December 31, 2015

A Look Back: 2015

2015 saw me immerse myself in knitting more than ever. I continue to enjoy learning about it and am constantly impressed with the variety of yarns, patterns, books, blogs and videos, etc. dedicated to this craft.  It's a great time to be a knitter and I still have so much to learn.  In honour of all things knitting I present you with my second annual list of Knitting Favourites of 2015.

Best Yarn Shop:  I had the pleasure of visiting 88 Stitches this past spring and I liked everything about it.  88 Stitches is located in Langley, B.C. and is the perfect size for a yarn shop, carrying a great variety of yarn including my favourite, Sweet Fiber Yarns. In fact Melissa Thomson's mother owns this shop. It was bright and sunny in the store and the owner was so friendly.  I truly wish this was my neighbourhood store as I would love to visit frequently.

Best Shawl: Of the seven shawls I knit this year I would have to say that Cladonia, by Kirsten Kapur is my favourite of the year.  Knit in Sweet Fiber Yarn Super Sweet Sock in Chartreuse and String Theory Caper Sock Yarn in Java, it is a beautiful combination of colour and pattern. The shape of the shawl makes it easy to wear and the cashmere in Caper Sock Yarn makes it so soft.

Cladonia by Kirsten Kapur

Best Sweater/Cardigan:  This was a hard choice for me to make as I knit four cardigans and three sweaters, all of which I absolutely love.  However, I am choosing Japan Sleeves, a sweater by Joji Locatelli because of its unique and fun construction.  I enjoyed every second of knitting this sweater.  The  lace inserts in the sleeves were knit first, and if you look at the photos below, you can see how the body of the sweater was constructed.  It was such a unique way to knit a sweater.  I hadn't had as much fun knitting a sweater since I knit Hitofude last year.  I also liked the colour combination of Madelinetosh's Molly Ringwald and Teddy Bear, creating a perfect spring sweater.

Lace panels were knit first and then the sleeve construction began

Once the sleeves were done knitting the body was knit in the round

Knit in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light:  Teddy Bear and Molly Ringwald

Best Knitted Accesssory:  2015 is the year I knit my first pair of socks so I must choose my Wildflower Socks knit in Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock. I followed Susan B. Anderson's How I Knit My Socks, a great basic pattern for newbies like me.  I have to say I surprised myself by how much I enjoyed knitting them.   But to me, the best part of sock knitting is wearing the socks.   They are so much better than store bought ones.  I definitely see more knitted socks in my future.

Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock:  Wildflowers

Best Yarn Brand:  My choice from last year was Canada's own Melissa Thomson of Sweet Fiber Yarns.  Her eye for colour is beautiful. But if I had to pick a new yarn brand for this year I would have to choose Woolfolk yarn. I had the opportunity to knit the pattern Pure Worsted with Woolfolk Far that I purchased at Purl Soho in New York.  It is a 100% merino with a chainette construction having a micron count of 17.5 (instead of the usual 35 which most wool products have).  I can't say enough good things about this yarn.  It is so soft that knitting and wearing an item knit in this yarn is pure bliss.

Best Yarn Colour:  This year I have continued becoming more passionate about photographing yarn and I have hundreds of photos to prove it.  There are so many gorgeous colourways available.   However, I would say that my favourite colourway of the year would be Monarch in Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock.  This yarn was part of Sweet Fiber's 2015 Sock Club and this is a skein that needs to be admired for a while before being knitted with.

Yarn That Surprised Me:  I tried Plucky Knitter Scholar for the first time this year, not knowing what to expect.  When you buy yarn online, without seeing it in person, it is always a risk.  However, I was not disappointed.  This worsted weight yarn is a 25% cashmere 75% wool blend.  I chose to knit Mailin by Isabell Kraemer with it.  This yarn gives you the perfect level of warmth but is not overly heavy or scratchy in the slightest.  I would love to knit a cardigan out of it but I will have to wait for the Canadian dollar to bounce back.

Mailin by Isabell Kraemer

Best Lookbook:  Although Brooklyn Tweed is still my favourite I think this year I would choose the Plucky Knitter Fall Collection Lookbook.  The Plucky Knitter has continued to make great strides this year to provide beautiful, highly wearable patterns and their lookbook shares their fun attitude toward knitting.  The use of bright colours and beautiful scenery in the Lookbook makes you want to knit every pattern that is in it.

Best Knitting Book:  I bought several knitting books this year but the one that stands out is Home and Away:  Knits for Everyday Adventures by Hannah Fettig. Often I buy knitting books that are beautiful to look at but only contain one or two patterns that I would ever knit.  However, I would love to knit each item in this book.  Another great feature of the book is that each pattern consists of directions for knitting a seamed or non-seamed sweater, depending on your preference.

Best Knitting Blog:   My choice is, without a doubt Fringe Association written by Karen Templer of Fringe Supply Co. If you haven't read this blog yet I can't recommend it enough.  Karen writes about knitting and sewing in an unique way.  For example, this year she hosted a Fringe and Friends Knitalong where she chose a sweater to knit and invited famous knitwear designers to knit the same sweater, and share their modifications and experiences.  It's a great way to learn about ways to modify and the reasons to do so.  She also has a year long hat knitalong and offered free hat patterns to knit.  I always learn a lot from this blog and the content is so varied, it is never boring.

Best Knitting Vlog/Podcast:  I enjoyed knitting while listening to podcasts as well as watching video blogs (vlogs) this year.  The one I found the most entertaining is Along the Lanes by Vero (thatcanadiangirl on Ravelry).
Born in Ottawa, Canada, Vero now resides in the United Kingdom. Although Vero only began her vlog this year her enthusiasm and expertise are evident. The vlog really stand out as being unique, creative and fun to watch, you never know what to expect.  For example, in one episode she takes the viewers along with her on a London yarn crawl.  It's a ton of should really check her out.

Most Helpful Video:  A great crafting website that I turn to for help is Craftsy. The variety and level of expertise offered through this website is impressive. The Craftsy video that I have turned to the most this year is Essential Techniques Every Knitter Should Know by Sally Melville.  Even the most experienced knitter will get tips from this Craftsy class. The best part is you can return to it again and again.

Best Knitting Accessory:  I am smitten with these lovely screen printed bags created by Jenna Rose, an artisan from Ontario, Canada.  They are just so pretty and unique.

So there you have my round up of my 2015 favourites.  Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to read and comment on my blog this year.  It really means the world to me.  The knitting and yarn world is an exciting one to be a part of.  I look forward to knitting along with everyone in 2016. Happy New Year and all the best in the coming year! Thanks for stopping by.


  1. How interesting to read about all your favourite knitting things of 2015. I didn't know the fringeassociation blog yet and added it to my list, I always love to learn more. Have a wonderful 2016!

    1. Thanks Corinne! I think you will enjoy the Fringe Association blog, it's very unique. All the best to you in 2016 as well. : )

  2. I love your best of year in review approach, so clever! Your shawl is gorgeous, and Jenna Rose's bags are truly awesome. Happy 2016!

    1. Thanks Julie! I wish you all the best in 2016 as well!