2011: A Year in Knitting

Although we are only halfway through December, I am ready to look back at my knitting year. I found a New Year's Resolution post I made on Ravelry on January 3, 2011:

  • Sort out the unwieldy stash
  • Eleven hats in 2011 (or preferably more...)
  • Knit up a lot of the random balls scattered throughout the stash
  • Finish more than 2.75 garments within a year.
  • Relax with my knitting. It shouldn't feel like a chore

And how did I do? I did relatively badly.

I managed to organise the stash but it became rather disorganised in October when we had to get the spare bed out of storage, thus upsetting my stacks of yarn boxes in the process. Eleven hats? No. I managed three. I still need hats, so I will aim to knit some more with some of the random balls still in my stash. I did knit one cardigan and finished another one which had languished in my knitting basket. I turned a third garment into a shrug and I'm halfway through a fourth garment. Mild success? It doesn't feel like it.

As for relaxing with my knitting? Here is where I have to come clean. I work within the knitting industry. Although it is the best job in the world, knitting is still work and as such it can feel like a chore at times. Most of my knitting time is spent swatching and I rarely get to finish things. I am not complaining because I am one of the lucky ones who has managed to turn a hobby into a career, but I am now realising that sometimes knitting will not feel relaxing and that is okay.

So, 2011. What did I do and what were my favourites?

  • I exhibited knitted art at The Tramway Art Gallery. Yikes.
  • One of my go-to- FOs was the Silkwood Cowl which felt like a really carefree project and subsequently has been living around my neck most of the year.
  • My other go-to FO has been my Red Cardigan of Doom which took me forever to finish and which I thought looked awful on me. I have practically lived in it ever since. I have to knit a proper long-sleeved cardigan out of Rowan Baby Alpaca because it makes the softest, warmest fabric I have ever worn. I am always cold - except when I wear this cardigan.
  • I released a couple of patterns - some free and some not so free. My favourites? Karise was released in July and has just been the subject of a Ravelry knit-along. Tornved was released this month to a quite overwhelming response (gosh). I also did a couple of patterns for a store which I have not yet added to Ravelry.
  • I tried a lot of new yarns. I loved working with Old Maiden Aunt merino/silk. It was a lovely heavy and drapey yarn just perfect for shawls. However, it is fair to say that 2011 was the year of knitting Kidsilk Haze. I used that a lot.

So. 2012. What do I spy in the crystal ball and what do I hope for?

  • I'm already working on more patterns. I have sketchbook filled with what is essentially 2-and-a-half collections worth of patterns. Hopefully I will be able to devote more time to this in 2012.
  • I'd really love to knit a few garments in 2012. Quality over quantity.
  • And I still need more hats.
  • Keeping on top of the stash. I cannot promise 'more yarn out than in' but at least I won't do the 'oh, I fancy a ball of that' thing because that way madness lies. I am getting far better at curating my stash already. May it continue.
  • More conscious allocation of my knitting time: what is 'work' knitting and what is 'me' knitting?

Of course I have a list of things I want to knit, but as 2011 has shown me: I had better not plan too far ahead.