Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Year in Knitting

For the fourth year now since I've been knitting hardcore, I feel the need to do an accounting of and document my year's fibery achievements. Actually, I feel the need to create a spreadsheet about them, but it being nearly midnight and I'm on my second glass of Saki, it's best that I just blog about them.

In 2010, I finished 52 WIPs! I originally thought this was a record, but in doing a quick calculation (because I can't find my calculations for past years anyplace...though I know they're around) based on my Ravelry projects page, I see that in 2007, my first big knitting year, I amassed 53 FOs. (That was the year I did a LOT of the same project, over and over...mitts, hats, felted bowls...that had to bump that number up.)

Still, 52 is nothing to sneeze at. It means I averaged one FO per week. Considering the year that this was (adjectives I might use: stressful, chaotic, unsettled, aggravating, scattered), I think that's pretty good.

Just for the sake of comparison, in 2008, my FO tally dropped to 46 and stayed there in 2009. Those years, though, I also was doing larger projects, and I'd also started spinning, which vied for some of my knitting time. So, still, pretty respectable.

(Just a note here that I realize I'm coming at this as if it is some Olympic-grade competition, which it clearly is least not anywhere but in my head, and I'm only competing against myself.)

Because I know you won't be able to sleep unless I give you the specific break down of my FOs, I've done the math for you (because I care, dontchaknow ;))...

This year, I knit:

8 Shawls
8 Pairs of socks
8 Stuffed things/toys
7 Hats
5 Sweaters
4 Scarves
3 Cowls
2 Cozies
2 Baby sweaters (both test knits)
2 Dishcloths
1 Dog sweater
1 Pair of mittens
1 Mutant blob of a blanket

Numbers aren't everything. I like to think I'm also becoming a better knitter, not just a prolific one. In general, I feel confident that the more I knit, the better I get at the craft in general. I've definitely become a far better continental knitter this year, to the point that I hardly ever throw anymore, unless I'm binding off. As far as techniques, I learned how to do applied i-cord and got far better at cabling without a cable needle. I'm much more confident in my lace knitting abilities, and I am more sure than ever that I hate feather and fan. (I'm not sure that last one counts as an achievement, but it is most certainly a fact.)

I did some test knitting this year, which I enjoy doing. And I continued to spin, though I didn't have the time to spin as much as I'd have liked. (Tour de Fleece was a big fail for me this year.)

One very big achievement this year in my knitting world wasn't even directly related to the craft but instead facilitated it: my new knitting room/office. Right now, it is doubling as my grandson's bedroom while he's visiting, but I'm looking forward to much more creating and inspiration from that room next year.

Looking head to 2011, I want to continue to challenge myself with the projects I choose to make. I want to be more selective in what I knit and what yarn I use, because life is way too short to knit things you don't enjoy, and there's too much good yarn out there to knit with fiber you just aren't loving.

I'm planning to do a stashdown the first four months of 2011, leading up to Spring Fling at the end of April. (Yes, I got in again! Third year! Yeay!) Except for special circumstances, I really want to be good and knit only from my stash. I've joined Stashdown 2011 and Year of Stash Socks on Ravelry to help me with this goal. I'm also going to be more active in putting yarns up on my trade/sell page at Ravelry. I know I'll probably always have a stash of SABLE proportions, but I'd really love to get it down to a little more manageable size.

I also want to make better use of my pattern resources. I have so many books and pattern PDFs that I have never knit from, and I want to change that. My goal (not just for this coming year, but ongoing) is to try and knit at least one pattern from each of the knitting books and magazines I own, and if I can't find even one pattern I like enough to knit, or if the book/magazine doesn't have something else meaningful in it, then I'm going to get rid of it. (That said, I'm not going so far as to say I won't be buying new books and magazines. If I'm not allowed to buy yarn, I have to have SOMEthing to get me by, ya know? ;))

Lastly, I intend to put more energy into designing this year. Check that. I intend to put more time and energy into writing up my designs and publishing them. I actually did design a fair few projects this year, and I managed to get a few of them up on the site. But I have so many more I want to release. I really want to focus more time and attention on that. I said that last year, and it didn't really happen. I hope to change that in 2011.

So, those are my reflections on 2010 and my thoughts toward 2011. I hope you all have some good things you can carry with you from this past year (I know that for a lot of people, 2010 kinda sucked, but still, you have to find value in the small, bright points where you can, you know?) May 2011 be good to you, contentment, and always lots of fibery goodness. :)

Happy New Year, my friends!


Anonymous said...

Holy number of projects Batman! That's an insane amount. I'm totally in awe over 52 projects finished. You're a knitting rock star. ;D

Oh and of course Happy New Year!

A :-) said...

That's a lot of knitting! Congrats on all the completion in 2010 :-) Glad you're with us for YOSS!