Christmas 2016
2016: A Year in Projects

New Beginnings for New Year

Each knitter, I believe,  has a favourite project type - whether it be hats, shawls or something else. It should be pretty clear (understatement much?) by now, that I've got a slight obsession with knitting socks. At any one time, I've got at least two pairs in progress and to be quite honest, it's usually more than that. With a sock knitting addiction, there comes a desire to stash sock yarn in stockpile type fashion. Basically, I have a lot of sock yarn; scraps from completed pairs, mini skeins to make squares for my Mitred Sock Yarn Blanket and full skeins to knit fresh pairs with. I am never going to run out: weak as I am, I also buy more yarn all the time so my supply is quite endless.

See?

image from flic.kr

When I saw Dani of Little Bobbins start a new Granny Stripe blanket on Instagram, I was pretty much powerless to resist. 

I started it, using some of my Opal Advent Calendar minis, on my parents sofa on Boxing Day...

image from flic.kr

image from flic.kr

My foundation chain was around 302 stitches, and I've been working as per Lucy's super popular Granny Stripe pattern. I decided straight away that I wanted a eye-wateringly colourful and varied blanket, so instead of doing two rows with each scrap ball, I've only done one. I'm being very, very good about darning in the yarn ends at the end of each row. Otherwise, I know that I'd probably go a bit mad when the time came to sew the all in at the end

image from flic.kr

When I got my (3mm) hook out to start, I'll admit I was somewhat daunted by the thought of how long it would take me to finish. Sock yarn is, after all, fingering weight and as thin as it needs to be for its main purpose. I will admit, the speed of growth is much different to my first blanket of this kind. However, I'm finding the process of working single rows - and lining up the balls for the next row to come - SO much fun. Of course, each row takes me a while but in that time I can think about where to go next colourwise. I'm including everything from leftover pairs and larger mini skeins. Everything from self-striping, to variegated to semi-solid coloured yarns. The final result is so exciting!

I am being quite cautious as to only include yarns on sizeable enough balls that I know I'll reach the end of the row with. I am determined not to add in colours that only allow me to get part way through a row; tiny scraps stay in my scrap box for frankensocks and mitred squares. 

image from flic.kr

It's been quite a while since I've worked on a crochet project. My Cath Kidston Granny Square Blanket hasn't had much attention paid to it in 2016, for various reasons, so the last crochet project that I finished was another Granny Stripe blanket way back in 2014. It was made using the original Attic24 Stylecraft Special DK colour pack. 

image from flic.kr

My New Years Resolutions will include aiming to finish this new blanket and the Granny Square one too. Of course, I'm going to be continuing with my sock habit too. A few days ago, I tallied up the number of pairs of socks that I completed in 2016 and found there were 20 pairs. In 2017, I hope to at least match that AND finish up my two wonderfully colourful blankets AND hopefully produce a couple of sweaters as well. Not mentioning add a few rows to my other sock blanket too.

image from flic.kr

2016 has been an unusual year, and for the most part I've spent it struggling for my health. In April, I went through something life changing and the stress of this led my health to immediately plummet. I developed chronic Tonsillitis, and spent May-October on a near constant course of various antibiotics. At times, the infections became so severe that it led me to be hospitalised four times. On two occasions, I ended up with sepsis (blood poisoning).

In October, I underwent a Tonsillectomy but the recovery from this has not been easy. A couple of weeks ago, the site where my tonsils used to be became infected once more and again led to an admission to hospital. In those circumstances, I guess it is to be expected that my productivity may be different to times when I'm in peak health. Sorting out my health, somewhat predictably, is going to be a major priority for me in 2017. I am hopeful that the circumstances that led me to become unwell in the first place will be resolved and the stress of that will be removed. 

For New Years Eve, I am looking forward to a quiet night at home with my projects and a couple of glasses of fizz. My boyfriend is busy with a major renovation project that he is rushing to complete, so I think I will be on my own. This is perfectly fine, as last year I threw a party and it was absolutely exhausting. With things how they are, a quiet one is probably the best thing for me! 

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