2020 Quarantine Knitting: Part 1

Medium gray cabled Irish tweed beanie lying on a moss covered brick wall next to the sea

Like everyone else, 2020 is a year I’d rather forget. But I’m not going to wax poetic about it because I wouldn’t add anything new and revolutionary to that conversation. Instead, I’ll talk about some of my knitting projects I finished over the year. I started the year quite optimistically by participating in the Make Nine challenge. Why do I do this to myself? I only completed one project out of the nine! Although, in fairness, I did at least start four others on the list. Three were frogged and one is still languishing in a project bag somewhere waiting to be completed…

I thought about it again for this year, but I’d rather not set myself up for disappointment when I hit December and realize I’ve accomplished nothing I set out to do. I’d rather just go with the flow and see what yarn and project magically pair together when my mood is just right. It’s kind of like when someone requests a knit from me and then I have to work against the clock to make sure they get it in a timely fashion and I’m analyzing my work more than I do for myself because it needs to be perfect. It sucks the joy out of knitting quite frankly. So anyway, I’m not going to do that to myself this year.

I’m going to break this down into two posts I think, working backwards because… that’s just how it’s going to be right now. I need to try and remember thoughts about projects from earlier in 2020 when I get to those. Here we go…

The one project I completed from my Make Nine list is the Crag hat designed by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed that my husband requested (sort of, I just asked him if he’d like this and he said yes). I knit this beanie in Studio Donegal’s Soft Donegal in the shade B5221 (now 5521), a light grey with the classic Donegal neps that I love so much in this tweed wool. Overall, I loved working on this hat. The pattern, like all Brooklyn Tweed patterns, was incredibly clear and thorough. I did have a couple of false starts at the beginning but the cast on was a wee bit fiddly and I messed up the setup round once just because the yarn is a bit splitty. Once I got past those small hurdles, it was smooth sailing.

Don’t mind the poof in the back, he just didn’t pull the hat down enough!

I also finally knit myself a sweater! The Felix designed by Amy Christoffers is a simple yet beautiful casual pullover that I’ve had my eye on for quite some time. I used Ístex Léttlopi in the shade Rust Heather (same as the original because it’s just so pretty). It practically flew off my needles. 10/10, would definitely knit again.

It’s the first time I’ve knit with Léttlopi and I was kind of concerned about how itchy I would find it against my skin, but it really isn’t as bad as I imagined. I feel like it softened up slightly after blocking. It’s incredibly warm which is great in the brutal Irish wind we sometimes get. I think next time I make this I would add another inch or two to the body. My sleeves are quite long because I wasn’t paying attention on my first one and didn’t care to tink back. It’s all good though because I like long sleeves.

I don’t know about you but I was not feeling the festive spirit at all this year for incredibly obvious reasons. I didn’t bake a single cookie! Which is probably good for my waistline… The most festive I got was when I knit the Sparkling Cider hat designed by Kristin Lehrer (AKA Voolenvine). This was my first beaded project which I was excited about. I think the end results were pretty great if you ask me.

Triple threat of knitting: Wearing 3 handmade items at once!

Hopefully you can see the detail in that photo (c/o husband), but I think it’s just so pretty. It looks like little trees topped off with a gold star. I used Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in the shade Guinness (eh, that’s not the shade of Guinness, but okay) and CaMaRose Månestråle in the shade Gylden. Månestråle also has a bit of sparkle in it, so this hard is super festive and gold.

And finally, for this first part of 2020 Quarantine Knitting, I present the Oslo Hat (Mohair Edition) by PetiteKnit. It’s an incredibly simple beanie with a folded brim, nothing terribly special, but it is incredibly warm and soft. I made it a touch too long in the body but it doesn’t bother me too much. I stash dived and found a skein of Plucky Knitter Single in the shade Kicky that I paired with CaMaRose Midnatssol in Rød – making this hat super red. Like crazy bright red. I like it.

I did slightly screw up the decreases for the crown, but by the time I caught my error I didn’t care to fix it anymore. It’s not a huge mistake, I just did that thing where I got too excited to finish and didn’t read the instructions thoroughly. Oh well, next time! I also knit a Mawson hat by Jared Flood in Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in the shade Sequoia. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo of this one, but I am pleased with it. Although I did have to cast on less stitches than it called for because it was just too big if you knit as written (that seemed to be a common issue among other knitters).

I’ll cover some other projects I finished last year in my next post. Not everything was a winner, so I’ll just talk about my favourites. Looking into 2021, I hope I’ll knit more than I did last year. I hesitate to set goals for myself in case I let myself down, but ideally I would love to get more familiar with brioche and colourwork, as well as knit more sweaters. I recently bought myself the Ready Set Raglan book from Pom Pom and I hope to use it as a template to knit my own customised sweaters.

Hopefully I’ll write some more here. Last year sucked. I didn’t have much time or brain power to sit down and do anything for myself, especially in the last half of it. This year I am making an effort to set aside time for myself to do things I want to do, like writing, learning a new language, and knitting more. You have to make the time, otherwise this whole pandemic (and political) situation will make you go insane. Until next time!

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