Friday, December 30, 2016

Knitting Into A New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Welcome back to the blog, hope you're enjoying your week.

This is it, the final blog of the year. We're now heading head first into 2017! This year has been quite a ride, with the presidential election and all. Most importantly this was the year I decided to start blogging! I started my blog on September 28th so I haven't been blogging for that long (Though I had plans for this blog since the beginning of the year, I actually wish I did start the blog up sooner to be honest.) When I first started blogging I was putting up a blog every day, pretty crazy right? Yeah it was kind of a stretch, so I implemented by Monday, Wednesday and Friday schedule and it's been working out ever since, I have no plans to change the schedule any time soon. Been working out a lot of kinks with the blog and in general this has been a great learning experience for me. I really love what I've been writing on here for you guys to read and hope you enjoy reading it. I got a lot of new ideas, big plans and improvements coming to the blog in 2017 so here's to a bright new year of blogging!

Another big thing I did this year (And it's been a big topic on this blog ever since.) was I started knitting! Yup after watching my Mum knit for years and always having this urge to give it a go I finally picked up a pair of needles. I did actually attempt it years ago when I was a little kid but I guess I was too young then. Anyway! Yeah my Mum finally gave me that push into knitting by allowing me to take over this baby blanket she was knitting for my little brother Chrissie.

If you've been keeping up with the blog you'll recognize this. I took over this blanket as my very first project back in September (Before I started the blog actually.) and I first featured this blanket on my very first knit blog ZAK Knits Sep. 30th, 2016: On the Beginner's Road. Ever since then it's been non-stop knitting. I've become really passionate about knitting and since taking on this blanket I've already done quite a few awesome projects! 

Of course I finished the blanket back in November and Chrissie received it as a Christmas present! The reaction? He loved it of course.

Remember this? Yup this was my second project I took on and finished! This time using the Crazy Eights Dishcloth pattern by Julie Tarsha. This was my first time using a pattern and it wasn't the easiest pattern for a beginner but I quickly learned that I'm a fast learner when it comes to new things in knitting. Short rows were a breeze. I did learn two very important lessons with this project. One, never rush a project and Two, Knitters can't always be perfect. You see I made a big mistake and my dishcloth ended up going the entire other direction. You can read all about that in my ZAK Knits: Dishcloths Come Full Circle blog.

I also knitted this second dishcloth to match for Thanksgiving. 

As well as this simple Christmas themed dishcloth.

I also got to go into the one place I've never been before... Mum's knit stash. Yes she let me in to her knit stash (I talk about this on the blog "The Day I Raided My Mum's Knitting Stash")

I got to see all sorts of awesome yarn Mum's had all this time as well as getting to take some of the yarn and place it in my own yarn stash (I had so much it ended up breaking the bag I was given... Oops.) I'm surprised that Mum gave me so much awesome yarn to use, I guess she saw how good I was doing... Or I secretly conned her without purposely conning her into it... haha.

Anyway, using some of the yarn I was given, I decided to break out of my dishcloth groove and take a dare devil dive into a project I probably shouldn't of... I dove into a colorworks hat pattern.

Knitting a Beanie Plus a Chihuahua Story and Nintendo

Yes I wanted to make a beanie for awhile now and I had found this awesome Basic Norwegian Star Hat pattern by Cara Jo Miller on Ravelry and I just had to knit it. I probably shouldn't of started a colorworks project so soon after beginning knitting for the first time but I actually pulled this hat off without a hitch! 

Completing My First Knitted Colorworks Hat

The color work came out perfectly and the colors look great together. Only thing is this actually ended up being a slouch not a beanie. Yeah the hat came out a little bit bigger then I had first imagined but I love it nonetheless and it proved to me that taking risky moves sometimes pays off. I really enjoyed doing colorworks so I really want to attempt more of it next year, even perhaps coming up with my own designs.

Mum was knitting the same hat alongside me and it came out like an actual beanie size, I'm pretty sure it was just the yarn I was using that made it so large.

Now comes the big project that spanned over two months... My first pair of socks.

It wasn't too long ago that I finally finished this pair of socks. This was my biggest project to date and I have to admit I really love knitting socks. This first pair, after having the initial wash, came out so soft. They are a bit big, I am going to have to come down a size in needles for the future but I love these socks nonetheless. I actually did a huge blog post talking all about the progress on these socks called Finishing My First Pair of Socks & Baking Christmas Cookies.

Of course the last finished project of the year was a Christmas present for my Mum.

I dove into cable knitting for the first time with this project! This is a waffle owl cloth and the owls were done using cable knitting. Cable kind of frightened me in the beginning but as I've learned with knitting in general it's really easy once you dive in and get some hands on experience. You can read all about my cable knitting adventures in Zach The Knitting Cable Guy and Our Holiday Christmas Weekend.

All that done in just a span of about 5 months... It feels like I've been knitting forever now but it's really only been 5 months for knitting and this blog. I'm now looking into the future for my knitting. Of course I already have a few projects that have been on the needles that I will be continuing, such as my shawl.

Diving Into a Shawlette Journey

I started this shawl a little while ago and it's been ever growing. I am actually going to be doing a completely custom pattern for this shawl! I know I'm a beginner knitter and here I am doing my own pattern already... Am I getting a bit ahead of myself? Anyway this project will be going full steam ahead come new year! I love the colors of this shawl, such an relaxing blend if I do say so myself. This is also my first dive into lace knitting. I've seen some really crazy awesome lace knitting so this really is nothing but I'm proud with all good I'm doing.

Finally my newest project, that I casted on during Christmas Eve... My brand new cable hat project!

I'm already 8 rows into the 15 row rib. I'm getting eager to start on the cable as this hat looks pretty awesome. I'll be knitting this into the new year (Literally I'm going to be knitting, or at least holding this in my hands when it turns midnight.) so lets hope all goes well with this hat! Can't wait to get further on this. You can check out my project on Ravelry as well as the pattern I'm using!

I am a bit worried it's going to end up too big like my first hat did but the yarn is a lot tighter on these needles and it's actual wool this time so fingers crossed that it ends up like an actual beanie.

A lot more projects are floating around inside my head that I want to tackle in 2017. Mum recently gave me the idea of knitting her a Cable Knitted Viking Bag! If you click on the link you'll see how awesome this bag looks. Mum has already got the handles and yarn I need, This bag looks awesome and I think It'll be good practice for my biggest project yet that I'm planning to start in 2017...

You see for Christmas Mum gave me a lot of yarn, and I mean a LOT of yarn as well as needles. Take a look at some of this...

This is some Knit Picks Bare 100% Merino DK Weight Yarn... What am I going to be using this for exactly? Well in 2017 I'm officially going to tackle my first sweater! Yes I am going to make myself a nice sweater, I haven't decided on a pattern just yet, I got a few in mind. I mean I've been jumping by leaps and bounds on my knitting so why not tackle my first sweater? Of course it won't be ready for a long time probably but If I start it like January or February who knows maybe I'll have it done by New Years 2018? Wanna stick around and see?

Each skein has 246 yards/100 grams in it and I got more of this yarn if these four bags isn't enough. Really excited, this will be my biggest project to date but I believe I can handle it.

There are other knitting related things I want to tackle in 2017 too.. I want to have a go at spinning with a drop spindle. Mum's done quite a bit of spinning in the past and I want to have a go myself.

It's not knitting related BUT I want to get back into Cross Stitch, I learned how to do it this year and if you read my Crossing the Needles; Pokemon Cross Stitch and a Knitting Update you'll see I've already done quite a bit of cross stitching. Problem is I started this early last year and I still haven't finished it. I really need to buckle down and do more cross stitching as I am pretty good at it. 

The pattern of this cross stitch bookmark was all done by me too so I really need to persist and finish it.

So yeah I'm hooked... casted on to knitting and I don't plan on stopping, 2017 is going to be an even bigger year for my knitting. Hope you all join me for the journey!

Knitting isn't the only big thing I have planned for 2017 either, I mean my blog is a multi topic entertainment blog... haha. I got plans for all sorts of awesome blogs relating to movies, filmmaking, reviews, video games, Pokemon (Especially Pokemon.), travel (I got some travel plans for 2017 so stay tuned on that!) cars and a lot more!

2016 might be over but a whole new year for the blog has just begun, this is really only the beginning for the blog to be honest and I hope you join me on this journey of... Well lots of things. 

Be sure to check me out on Instagram and check out my Youtube Channel where I post all sorts of videos from Travel Videos to Knitting and more! Also check me out on FacebookTwitter, Snapchat as ZAKManK, and of course Ravelry!

It's crazy how far we've come in just 5 months... Here's to the blog growing to ever new heights! You can check out all of my 2016 posts by looking at the blog archive down the side of the blog (on desktop and tablets, mobile is a bit different.) or by looking through the blog categories.

Happy New Year Everyone!

See you...

IN 2017!

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