2015: The Year in Fiber

Elinya Shawl
Elinya Shawl

It doesn’t usually occur to me to look back on the year in fiber and summarize, but as I was updating my Ravelry project list I started scrolling to see what I’d completed and how that compared with 2014. Given that this was a crazy year (UK travel for training; Rick’s broken foot, surgery, and recovery; starting the new business), I was surprised by the output I’d managed.

By the end of the year I will have completed 17 projects, comprising:

  • 3 hats and 3 scarves (2 of each were sets)
  • 2 baby blankets
  • 2 baby sweaters
  • 2 cowls
  • 2 shawls
  • 3 pairs of socks
  • 1 set “doll” accessories
  • 1 adult sweater (started 2013)
Striped Hat & Scarf Set
Striped Hat & Scarf Set

Not a bad haul, especially since the previous year saw 19 projects, most of which were small items. Clearly, knitting provides not just a creative outlet, but an avenue for stress relief and distraction during periods of intensity.

Another interesting comparison between 2014 and 2015 is my development in the craft of knitting itself. Last year there was a lot of experimentation going on. I developed 3 new patterns, tried a whole bunch of techniques for sock heels (some successful; some not). I tried my first set of mitered mittens; first sweater from a translated pattern; first (and possibly last) hat pattern from a drawing/cartoon. Many of these experiments turned out really well. A few projects I would go back and re-knit if I could, based on what I learned.

In 2015 there were a few new garment types (my first shawls!), but the sum looks mostly like comfort knitting: garter stitch or knit-purl patterns that were easy to power through in waiting rooms, in front of the TV with a glass of homebrew, or on planes and trains. Stripes were my new addiction, providing interest without a lot of complication. I also seem to have taken my knitting skill up a notch.

Striped Child's Sweater
Striped Child’s Sweater

My gauge looks more even and there is no mismatched symmetry between sets of sleeves or socks. Having knit a couple of pairs of badly mismatched socks, this is an area I’ve been trying to improve. Marking beginnings and endings of sections (the start of the decrease section on a sleeve; the end of the heel on a sock) helps a lot and is something I need to continue to do, and not abandon cavalierly when I think I know better.

Handspun blue yarn
Handspun blue yarn

And of course, there was the addition of the spinning wheel in the fall, and the resulting first skeins of yarn. I look forward to more home-made yarn (and a sweater knit from it!) in 2016.

Published by Sarah Scully

Sarah is a librarian as well as an avid knitter and occasional knitwear designer. She also enjoys cooking, gardening, hiking, reading, painting, and writing with fountain pens.