Favorites of 2017

I pulled my Instagram Best Nine pics again this year and thought about doing another best nine of the year post but didn’t want to do all that. You can see last year’s best nine posts here, here and here.
Best Nine 2017
These were my top posts on Instagram this year and it reflected a lot of what my 2017 was about, knitting sweaters for myself that I would love and my family. Clearly pictures with my husband and the dogs are pretty high up on the list of liked images. I’ve also gotten some sweet messages via Instagram and even here on the blog about enjoying what I share and being impressed by my volume of knitting. And I appreciate the comments. I love the knitting community but I stick out sometimes because I don’t fit the mold (which is fine) of what a knitter looks like which can also make you feel like you don’t always belong. But that’s one of the main reasons why I decided to blog, so that I could have a space where I could do my own thing and change the idea of what a knitter should look like and show that we are all so very different. But instead of sharing what were the most popular on Instagram, I thought I’d share what I enjoyed the most this year. First up, my Saddle Shoulder Striped Tee.
Striped saddle shoulder sweater
I absolutely loved reading up on creating a saddle shoulder and working out how to knit one for myself. This project was full of wonderful color and pushed me to try to make what I had in my head and had drawn out on paper come to life. Maybe one day I’ll eventually write a pattern but for now I’m just super proud when I figure things out for myself. Also, I love Berroco Modern Cotton yarn and totally plan on making more summer tops with it in 2018 (and if you love it too Little Knits always seems to have some on sale!). My next favorite, the Royally Striped Cardigan aka my Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Royally striped
Stephen West makes some of the most interesting designs and I was intrigued with his Royally Striped pattern and could scroll through all the other projects on Ravelry all day long. There are so many awesome color combos I want to make another one. Anytime I have the opportunity to mix a lot of color and the construction is interesting but not too complex I’m down. This is one of those wildly impractical pieces that I just love. I throw it on with jeans, dresses or pajamas. It’s squishy, yarny goodness. And speaking of squishy goodness…this year I made some awesome toys.
UntitledBetween these two colorful pups (who are now named Sally and Max), a doll to match Leia’s likeness and a very adorable whale for my buddy Eli I had a good year of knit toys. As much as I love knitting baby cardigans and hate making baby blankets, knit toys actually last a bit longer and become a fun part of their childhood. I want to make my friend Bryce a dog since he’s been missing the family dog Brody who died this year so maybe I’ll finally sit down and work that out over a quiet weekend. Next up, the Pommier Brioche Vest I made for my sister.
Birthday Brioche
When I saw this vest with a two color brioche stitch collar I knew I was going to have to learn two color brioche. I tried to learn via YouTube tutorials and I just couldn’t get it right so I took a class at Fibre Space and within 15 minutes my issues were resolved! I’m so glad I took that class and I’m so happy with the end results. I want to make another one for my other sister and at some point one for myself! And lastly, these two sweaters for my girls.
Sister sweatersI’m fully aware that I’m a crazy dog lady but I love making my dogs fun little sweaters with the leftover yarn from other projects. They’re small, full of color and super quick to work up. And since Jellybean, my littlest dog, is always cold they’re actually a practical addition to her wardrobe. For Cher, they’re not as necessary but you can’t deny the cuteness level when you see a dog in a sweater.

My favorites this year were full of color and helped me learn new techniques and I love that about knitting. Every year I strive to work on something new and take my skills up a notch. Since next week will be the start of 2018 I’ve got to do a round-up of all my projects for the year! And I still need to share what I finished for December. So what were your favorite things you made in 2017? Share (and include links too!).

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FO: Baldric & A Beanie Sweater

I hope you guys had a wonderful holiday if you celebrate Christmas. My husband bought me the camo print Fringe Field Bag with a few enamel pins he thought were cute and gave me a gift card to my favorite yarn shop! He loves me. I was able to finish a gift to myself to wear on the big day and I had just enough yarn leftover to make Jellybean a little sweater too. I mean, what else was I going to do with just 130 yards of leftover yarn?

Baldric and Beanie
As a former yearbook editor I can say this would be the ultimate yearbook photo. LOL

I knit myself the Baldric sweater (you might remember the rose gold version I made my BFF Jess this summer) using Madelintosh Pure Merino Worsted in Cosmic Silver and the Rosco sweater for Bean because it was the same gauge of my project and had texture like my sweater did. So let’s take a look at both, shall we?
Baldric and Beanie
Baldric is a simple top down raglan with very little finishing, so it has a casual feel to it. And you can make it with more ease to make it even more casual. What I really liked about it and why I wanted to make it for myself was the textured panel down the sides and on the arms.
Baldric and Beanie
A little bit of garter stitch detailing goes a long way. It’s a nice touch on a simple sweater like how the Flax sweater has it running down the arms. Or how Mountain High has a panel down the front and decorate details at the raglan increases.
Baldric and Beanie
And each sleeve places the garter detail in different spots for more interest. It makes knitting a sleeve a lot more interesting that just a stockinette tube. I did start my increases higher up and made them shorter than what’s in the pattern because I have short arms so they’re fitted very nicely for me.
Baldric and Beanie
For Beanie I cracked open my trusty dusty copy of Seamless Knits for Posh Pups and settled on the Rosco sweater. It’s a top down version that had almost identical gauge to the Baldric sweater AND has some interesting texture to it. In fact I loved this right twist stitch so much I whipped up a hat with that stitch for myself (more on that later this week).
Untitled
It’s such a fun way to create the look of a cable without the cable! And I’ve got a fun pom pom in cheetah print to add to this hat.
Baldric and Beanie
With the temps being so low this time of year, Bean has been living in her wool sweaters. And even when wearing a sweater I still find her laying across heating vents to get a blast of warm air and she still naps and stays on her heated mats all day. It’s cold out there for a tiny chihuahua. I’ve got to keep her warm. Cher has a bit more body weight on her so she doesn’t need to be in clothes as much as Beanie does.
Baldric and Beanie
Oh and I also tried to capture how my Flyknit Nikes mimic the same colors and flecks as the Cosmic Silver colorway of the yarn. This yarn is so soft and cozy and the color is just so happy with all the little flecks of brightness on the pale grey. I have a feeling I’ll be wearing a lot during the winter months. So it’s that selfish knitting time of year, what are you planning on making yourself?

FO: Karite Hat in Black

I rarely knit in black. It’s hard to see your stitches and it’s even harder to photograph. But whenever I knit a thank you gift for someone I typically ask what color they want so when I asked one of my class guest speakers if she’d like a hat she said yes and in black.
The black Karite hat
So I decided if it’s going to be black, it should have some texture and interest to it and I settled on the Karite hat and I used Lion Brand Heartland yarn in Black Canyon so it would be washer and dryer friendly. I actually made the Karite hat once before in a fun rainbow acrylic yarn but was shamed for making it in acrylic by a knitting instructor/pattern designer so I hadn’t made it again. Her comments left a bad taste in my mouth.
Karite hat
But the thing is it’s one of my favorite and most worn (and warm) hats! I decided to let go of the yarn shaming vibes and make someone else a really good hat for the cold weather. And after whipping it up I realized I needed to make a new one for myself in a solid color. I recently ordered myself a new winter coat (Land’s End has some of the best sales and the best cold weather coats) and I will definitely need a new hat and set of flip top mitts to coordinate. And I’m sure my gift recipient will be super happy to get something that’s hand made.