A post-Gift-A-Long post

I can't believe we've come to the end! It's been a whirlwind few weeks helping behind the scenes in the Gift-A-Long, keeping up with the threads, and handing out prizes. While being a moderator has kept me extra busy, it's also been incredibly fun and exciting and I'm looking forward to doing it all again next year. :)

My fellow Hand & Arm Things host Becca worked out the final stats for our category:

Final tally is 238 finished projects (!!) (64% of those declared), but more importantly…
  • nearly 300 people participated in this thread alone,
  • sharing more than 450 GAL-designer-related projects (some not for hands but that’s totally cool),
  • calling out more than 250 GAL-eligible patterns for us to appreciate.

The ongoing parade of WIPs and FOs provided an incredible source of inspiration from the great colour choices, skilful stitching, beautiful yarn (including handspun), and lovely patterns people chose. I found out about new-to-me methods of construction, such as starting a pair of mitts with the thumb and it growing from there (Lee Meredith's Either/Or mitts), and cool-looking techniques like slip-stitch crochet (Yuliya Tkacheva's Snegurochka Mitts), and some just really beautiful cable designs I hadn't seen before (Olga Beckmann's Morosko mittens, and Kelly G.'s Cèilidh Fingerless Gloves).

Another big source of excitement was seeing my own designs pop up! My Beeswax Hat was actually the tenth-equal most popular pattern, with 11 finished projects during the GAL. In total there were 22 finished projects from my patterns, which is pretty amazing! Here are a few of my favourite photos from the 22, including two Beeswax Hats, an Ascent hat, and a Silverwing shawl:

knittingvortex's Beeswax

UkeeKnits' Ascent

rebekafish's Darkwing Duck!

theaburras' Beeswax Hat

For participating designers, a traditional part of the Gift-A-Long is sharing other designers' work. An obvious way of doing this is using their patterns for our own projects, which I did with my GAL socks, and we've also been sharing our favourite patterns on our blogs and other social media. I've been posting collages of great knit designs on my Instagram account. These are a few of my favourites from the past few weeks:

Star Anise by Svetlana Volkova (top left), Singing Beach by Bonnie Sennott (top right), Crisp Apple Strudel by Katy H. Carroll (bottom right), and Same Wavelength by Kristina Vilimaite (bottom left).

Stornoway Throw by Anita Grahn (top left), Icterine by Hunter Hammersen (top right), Tree Rings by Andrea Rangel (bottom right), and Badlands Mitts by Kathryn Folkerth (bottom left).

Hudson by Shannon Cook (top left), Ballydesmond by Irishgirlieknits (top right), Dancing with Bears by Carol Sunday (bottom right), and Grellow Love by Clare Devine (bottom left).

Another cool way to share each other's work while getting to know each other better is to interview fellow participating designers on our blogs and podcasts. I've been lucky enough to have been interviewed three times during this GAL! Once by Stephannie Tallent for her Sunset Cat Designs blog (Interview: Amy van de Laar), once by Vikki Bird for her blog (GAL 2016: Meet Amy van de Laar), and Carolyn Macpherson also featured me in an episode of her podcast The Next Beautiful Thing:

Thanks for the ride, everyone! Hope to see you all again next year. 💛

A perfect pair of socks

The Gift-A-Long has been an absolute whirlwind so far, with a whopping 13,000 finished projects as of this morning! I've been busy hosting the Hand & Arm Things thread, plus giving out prizes for project photos each Thursday.

I even managed to finish a GAL project of my own, a pair of Grellow Love socks knit in leftover Vintage Purls Sock. Just to make things tricky for myself, I experimented with making a stop-motion video of my second sock, snapping a frame after each half-inch (very roughly) of knitting:

I made a stop-motion vid of my second Grellow Love sock to help push me along. Yay for trying new things! I used the OSnap! app on my phone to create the video. There will definitely be more experiments to come, but I'll probably go slightly less ambitious next time. 😁 The excellent sock pattern is by @knitsharelove. ✨ #newtoy #stopmotion #sockfootage #sockknitting #toeupsocks #knitsharelove #vintagepurls #giftalong2016 #secondsocksyndromeisnotthebossofme

A video posted by Amy van de Laar 🎄 (@amyvdlaar) on Dec 12, 2016 at 3:34pm PST


It came out pretty good for my first stop-motion attempt! I did have a bit of trouble with consistent lighting, since I recorded it over the course of a few days and at different times of day. I used the iPhone app OSnap!, which can also be used to make time-lapse videos. I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this app. :)

Back to the socks, here's what the finished pair looks like - I really love the contrast toes and heels. I have plenty of odds and ends of sock yarn left, so I'm keen to make more pairs using this pattern. It's a nice easy one, especially once you've knit the first sock.

A triumphal shot of both socks. 🙌🏼 Except for the fiddly toe-up cast on, this was a very straightforward knit for this semi-newbie sock knitter. I liked the Fleegle heel construction (which I hadn't tried before), and they fit bloody well too! The pattern is Grellow Love by @knitsharelove, and the yarn is Sock by @vintagepurls. 👌🏼 #giftalong2016 #sockknitting #knitsocks #knittingfromstash #knitsharelove #vintagepurls #grellowlovesocks

A photo posted by Amy van de Laar 🎄 (@amyvdlaar) on Dec 14, 2016 at 1:18pm PST

 

I'm not sure I'll have time to tackle another Gift-A-Long project, since I still have one-third of a giant lace shawl to knit this month. But if you fancy jumping in with a project or two, the GAL is still on until December 31st!

It's Gift-A-Long time!

Would you like to join the Indie Design Gift-A-Long? It’s just begun, and the giant pattern sale is go! Over 300 designers are taking part this year, and there are giant searchable Ravelry bundles and Pinterest boards full of patterns for your browsing pleasure.

My own discounted patterns are collected here - they're 25% off with the coupon code giftalong2016, from now until the end of November.

This is the third year I've taken part in the Gift-A-Long, and this year I'm a moderator which is both fun and (so far) really busy. I’m co-hosting the Hand & Arm Things KAL and will also be on Prize Patrol once a week, handing out pattern coupons to people who post project photos at just the right time. ;) Come and join in if you're keen to start a new project!

Here are some of the GAL's stats, in a pretty graphic put together by our stats queen Kimberly Golynskiy:

I have my first project picked out, which is a pair of Grellow Love socks. I've dug out some leftovers and little scraps of Vintage Purls Sock and Knitsch Sock, so I can do crazy-coloured contrasting heels and toes...

Grellow Love by Claire Devine

My main project right now is a secret laceweight wrap, but I think I should have time to at least make some short socks as well. They can be my comparatively-straightforward project to work on in between bouts of lace knitting and GAL chatting. :)