You probably know by now that I’m a huge fan of lists and stats. I wish I could track all there is to track, but that’s impossible — which is why I’m so happy that 2017bestnine.com does it for me when it comes to Chain Twenty’s most successful Instagram pictures of 2017. I don’t wanna say “best”, because in my humble opinion some pictures were “better” than the ones that actually made it to the top nine. These were the most successful however, in terms of engagement. Let me tell you the story behind each, as a way of reviewing the insane year that was 2017.
2017’S BEST NINE INSTAGRAM PICTURES OF @CHAINTWENTY
An early one, this picture, from February 1st. The caption reads: “Not starting a new project until I know exactly how I’m gonna do it. […] I repeat this mantra in my head over and over again, and I’m fighting the urge to make a blanket in this pattern and order extra yarn to do so. No! I will finish those scrappies with smaller projects and even though I continue falling in love with this texture, it doesn’t suit what’s on my mind.”
Oh, the days where all I wanted to do is start huge projects of my own design, only never to finish them. I had so much to learn still, and this is where the learning proces started. Of course, I never finished the “smaller projects” I’m talking about, and this scrap yarn is still stashed in a box in The Netherlands. ><
This picture from November 3th totally deserves to be here, I think. I love the simplicity of it, plus it represents one of my biggest achievements of 2017: collaborations. The caption was: “[…] I teamed up with Wool and the Gang before, which was my first proper collaboration and included my favorite yarn. And now I’m working on a bigger project in collab with We Are Knitters! And to keep thing moving forward I’m also waiting for yarn support for a pattern I wanna get out there, donated to me by a very generous start-up.”
The Wool and the Gang collaboration (with my fave yarn — still!) I’m referring to was this one. The We Are Knitters project pictured is the Marpha sweater, about which I’ll write a blogpost in the near future. And the generous start-up, of course, is U/Knit Lab, who sponsored the coming-to-live of my Salobre blanket design (currently being test knit). I loved each and every one of these collabs and hope to do many more in 2018!
Another early one, from February 9th, reading: “THIS YARN. So fancy! […] I’ve got a relaxed evening planned: kitties on my lap, playing with this yarn, watching Dr. Pol. >< Gosh, the post-graduation life is finally starting to treat me well!”
I was thinking the other day, about where I was this time last year: in snowy(!) Athens, for a course on ancient epigraphy (couldn’t care less). I was very ill, wasn’t allowed to sleep, because they got us buried in epigraphy research, and I had a thesis the finish too. At the time I wrote this post, all was done and I could finally start my year of catching up on sleep (still working on it, I feel like, HAHA).
This yarn (called Urban), although super fancy, is probably going to be part of my 2017 destash. I knit one hat with it, which turned out great, but I can’t think of one single project I wanna knit with it soon, so sadly, it has to go.
Of corso! This picture belongs here! It’s from September 9th, when I had just finished my Mae sweater (a pattern by Andrea Mowry). I wrote: “I know I say this every time I finish a garment, but I think this is my proudest achievement to date. #modernhandmadeknitwear I spent a lot of time knitting for me instead of working on the shop. And sometimes I wonder if that is the most productive way to spend my time. But when I finish a project like this, and see how much I’ve learned from it, how much I progressed compared to my last projects, it’s all so worth it. [/preach]”
I still stand by this caption. I may have spent too much time knitting for me, but I wouldn’t be the knitter I am now without these learning projects. The confidence it gave me is of such value, that I absolutely want to continue this way in 2018. On another note, I haven’t promoted this too much, but I introduced the hashtag #modernhandmadeknitwear to show off finished objects that look like they were bought at Zara. 😉 Feel free to use it when you’ve finished a modern, handmade, knitwear piece!
#5 LUCKY STAR
Sure, no Instagram best nine without my favorite yarn. 😉 I posted this picture on September 30th and wrote: “Plowing away religiously on this speckled project, but you don’t hear me complaining. […] Maybe the biggest win this month should be looked for at the self-confidence department. I finally start feeling like I’ve got something to bring to this maker community. So from now on, you’ll find me working hard on more designs and patterns, and a fun couple of other projects too.”
Around this time, I made my first sales: a few San Agústin facecloth patterns. It felt so good! I could finally tell people I actually made money with what I was doing. That it worked. That yes, I got something to add to the maker community. And the fun couple of projects I was referring to were my progress keepers and hand dyed yarns. Both of which sure are here to stay!
#4 LAS PALMAS
On November 12th, I hosted a giveaway for a skein of my own hand dyed yarn in the “flagship” Las Palmas colorway. Of course, it has earned its place here because of all the likes and comments from people who wanted to win, but I also think this picture is a good representative of 2017: starting yarn dyeing, getting shipping supplies, and making business cards and labels.
#3 COCO SAILOR
This one, from January 27th, belongs more in 2016 than in 2017, since my 2017 only started after I graduated in February. In the caption I wrote: “How I wanna spend the rest of my life: laughing and wearing handmade knits. […] Spending the weekend working + writing that final paper, on Tuesday I’ll hopefully receive my thesis grade (and be officially graduated), and on Wednesday I’ll be like HELLO NEW LIFE!”
And that’s exactly how it went. Fun note: another picture of this Wool and the Gang Coco Sailor sweater received first place at 2016’s Best Nine.
Another super early one, from January 4th: “I didn’t finish it for NYE and I probably won’t anytime soon, but I’m IN LOVE with how this sweater is turning out. Back panel is almost done and then it’s sleeve time! […] Can you imagine Chain Twenty selling chunky sweaters? Oh gosh that would be a dream come true.
And a dream it still is, yet to come true. As soon as I wrote down what I wanted Chain Twenty to be about, I started working on this sweater design. Obviously, I wasn’t experienced enough yet to finish such an endeavor in a satisfying way. I ended up frogging this and changing my approach, realizing I needed to learn more about garment construction first. The yarn I used to knit the Long Island sweater pattern instead.
This is probably my only post ever to get featured in the search area of Instagram, because otherwise I don’t know how to explain the almost 1000 likes it got (I didn’t even have a 1000 followers at the time). I wrote: “I’m running behind with Instagram, but don’t worry, I’m just busy packing for Gran Canaria coming Tuesssday! […] I was finally able to gift this ancient beauty (it was finished probably half a year ago) to a friend last Friday. Olive green totally is her color, so this yarn was destined to become something for her. […] Some of you have asked for the pattern for this, so I put writing that up on my GC to do list!”
I never wrote up the pattern, haha. It’s just linen stitch (crochet), and besides some personal tips and tricks, I wouldn’t have much to say in a pattern. I do plan on revisiting this stitch soon though, I just don’t have the right project in mind yet.
Writing this Instagram-inspired-2017-recap definitely made me want to focus on my initial goals again, and start working on projects I always dreamed of making / doing. Thank you all so much for your likes, comments, and follows throughout the year! I hope you’ll all stick around in 2018!