This past year has been the busiest for me as far as playing with yarn goes. It pretty much started with the Christmas gift I got from my sister last year. She got me a gift card from the local yarn store because she knew that I liked going there to purchase better quality yarns. I actually didn't buy yarn with the gift card, though. I used it toward the sock knitting class that was coming up! Since then, I have gone to the yarn shop every week for knitting groups, bought yarn there at least once a month, and have been knitting and crocheting like crazy.
Now that this year is coming to an end, I am pretty pleased with what I have accomplished in my world of knitting and crocheting. I have made hats, shawls, and hooded scarves that were actually fun to make. I made a little bit of money selling some of the items I made over the last few years. I didn't get rich, by any means, but it was nice to be at a couple of holiday craft shows where there were other people who also knit and/or crochet. Even though I have three big projects that are not finished yet, each of them are at least different in the stitches being used. One has a bit of a lacy pattern, another has three different easy cables, and the third has seed stitching and light cable work. I like variety! During the last few month of the year, I made hats that I donated to a local community center and scarves that I donated for the Scarf Bomb. The yarn store sponsors these events in November and December for those who are in need of something to help keep them warm but can't afford to buy them. Finally, I made some items for my great-grandchildren. I crocheted a couple of Amigurumi toys for my great-grandson and will be sending them to him in the mail. His birthday is in a few weeks. For my great-granddaughter, I crocheted a little hat and a pink bunny rabbit. I will be giving them to her soon.
As I already mentioned, I like variety. There will definitely be plenty of that in 2016!
Earlier this year, I started designing and making wash cloths that are based on quilt blocks. I have one in the works now that is based on the Card Trick block. I need to get it finished so that I can re-write the pattern into a more condensed version. Right now, I have written it out practically stitch by stitch! For the new year, I am going to design at least six more patterns for the wash cloths and then sell them online.
Another design project that I have planned is a knitting project bag. I want it to be one that can hold four skeins of yarn, the project, the pattern for the project, and the accessories that are being used for that project. I do have bags in which I keep my yarn and projects but I'm not happy with any of them. One bag collapses at the sides, another holds the yarn okay on one side but then there's not enough room left for the project, and the third one is too deep. SO I'm going to make a knitting bag the way I want it to be!
After knitting and crocheting different shawls and hooded scarves this year, I have been wanting to come up with a design of my own for at least one shawl and one hooded mini-shawl. Should be easy enough to do!
I have some WIPs that need to turn into FOs! I started the summer top back in May. The poncho was put on the needles in September. I cast on Rumpelstiltskin's Wrap in October. The hat that is on DPNs was started two or three weeks ago. I have been working on the poncho and hat fairly regularly in between the hats, scarves, and items for the great-grandkids. Now that I have those finished, I can devote a bit more time to the poncho and hat until they are complete. Then I will work on the summer top and the wrap.
There are a few new things that I am going to try at least once in 2016. I'm going to dye yarn and spin yarn. After watching dyeing and spinning tutorial videos online, I think I understand those processes enough so that I can at least give it a shot. It looks like dyeing yarn will be pretty easy. I'm not so sure about spinning, though.
Three of my favorite places to shop are the three (yes, three) Goodwill stores that are here in town. I mainly shop for books, tops, jeans, and sweaters at these stores. The prices are very reasonable and sometimes I get pretty lucky finding better quality tops and sweaters. Well, why not take advantage of using these sweaters as my yarn source? I have come across some that are made with cashmere, merino wool, or other nice wool blends. In January, I plan to get at least a couple of sweaters with nice fiber, take them apart, wind the yarn into balls, and then knit the yarn into different items such as a shawl or hat. Reading about a gentleman who uses his local Goodwill store as a source for yarn has inspired me to do the same. It was like a "Why didn't I think of that?" kind of moment for me.
I have been trying to decide which online store I should go to so that I can sell the patterns I am designing and some items that I will be making. I know that Craftsy is a very popular place and I'm seriously considering setting up a shop there. I just need to spend a little bit more time checking out the requirements before making the final decision. I should be able to open for business by the end of January.
Whew! That is a lot to look forward to in 2016. I will be making regular updates here about my progress in whatever I'm doing while playing with yarn...and sometimes fabric.