Happy New Year! Year of Projects (YOP) 2023

I’m ready to start the New Year right with an impossible list of items I will never accomplish. At the same time, having a list ensures I will be somewhat productive. I do love the feeling of checking items off a list. Perhaps I will start adding gold stars next to completed projects. Plus, it gives me an excuse to blog weekly when I can’t think of anything else to say.

I’m grateful the Year of Projects group is loosely organized, and I was able to take a break last year. My approach this year is to divide and conquer. I’ve divided my full list of knitting projects into separate lists for 2023 and 2024. 2023 (below) includes works in progress (WIPs), and new cast ons I hope to complete this year. Add to this list socks, since my plan is to knit a pair of socks every month this year. That’s not realistic, but that’s never stopped me from trying. Some of these WIPs probably won’t make it this year. There’s a reason I’ve set them aside, but I’m not ready to rip them out yet.

Knitting To Do List

Peaceful Lodge Sweater
  1. Arrowhead Cardigan in Lettlopi
  2. Powdermill (New Year’s cast on)
  3. Who Ya Gonna Shawl? KAL
  4. Willow in Moonstone Arcadia
  5. Super Simple Summer Sweater in Cestari Ash Lawn
  6. Hansel Hap in Ramsay Farms fawn katmoget Shetland with Jamieson and Smiths for trim colors
  7. Summer Solstice Wrap
  8. Knitter’s Dude in Knitpicks Comfy for Bob
  9. Auchnaha in Schiehallion in Mooring
  10. Fall Favorites Sweater in La Bien Aimee Merino Sport (short-sleeved purple cats version)
  11. Cozy Autumn Socks
  12. That Old Christmas Moon Shawl in In Betwixt Yarn Advent (I want to be wrapped up in this by December 1.)
  13. Christmas Pudding Socks
  14. Streely Maid Trigger Mitts in Holiday Doodle Cowl colors
  15. Stash Aurealis
  16. Alaska Hat in Knit Circus kit
  17. Spisa Oven Mitts from stash (gift for Freya)
  18. Advent Scarf

Completed Knitting

Sewing To Do List

I’ve noticed my approach to sewing is to make a pattern to see if I like it. If I do, I make multiples so I don’t have to learn something new every time I sew. It’s more enjoyable for me if I can skip the instructions. So my plan for 2023 is to mostly make multiples. I recently acquired Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Patterns book. There are a couple of garments I really love, the Rui shirt and Pym pants. I have plenty of fabric in my stash for these.

  1. Rui Shirt in apricot linen
  2. Rui Shirt in Liberty blue paisley lawn
  3. Rui Shirtdress in yellow or red linen
  4. Pym Pants in Virginia cotton canvas
  5. Ophelia Overall shorts in Virginia cotton canvas with black walnut ecoprint accents
  6. Audrey Pants in black brushed cotton twill
  7. Martina Coat in black wool floral embossed coating

Weaving List

I wove this scarf!

Spinning List

I’ll finish spinning my Pumpkins for Sale BFL and maybe participate in Tour de Fleece. I think I would also like to dye my natural rovings and spin skeins for gift giving this year.

Happy New Year! We’ve had a lovely weekend, with a gathering at a friend’s in Canton, then an overnight stay with kids in Cuyahoga Falls. New Year’s Eve was spent eating pizza and watching Bloody New Year and Terror Train. Neither of us had ever seen these, but they were an enjoyable diversion. I impressed even myself with my facial recognition gift by pointing out John from Shaun of the Dead in Bloody New Year. (I have a gift for pattern recognition. I am currently using this gift in my role as part-time Remote Bookkeeping Elf — title my own. I log in to computers remotely early in the morning and work on other people’s bookkeeping while they are still asleep. They wake up and their bookkeeping is all done for them! I would love to have an afternoon job that is more creative, and I’m thinking about knitting pattern tech editing.) Today we’re going for a New Year’s hike. Bob will make black eyed peas and collards for dinner.

I usually choose a word for the year, although I don’t think I chose a word for 2022. I spent most of the year focusing on my mental and physical health, and made some progress. I was able to stop taking medications. I was able to get off social media except Facebook. I think about closing my Facebook account, but there are connections with family and friends there I would miss. In fact, a friend recently shared this article that plays into my word for 2023. My word is Voice. The goal is to recognize and reaffirm my own voice, and share it if I want to. No pressure, though, if I don’t feel like it. My resolutions for the year are to knit from stash and have more fun. We’re also having a “no buy” year, as we have a new furnace and electrical system to pay off. This means we can buy food and necessities, but not anything else. Bob pretty much lives like this, so I think we all know who is going to be struggling the most. This was my idea, by the way.

Also from the Wool and Fiber Arts group on Facebook. I’m in it for the memes.

This has been a Year of Projects update. You can find out more about the group here (Rav link) or here: Backstage Kath’s YOP bloggers list.

Boxing Day Round Up

I can now share my other gift make. This is yarn I knit into Rose City Rollers and a shirt we picked up while in Pittsburgh for Nova Scotia Nana who is a Steelers fan. Hi Nana! Yarn is Fibernymph Dyeworks Inversibles in black and gold.

Rather than list all my makes for 2022 — since I shared most of them on my Year of Projects Finale post — I thought instead I would share my totals and favorites.

I knit 15 projects and 8 miles of yarn in 2022. This is down from around 24 projects in previous years. It was a rocky year. My favorites are, below, Ocean Moon Shawl, Pumqueen Cardigan, Ghost Knitter’s Shawl, and Holiday Doodle Cowl.

I completed around 30 sewing projects in 2023, if you count multiples of the same pattern. This number includes project bags and shopping bags made as gifts or for sale in the shop. My favorites are, below, Plaid Flannel Shacket, Clare Coat, Spoopy Project Bag, Zero Waste Gather Dress, and Felix Dress.

I dyed fabric and yarn this year — some naturally, and some with low impact dyes. My favorites are the colorways for Chestnut Hills Farm and Fiber, the black walnut fabric with iron mordant, and the wool and cotton yarn dyed with tansy that is complemented by the Hi Summer colorway. (I’m going to knit a Visser or Halvis out of these, as they look so good together.)

I did manage to improve my spinning this year, and just started with weaving. Not much to show right now, though.

Hand spun local Blue Faced Leicester (BFL)

I will blog about 2023 plans in another post. I miss Year of Projects and am considering rejoining, even though I needed the break. If you are still with me — either on this post or as a subscriber — thanks for reading and sticking with me this year.

We had a lovely low-key Christmas Day with all the kids and Granddog Cannoli. I hope you enjoyed your day!

Merry Christmas!

I finished knitting Henry’s Cthulu for Christmas hat. Pattern: Lovecraft’s Bane. Yarn: Banshee Fiber Arts, Yeti base. It’s wrapped up and under the tree.

I sewed new gift bags this year from quilting cotton I had in stash. The young’uns never really liked these, since they don’t get the full experience of ripping paper. But Bob and I prefer them since they can be reused. No pattern. I sew them the way my Grandma did, which is basically a pillowcase with a gusset, plus a casing with buttonholes for the drawstring closure.

I also sewed myself what I’m calling a “Christmas Lounge Suit” out of some green velour from stash. Tried and true PJ pant pattern from Ottobre. Top is Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio. Rookie error: I cut the back of the pants with the nap reversed, which gives it a harlequin effect. Now I wish I’d done it intentionally on the top, too.

Merry Christmas Day. Happy eighth night of Hanukkah. Happy Kwanzaa tomorrow. And Glad Yule! 2022 completed Holiday watchlist below. We didn’t watch Elf?! 🤷🏻

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Black Adder’s Christmas Carol
  • Christmas at SCTV
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1968 animated)
  • Violent Night (new favorite)
  • A Christmas Carol (1938)
  • Pottersville
  • A Christmas Story
  • Bad Santa
  • Elves (Nisser, Danish 2021)
  • Die Hard
  • Becoming Santa (2011 documentary)
  • Batman Returns
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get Together – Don’t Open Til Xmas
  • Bob’s Burger’s —The Bleakening
  • Bob’s Burgers – The Plight Before Christmas
  • Ghosts Christmas Special
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: O Christmas Pete
  • A Christmas Horror Story
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
  • At Home with Amy Sedaris Holidays
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Hjem til Jul 1 & 2
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas Movie

Winter Solstice WIPs

Happy Winter Solstice! The shortest day of the year has ended, and the longest night is upon us. It’s my favorite night of the year. I’ve started a fire, mulled some apple cider, and am settling in for an evening of knitting. Bob made chili and cornbread for dinner. For dessert I made mince pies!

My WIPs (works in progress) are coming along well.

I am meeting my goal of five rounds per day on Lovecraft’s Bane. I should be finished on Christmas Eve.

I’ve also picked my Peaceful Lodge Sweater back up, for mindless evening knitting. I’ve divided for the armholes and am working on the back right now. I hope to be finished and wearing it on New Year’s Day.

I wish for you good food, great company, and a long cozy night of knitting tonight, or whatever you love to do!

Cthulu for Christmas

Last year I knit hats for my kids, and Henry’s Unbearable Hat was too large. I’m a loose knitter, and I should have known better than to knit the pattern in DK wool superwash. It looks like he’s wearing a tea cosy on his head.

I asked if I could make it up to him with a Cthulu hat. He looked at me like, “I wouldn’t say no.” I started a Lovecraft’s Bane in Banshee Fiber Arts Yeti sport weight. Five rounds per day. I’ve got time for that.

Here’s the Holiday Watch List Update. We lost a little time because we got sucked into Yellowjackets.

  • Batman Returns
  • Christmas with the Kranks
  • Joe Bob’s Ghoultide Get Together – Don’t Open Til Xmas
  • Bob’s Burgers – The Plight Before Christmas
  • Ghosts Christmas Special
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: O Christmas Pete
  • A Christmas Horror Story
  • Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special
  • At Home with Amy Sedaris Holidays
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas
  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale
  • Hjem til Jul
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)

Saturday Share: Wool Tech

This textile designer is pioneering sustainable building materials from wool and fungus.

Scientists are creating wool rope for seaweed farms to help reduce plastics in the oceans.

Woola creates sustainable wool packaging supplies.

Links via Hand Spinning News and The Wool Wire, respectively.

Textiles are one our first technologies, and I’m sometimes surprised people don’t realize they wear cloth constructed from knitting or weaving on a daily basis. (All hail the knitted t-shirt!)

Speaking of wool, I’ve wanted a green wool coat for a few years now. I’ve found a pattern and ordered some fabric swatches, but I’m having a tough time finding a green wool coating that is appropriate. The emerald green contains nylon, and while I won’t be washing the coat and shedding nylon plastic into our watershed, it doesn’t feel right to use it. (Also, it’s way out of my price range.) (Also, the lining fabric is Bemberg which is viscose which has its own environmental production problems.)

The olive green is too lightweight. It’s also not as green as I’d like, although olive is a color I enjoy wearing.

The navy is perfect (100% wool, lining is silk) but it’s navy. I do love navy and have been told it is “my color,” but it’s not green. Would it satisfy my desire for a green coat? No.

I’ll keep watching for the right fabric at the right price, and save my pennies in the meantime. I have some black wool embossed coating leftover from an unfortunate fabric purchase that will make a nice coat. I can use it to make a muslin.

I still want a little flock of Shetland sheep. Bob says I’d be sleeping with them to try to protect them from predators, so I’m not allowed. I fret too much about the frogs as it is.

Warped

I have wanted to learn to weave for a couple of decades, but either time or expense prevented me. I now have the time, and my guild has looms available to borrow. I borrowed a Schacht Wolf Pup and am teaching myself how to warp!

I don’t have many tools, including a warping board, so I watched this video about winding a warp using chairs. It seems to have worked just fine. I created a spreadsheet to help me calculate the yardage needed for my project. I’m now ready to warp the loom.

What am I weaving? I thought a plaid scarf would be a good first project, and I’m basing the colors on the sunshine colorway from Studio Donegal:

I found some wool yarn in the correct sett for the loom reed from Gist yarn, in similar colors. It will be a plain weave. Originally I wanted to make a coat in the colors below, also from Studio Donegal:

I had lost this image, but found it while searching my blog for something else. If I enjoy weaving, I will make this my next weaving project. I only have this loom for one month, so I’d better get going on my scarf!

I’m not completely new to weaving, as I had a rigid heddle loom at one time. My hope was to eventually weave dish towels and other home textiles in cotton, which requires a finer weave than possible on the rigid heddle loom (at least the one I owned). I’m glad to be moving on to a floor loom.

Do I need another hobby? No. But this fulfills a long-time desire. At least I can say I tried!

Advent Scarf

A few years ago I really wanted to knit this scarf:

📸 Tricia Weatherston

I still want to knit it! (That’s a tried and true test for spending my knitting time in a quality way.)

I’m late to start an Advent scarf. I have a cone of sport weight Frangipani gansey yarn (worsted spun with great stitch definition) in off white that I think would be perfect, though. Should I cast on? (I think the answer to that question is always YES.) Or I could add it to next year’s December knitting list, which is more rational and realistic, especially since I have a couple of gift knits to finish.

Are you a December Advent knitter? I like it as a way to count down the holidays. I didn’t put anything in my Advent chest this year. I was disappointed when I created my own yarn Advent with leftovers. I thought I was really clever, tricking myself. Oh well. Maybe next year I’ll purchase some new little things and fill in with chocolate.

Here is my updated Holiday Watch List of titles I’ve seen so far:

  • All is Bright
  • Krampus
  • Rare Exports
  • Hjem til Jul
  • Gilmore Girls holiday episodes
  • Great British Baking Show holiday episodes
  • Great American Baking Show holiday edition
  • A Christmas Story Christmas movie (a worthy follow up to the original)

Have you any new holiday movies or shows you are watching this year?

Holiday Doodle Cowl

I finished knitting my Holiday Doodle Cowl! I was worried I made it too snug, but I love that I can cover my nose with it and it stays up. (And ears!)

Pattern is Holiday Doodle Cowl by Pacific Knit Co. She has different versions of the pattern, so you have to make sure you get the charts you want. Yarn is Rauma Strikkegarn in 123 mid green, 100 white, 155 light blue, 144 red, and 198 light green. I ended up finding the red at Wool & Company, but I purchased the rest of my yarn from The Woolly Thistle.

I like this yarn a lot. It’s woolly, so not for someone who wants their wool super soft. But to me it’s warm and cozy. I have enough left to make some mittens, so I think I’ll do that. I’ve been wanting to make some trigger mittens from Saltwater Classics since our trip to Nova Scotia. They would be fun in these colors.

I also really enjoyed knitting the pattern. It’s fun, straightforward colorwork. I think this may be my favorite type of knitting, after stockinette. I’m also proud of my grafting, which you can see here. Or can you?

I’ve wanted to knit this since 2020, when I purchased the pattern on Ravelry. I’m glad I will have it to wear this holiday season!

Sock it to Me Krampus

Krampus was sure to get his licks in today. I had four fillings replaced. The good news is I stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home to pick up a rosemary tree so I can make gluten-free rosemary shortbread, and they had gluten-free Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s in stock! I bought two boxes. I guess I’ve been good this year after all.

We are watching Rare Exports with our Krampus gingerbread to take a bite every time a character does. I’m knitting on my Merry Krampus socks. We might watch Krampus after or A Christmas Horror Story.

Happy Krampusnacht!