Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a year tangled in yarn

It's the last week before Christmas and I'm finally getting my knitting/crafting act together. On the crafting side, I have basically given myself permission to not make all the sweet and hilarious gifts I had planned for friends and family, because we are idiots and moved into a new house 2 weeks before Christmas. Maybe we'll make it up to everyone with a slammin' housewarming party in January. Or perhaps February.

On the knitting side, I have revised my "socks for everyone" plan to be a "socks for those I knit in October and scarves for everyone else" plan. Sorry, mom. But she has a birthday in March - still a good time for handknit socks.

All this plan-revision and late-night scarf-designing has left me a without much focus in the daylight hours, but luckily Elizabeth has swooped in with a little questionnaire for knitting reflection at the end of the year. Thanks, Elizabeth! I don't even have to unpack the camera to take a photo!

Year's End Knit-analysis

1. What is your absolute favorite project you've ever knit (one that fulfilled both process and product)?

Gosh, this is a tough question. One of my favorite projects is this little yellow sweater I made in 2004 for my friend's daughter (partly because of the photo). It was my first time knitting any kind of openwork (it has a diamond lace pattern at the cuffs and bottom edge), and it fit her beautifully. As you can see, she enjoyed wearing it.


2. Which of your handknits do you wear the most often?

I wear Claudette and Oliveta all the time, especially under a blazer.


3. Which of your handknits are you most proud of?

Actually, I am really proud of the Mossy Jacket, which I just bragged about recently. I designed and knitted it in December for a friend's new baby, and I just love the yarn combination, the structure, everything about it. It was really fun to knit and the recipient (who was a guy, by the way) loved it.

peek at mossy

4. What was your favorite gift to knit?

I had a great time knitting the Girlfriend Swing Coat Sweater, which the recipient calls her "cloak," during the '06 Knitting Olympics. It was a LOT of fun and the yarn - Cascade Siera Quatro - was a real pleasure to use. This is the same kid as the one wearing the yellow sweater in picture #1 - can you tell I like knitting for her? She is adorable.


5. Which of your handknits are gathering dust your closet?

Oh geez, so many. I just took a shawl I knitted in 2002 to the thrift shop. The baby tiger scarf is an embarrassment. I have another gorgeous scarf (sorry no photo) that I adore and would wear every day, except that the yarn has mohair content and it makes me want to scratch my own neck off.

6. Which of your handknits have you gotten rid of?

Uh year, see #5 above. I think that was the only one.

7. If you've knit socks, what is your favorite pattern?

Do I knit socks? Is the Pope Catholic? Does a bear... never mind. I friggin love knitting socks. I have tried toe-up a couple of times, and I've tried short-row heels and I'm currently eyeing the afterthought heel, but for me the True and Beautiful Way is a top-down sock with a heel flap. They can be done on DPN's or with the Magic Loop, depending on one's mood, and I have come to the point that I can knit them reliably with no pattern and no safety net. I have rhapsodised about the joys of sock knitting many times on this here blog, and I intend to keep it up.

stripey anklets

8. What would you like to make in 2007?

Oh, so many wonderful, beautiful things! For HWWLLB's 2007 Christmas present (I'm planning ahead this year), I'm planning to break my one-color-only rule and knit a Lopi sweater called Fönn.

I really and truly am going to knit a few things for myself: a red scarf with some beautiful yarn that Bugheart recently sent me, and a jacket I've been designing in my notebook for a while now - I have a gift certificate to the LYS that has been burning a hole in my pocket since July! I also have a big bag of Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran that really wants to become a cardigan for me, but so far I've had only false starts.

The adorable child in photos #1 and #4 has asked for a green cloak, and how can you say no to that? I'm also planning to use up some black alpaca from my stash to make a vest/wrap for myself, basically as a vehicle for a Moving Mud closure (swoon!), and I have a big stash of sock yarn waiting to be made into birthday gifts.

9. What have you learned about your craft in 2006?

Um, that knitting is the greatest winter sport? Knitting and red wine mix well, but not so much with mixed drinks? I have learned that you can't knit and read a book at the same time; you can knit and talk on the phone at the same time, but only if you use a headset or you'll get a crick in your neck, and only if the other person is very talkative; conference calls totally suck without knitting; don't try to knit in the bathroom or people will start knocking and asking "are you okay?" ("YES I'm fine I just need some PRIVACY!"). I have also learned that when someone asks "did you knit that?" they usually mean it as a compliment, even if they are asking because it looks "rustic," as my friend Heather would say, or "shitty" in common parlance. Because they are impressed that you can knit something at all, even if it looks kind of shitty.

10. What events/sites have you particularly enjoyed in the blogosphere in 2006?

The Knitting Olympics was so much fun I almost peed my pants. I love the community of knitters, and watching everyone proceed towards their own Personal Best was just great. Also any excuse to visit the Yarn Harlot is good by me. I also really enjoyed Lolly's Socktoberfest, most of all for some of the amazing sock photos in the Flickr group (this one was my absolute favorite). Also, I loved Secret Pal #7, in which I got to be pals with Paloma, who is the bomb.


I can't believe the year is almost out and I'm sitting here reflecting on what I've learned and whatnot. Last time I checked the calendar it was almost Thanksgiving. I can't believe I'm spending valuable knitting/unpacking time reflecting! I always get sucked in by the memes.


  1. Awww! I'm so touched that you liked the picture so much! I'm a long time lurker - I love your blog/writing/projects/photos!

  2. Moving! Oh My!
    I (for once) totally gave myself permission to not knit, weave, sew, or make anything for anyone (with the exception of my mother in law who is VERY hard to buy for but loves anything hand made) BUT because of my craft market, I was able to make some great trades (and even picked up a few things for me!)
    I loved your reflection of your year in knitting.
    Happy Christmas!

  3. great post! I too loved loved loved that photo from Socktoberfest!! You are such an amazing knitter! The sweaters really amaze me! Maybe in 2007 I'll get up the courage to knit a whole sweater!!

  4. You have definitely been busy with the knits this year. I can't wait to see you knit something for yourself. In fact I demand it! LOL!

    I hope you get all of your Christmas knitting done.

  5. Aren't you the best? You are the bomb digggity too my friend!


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