Happy New Year 2015! A Review Of 2014

Howdy, knitters! Welcome to 2015! If you’re a returning reader, I’m glad to have you back. If this is your first time at the Knitting Daddy blog, I sure do hope you enjoy your stay. Whether you’re a new reader or have been reading the blog for a bit, thank you so much for reading.

Let me guess — the end of your 2014 was busy, and you’re only now starting to get a handle on things in 2015. Am I right? That’s definitely how it was for me. I suspect that it will be a few weeks, still, for things to get closer to “normal.” Who am I kidding? Things are always an adventure around here! “Normal” is always changing.

In this post, I’m going to be reviewing my 2014 knitting and talking about knitting plans for 2015. Before digging into that, however, let’s take a look at what’s been going on recently in my knitting world.

One Finished Sock

It’s exciting to see a finished Christmas sock. I’m already looking forward to wearing it 11 months from now!

Recently In Podcasts

Since it’s been almost a month since I updated the blog, I have listened to a lot of podcasts. I won’t take the time to review them all episode-by-episode here, but I’ll note that my earbuds have been full of 2 Knit Lit Chicks, CraftLit, Curious Handmade, Down Cellar Studio, Ewe University, Fiber Hooligan, Knit 1 Geek 2, knit.fm, Knitmore Girls, Knitting Pipeline, KnottyGirls Knitcast, Never Not Knitting, Math4Knitters, NH Knits, TwinSet Designs, and Yarn Thing With Marly Bird. They’re all good ones!

One of my highlights over the past month of listening to podcasts is that I got caught up with “North and South” on CraftLit. Heather’s started a new book, and I’m still several episodes behind in the podcast, but I’m working my way up to being current bit by bit.

I made it through the switchboard on Yarn Thing With Marly Bird again in the episode with Shannon Okey from Cooperative Press and won a prize! I won a subscription to Knit Edge, which I’m really enjoying. I love that it’s not just a magazine with patterns, but instead has long-form articles that are related to knitting. There’s a decent chance I’ll renew the subscription when my prize subscription runs out.

You might have noticed a new podcast in my list above: NH Knits. I think I discovered this podcast via Instagram, and I absolutely love it. Claire has an obvious passion for knitting, and loves to share it with her listeners. She’s originally from Scotland, but has been living in New Hampshire (thus the “NH”) for some time. I enjoyed the podcast so much, I went ahead and downloaded all the back episodes and listened to them all (there are less than a dozen at this point, so it’s pretty easy to catch up).

Recently On My Needles

Mostly since I last updated the blog, my needles have been clicking with gift knitting for Christmas. Due to some unexpected issues at home, all of our Christmas travel plans got canceled, and I still haven’t made all the visits that will involve gift exchanging. So photos and discussion of those items will come sometime down the road.

I can talk about the washcloth I knitted for Blueberry. This was a fun, quick knit with yarn I found in my stash. It’s a Susan B. Anderson pattern, and I learned a little bit of crochet to do the edging for it. Blueberry loves it! I think I’m going to knit more fun washcloths for bath time.

Pea Pod Washcloth

This pea pod washcloth was a lot of fun to knit and gave me the opportunity to learn how to crochet an edging around a piece of knitted fabric.

Ravelry Project Page: Pea Pod Washcloth
Pattern: Pea Pod Washcloth by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn Used: Lily Sugar’n Cream Solids & Denim

I can also talk about the socks I started on Christmas Day, though, ’cause they’re for me!

Christmas Socks 2014

The Lollipop Yarn is so much fun to knit with. I love my first adventure in self-striping socks!

After hearing the KnitCrate interview on Yarn Thing With Marly Bird, I headed over and gave their “Try-A-KnitCrate” package for December, with the sock crate, as a birthday present to myself. I love KnitCrate! It was really cool getting a package of special yarn and goodies. A KnitCrate subscription would make an awesome gift and it would be so cool to get a package from them every month, but I just can’t justify the cost for myself. Along with the other goodies, I received an awesome ball of Lollipop Yarn sock yarn in the “Carol Of The Bells” colorway. I decided to cast them on Christmas Day, so I will be sure to have them finished in plenty of time for Christmas 2015. I think that’s the way to do Christmas sock knitting — find awesome yarn at Christmastime and knit for next year’s pair of socks. It really takes the time-pressure off what can otherwise be a stressful knitting season. Knitting is our hobby! We don’t need to stress over it! 🙂 Anyway, I’m doing the socks with 6×2 ribbing down the leg and instep instead of plain stockinette, and I’m loving how the striping works. This is my first time knitting socks with self-striping yarn, and it is totally cool. I love that these are a no-fuss, no-time-crunch project. I’m (barely) into the 2nd sock now, so I’ll probably finish this pair in a few weeks.

Perfect Fit

The Christmas socks are a perfect fit. I used the Simple Skyp Socks pattern, but without the skyp stitches. I like how it turned out.

Ravelry Project Page: Christmas Socks 2014
Pattern: incorporates Simple Skyp Socks by Adrienne Ku
Yarn Used: Lollipop Yarn Tradition in colorway Carol of the bells

Happy New Year 2015! A Review Of 2014

So happy New Year! Last year was an exciting year for me, and I’m looking forward to excitement in 2015. I thought it would be a good idea to start the new year by reviewing what I accomplished last year. The most logical place to start for that is a review of my 2014 knitting goals.

Let’s take a look at ’em one at a time.

Write 1 new blog post every week on my Knitting Daddy blog.

I didn’t hit the mark on this one. But, by and large, I came pretty close. Life happens, and maintaining my knitting blog is not the number one priority in my life, so when it needs to get shuffled down, it gets shuffled down. I have room for improvement, but I’m satisfied with my progress.

Participate in at least 1 KAL.

I knocked this one out of the park with 4 KALs! I did the Bunny & Lamb in April, the Flower Fairy in a Tulip in May, the Milo also in May, and the Happy Mouse Sad Mouse in June. The KALs were a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to continuing to participate in KALs from time to time.

Finish Blueberry’s Adaline cardigan that has been on the needles, like, forever.

No way. This project is in deep hibernation, and will probably never see the light of day again. And I’m totally cool with that.

Participate in at least 3 IBK swaps. (Probably mini-swaps)

Another goal exceeded! I participated in 6 swaps this year, all in the IBK group. Most of them were mini-swaps, which is great for being able to bite off a small chunk to work on instead of committing to something large. I did a Valentine swap, an Easter swap, a Rainbow swap (which was medium-sized), a summer spa swap, an ornament swap, and a Secret Santa swap. Swaps are so much fun, and I’m going to keep at ’em!

Knit at least 4 patterns that have been gifted to me.

I get a partial on this one. I knitted 2 patterns that were gifted to me: Milo and Pea Pod Washcloth. I’m going to try to put more focus on knitting my gifted patterns this year.

Contribute to every IBK charity drive.

So far, so good! I have not yet contributed to the December/January charity, so I’m technically behind. But I contributed to all the other ones. Knitting for charity is a real blessing, and I’m going to strive to keep it up. I don’t know that I’ll stick to knitting for every IBK charity drive going forward, but I’ll definitely continue to stay active with charity knitting.

Knit at least 1 pair of socks for myself.

Bam! Goal exceeded, with successfully completing 2 pair of socks for myself (plus a pair for Dad). And I’ve got a pair for myself on the needles right now. The first pair I knit for myself were a little snug, but the second pair fit wonderfully.

Knit a fish hat before the November fishing trip.

Not only did I finish the fish hat in time for the trip, it had magical powers and caused us to catch so many fish on our trip this year that we actually brought some home with us!

Fish Hat In Action

The Fish Hat is the perfect hat to wear when surf fishing off the North Carolina Outer Banks in the middle of November.

Knit Spud & Chloë from the Spud & Chloë At The Farm book.

I made it as far as separating the yarn I’ll use for these apart. Maybe this year.

Knit Mary, Joseph, and Jesus for a nativity.

We celebrated with the Fisher Price Nativity set again in 2014. Maybe these folks will get on my needles this year.

Within a week of buying new yarn, cast it on for a project, unless it is “souvenir yarn.” (This was almost “no new yarn,” but I’ll allow myself to buy yarn for specific projects.)

LOL

Knit at least 1 hat for myself.

Heck, yeah! I’m rocking my fish hat.

Write out and publish patterns for my iPhone Cozy and Dapper Dishcloth.

This isn’t going to happen. I’ve got another idea for a smart phone cozy in my head and I’d rather work it out and publish the pattern for it. And there are a few other design ideas rolling around in my head that I’d like to try to work on this year.

Submit something to the county and/or state fair.

Here’s another goal exceeded. I entered 3 fairs in total: the Central Carolina Fair, The Dixie Classic Fair, and the NC State Fair. I was thrilled that I won ribbons in all 3 fairs, including the first-place blue ribbon at the state fair for a pair of socks I knitted for my dad’s birthday. I had a lot of fun at the fair, and I’m totally planning on entering the fair again this year. I think I’ll just stick to the Central Carolina Fair and the NC State Fair. The Dixie Classic was a lot of fun, but since it butts right up against the NC State Fair, it was a pain to get my items from one fair to the other. I don’t work in Forsyth county anymore, so my “local” fair ties really are strongest with the Central Carolina Fair. We’ll still go to the Dixie Classic, though!

All The Ribbons

All three of my ribbons at the NC State Fair: 1st place for the socks, 2nd place for the hat, honorable mention for the toy.

Overall Assessment

Overall, I’m very satisfied with my progress against my 2014 goals. I didn’t achieve all of them — some of them I didn’t even start, but I knew I had an aggressive set of goals going into this. I also did a decent amount of knitting that wasn’t on my radar when I made my knitting goals last year, so the fact that I didn’t achieve them all doesn’t bother me.

2015 Goals

So what are my goals for 2015? I’m not making any. I’ll have a general theme that I want to continue to learn things. So that might involve learning new techniques. It might involve learning how to design my own projects, and how to write patterns. It might involve things I’m not even considering now. I found that having the goals in 2014 worked well for providing a framework, but I pretty much knitted whatever I felt like knitting anyway. That’s what I’m going to do in 2015. I hope you stick around for the ride and see what I manage to come up with.

How was your 2014 with respect to knitting? Did you accomplish everything you wanted to accomplish? What was your favorite knitting adventure of the past year? What about this year — are you making 2015 goals? Keep the conversation going by leaving a comment and letting us know about your knitting goals.

Until next time, keep on knitting for the ones you love!

-greg

4 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2015! A Review Of 2014

    • Thanks! The fish hat is probably my favorite knit of the year. I *always* get compliments on it when I wear it, and I when I mention that I made it myself, the compliments increase. It’s a lot of fun.

  1. Hi, Greg! Just read your initial post. I love your story, and I love that you are a man of many interests! Your daughter is adorable, and that picture of her at 1 with her preemie hat perched precariously on her head is precious. She is going to marvel over and treasure that little hat for years and years!

    • Hi, Shelley! Thanks so much for checking out my story and leaving some kind words here on the blog. I agree that my daughter is adorable, but I may be a bit biased. It really is amazing to pull that tiny hat out and look at it from time to time. When Blueberry was born, it was just the right size, but it looks so tiny now — it barely fits on my fist.

      Hope you enjoy the blog and keep coming back to check out new posts as I write more!

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