Just squeaking in at the end of January, my "2011 I will: Knit" list.
I was talking with Rachel the other day and casually mentioned that I think I'd hit about 1/2 my 2010 list. Well, I pulled up the list to actually review it and, if you kind of squint and turn your head sideways so the details aren't quite clear, I'm pretty close to half of the stuff. If you actually look at what patterns I was thinking of knitting, you'll see that I fell a bit short of that: cowl - check, but not what I intended; shawl - yes, but not using stash yarn or a lace pattern. It's closer to oh, 1/4 of my list.
Well, I suppose that is okay, because at least it gave me a bit of a road map. And I knit some stuff I'm pretty happy with, including my first me-sized sweater. But there are still a lot of patterns that I really want to knit and didn't. Such as Icarus, Olive Branch Yoga hoodie, Boatneck Bluebell, Textured Tunic with Side button, and Evening Stockings for a Young Lady. I've kind of discovered that i get excited about things and cast on right away... i don't really follow to planned out knitting too much.
So, I'm going to try a different approach this year. Rather than say I'm going to do this pattern that month, I'm going to put out some concepts or guidelines for my knitting. So here goes:
1. I'm going to do some colorwork. I took a fair isle class back in September and haven't even finished my sampler. i've become so enamored of SpillyJane mittens and Kate Davies history-infused knits. I need to get off my rump and do it!
2. I want to knit from my pattern books! It's really ridiculous the awesome books that I've received as gifts, but haven't knit anything from. Partner bought me all new handspun handknit and my sister got me one more skein for Christmas this year. I'm in love with nearly every pattern in Nancy Bush's Vintage socks and practically drool whenever Kelly posts another set of socks from the book.
3. Knit from stash. A new mouth in the house (not just of the kitten variety) has meant a little less fundage around. While knitting is pretty much my only hobby (well, besides soccer/baseball games and wine, if you are allowed to call that a hobby), I have a pretty well-stocked stash. And, when I look at it, there are few skeins that I truly would want to destash. So, if I don't want to destash them, why shouldn't I knit it? I fully subscribe to the Yarn Harlot's theory that stash has a lot to do with potential, and once we knit something from the yarn, it becomes a single object. Even if it's beautiful, the potential is gone and it only is. But that's okay, maybe a little less potential and a little more "is" isn't such a bad thing.
a. I had an unmentioned intention to knit from stash last year that didn't happen. So, I've programmed cheating into the diet - Stitches West, Sock Summit 2011 (is anyone else thinking about doing this?), and the Eat.Sleep.Knit after Thanksgiving sale. I was talking about with a friend the other day and realized I was scheming yarn diet cheats 10 months in advance. I'm just going to embrace that.
4. Go to Sock Summit. As I asked... anyone else? It's another reason to not buy yarn (and many other optional items) as I think the cheapest i've calculated it out, it will be $800... I think that is what I figured out from another retreat they did in Port Ludlow.
5. Be more consistent in my knitting. You may have noticed my 2010 yardage ticker at the bottom of each FO post. I'm not tech savvy enough to have a widget so i just added the numbers myself. But I knit 5,050 yards last year. A lot of that seems to have come in spurts with long stretches of no knitting. When you figure that I knit an average of 16.5 yards per day (figured that out with my nifty pencil and paper widget again), it seems that a little focus could go a long way. I think getting into the habit of always having a mindless knit project is important; the other day I had a headache and was trying to knit lace with dark yarn. You can probably guess that I didn't get 16.5 yards in.
6. Get my stash in Ravelry. I started that last january. Which was part of the impetus for the yarn diet since, when I divided my approx yards per year into my stash, I realized I was pretty well set until 2020. But getting my stash in Ravelry might help me use it.
7. Design my own pattern and publish it. I actually started working on a prototype for a project in September but lost the mojo. Which is rather silly since I think I've actually worked out all the kinks and just need to do one more test before putting it out there. I also have 3 other patterns rummaging around in my head.
8. Knit another rectangle shawl. I think they are my favorite style. I don't wear them often, but always feel very chique when I do.
9. Knit some socks for me. My funky store socks are starting to wear out. I'd like to transition to socks i've made. And, while I have a sock on the needles now, it's been almost a year since I finished a pair of socks for me.
10. Learn toe-up socks. I'm kind of annoyed with always having yarn left over and it would be a great way to do socks when I'm worried about having enough yarn. I tried it once, but ripped them out without doing the heel.
11. Work on the drop spindle. My friend started me on it but the kitten love it (she EATS my roving!) and it cuts into knitting time. That pull on my limited knitting time I'm struggling with, but I really like natural fibers and the idea of roving to FO is very alluring.
12. Post more. Sometimes I find that I try to make posts too perfect. The task seems daunting and I end up not posting. And then when I post it seems to take longer than it should - correcting each spelling error, trying to get the turn of phrase just so, &c. No knitting tonight, for example! And there were few WIP pictures this year. So, I'm going to try to let go of the perfect and just get out there for the dialogue.
I'm thinking that is about it for the year. Nothing too specific. A lot more focus on techniques and skills vice FOs.
And, since I know you're always supposed to have a picture in a post (it's a rule, i'm sure), here is a picture of my WIP that is closest to being finished, aurora eyeballis