Even though I've been a remiss blogger this year, I did a lot of stuff – made a lot of jewelry and knit a few things. This year was not a big year for knitting. I had hoped to reach at least the same amount of items as last year (a whopping six) and I didn't, alas. I made four hats and one shawl. Two hats were great, two were kind of duds. The shawl was fabulous.
Clockwise from top left Topiary Beanie (Weekend Hats by Cecily MacDonald& Melissa LaBarre), Ruche (Weekend Hats), Daybreak Shawl (Stephen West), Fern Glade Hat (Megan Marshall via Knitty), and Long Leaves Beanie (Weekend Hats).
At some point earlier this year I was on a hat kick and I went with it. The Weekend Hats book is pretty great and I started knitting through all the patterns I liked. There's still three or four that I wouldn't mind knitting. I don't feel like knitting hats much anymore (compared to when I first started knitting, that's all I ever knit) so when the urge strikes I just go go go until I'm tired of it. Of the above four hats, two are iffy in their success and the other two turned out fabulous.
Topiary and Ruche didn't turn out the way I hoped. Topiary is much (much!!) too long, but circumference-wise fits fine and it pretty cute even if I have to roll the back so it fits better. I knit it out of Madelinetosh Vintage which is soooo nice! Ruche – I think something might have been wrong with the pattern because I wound up with far too many stitches after the foldover row so I wound up doing five foldovers instead of three. Now it fits weird. Probably because my head is big. I will probably try to find somebody it fits and give it to them. I also didn't care for the yarn much (one of the Vickie Howell yarns – color's great but it was hard to work with).
The other hats, Long Leaves and Fern Glade turned out great. Long Leaves is one of my favorite hats ever, knit out of Lorna's Laces Shephard Worsted in Ysolda Red (I don't know if it's called that still, the website calls a similar color Bold Red). What a treat to knit with! It's a great color and pattern. It's also the perfect beanie length – it covers my ears perfectly! Fern Glade I actually did futz around with – it's not written for heavy worsted yarn, it's written for DK weight and I was using Madelinetosh Chunky so I adjusted the pattern accordingly. It didn't turn out quite as beret-ish as I wanted but I think a more severe blocking over a plate would help that. Also my mom wears her hats farther back on her head than I do, so her bangs show (I can't seem to do this without the hat falling off) so it may be baggier on her than me. At any rate, great pattern, great yarn!
Some jewelry highlights:
Hey, look at me, inserting a gallery into a post! Go me! I wish I'd taken a picture of the awesome Southwestern-style turquoise necklace I made my mom for Christmas, it turned out really nice.
This year I went to a lot of bead shows – both of the big ones at the Oakland Marriott, and at least two up in Sacramento. I believe I even popped over to the one they started having at the Hilton in Concord. I only consciously skipped one of them – at a certain point in October I was just plain exhausted and didn't want to drive up to Sacramento again so I bailed on that one, but it was like three weeks before the huge Bay Area Bead Extravaganza (BABE!) so I wasn't too bummed about it. I got pretty tired of driving around everywhere and being busy every weekend, so I can't say that I regret missing a Gem Faire, especially when I have a room full of awesome bead stash.
So what's on the agenda for next year? Well, more resin – I didn't do too much this year, but I bought a bunch of new molds in Texas that I haven't tried out yet (bracelet molds and other shapes) and my Michael's finally started carrying the new Jewelry Resin I've been wanting to try. At BABE! I got some of the Vintaj patinas and I did patina a bunch of my filigrees, though I haven't done much with them yet.
I don't have anything planned knitting-wise. Even though I finished a hat in December I'm just not in the mood right now. Maybe it will come back – I have to repair my King George Mitts which have some inexplicable holes in them, and I would like to knit a pair of gloves at some point, but I really have to be in the mood. Maybe going to Stitches in February will jumpstart it! Or not, hah.