New year and new knitting!

Ok, so I know I’m late to the party with posting about 2014 summaries and 2015 goals, but I haven’t bought a new diary yet so I’m claiming to still be in that weird ’14/15 limbo, you know where you might have the first few days, ahem, weeks, of the new calendar year in your old diary to doodle all over… Plus I’ve been busy reading about everyone else’s recaps. If we’re really getting all confessional here, I also avoided this blog coming up to Christmas for fear of accidentally blabbing about Emma’s surprise trip back to Australia, but more on that later.

So, on with the summary! For those of you familiar with the blog, you’ll know that Emma and I committed to doing several projects throughout the year and I’m pleased to say that we did actually knit each of the items on our list in more or less the time frames that we agreed to. Yes, there were moments of public transport yarn casualties and islands of lost sleeves that almost derailed our sweaters, but there were the ecstatic highs of returned knitting mojo and our first stranded colour work too. Overall, Emma and I were so chuffed by what we accomplished we decided to sign on for another year! Emma has updated the about page with the program of patterns and timelines and you’re more than welcome to knit along at home, or in public if that’s your thing, with us. I’d like to think we signed on because we are brave and seasoned knitting veterans, tough as old boots for our youthful twenty-something years, but it’s really much more likely that we’re just yarnaholics who figured out that by making something like this official we now have permission to encourage the other to indulge in yarn and all it’s associated activities without guilt all. the. time. How’s that for crafty?!

On a individual note, in case you thought I was just a sock knitter who spent her spare time stalking quinces, I also happen to sew (clothes, not home furnishing – never will I sew a bunch of bloody curtains.) as well and before 2014 I actually would have put sewing as my main hobby. Alas, sewing took a bit of backseat in 2014, so perhaps I need to recognize that knitting has just as firm a hold on me as sewing does. Anyway, other than committing to the K&Q projects here and hence aiming to knit my first proper sweater, the only other goal I set myself for 2014 was to sew a pair of pants. And I did it! In fact, I made a pair of tracksuit pants, simple trousers, some cool red pants and a pair of jeggings (judge me all you want for the elastic waist but for the record I only use stretch denim that’s as thick as regular denim so I promise you my jeggings aren’t the skanky stockings-pretending-to-be-legitimate-pants kind). So now that my pants fear is conquered the only remaining apparel item left for me to sew is my own lingerie.

On that note, my goals for 2015 are:

  • sew my own lingerie, let’s be honest a knitted bikini is close, but no dice so I’m not going to cheat and try to claim it. I have heard that getting the perfect fit from sewing your own can be even more elusive than buying the perfect fit, so I’m predicting a lot of sock knitting when things get tricky.
  • Knitting  & Quinces projects! First up is another sweater, yes I understand it’s currently 30-odd degrees in Melbourne but I have air conditioning so I’m taking the poor timing hit for the team.
  • Ground zero with my fabric AND yarn stash. This is actually something that I committed to in 2014 but, well, I fell off the wagon on this one a bit. Nonetheless, the rules for me are no buying fabric or yarn until everything is all gone.  And I mean everything. Of course there are exceptions, admittedly last year I saw the K&Q projects as being outside of the rules, but I might have to get strict with that. Also, tourist and gift shopping are naturally exempt from the rules. Sale fabric/yarn was a bit of weakness for me in 2014 but I will be strong and resolute in 2015…

Just to give you an idea of what my stash is currently at, here’s a few photos, sorry for the blurry photos. There’s a lot more on the floor in bags but my sewing/stash room is just too messy to document it without alerting that secret hoarders show. Granted, I don’t have that big of a stash all things considered but that’s precisely why I wanted to go ground zero because I figure it’s actually manageable and if i don’t do it now then it could get out of control and I’ll never be able to do it.

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As it is a few weeks now into 2015, you might be wondering how it’s all going. Well, I have made progress on the Brandied Cherry by diligently starting a swatch and hand-on-my-heart I can say that I haven’t purchased any yarn or fabric either this year. Admittedly, the yarn for my Brandied Cherry was purchased at the end of 2014 when Emma and I met up to go yarn shopping at Morris and Sons. I’m telling myself it was ok to buy the yarn because 1. it was on sale (oh, how I love the Morris and Sons twice yearly sales!) and 2. I was in the presence of yarn tourist shopping, yep Emma, I now count you as a foreigner and that’s as close to tourist shopping as I’m likely to get this year so fair game.

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Anyway, back to business, the yarn I’m using is the Morris and Sons 8 ply Empire. I had spent the night before our shopping date obsessively going through the online store trying to match the thickness of potential yarns and their weight to the recommended yarn in order to get similar draping results, so you would think we would be totally and utterly prepared to make quick decisions once in the store, right? Wrong. I didn’t time it, or take photos of the familiar, yet still impressive, walls that left both Emma and I dumbfounded but suffice to say it was hard going and we couldn’t decide. So in the name of science, Emma went with the Morris and Sons 8 ply Estate and we’ll see how the sweaters turn out in the different bases. Funnily enough, we somehow walked out of there with each others’ typical colours, mine being a dark blue-ish inky colour and I’ll leave Emma to reveal what colour I cajoled her into getting. All in all though, another great shopping day and I hope Emma and her bulging wooly suitcase made it back to Denmark safely.

Unfortunately, in order to complete my swatch I need to free up my 4.5 mm needles still currently occupied with the bikini bottoms so I had better get cracking!

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