I can't believe 2015 is over, in some ways it feels like it has gone so fast. I feel like I have learned so much this year and I'm really excited for what this next year will bring. I feel like my blog has really evolved over the past year, at least for me. I feel like I have figured out more of a direction of where I want it to go and what I want it to be. At the end of last year I was just starting and really had no clue what I was doing or even what I was wanting to do. Now I feel like I have a lot more direction and focus and I am really excited for that.
This year has been a good one for me, as far as blogging is concerned there have been a few highlights. One would be that I had the opportunity to attend my first blog conference, Snap, in April. I feel like going to a blog conference and meeting other bloggers really helped me learn a lot about what I wanted for my blog. It also provided me with opportunities to start working with brands which has been really great.
Another huge thing for me this year was participating in So You Think You're Crafty this fall. When I filled out an application I didn't think there would be much of a chance that I would be picked since I felt like I was really new and nobody knew me. I was shocked when I got an email saying that I had been chosen to participate. I was so excited. Then I saw the people that I would be competing against and I saw names of bloggers that I recognized and thought, I don't stand much of a chance here. My goal became to not go out on week one. I thought I just don't want to embarrass myself. Then I made it through that week, and the next, and the next, and I even won a week and I started thinking that maybe I could make it to the end. Each week I waited anxiously to find out if I had made it through and each week I managed to stay in. I won I think 3 out of the first 6 weeks and made it to the finale. I was feeling pretty excited going into the finale. It took me a while to decide on a project, I wanted to crochet something because I felt like crochet was probably the best representation of my blog, but trying to figure out what I could crochet that would be nice enough for a final project was difficult. I finally decided on a nativity and it ended up being my favorite project, definitely of the year, maybe ever. I ended up winning the competition and it was such a huge confidence boost to me to have had the opportunity to compete with some really awesome bloggers and actually win.
All in all, I think this was a really good year for me and I am really excited to see what the next year brings. I have some big plans that I can't wait to get started on. One thing that I am really excited about and plan to roll out next week is a Learn to Crochet series that I have been working on. If one of your goals for the new year is to learn to crochet, be sure to check back next week.
I think it is always fun to see the most popular projects of the year so I went through my numbers and found the top 15 of the year, I figured that was a good number for 2015. I decided to go with the 15 most popular posts this year that were also posted this year, so posts from last year are not included in the top 15 even though they may have had more views. I will share some of those at the the end, they just aren't part of the countdown. So without further ado, drumroll please...
Number 15 on my list was this little guy. I think he is actually my favorite of the set of Christmas ornaments that I made. I love the little pom pom on the top of his hat.
I made these bookmarks as part of the Happy Harry Potter series where lots of bloggers shared Harry Potter themed projects in the summer around Harry's birthday.
This was one of the projects that I made for So You Think Your'e Crafty. It was something that I had been wanting to make for a while and the competition just worked out to be the perfect opportunity to do it. 24 little mini stockings, each one different, ready to filled with treats to count down the days until Christmas.
Next on the list is another ornament from the set that I made for Christmas this year. This Santa was the first of the four that I made. The other 2, the snowman and the soldier, didn't make the top 15.
This one is from way back at the beginning of the year, I think it is the oldest pattern to make the list. This was a fun pattern to come up with and a new stitch to try out and I loved working with the yarn it was made with.
This is the first of a few dishcloths/washcloths to make the top 15. I love this stitch for dishcloths because it is really simple, great for beginners, but also gives some nice texture to the cloth.
This was pretty much my only attempt at a clothing item. The fitting part always scares me. I do a lot better with things that don't really need to fit. I really wanted to make a baby sweater but it was summer time and I thought a sweater might not be the best project for the season so I decided to go with a lacy top instead. My girls still like wearing it and it made it into the top 10 so I guess it turned out okay.
I originally made this for a Valentines Day project for Craftaholics Anonymous so there is an option that includes hearts between the doily sections.
I'll be honest this one kind of surprised me. This was the first in a set of 4 dishcloths that I made that were themed for valentines day. The idea actually came because I had leftover cotton yarn for the doily bunting (#8) that was pink and white so I decided to make Valentines themed dishcloths. This was the first in the set and although I liked the way it turned out I didn't expect it to be this high in my top posts of the year.
Another dishcloth, and it isn't the last that will be on the list. This one was done as my project for the In the Kitchen week of So You Think You're Crafty. I was so nervous to make a dishcloth because I wasn't sure it would be nice enough for a competition. It didn't win but it came in second only one vote behind the first place project. I was pretty surprised that a dishcloth did so well but I really like these ones. The texture is really thick and bumpy and I think it looks really cool too. I am actually using one of them in my kitchen right now.
We are into the top 5 now. This one was kind of funny to me. This summer I did a trio of stuffed animals for Fairfield World that were all made using the same rectangular shape. Boxy Fox, Boxy Owl, and Boxy Bear. The bear was the last of the 3 and by far my least favorite. I just liked the other ones better. I don't know what it is, I just wasn't as happy with this one as I was with the others. Apparently other people disagree because Boxy Bear is the only one to have made the list and it is all the way up at number 5.
This is one of my all time favorite dishcloth/washcloth patterns. I think the stitch is really pretty while also giving some nice texture.
This is the last set of cloths to make the list. I made these ones around Mother's Day as a gift idea. The stitch is a little more open than what I normally use for washcloths but I wanted something that would be a little more pretty and feminine.
I made this blanket as a baby gift for my niece and I loved the way it turned out. I think not only was it #2 on my blog, it is probably #2 on my personal list of favorite projects. It is always exciting to have an idea in your head and have it actually turn out the way you picture. I am actually working right now on a variation of this pattern that uses 6 petal flowers instead of 8. Hopefully I will finish it soon so that I can share it.
And now for the Number One, most popular post on my blog from this year...
This one didn't really surprise me, I guess in a way it is kind of crazy since it was only posted last month but it is by far my favorite and I knew that it was my most popular over the last couple of months. This was my finale project for So You Think You're Crafty and I am so glad I decided to make it. I had thought about making a crocheted nativity for a while but was a little scared to try. It seemed like an intimidating project to get started on. When I needed a final project I decided to just go for it and I was really happy with the end result. I plan on making some more pieces to add to it next year.
These posts would have fit in the top 15 if I had included posts that were published last year so I thought I would just give them a quick mention.
Crocheted Mannequin Heads, Triangles and Stripes Baby Blanket, Textured Toddler Hats, Football Helmet Hats, Anchor Baby Hats, Crocheted Pumpkins
I can't wait to share even more projects in the coming year. I am excited about some of the things that I have planned and look forward to sharing them. Thank you for your support in reading and following my blog. I love all of the comments and emails that I get. I am amazed at how much my blog has grown this year and I hope to continue that growth over the next year. Thanks for a great 2015.