In January 2013 I pledged to learn something new every month and blog about it. Its been a lot harder than I anticipated . When I started out, the idea was to complete a project per month which encompassed a new skill or technique. I found I couldn’t commit to completely finishing a new project each month as I was looking for interesting techniques and then finding projects which were awesome but too big to complete in the time frame. I had to alter my plans slightly and just make sure I started a project using something new or taught myself a new stitch. I’m pretty pleased with how I’ve done and its taken me in a lot of interesting directions.
Here’s a summary of everything I’ve learned this year:
January Challenge – Crochet beret using multiple trebles, this had to be ripped back several times as I kept stitching into the wrong spaces but I got the hang of it eventually. I actually ended up doing it in stripes to combat the problem. This really helped improve my crochet skills!
I also learned Steeking and did my first Yarn Bomb!
February Challenge - Knitted bobble hat with owl cables. I’d tried cables before and messed it up terribly but this turned out really well. I now feel confident with a cable needle. Unfortunately the style of hat didn’t really suit me, I felt it was a bit small so I gave it to my sister. She rocks it!
March Challenge - An entrelac messenger bag. This was a great project, the yarn in rich jewel tones was fantastic to knit with. It’s really satisfying to see the weaved effect forming as you go along.
Pierre – Entrelac Bag
I also learned Moss Stitch
April Challenge - Fresh from watching Twin Peaks , it had to be Chevrons. The original project idea was a picture frame with a knitted image of the famous Red Room however I had no end of issues with it. The needles were slippy and the yarn split constantly. I used the longest 4mm’s I had as the piece was 76cm wide. They were metal and a nightmare to knit with. The yarn was cheap acrylic from the market because I was too excited to wait and get some King Cole. I persevered however. Later I realised I’d dropped a stitch, the ladder was huge! Whenever I looked the piece I could see pulls, lumps and uneven stitches. I learned a valuable lesson there…and then I whipped up this cute gadget cover!
Red Room Gadget Cosy
There was a 2nd Yarn Bomb Heart and a cute little Owl featuring K1b (knit 1 below) and chain stitch.
I also rescued a UFO that had been languishing in a bag. This used to be the back of a cardigan and the frame used to be a mirror (which broke). Its one of my proudest UFO rescues.
May Challenge - When I found out my mum was getting married I knew I wanted to make her a wedding gift. She chose a shawl called Itaca by Stephen West. Knitting with laceweight was the challenge for May. The shawl was finished in November, just in time for the wedding.
June Challenge – June was a quiet month filled with tons of nature rambles . I taught myself Picot edging using my Harmony guide to crochet. I used it on some UFO blanket squares in the hope I might actually make something from them…not as yet…
July Challenge - Like June, July was filled with rambles, beach trips and sunshine. Like June, I used my UFO blanket squares, this time for Popcorn Stitch.
August Challenge - In August we went on our wonderful camping holiday to Wales. It was amazing! I spent much of the drive working on Itaca. Later on that month whilst making a Hello Kitty toy (which I still haven’t finished :/ ) I learned a method for Jogless Stripes.
September Challenge - Another holiday, this time to Scotland. Made lots of progress on Itaca during the 4hr drive. Finally got a sewing machine and learned how to set it up and thread it. A bit cheaty possibly as it’s not a knitting or crochet skill but I’m having it lol.
October Challenge - Another crochet stitch this month, this time using HDC (half double crochet) to to whip up this gorgeous baby hat.
Baby Hat using HDC
I also finished Itaca (except for binding) and made a lovely vintage crochet collar.
November Challenge - My shells for Itaca arrived in the post and so for the first time I tried binding of with beads. It was easy peasy and looks fantastic
Binding off with shell beads
December Challenge - This challenge also involved a long running project , The Weather Scarf. Now finished I added a fringe using every colour in the scarf. Here is the finished scarf with each month labelled and here’s a handy key to decipher my 2013 in temperatures.
Grey – 0-5 Blue 5-10
Yellow 11-15 Green 16-20
Orange 21-25 Pink 25-30
And so that was my 2013 Challenge. I’m so pleased with all the projects I’ve made and new skills I’ve learned this year. Whats your favourite project from 2013?
I’m so excited for 2014. I’m off to master Tunisian Crochet for my blanket!