2017 MAKER REVIEW

It’s already Wednesday, the third day of 2018, and I still haven’t posted my weekly knitting updates for week 51 and 52. Nevermind, everybody gets it right? That las fiëstas have this tendency to get in the way of something we call ‘normal life’? Whatever that is? So how about a general review of what I knit in 2017, including yarn stats? (I looooove stats.) I must admit, it’s not a proper 2017 maker review, because I only started keeping track of all my projects from some time in June onwards. So, a latter-half-of-2017 review it is then!

Salobre Blanket Chain Twenty

WORKING ON THE LAST PROJECT OF 2017 — MY LUXURIOUSLY CHUNKY SALOBRE BLANKET

GOALS

My knitting goals for this year were a nice blur between knitting all the difficult out-of-my-comfort-zone projects, and designing all the I’ve-never-done-this-before patterns. It went painstakingly slow, at least that’s what it felt like, but the difference between me as a knitter in January 2017 and me as a knitter now is like night and day. I think it wouldn’t have been possible for me to learn more than I did. I alternated between my own projects and creative ideas on the one hand, and knitting existing patterns with new-to-me-techniques in it on the other hand. It worked so well, I’m definitely gonna continue doing that this year.

Drops Long Island sweaterHUSTLED MY WAY THROUGH THIS OLD PATTERN, BUT SO SATISFIED WITH THE RESULT — THE LONG ISLAND SWEATER BY DROPS

KNITTING PROJECTS

Even though Chain Twenty is supposed to be about all the oversized sweaters and scarves and blankets, I decided to open shop small, literally, with small home deco and accessories. The larger projects were largely for me, for the sake of learning. In total, I finished 14 facecloths, 5 headbands, 4 coffee coasters, 3 sweaters, 3 tops, 2 baskets (okay, these are crocheted but that counts as well!), and 1 blanket, pfjew. Not counting aaaallll the swatches and frogged projects. 😉 Here’s a list of my finished objects:

  • My first design, available for purchase both as a physical product and as a digital pattern: the San Agústin facecloth (I made 14 of them!)
  • My second ever sweater (from quite an old @dropsdesign pattern): the Long Island sweater, which has become a total wardrobe favorite. Thinking of letting this inspire me for a sweater design for the shop at some point this year.
  • My second design, simple but modern, just how I like it: the El Tablero headband (I made five!) — also available as a physical product and as a digital pattern
  • A t-shirt pattern that seemed super daunting, but wasn’t at all, so that I turned it into something long-sleeved: the Mae sweater (by who has in no-time become one of my favorite knitwear designers, Andrea Mowry / @dreareneeknits)
  • Two re-designed versions of Jess’s (@knitspleaseukClassic vest, which really sparked my garment design interests and turned into a project that will be continued in 2018
  • Lucky Star tank, made out of my forever favorite spotty yarn, in collaboration (my first!) with Wool and the Gang (@woolandthegang)
  • As a tester, two of Megan’s (@darlingbebraveMini Baskets that now serve several purposes (key / pen / money / etc. holders) around the house
  • In collaboration with We Are Knitters (@weareknitters), the Marpha sweater, which got me out of my comfort zone color-wise and taught me intarsia.
  • My third design and largest project to date, generously sponsored by U/Knit Lab (@uknitlab_), the Salobre blanket, which is being test knit right now.
  • Coffee coasters, my latest fun little projects that I haven’t really told you about yet and that don’t have a proper name either (they will be introduced to the shop on the 5th though!)
Mae sweater Andrea MowryTHE MAE SWEATER IN PROGRESS — I WAS PRETTY MUCH ALWAYS ACCOMPANIED BY MY LAPTOP / KNITTING PODCASTS THIS YEAR

OTHER CREATIVE ENDEAVOURS

And even though I wanted Chain Twenty to be about knitwear only, I realized soon that that’s not the way to make money right now. My following consists largely of fellow knitters and crafters, so I figured while I’m working on attracting a more fashion-only-interested audience, why not appeal to my colleagues too? Here’s a small list of non-knitting-but-still-crafty-accomplishments I experimented with for the shop:

  • I published my own designs as digital pattern downloads on both Etsy and Ravelry. The San Agústin facecloth pattern and the El Tablero headband pattern are already out and about, the Salobre blanket pattern is coming soon
  • Totally inspired by Kristin (@voolenvine), I started hand dyeing yarn in all the colors that I love and can never seem to find online (or should I say non-colors?)
  • Like the non-existing neutral colored yarns, I made a bunch of hitherto-non-existing minimalistic, golden progress keepers 
Las Palmas Chain Twenty yarnMY FLAGSHIP COLORWAY ‘LAS PALMAS’ ON A WORSTED / ARAN 100% SUPERWASH MERINO BASE

YARN STATISTICS

When I moved to Gran Canaria in April, I took as much of my yarn with me as possible. However there’s still a large box stored in The Netherlands. Therefore, like so many knitters, I planned to knit more balls of yarn than I buy. Thanks to me starting keeping track only in week 26, and thanks to me telling myself I’m not allowed to count yarn as “out of stash” as long as the project isn’t finished, and thanks to the wonderful companies collaborating with me and sending me all the yarn… I lost the game. 😉 I didn’t go down without a fight though, here are 2017’s yarn statistics:

NEW YARN IN STASH: 63

OUT OF STASH: 50

  • 14x Drops Paris
  • 11x Drops Alaska Mix
  • 6x U/Knit Lab Topinambur
  • 5x Drops Cotton Light Uni
  • 4x Rico Baby Cotton Soft Print
  • 5x Drops Big Merino
  • 3x We Are Knitters Petite Wool
  • 2x Wool and the Gang Shiny Happy Cotton

We all know what this means guys… I have to de-stash a minimum of 12 skeins of yarn! Eeks! I’ll be going through my yarn stash soon, pick out the skeins I’m least likely going to work with anytime soon (*sob*) and put them for sale on Etsy. Sign up for my newsletter if you wanna be kept in the loop about some yarn for less-than-retail prices.

Drops Alaska light greySOME DROPS ALASKA I HAD LEFT OVER FROM MY MAE SWEATER

2018 MAKER GOALS

I’ve got so many ideas, goals, resolutions, things I wanna accomplish this year. Gimme some time to make sense of the chaos that is my brain. I know, I should’ve done this by now, but December was a whirlwind. So, I’ll post about my goals another time soooooon.

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