Tag Archives: review

2015 – a year in crafting

2015 was a very busy year for me personally as I finished off an OU degree and challenged myself to run at least 5km every day (which I managed), also training for an completing my first marathon. I still made time for my crafting though, and here is a review of my year.


Spinning took up a good chunk of my crafting time in 2015 and I enthusiastically took part in the Tour de Fleece again, this time with my new Ashford Joy 2 spinning wheel.

I spun a total of 4,976g of fibre into 21,460 yards of yarn (mostly around fingering weight, some a little heavier, some a little lighter).

You can see all of this yarn in my 2015 spinning gallery (click on the image below):

Spinning 2015

Spinning 2015


If you looked only at the numbers, then I only finished 12 knitting projects in 2015, but this included my beekeeper blanket which used up all of the odds and ends of fingering weight yarn that I had accumulated over the years. I started that project in 2014 and finally finished it in January this year. My other knitting projects mostly used my handspun yarn and included an adult sweater, three adult cardigans, an adult vest, a child’s jacket and a good smattering of accessories (including an enigmatic viagante). These projects used up 12,257 yards of yarn. I’m still waiting for it to stop raining in order to photograph the cardigan I finished on 4th December, but when I do it will be added to my 2015 knitting gallery (click on the photo below):

Knitting 2015

Knitting 2015


I only released two new patterns in 2015, a coordinated set of hat and fingerless mitts which I custom spun the yarn for, having had the idea at the tail end of December 2014. They were Strobilus Hat



and Strobilus Mitts



I already have some ideas for 2016 and hope to be more prolific on the design front, so keep your eyes out for test knitting opportunities. Here’s to more crafting in the new year and I hope everyone has a good one.

2014 – a review of the year – spinning

2014 was the year in which I decided to have a go at spinning fibre into yarn. I started with a drop spindle kit from HilltopCloud and dove straight in.

My first attempt was what you would expect, a bit lumpy and bumpy. Thick in some places, thin in others. But it was yarn

SONY DSCand I turned it into some fingerless mitts.

IMG029 WristwarmersMy spindling efforts gradually improved as I started to get the hang of drafting and I began to create some consistent singles.

SONY DSCTour de Fleece came along in July and I focused my time and efforts on my spindling. I also tried my hand at basic plying (also on my drop spindle), and was pretty happy with the results.

SONY DSCI was spinning some pretty fine singles by this point, so gave chain-plying a go. A bit of a pain but possible to do on a drop spindle, though time consuming.

SONY DSCIn September I bought my first spinning wheel: an Ashford Joy 2 and used it to ply some singles I was finishing spindling.


I haven’t touched any of my spindles since. From my first wheel-spun yarns I have moved from 2-ply

SONY DSCto chain plying.

SONY DSCThe final yarn I spun (and finished) in 2014 is 174 yards of fingering weight chain plied Dorset Horn fibre:


2014 – a review of the year – knitting

2014 has been another busy year on the knitting front. I have completed 42 projects using 23,456 yards of yarn (a very pleasing number). Some favourites include an Octopus Embrace sweater for me

IMG023 Octopus

and a mini one for my nephew

SONY DSCI’ve made three baby deathflake sweaters

IMG371 PicMonkey deathflake Collageall for other people, and the colourwork didn’t stop there. 2014 seemed to be a year of colourwork and steeking including Venezia at the beginning of the year

SONY DSCall the way through to its colour-twin Grellow in October

SONY DSC(it’s supposed to be that baggy, I plan on using it as a coat).There were also a couple of lightweight cardigans in the mix: Morning Breeze

SONY DSCand Water & StoneSONY DSCThere was also the usual mix of hats, cowls, mittens and baby clothes for new arrivals. I started spinning this year (that will get its own post) and had to start working with handspun. My early efforts became hats:

IMG035 Wurm and rainbowBrocade hat & cowland as I improved and began working on a spinning wheel instead of a spindle there were more matching pieces: hat


and mittens.

SONY DSCLace pieces were only to be found in newly designed patterns such as Pentire Point.

Pentire - triangle shapeThere was also a lot of hexagons knit for a beekeeper blanket, but that is still an ongoing project that will run over into next year…