I wore this to the Christmas celebration with my family at my brothers place and when I came home I noticed a small hole in one of my armpits where the seam broke. This could say something about the yarn strength, but because it's plied, it should be sturdier than most tweeds. The break started at the end of the seam, so the yarn I used there had to suffer the most to get there so to speak. It was an easy fix the next day, but if it happens again I'll keep that in mind the next time I use this yarn and I'll find another yarn for seaming.


Orkney was the final multi colour allover cardigan that I did this year. She still needs to grace the blog with her presence (and she'll do that soon) but since you've seen progress shots on instagram I don't think I'm giving away anything by including her here. Orkney is another fair isle design by Marie Wallin, and like Puffin I have longed to knit project for a long time. It had been in my queue since it was first published in a Rowan Magazine in 2012. I think making Unst liberated me of my feelings of inadequacy, and liberated me to start this project.

One of the interesting things about this pattern is that sleeves and body have different patterning and use different colour combinations. Instead of mirroring each other, they echo each other, which made playing around with colours even more interesting. You'll see more of Orkney on here soon so I'll share more of my thoughts then.

The Verdict

It's hard to pick faves and fails from this lot. I mentioned at the start of this post how I love all of the projects I made this year and consider them all roaring successes. I can't really ask for more than that. My favourites are probably the two allover cardigans Unst and Orkney. However, Riddari has a special place in my heart as the first lopapeysa I made for someone else and Parrot Puffin because it was a long held idea and vision that I realised this year. So while my knitting felt a bit slow at times and progress tedious, if that was the trade off for such a successful end-of-the-year knit pile then I'll take it!

As with my sewing I don't have any grand year goals or year challenges that I'm setting for myself or am participating in. These days it is less about the amount of stuff I make and more about the time and consideration put into that project. This certainly wasn't always the case for me, but it's been like that for me for a while now. Especially with sewing I deliberately take things a bit slower: knitting is always slower than sewing, but I always used to aspire to be one of those bloggers who has output every week (lol, never got close). I still admire these bloggers and makers, but it is no longer something I aspire to be and I'm way less focussed on the number of makes(Is this what getting older does to you? What would I do with all that stuff anyway?). I have some loose goals and things I want to make but I have these year round and they are fluid and adaptable. I find I work best that way, and enjoy things more if I don't put myself under extra self imposed pressures. Everyone is different though, so tell me if you have any fun challenges or goals planned for yourself for 2019!

I have one more post about 2018, in which I will talk about some of my favourite things that came out of 2018 (expect a listicle!) and some personal bits. See you then!


Finished Sewing Projects

Wrapping up 2018: Sewing

January 02, 2019

Hello 2019, and happy new year blog friends! Well, I don't know about you but to me it feels both wildly overdue and impossible at the same time to have arrived at a brand new year. Instead of trying to make sense of it all just imagine me making some wild gestures and muttering incoherent while I attempt to say something funny or smart about it. Anyway as the title suggest, I am not here to make any grand speeches about 2019 (yet). Instead I want to look back at 2018 for a bit more. Of course I had planned to type and post about all a recap of the year last week when everyone else was posting them but the last days of the year, with all the holiday stuff going on, can be so full and even though I had gotten quite far with my wrap up post and might have been able to finish before the new year if I had made a point about it, I decided not to stress it and just take the task into the new year. First week of the new year is the last week to do your wrap up posts amiright?

So here is my annual looking back on the year post. My main take away of 2018 is that it's impossible that this year was just 12 months long. I feel 2018 was at least ten years. Not because it dragged on and on, on the contrary I feel so much has happened and changed (and changed and changed again) in my life that it cannot just have been one year. To be honest I felt like December alone should have lasted a year given the amount of stuff that was going on. Most of that happened behind the scenes though, so hasn't made it to any of my tiny screen accounts. What has made it to all my various screen outlets is the making that I did this year.

I always like reading people's year reviews and looking forward to the year. I also enjoy writing them myself and I always come away with the feeling that I accomplished more than I thought when I started writing the post. This year is no different. I thought the start of the year was extremely slow for my making, and while that was not entirely untrue, I had also just forgotten quite a few things of what I did or misdated when I made them.

So let's have a look at my year in sewing: 

The year of focusing on basics

I started the year with sewing some basics. This started a sewing basics-kick that lasted almost the entire year. I don't know, but if I had to stick one theme to my sewing this year "the year of sewing basics" would have been a good candidate. Anyway it started with this t-shirt I made at the start of the year. I made some more truly basic stuff this year but none of them made it onto the blog. It's  hard to motivate myself to post about them cause I have way less to say about them. Maybe I should make a bumper post with a couple of similar items in them? We'll see. I didn't actually wear this Jane t-shirt a lot this year and I'm still trying to find out whether it is because something is bothering me with the shirt itself or whether it's because I just don't wear T-shirts a lot in general. 

Continuing on the sewing basics theme I signed up for the Summer of Basics for the first time. The goal was to give my woefully lacking summer wardrobe a boost. I'm so happy that I joined this challenge, looking back I think I succeeded in my goal, over the summer I regularly wore the items that I made. In general I think these three items are among my favourite sewn things ever. 

The Ninni's were an unexpected make for me. I don't often wear trousers and wasn't at all sure about the reappearance of culottes on the forefront of fashion when they first started to appear everywhere. Haha, joke's on me as this has been my most worn summer piece. It's super easy to wear and and a real heat battler especially made in such a lightweight flowy fabric. 

I worn this so much that I'm thinking of making another one next summer. It's also a real good reminder that it's not always the most involved and time consuming projects that turn out to be the real wardrobe winners.

The year of pushing skills 

 The Yari jumpsuit was another unexpected but satisfying make. It hasn't been worn as much as the culottes, but that is also in part of the type of clothing that a jumpsuit is. I feel jumpsuits are a bit of a statement piece, but this summery linen piece is toned down enough for everyday wear. I was really feeling linen in this summer's blistering heat and the Yari filled that linen jumpsuit shaped hole in my life perfectly. I really pushed my construction and topstitching skills for this project. I still think this is one of my technically best sewn things to date.

After finishing this jumpsuit and the Ninni culottes I really started to feel a lot more confident both in my sewing and in my summer wardrobe. I always had huge difficulty in dressing for warm weather in a style that still felt like "me". I think these pieces might be a step in the right direction in developing my summer wardrobe further and that is a huge (HUGE) win for me.

My final summer of basics sew was the Kalle shirtdress and this was perhaps the pattern I would have been most confident of it becoming an wardrobe winner if you'd ask me at the beginning. It is true, it has become a wardrobe winner. It was also, unexpectedly, the most tedious to sew and took the longest, not just of my summer of basics makes, but of all the things I sewed this year. I guess it is a testament to how much I like this dress that I actually still want to make more of these. It was my first proper shirt dress, or any shirt kind of clothing that I made and I learned a lot of new things with this dress (burrito method! Collar construction!) as well as pushed my skills in other areas, such as topstitching and neat finishes with delicate fabric. The latter of these also explains errr... why this project took so long.

The year of pushing comfort zone 

This year saw me pushing my comfort zone in various ways. I tried a bunch of new styles in term of clothing like culottes and jumpsuits. I broke through a mental block on taking modelled photos that I expertly put there myself in the first place at the start of the year. I properly got into sewing and posting about summer clothing, which as lame as it sounds was spectacularly out of my comfort zone.

I also tried some new dress, pants and short lengths this year. Or, returned to some depending on your outlook: I wore miniskirts in high school, but that long ago enough to make this feel like new territory to me. Like with this this dungaree dress: I distinctly remember taking these pictures on an icy cold day in March just after voting in the elections over here. I was and still am very pleased with this make. It's possibly one of the coolest things I made and one of the more successful projects. I like that I re-purposed fabric from a failed make and turned it into something I did like.

The year of acquiring new skills and crossing off big goals

Finally I sewed and posted about my first bra. This had become a personal sewing holy grail after having it as a loose goal on the back of my mind for years. I can hardly believe that I finally broke through it! The bra is this year's show-piece price, my masterpiece, the pièce de résistance, the crown jewel of my sewing this year. I made my first bra after wanting to do so for a looooong time and it is a big deal for me.

I felt a lot of pride and joy from this one, but I have to admit that I hesitated about posting it and  just felt a bit weird and awkward about it in general. At the same time I hated that feeling and I recognize the social systems in place that make me feel that nervous and I wanted to push through that (and also just want to show you guys what I make and help others but you get the idea). I haven't completely rid myself of those feelings but I'm glad I pushed through enough to post them anyway.

 I'm so happy, proud and somewhat relieved to finally have this goal crossed off of the long list. Bra fitting and making is a steep learning curve but I feel like I learned a ton already and I really enjoy throwing myself deeper into the craft that is sewing so I definitely consider this a success. I can't wait to develop my bra making skills further in the new year. 

The year of figuring stuff out

I feel like I made strides this year into finding out what I like in the clothing I wear. Particularly with sewing I feel I made a big step this year. I've been a dedicated knitter for a lot longer than I've been sewing garments and always felt that my sense of what I like and don't like with knitting was always light years ahead of my style and preference development in sewing. This year I've thought more about the overall picture and style I want to communicate and in turn have made progress in figuring out my non-knit style better. A  repurposing the fabric from a previous make to make Eloisa made me think more actively about what components go into making me enjoy a wearing a piece of clothing.

I did  part of Colette's wardrobe architect and Fringe Association's slow fashion October prompts this year. (I did this offline for myself and -shock horror- didn't record this online anywhere) but found them helpful in figuring some things out about myself. I've now got a much better idea of my fabric, print,colour and shape preferences. I still have more ground to make up in this area, and of course taste and style are ever changing but I'm really pleased with my progress and the work I did in this area.

Finally, the verdict 

My favourite sewn make of this year is surprisingly, ahum, the bra. However, given that I can't (comfortably) wear it I feel that doesn't entirely count. So of the other items my favourites are the Kalle shirt dress and the Ninni culottes...closely followed by the Yari jumpsuit and the Eloisa Dungaree dress. Given the difficulty I had to pick a favourite I can safely say that this year's sewing has been a success!

I'm excited to see what next year has in store for me. I have some ideas as to sewing goals and things I want to develop but nothing is set in stone yet. So that was my wrap up of my sewing. Stay tuned because I got two more wrap up posts to go before I sink my teeth into 2019 including all my knitwear. -I feel I can be as extra as I want on my own blog-

Take care friends and see you soon!

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