What I made in 2022

I like to do these end-of-the-year recaps of what I finished in a year. It always makes me feel productive, and I even want to start more projects.

Knitting

Hats were my thing this year. They are my go-to project when I need something to do. Several were donation hats, and the rest were gifts for friends.

Left to right, top to bottom: tape yarn pouch with vintage cloth lining, Antler toques for donation, Feather and Fern wrap, Year of hats, March hat, Scrapy shawl, Felicity hat for donation, Jelka hat, Kaarre hat, Maize mitts


I’ve also been slowly getting rid of my yarn stash. Luckily I meet “L,” an amigurumi crocheter, at the thrift shop. I’ve been giving her yarn for projects.

Stitching

I’ve been using stitching in my upcycling project this past year. The stitching keeps me present as I usually don’t have a well-laid-out plan, and I’m letting the stitches inspire me on the subsequent placement.

Left to right, top to bottom: Stitching to cover up staining, bookmark, top stitching on the underside of the whale, stuffed whale out of a vintage dress, Hawaiian quilt pillow for donation, Aloha shirt patchwork, blanket stitch top of trivet, trivet made out denim scraps and hand stitching, cat toys made out of scraps of fabric from my cousins mask making venture.


Cooking

I’m breaking this section down to savory and sweet, and I’m not including the jam I made this year. I’ll say the strawberry guava is always a hit and the cherry jam is also a favorite.

Savory

I’ve been trying to be more healthy for dinners. I need to use a lighter hand on the salt. Ahh, signs of getting old. My recent favorite is Mapo eggplant. Here’s the link to the recipe I used from Just One Cookbook: https://www.justonecookbook.com/mapo-eggplant/

Left to right, top to bottom: roasted tomato salsa, zucchini and caramelized onion quiche for Julie, my attempt at pad see ew, cheesy biscuits, tuna and tofu patties, pickled veggie slaw, lemon and capers halibut (thank you, Dave, for the fish), mapo eggplant, ginger pork.


Sweet

I’ve been going through my mom’s recipe box, making my favorite recipes. One day, I’ll put them in a book for my family. I made several batches of Tanaka bars (a family favorite) for my holiday bake, and a few bakes came out too gooey. I googled “blondies too gooey” and found an article from food52 saying the batter needed more air. I need to return to my hand mixer to get the air into the batter. Here’s the link to the article: https://food52.com/blog/21928-why-your-blondies-are-raw-in-the-middle-the-stella-parks-cure

Left to right, top to bottom: Pumpkin bread, pineapple cookies, garbage cookies, lilikoi coconut pie, mixed berry creme fraiche scones, Nutella rice crispy treats, Tanaka bars, Laurie’s pear cake, cherry scones, lemon loaf cake, Tre Leche cake, apple crumb cake, apple vanilla pound cake, lemon blueberry cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate birthday cupcakes for the birthday girls.


To my surprise, I worked on a lot of stuff. It didn’t feel like it. I’ve been struggling this year to find what I should be doing with my life since my freelance gig has dried up.

I’ve discovered myy stitching is good for my brain. It lets me move through the piece spontaneously, letting the stitches decide for me. So I decided 2023 would be my year to sell or show more of my works. I need to be brave and put it out there. So there will be more to come. I hope you stick around to join me on my journey.

One Crafty Lady

I got a bunch of craft supplies from a very crafty lady. Among the collections, there were several unfinished projects. I decided to take on a few of them and finish them up.

The pattern and shawl


First up is a knitted shawl. I found a handwritten pattern with it. It wasn’t too clear. There were a lot of cross-outs and items that seemed to be missing. But I decided I could figure it out.

I took apart a bunch of rows where I could see mistakes. I tried to knit the pattern as I could interpret it and what I could see the stitches were.

After ripping out the mistake rows

“Ugh! Curse, curse, curse.” I moaned.

It wasn’t working. It didn’t look like the existing stitches. I rip out more stitches to try and decipher why the stitches look so different.

Ahhhhhh! Backloop!!!!! [0+++++++++++++++++++m,./ ] Orange the cat wanted to contribute to the post.

Our crafty lady knitted and purled most of the stitches in the backloop. I solved one major issue and on to the next issue.

Charting it out

I didn’t want to mark up the original pattern, so I decided to try to chart it out. I used the app stitchfiddle. There is a free and a premium version. I thought I’d try out the free version and see if I like it. I’ve never charted out a pattern before. There is definitely a learning curve. I had to figure out how to indicate the decreased stitches on every other row.

Section of the chart, gray squares indicate “no stitch” for my decreased stitches.

Once I got close to a finished chart, I decided to test it. Instead of continuing on the original unfinished shawl, I started with Berroco Vintage in purple. It’s a softer yarn (acrylic, wool, and nylon blend), much easier on my hands. The original was knitted in Red Heart acrylic, which is very rough on my hands and makes me not want to knit it anymore.

The beginning of the test shawl


I’m still testing my chart and making corrections as needed. Once I finished, I’ll post the pattern on Ravelry for free in tribute to our crafty lady. The test shawl will go to the crafty lady’s daughter, from whom I got the craft supplies. I’m not sure what I will do with the original shawl. I feel like I should finish and donate it. Maybe knitting it in fall will be easier than at the hottest time of the year.

Scrapy Shawl

Remember my Scheepjes d’Histoire Naturelle blanket I finished in August 2021? I had a bunch of extra yarn and wanted to use it up. I decided on something easy, nothing that I have to concentrate too much on.

It still needs the ends to be woven in. Sigh!

Here’s a simple gather stitch triangle shawl. Used most of the leftover yarn with a few small yarn balls for Orange the cat to play with. I cast on two stitches. I slipped the first stitch in every row and a knit front back increase (kfb) at the 2nd to the last stitch in every row. On the stripe sections, I knitted two rows of one color and two rows of the other color. I knitted to I ran out of yarn. At the widest edge, 64″ and from the bind-off edge to cast on 34″. Nice weight, not too heavy, perfect for a cool evening. The Scheepjes Stone Washed is both soft to work with and wear.

Marling?

I saw a post from Modern Daily Knitting about marling; the image intrigued me, and I made a mental note to go back to look at it. Well, several days later I couldn’t find it. So I googled Marling and found a post about marling on Tin Can Knits and a quick and easy hat pattern to try out the technique.

4 strands for my Snap hat

Marling is knitting holding 2 or more different strands of yarn to create a speckled fabric. I tried out his technique with mostly the same weight of yarn I had in my stash. I knew I wanted to do something with an ombre and decided to get the Snap hat pattern to try out this technique. I’ve been looking for a quick pattern during my rest periods between sections from my Shawlography Westknits MKAL 2021. Haha.

Here’s what I got. One of the benefits of this marling project is I got to use yarn from my stash, and it turns sock and lace weight yarn into bulky to make knitting up the hat a quick and very satisfying project.

For my marling project, the colors I started with were navy, teal, pink, and variegated yarn.

Most of the yarn I got from Savers, only the variegated yarn, was from my yarn gift from a friend who was getting rid of most of her stash. My plan was to do an ombre from dark to light. The pattern said to change the one yarn every 4-6 rows to create the ombre.

Switched out the navy with gray

After 6 more rows, I switched out the teal with medium magenta. I continued with this colorway till the decrease section. Then I swapped out the variegated yarn with another strand of pink.


Ta-Dah! My finished Snap hat with a big fluffy pom-pom in all 6 colors. Love the way the ombre turned out. I would love to make a blanket with this technique. I’ll just add it to my to-do project list and look out for a colorful sock or lace yarn sale.

Thrifting for repurpose, redo #3

I hope the “third time’s the charm” comes true as this is my third time trying to post this. I’m starting from scratch deleted what was left of the post. I’ll try and keep is short.

I went out thrifting on President’s day, looking for fabric and yarn for my inventory for my Etsy shop (opening in March). Yarn selection was a bust, just a bunch of bland acrylic yarn. But in my roaming for a good deal, I spied a knitted top hanging at the end of the ladies dresses.

“Hmmm. This looks interesting.” as I walked up to it.

The frogging (knitting term for ripping out) begins

It looked hand knitted but had a Free People tag. It was linen, cotton, and rayon blend yarn of worsted weight. It was unravelling at the shoulder strap and I guess that what it got put back on the rack. Unravelling is good sign as I just want the yarn and would be taking it apart. The price was $8.49, less than one skein of this type of yarn and I probably get at three skeins worth.

In the end I bought it for $8.49 plus 25% off because of President’s day and good 360+ grams of yarn.

By the way, I google this top and it was originally selling for $148. I think I got a good deal, don’t you think.