I never know whether it’s the days drawing in or an effect of the calendar (or both, or neither, or what) but late December is always a time of reflection for me. As well as considering my personal life, it’s a time to look back on my creative life over the past twelve months and think about what I’d like to achieve in 2015. Overall I’m pleased with my craft life from 2014, especially considering it was the final year of my ridiculous course. Of course, the ridiculousness of the course contributed to my crafting more, to lose myself in the repetitive calm of stitching while all around me felt chaotic.

I’m glad to have started learning to sew and I am constantly looking for opportunities to wear my Octopus dress.

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Next year I want to try making a couple of shift dresses that are more suited to everyday wear.

This year I made myself two new jumpers. This meant that I also continued to learn about garment construction, new knitting techniques, different fibres and what suits my body.

My Elfe jumper taught me about knitting with cotton, which I definitely would again, about boat necks (not really my style), and about what happens when you add heavy cotton sleeves to a sleeveless pattern. I may consider frogging the sleeves or knitting a second version in a lighter cotton as a spring/summer top.

Knitted Elfe jumper from side

I also made my Rolling Rock, which taught me more about necklines. I’m happy with how I did the shaping, but I think this yarn was slightly too drapey for this style of sweater, making it a bit clingy. That’ll be the silk element in the yarn I used. Dat lace back, tho…

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And finally, I managed to squeak in Opposite Pole. I’m waiting for an opportunity to get some good photos of it before I feature this cardigan as my FO Friday, but here’s a sneak peak of the back.

Opposite Pole cabled cardigan back

I made myself quite a few accessories too. My favourite thing is probably my Peerie Flooers hat, on which I learnt stranded knitting. 2015 will be the year of the fair isle jumper.

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I haven’t made a pair of socks for myself since about 2009, and I am very pleased with the two pairs I made this year. So much so that I had to do some darning on one of the socks over the festive period. I wish I hadn’t thrown away that first pair of socks I made as I also want to learn how to darn/mend this year. I’m going to notice how my socks tend to wear out to check whether I need to make any changes to the way I knit them, to accommodate.

Purple and green hand knitted Mystik Spiral socks

Fluoro striped vanilla latte socks

And I couldn’t mention sock yarn without a cheeky mention of my new convertible gloves.

Striped smartphone friendly broad street mittens

I’m taking a few works in progress into the new year and I look forward to sharing them. Some of them really are very exciting and I’m working hard at keeping them secret.

I’m also happy with the progress I’ve made with my papercutting this year. As a crafter (and in general) I tend not to be afraid to jump into something with both feet and this year, the result of this cavalier attitude was my thesis card.

Papercut card celebrating handing in thesis

Although I still have a lot of learning to do and although I need a lot more practice to improve my handiness with a craft knife, I’m very happy with how this turned out. I think the best thing about making something is when your final product turns out exactly how it looked in your mind’s eye and this was definitely the case with my design.

I think a possible next step with paper craft for me is adding technology, such as with the light-up cards I made for Xmas.

Christmas tree circuit sentiment card

I have a few ideas in mind for how I might take this forward next year.

I didn’t bake that much this year. Indeed, for me, this was a year when I often had no time to cook. I might shift my Year of Bread to 2015 and hope that I can get rid of my unfortunate tendency towards under-baking. I also hope I’ll have the opportunity to make some exciting cakes. People who know me IRL beware, I will be looking out for any opportunity!

A happy new year to all!

Posing with my stained glass cookie sequin party necklace

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