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It’s already nearly at the end of the first week of January 2017. How has time flown by so fast? I’ve been in my job for a year now – and whilst it’s very similar to what I was doing before, there’s a lot less stress than I was having before, and I would definitely say that I feel a lot better for it. It’s one of those things – I knew I needed to leave that other job, but in the end I was comfortable there, despite everything that went on. It took getting made redundant to move on, and whilst I may get paid less for what I do, it works out better for me mentally in the long term. There’s a lot to be said for the whole money vs. happiness thing. [More money would be great, but I’ll take my happiness any day].

I thought I would do a quick year in review type blog. I’ll combine my two main hobbies, knitting and reading, and perhaps will mention a few of things that have also stood out for me this year as well.

In the knitting world I made a total of 23 projects over the year. 22, if you count that most of the Doodler was made in December of the previous year, but finished in 2016. I think it counts! Of these, I think I’ve given away something like 14 of them, either as Christmas presents towards the end of the year (see my previous post) or just as a “I like you, you’re my friend, have something I made” gift. I don’t have a lot of people in my life, but the ones I do have are definitely knit worthy.

Here’s a list of the things that I have given away, or are [still] due to be sent:

– Hoody – a knit hood to keep head and neck warm.
– Evenstar gloves – fingerless gloves.
– A Hap for Harriet – I renamed mine ‘Command Scarf’ because the colours reminded me so much Star Trek. It was only fitting that it went to Cap. Janeway.
– Iceni Mitts – fingerless gloves that really intimidated me all those years ago when I first bought the pattern. Easy peasy, but turned out too big for my hands.
– Crocheted Star Trek Voyager teddy bear that I still need to send to his new home… even if he does look a little weird.
– A bunny for Artie – which he still plays with even though he’s mostly destroyed it
– The Doodler – the original version that I knit second time round had to be remade, and I was super happy with learning a few new skills the second time I made this one.
– OWL mittens – who wouldn’t want a spell list on their hands?
– Saroyan – still needs to be sent as this was supposed to be a Christmas present
– Multnomah – shawl pattern for busy hand dyed yarns
– 3 x hats/beanies – for some of the men in my life
– Dearly Beloved – a lacey shawl that took me just 8 days to make.

In all I gave 14 of the knits I made away to my friends and family. Of the 23 I made, I ruined one by accidentally felting it – I put the washing machine on the wrong cycle in my hast to finish. And one of the vest tops I made I screwed up the finishing, so have  abandoned it at the bottom of my finished object box as I doubt I am going to be able to fix it.

In the coming year I would like to aim for about 20 completed items. At the moment my current project is a baby blanket. That should take about 6 weeks to make, not including the enforced break I am going to have to have. [All that Christmas and gift knitting has caught up with my hands].

In terms of books, it’s been a really disappointing year for me. My goal was 40, but I failed miserably in this. I read a measly 16 books in 2016. And many of them, for one reason or another, I didn’t really enjoy. I did finish the Cinder Chronicles, which was one of the few that I enjoyed immensely, and I tackled Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell – a book I didn’t think I would like or ever read, if I’m honest – but there were many that just didn’t grip me well enough. I even read Dune, and made it to the end even though it bored me stupid.

I think the reason I read less is because of the new job. I used to read a lot in the evenings, but now I work largely in the evenings, and knit in the mornings, the reading time has severely been reduced. That being said, going forward, I will aim to try and read 20 books this year. That seems like a more achievable target even though this year was only 16. I think I need to be a bit more choosy with what I am reading. And to use my time more wisely.  It’s easier to read Kindle books these days as I can prop my Kindle or iPad up in a decent position and read from them a lot easier than holding a book at work during my lunch break.

One of the biggest things that happened this year is that we got Artie, our Kitten. Totally unplanned, but he’s been an interesting addition to our life here. I’ve always wanted a kitten, and he’s just super cute. The vet thinks he’s part Korat due to the shaping of his face and his colouring, and part tabby. Mum thinks that he might have some Bengal in him because of his temperament and the way he meows. Whatever he is, he’s definitely a character! [And… my cat plays fetch. Who would have thought that a catch would actually play fetch?]

Other notable things from this year that have impacted my day to day life was the release of Pokemon Go. Whilst I can’t say it’s helped with weight-loss, Alex and I do go out for some interesting, in the dark, past midnight walks through the town. I try to avoid Friday and Saturday nights though, for obvious reasons. We play this game everyday, although Alex plays a lot more often than I do. It’s a silly game, but one that I enjoy – for the most part.

We also recently invested in a PS4. Alex is playing the Uncharted series, and I am dabbling in Rise of the Tomb Raider – which so far is better than the remake from a few years ago as there’s less blood and less sliding down endless waterway. I have another game to play – Dragon Quest Heroes – but I haven’t got round to that one yet. Incidentally, Dragon Quest VIII Journey of the Cursed King is being re-released on the 3DS, and even though I still have my PS2 copy, I really want it! Apparently there are additional scenes, dungeons and history in it! I may have to treat myself to it eventually.

So this was a pretty text heavy post, congratulations if you’ve made it to the end! I promise that’s it for today. Now that Christmas is out of the way and all the secret knitting has been done, I should be able to resume my usual blog schedule. And with any luck, be reading a bit more!

How’s your year looked? What about the coming year?