Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My Kniting Year in Review

A year or so ago it wouldn’t have occurred to me to look back on the last twelve months of knitting and reflect on my achievements and failures, let alone write about them. Without a doubt, blogging and Ravelry have had a major impact on my knitting life; I am more aware of my craft than ever and feel as though my knitting has taken on a greater sense of purpose. At the same time, I feel more accountable for what I have undertaken and while I still have my share of UFO’s and suffer from the occasional bout of startitis, I know that a sense of obligation (whether real or imagined) has often helped spur me on to finish a project. Most of all, I feel more a part of the online knitting community and enjoy the camaraderie that comes from belonging to various groups on Ravelry and corresponding with other knitters via Ravelry and blog comments.

Last January I made some knitting “nonresolutions”, so named because I don’t go in much for New Year’s resolutions, which always seem deemed to fail. My main goals were to knit more lace, try colourwork, continue to knit socks, and to cut back on yarn purchases and knit more from stash. Well, I have some good news and some bad news—which would you like to hear first?

Let’s get the bad news out of the way, so we can end on a positive note, okay? Despite starting off strong, I definitely did not stick to my yarn diet this year. While I bought less in person, I definitely increased my online shopping. What’s a girl to do when there’s so much temptation lurking behind every click of the mouse? (No, cancelling internet service is not an option.) In my defence, I used “found money” to make a lot of my yarn purchases and I never carried a balance on my credit card. In other words, it’s a luxury I can afford but by buying so much new yarn I am denying myself the pleasure of knitting the beautiful yarn I already own. And sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of WIP’s and potential projects awaiting my attention.

I am happy to report that I did succeed at trying stranded knitting this year and, like most things, did not find it as difficult as I’d feared. I discovered that holding one strand of yarn in each hand was the method that worked best for me. However, despite beginning the Graphic Hoodie and the Autumn Rose Pullover,
I have little to show for my efforts. I ended up frogging the hoodie because I wasn’t happy with my gauge and I put the pullover aside after completing about 4” of the body.
Even though I only finished the first shawl and half of the second

from the Year of Lace Club shipments (I haven’t touched the third and haven’t yet received the fourth) I did succeed in making 2008 “my year of lace”. I completed three other shawls (Shoalwater Shawl, Swallowtail Shawl, and Scotch Thistle Lace Stole) and knit several lace scarves (Storm Water Scarf, Wavy Scarf, Sheer Lace Scarf, and Shifting Hues Scarf). In addition to beginning several other shawls and scarves, I incorporated lace into some of this year’s socks.

And socks there were aplenty! Besides knitting numerous pairs of plain socks, I produced more than twenty pairs of patterned socks. I finally got around to knitting Monkey and Friday Harbor Socks and, thanks to Ravelry's Sock Knitters Anonymous group, challenged myself with Grun ist die Hoffnung, Stricken, and most recently, Firestarters.

But I’d have to say the year’s greatest accomplishment was making the Great American Afghan.
Not only was it satisfying to complete such a large project, I broadened my knitting horizons by learning new skills, such as entrelac and duplicate stitch.

All, in all, not a bad knitting year at all! Tune in tomorrow for next year’s resolutions, er, I mean goals.

1 comment:

ChristyH said...

Your work was beautiful and even though socks are truly my favorite thing to knit, your afghan is my favorite project. Very inspiring.

I so know what you mean about online yarn shopping. No LYS here, in fact I have only been in a LYS twice.

Happy New Year