Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking Back on 2012, Ahead to 2013

Steph's Hurricane 
Camino de Santiago de
Miss Margaret Dashwood 
Not one for resolutions, it's still interesting to review the year gone by and think about the one before us.
Let's see.
I knit 12 pairs of socks in 2012, 5 of which I designed myself.
2 shawls -- from the same pattern, a rare thing in itself.
1 hat for charity

I started 4 sweaters, frogged 3 of them, and am almost finished with the one that stuck. The lucky winner is Hiro, and it's one of the best written sweater patterns ever. I mean it. Julia Farwell-Clay has clearly knit enough sweaters to design hers to avoid just about every common pitfall a handknit sweater can befall: The bottom edge is hemmed in a very elegant way, the yolk decreases are ingeniously hidden in the stranded colorwork, and short rows near the neck make the sweater hang properly when worn. The button band could only have been thought of by someone who has knit way too many cardigans where the fronts sag and bag -- the slightly smaller gauge of Hiro's buttonband really makes all the difference in the perfect fall of the sweater fronts. I could go on and on ... and have been for over a month now. But I digress. Here's a progress picture right after I began the third color, which was some weeks ago. Though it's not complete, it nearly is: One button band left to knit and attach, sew the underarms, knit the neck ribbing, sew on the buttons and she's done. Well, it needs a good blocking, but you get the gist.

ANYWAY, where was I? Oh. Recapping 2012.
What else did I knit? Two things I swore I would never ever knit: a dishtowel and dishcloth. They were NOT for me, but for daughter Julia's lifelong pal and partner in crime Katie, who was regaled at a bridal shower early last spring. So I caved and knit a purple and taupe dishtowel and a purple dishcloth, since Katie loves all things purple. She had the purpliest wedding on record, I think. So now that that is out of the way, I will never knit another of either of these items. For some unknown reason, the idea of knitted dishcloths just makes my skin crawl. It just seems a perfect waste of time. I know there are legions of dishcloth knitters out there, but my name will never be on that list. Just as there are legions of knitters who think handknit socks are ridiculous -- I love handknit socks. To wear them once is to be enslaved by the sock siren forever. Socks are my go-to comfort knitting. There's always socks on the needles, regardless of whatever else is going on.

Now, for the look ahead in 2013.
I set a goal of knitting 13 pairs of socks in 2013. I see a trend developing for me: adding a pair a year to match the year. Any why not? I hope to design at least half of these. Gotta plump up the ranks of toe-up patterns, yanno.

I see two more sweaters in the near future: the Antler Cardigan and a toasty pullover, Mork. I have enough Ultra Alpaca in both Flannery Red and Cerulean Blue with which to knit Mork. Tough call, but I have a whole year ahead. It's another Julia Farwell-Clay design, and has set in sleeves and a cabled upper body.
Antler Cardigan, a Tin Can Knits design, is another circular yoke cardigan, with the yoke from cables. Maybe in robin's egg blue? Or a pale, washy ash? Or a fiery red? Lots of time to contemplate that one, too.

Since I have bought even more stash yarn less than three days into 2013, my goal is to limit purchases to perhaps once a quarter. Can I do that? Stay tuned. I've never claimed to have any discipline when it comes to yarn, but "It's getting a bit thick, what?" as Bertie Wooster would say.