2017 in Makes

Happy New Year! Welcome to my first post of 2018, which just so happens to be a look back at 2017. Feels a bit odd to come here and do a year review post, since I’ve posted so little over the past year. On the other hand I always enjoy doing these posts, and perhaps it will help kick-start the blogging habit again in the new year. Here it goes!

 2017 has been an odd year for me. It’s been one thing, while simultaneously also being the complete opposite. I know this doesn’t make sense, and maybe that would be my key phrase to describe the year as a whole. There have been many big changes for me this year, but at the same time I’ve felt like I’ve been mostly standing still. I’ve been incredibly busy, but at the same time it’s all been such a blur that I now struggle to see all the separate parts that made up this year. It felt like both the longest and the fasted year ever. It’s been a difficult year. Politically, it’s been a dreadful year and it felt like steam roller crushed the whole world. I’ve never felt so alone, but at the same time never felt so connected and so much solidarity as when reading about politics on social media this year. It was a year of opposites and maybe because of that it hasn’t felt like the year of anything really.

My year in making has a similar tone. Initially I was inclined to label this year as a disappointment, make-wise. Granted, due to the nature of my character I always lean a bit to the self-critical side. But after giving it some reflection, 2017 in makes hasn’t been that bad, in some ways it has even been pretty good. Let’s hop to it….

2017 has seen my crafting time being very limited, especially during the first half of the year. It’s been hard. Hard to find time and in turn also hard on me. It’s shows in the amount of makes that I’ve finished this year and it also shows in my diversity in making. Knitting is my main gig, but I enjoy and do a lot more, usually. Because time and energy levels were limited I noticed I mostly fell back to what I know best -knitting- and ignored the rest for a while.
Nevertheless, I’m actually super happy with almost all the things I did make this year. I’ve crossed some big things of my to-do list, did some new things and most importantly made some of my favourite makes to date. As a side note, I have some makes that I haven’t blogged about yet, and while they do cheer me up, I won’t include them here, mainly because I think that makes for slightly chaotic and confusing reading. Maybe it should be a New Years Resolution to blog and instagram about them soon?

???? Sewing

My favourite two sewing makes this year did make the blog. First up is the Driftless cardigan from Grainline studio that I made in the beginning of the year. This turned out to be hands down my most worn sewing make ever, and inspired me to sew some more “basics” like t-shirts etc (which haven’t made it to the blog yet). It’s the perfect kind of boxy and cosy and it has giant POCKETS! It’s the kind of thing I can throw on over dresses or shirts when it’s too warm for most of my knits and too cold outside to go with bare arms. I can definitely see myself make a bunch of these in different colours. Biggest hurdle might be finding nice, good quality knitted fabric, but I’m still trying to find my way in the world of fabric so that could be at play. 

My other favourite sewing make for this year was the Cleo Dungarees by Tilly and the Buttons.
This make came out almost exactly like envisioned and I’m super pleased with the end result.  This was a style experiment to see whether dungarees and this silhouette suits me and I’m please to say that the experiment was a success. The project has convinced me I need more dungaree-like things, more corduroy, and more burgundy in my life (thought tbh, I always need more dark red in my life).  

???? Test knitting for the first time

I did my first two test knits this year, both for Jennifer Steingass of Knit.Love.Wool. I never test knitted before, and loved being asked. It was great fun to see what all the other test knitters made of the pattern on the day of release. The first one I did at the start of the year in January. Telja is a modern take on the classic Icelandic yoke jumper, which is of course one of my favourite things to make and wear so it’s no surprise that I like this jumper so much. I put quite a bit of thought in planning this sweater, colouring the chart in different colour combinations before settling on this palette. It is quite satisfying to see this project through from direct inspiration to the finished thing. — also, it was a lot of fun taking pictures of it in the snowy landscape!

Fern and Feather was the other test knit I did for Jenn, this time in Autumn. This is again a colourwork yoke sweater, but the feel is quite a bit different with a more minimalistic yoke design and maybe less overtly Icelandic, though predictably I did opt to make mine in Lett Lopi. I did make the yoke two-coloured to make it more like phoenix feathers (my inspiration) and also to make it slightly less minimalistic as I’m not sure if true minimalism is my forte in terms of colourwork. I made it in one of Istex’ new colours, galaxy, which has definitely found it’s way into my top favourite colourways.

???? Showstopper

Windermere is my showstopper of this year. Ticking this big long-term making goal of mine made me feel a lot more confident in my knitting.  This project was a long time in the making, I adjusted the project to meet my needs and even though the project was put on hold often I eventually pulled through and finished it. I feel more motivated and confident to tackle more challenging and/or time consuming project. I’m very happy and proud this jumper and I love wearing it, and that’s really all there is to say!

???? Knitting for a baby

2017 was the year my brother and my sister-in-law had a baby, and I became an aunt. Apart from that being a huge personal change, it shows in my making as well. I made couple of things for Luca in the past year: I made a rainbow sweater and an Elijah toy when he was born in May, and a little Christmas jumper earlier this month.

Seeing him wear the stuff I made, and play with the little elephant I knitted for him has given me more joy and pride than I (as a mainly selfish knitter) expected or could have predicted about myself.  

???? A year in colourwork

A post shared by Nelson (@treehouse_nisse) on

This is my ‘Best Nine’ collage on instagram, meaning; my most liked instagram posts in 2017. I thought I’d post them here as well because I feel at this moment they reflect me as a knitter very well. One of the things I like about knitting and making is that I feel like I’m still growing, learning and developing myself as a maker. I feel that this year, maybe more than ever, I know what I like to make and wear. I’m better able to distinguish what I like in general, and what I like for myself. I can enjoy well crafted minimalist designs, for example, but at the same time I’m completely certain they’re not what I like to make or wear. I knit mostly colourwork, because that’s what I like doing and wearing best. I find that I like knits that have a lot ‘going on’. The only knits that I made for myself this year that didn’t have colourwork were cabled. I’m excited to see how I will change and grow in my making next year and what my ‘best nine’ will say about me then.

While I did make a lot less then I’m used to, the makes that I did finish were all winners, even the ones that haven’t made it to the blog yet. I hope, when I commit those ones to the blog, you’ll like them too.

I wish you all all the best in 2018,

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