2011 in yarn: the annual wrap-up

My attention span for knitting grew, apparently, this year. Take a look at last year‘s output: Practically all amigurumi. This year? I’ve got sweaters, relatively large shawls, and a full-on dress. I dabbled in other crafts, but this was the return of knitting, in all its glory. It’s also the year I discovered designer Veera Välimäki, as is evident by having knit four of her designs this year (one not pictured but blocking as I type), one pattern twice! Turns out I was also bad at documentation this year (no surprise): There are two projects in this mosaic that I never blogged about!? Unacceptable.

From top to bottom, left to right: Macro Mitts, Knee-High Socks, Crocheted Potholders, Folded, Stripe Study, Brattleboro Hat, Mary Jane, Dew Point, Different Lines, Sunburst Shirt Dress, Fisherman’s Wife Cowl, Stripe Study

I’ve also taken a new approach to my stash. Not only am I trying to minimize it by taking in only what I really plan on using, but I’m trying to pare down what has been hanging around for years. I filled bagsful of partial skeins, mystery yarn, and just plain ugly stuff I’d been moving around with me from year to year, and I’m getting rid of it. (It’s not even worthy of swapping.) It’s been liberating to do this! Now I can look at my stash and still see possibilities (nothing is set in stone), but there are some concrete plans brewing in the stash, so I have some direction.

One problem with the intensity of my knitting this year (large projects that I became obsessed with finishing quickly) is that my carpal tunnel and other repetitive strain issues have been awful this year. I know that the best you can do is stretch regularly and take breaks, but I’m not very good at keeping up at that. In an attempt to combat the symptoms, I decided to start switching it up: After finishing the Rhinebeck dress, I decided to knit my next sweater English. That’s the way I learned to knit originally, so it isn’t so awkward, but I did spend some time finessing the way I hold the yarn to make it more efficient. Still, it is FAR less efficient than Continental for me, and the pace makes me so antsy to get moving already. I confess I cheated badly on the sweater that is blocking right now—I knit the ribbing and both sleeves Continental. I am just too much of a product knitter!

What I really ought to do is alternate knitting projects with weaving ones—and I finally have the tools to weave! I made a few scarves (my Irene scarf, and one I never shot as an FO) and would love to make more.

Right now I look at my time and I just feel like there isn’t enough of it for all I want to do! Luckily my coworkers and I knit every day at work, so I’ll always squeeze some in, and without a reading goal for the year I could knit more while I commute. Because I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be one in which I wield a rotary cutter and pins more than I click my needles together. A round-up on my year in fabric next!

3 Responses to 2011 in yarn: the annual wrap-up

  1. Janieb says:

    Thanks for the blogging too! Tell me I can buy yarn for your skirt pattern in 2012;)

    Yay for the destash, look forward to seeing what you rock out in 2012. Have a great year, I’m sure you’ll be inspiring me.

  2. Jacey says:

    I think purging some yarn that you’ll never use is a positive thing. I gave away some last year, as well as destashing some on ravelry, but still, there is more than I can use. I had the same transition to sewing from knitting as my dominant craft last year.

    I just LOVE all three of your shawls. I can’t wait to see what you knit (and quilt) in the new year!

  3. Josie says:

    I just knit the Fisherman’s Wife’s Cowl for my mom for Christmas. I was so happy to knit something that I could finish in just two evenings – very gratifying. Only bummer is I forgot to take a picture of it before I wrapped it up and gave it to her! Now I am working on a hat to match the fingerless mittens I knit over Christmas break (I am a high school English teacher and don’t have much time to knit during the school year. If only I could grade papers and knit at the same time!) I really love your shawls… thinking of tackling one next! I also have a quilt top in progress and one partially quilted. So many projects, so little time…

    Happy creating!

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