Category Archives: year in review

So long, 2010

I’m a little late and a dollar short on my look back at 2010, and as I once again look ahead to a busy first few months of the new year (‘day job’ teaching, and of course a lot of knitting plans), I’m glad to have taken it a bit slow for these first few days of the new year. It has been restful to allow myself a bit of time to work on my current projects and think about new ones, without interruption.

I’ve also been wearing my last big project of 2010, and grabbed some photos of it yesterday thanks to Bridget, which means I can finally report on it here and call 2010 officially wrapped up.

Jan7-Yoke1

This is my fair isle yoke cardigan, worked from instructions found in Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Around. It is based on her ‘percentage system’, instructing you to do the math for your own body and essentially design your own sweater to fit. As written, the pattern instructions are for a pullover, but I decided to plan it out as a cardigan using a steek down the centre to create the gap for the button band (as described in my previous post). I’m happy with how it turned out, though I do wish in retrospect that I had used just one more button, allowing for slightly closer distance between buttons.

Jan7-Yoke3

It was an enjoyable knit, and one which really progressed fairly quickly once I dedicated myself to it (it was sadly put aside more than once, for a couple of weeks at a time), since the majority of it is plain stockinette stitch. And because I’m Like That, I decided to choose my own fair isle motifs for the yoke (and sleeve accents, for fun), which took a bit more brain time for decision-making but again moved pretty quickly once I sat down to do it. I’m happy with the final result and would be happy to knit another one – perhaps even take the foundational ideas into some designs.

My 2010 had some good knitting in it.

Mar21-Neptune7

All in all in 2010, I completed 30 projects or so – a great number, but one which is actually smaller than my totals for any of the years past. I think this is because I devoted more of my time than ever before to projects of my own design, and with design comes time spent in progress and thought before anything can be completed. I’m happy with the projects I did this year – 5 sweaters, 11 pairs of socks, 6 pairs of mittens and gloves, and many other shawls, hats, and other accessories.

Aug19-Lamplight3

Oct8-Staked4

I completed many projects that I’m quite proud of, and I’m glad for the things I’ve learned through them. I tried my hand at shawl design for the first time (and then a second time), and have been lucky to have worked with different and beautiful yarns from several Canadian dyers. I travelled to Rhinebeck once again and met up with a lot of wonderful knitting friends, new and old. I expanded by knowledge by taking more knitting classes, and taught a few more knitting classes myself. I look forward to more of all of this in 2011.

I hope your 2011 has gotten off to a good start! Happy knitting, and happy weekend ahead.

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Filed under elizabeth zimmerman, fair isle, finished object: sweater, year in review

Looking back, looking forward

Knitting-wise, 2009 was a fairly expansive year for me. I didn’t do everything that I wanted to do (somehow I thought I would have produced more than 5 sweaters…pardon me while I polish my ambition), but I did do quite a bit. I delved into pattern sale publishing for the first time with the Viper Pilots socks, and now more than a hundred other knitters have been tortured challenged by that pattern just as I challenged myself to produce them. I taught a knitting class for the first time, and attended many others thanks to the wondrous event that the Sock Summit was. I saw myself published in print for the first time, in Canadian Living magazine. I started partnering with Canadian dyers Tanis and Michelle for some design collaborations, and look forward to working with them again in 2010. I learned to spin and purchased my own wheel. It’s been a good year as far as fiber crafts go.

Every year I do a roundup of my Finished Objects, and every year it always feels a bit like the year end comes too soon, like…wait! I wasn’t done yet! I had at least 3 more pairs of socks and half a sweater left in me! Come back, 2009! But the calendar must tick over as it always does, and as we’re not quite a full week into 2010, I still feel good putting up a few images here for posterity – not a complete list this time, as this time I like letting some of the bright pictures just speak for themselves. Thanks for the knits, 2009.

2009 Knitting

The Finished Objects of 2009 (a few of which still need proper photographing) reel in at 13 accessories (mitts, hats, scarves), 4 shawls, 6 sweaters (if you count the baby-sized one from my steeking class, heh heh), and 16 pairs of socks, for a total of 39 finished objects. This is a few more than I accomplished in 2009, but becoming more broadly spread out – fewer sweaters but more accessories and a couple more shawls than last year. I think I need to finally divest myself of my assumption that I am a ‘sweater knitter’ and recognize that I am an ‘anything that challenges me the right way’ sort of knitter.

I also took up spinning this past year (that is, on a wheel), and I realize with a start that it has been a few weeks since I’ve even touched my poor Majacraft Little Gem. It would be a shame to waste the momentum I had coming through the summer and fall as I started to get the hang of the whole process. Let’s make that a goal for 2010: dedicated spinning time.

2009 Spinning

It seems hard to believe that the Sock Summit is now more than 5 months in the past. It was pretty darned awesome and I am glad that I have that set of memories to look back on for 2009. I met so many wonderful knitters there and feel lucky to have been a part of that experience. Thank you again, Stephanie and Tina and your colleagues, you are awesome.

Sock Summit 2009

Thanks for some good stuff, 2009. Here’s hoping 2010 has even better things ahead.

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January? Really?

It’s New Year’s Day already, which must mean that it’s January. (Oh God. Oh God.) And despite the fact that it’s a holiday and there is a nice fresh dusting of cozy snow outside, I have to buckle down and get with the lecture-writing since I only have the barest start on that and my first class is next week. (OH GOD. OH GOD.) So naturally, I have instead been organizing my stash and composing a blog post. Beatrice the cat watched with curiosity and confusion as I sorted through my stash boxes (still largely unchanged since the move), and filled the big-ass Ziploc bags I bought a month ago with the re-sorted yarn. Oh those Ziploc bags, they’re not just for sandwiches anymore. Some of them are big enough I swear I could fit my suitcase inside. They’re sturdy and plastic and – unlike boxes and Rubbermaids – you can see through them and know what the contents are without having to rifle through the whole thing. I look forward to more gigantic Ziplocs in my future.

Jan1 009

But on to the actual knitting content, putting the past year in retrospect and thinking ahead to what’s next. Looking ahead to 2008, I have been considering some New Year’s Resolutions, although few are directly related to knitting. But there are certainly projects that I want to put on my 2008 list:

  • Ragna from ‘Viking Patterns for Knitting’ (the cables will be mine. I will vanquish them)
  • The Brennan Cardigan (I need one for me!)
  • Venezia (oh how I wanted to knit this in 2007 and time just got away from me)
  • More socks (I’ve been a real sock slacker in the last couple of months)
  • At least 2 pairs of knee socks (My Rhinebeck STR is waiting for this purpose.)
  • Something with laceweight (I’ve done lace in small amounts on garments but never yet with actual laceweight.)

I’d like to say I have really exciting and precise goals (like, ‘knit 1,000 Korknisse for charity’ or ‘complete self-designed Aran pullover in 3 weeks or less’, say), but mostly I am just looking forward to continuing with the knitting and finding projects I like, hopefully continuing to build my skill level at the same time. Designing is definitely up there on the list, too. I have at least 1 pattern that has been waiting in the wings for self-publishing and I had thought I would have gotten to that months ago. This has to be made a bigger priority! I want to do more Fair Isle and have been thinking for several months about designing my own stranded colour-work sweater, either a pullover or a cardigan. A few different options are buzzing around in my head and all it needs is more time and thought. In fact, I’ve had miscellaneous design ideas buzzing in my head in general for quite a while, they just need the time and energy for me to get down to work on them.

It’s been a pretty good year, knitting-wise. I suppose stress is a great knitting inducer – my # of FOs is up above 30! All kinds, too – sweaters, socks, miscellaneous small things. I took part in my 2nd ‘TTC Knitalong’ in Toronto, purchased my first ‘real’ knitting bag (a Namaste ‘everyday’ bag), learned how to spin using a drop spindle (thanks, Kate!), and attended Rhinebeck (New York Sheep and Wool Festival) for the first time. I also left Toronto, leaving me LYS-less but forging ahead to yarnish pastures in the Hamilton area and elsewhere and southern Ontario. I redesigned and relocated this blog, and like many other knitters was introduced to the delights of procrastination on Ravelry.

As far as my favourite knits from this past year, the Highland Schottische Kilt Hose were definitely up there. And now that it’s winter again and I’ve had the chance to wear it, I have to say that Poppy is becoming more and more of a favourite. I love it. It’s comfortable, suitable for so many different occasions, and I would knit it all over again with pleasure. I always get compliments on it when I’m out and about.

KiltHoseFO1 April30 005

All in all I am happy with the FOs I’ve produced and just want to keep on adding to my closet. I’d like a couple more pullovers and some more socks, and I’d like to get an earlier start on gift knitting this coming year as well. I am thankful that I have knitting to keep my brain going and to keep me from going nutso from PhD stress. And hey – I got some pretty neat stuff out of it this last year:

Feb7b 003Feb19 003Everything But the Kitchen SinkWraparoundJacket1EndpaperMittsFOKiltHoseFO1Socklets3Inferno4Kratchit CapJune washragsHoneymoonCamiRibby CardiJaywalker1April30 005OnlineTropicColor-Sock1 AfterDark-blocking Monkey1Monkey2FORibby2Finished Basic BlackDarkGems3Endpaper2FinishClapotisFO BeeTamMirrorConvertiblesFinishedKorknisseChristmasSmallModerneFO

I hope I’ll get to more catching up with another post later in the week. Since Boxing Day 2 new WIPs have jumped on the needles in the wake of my finished blanket, and they are bringing me much happiness.

Happy 2008, and to all a good knit!

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Filed under stash, year in review

2006 Finished Objects – Year Roundup

Just so that I can have the final list in one place! Here’s the final tally for 2006.

  • *Basic socks, With Fortissima Socka Colour self-striping yarn
  • *Striped Hat and Scarf, yarn and Pattern from Philosopher’s Wool (FO pic)
  • *Basic Socks, with Kool-Aid Yarn skein #2
  • *”Colour Your Own” Fair Isle pullover, yarn and pattern by Philosopher’s Wool (FO pic)
  • *Kool-Aid yarn Jaywalker socks (FO pic)
  • *Pamir scarf (black raspberry), using stitch pattern from a recent Yarn Harlot post
  • *Pomatomus socks, in Patons Kroy, winter eclipse (FO Pic)
  • *Ivy, #2, in Elann Highland Silk, dusky lavender
  • *Simple Stripes Fair Isle Socks, with Patons Kroy (black) and KnitPicks Simple Stripes (sweet tarts) (FO pic)
  • *Basic Socks, with Austermann Step, dark blue (FO pic)
  • *Fetching, in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Eggplant (FO pic)
  • *Rib and Cable Socks, Interweave Knits Fall 2005, in Patons Kroy Socks (FO pic)
  • *Basic Socks, following guidelines by the Yarn Harlot, with Austermann Step (FO pic)
  • *Harry Potter Quidditch Sweater, Ravenclaw, my own pattern, in Elann Peruvian Highland Wool (FO pic)
  • *Honeymoon Cami, in Luna, raspberry wine
  • *Seed stitch and lace baby cardigan, Hip Knits (Better Homes and Gardens) (FO pic)
  • *Ivy, in Elann Peruvian Quechua
  • *Basic Socks, in Fortissima Socka Colour self-striping yarn
  • *Tradition, fair isle cardigan, pattern and yarn by Philosopher’s Wool
  • *Twist Cardigan, ChicKnits, in Elann Peruvian Highland Wool, light grey heather
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    Filed under 2006, year in review