Jan 11, 2011

Keeping it Reasonable

Before we get too far into the new year I want to take a minute and consider my goals from last year and think about what I'd like to accomplish in the year ahead. First, the old...

1. Finish more UFO's - I don't promise to finish all of them but if I could bring 3 or 4 to fruition it would be good. I'm sure that Bruce's socks and blue & yellow blob will cross the finish line soon. Loppem and my beaded Juno Regina are likely as well. Beyond those we'll see. ~ The socks and yellow blog did indeed wind up in the finished column as well as another pair of socks that I'd started ages ago but none of the other WIP's ever really got much attention.

2. Do a little Fair Isle - I've done it before and I'm no good at it but I know that practice would help. I'm thinking that mittens might be good. Small and not intimidating. ~ This was one goal that I completed and it was better than I ever expected. You can see the finished mittens in the mosaic below. I even went on and knit a fair isle hat. If it stays this cold then I may make even more mittens or a new hat for me.

3. Try steeking - This kind of goes with #2. KP had a kit for a steeked laptop cover a while back and I'm still kicking myself for not getting it. Steeking plainly scares the shit out of me but I think that being able to do it would open up possibilities for some cool knitting. ~ Shockingly this was another goal that I achieved and it wasn't nearly as scary as I thought. I hope to try it again on a slightly larger scale soon.

4. Make more socks - I think that 18-20 pair would be cool and do-able too. In all fairness there are multiple reasons for this lofty goal - family, family, family. Suddemly my girls would like to wear nothing but handknit socks (Stinkette even tries to sneak the same pair onto her feet over and over until I wash her others - ewwww, stinky.) Not only that but a few family members have been dropping hints and making direct requests. I'm happy to oblige! ~ Looking back, this may have been a bit unrealistic as a goal. My final total for the year was 12 pairs. I still think that I could've hit 15 if not for my end of year deistraction but 12 is respectable too.

5. Be more careful about my pattern/yarn choices - I really need to become more of a thoughtful knitter. This is especially important since I'm feeling a sweater knitting vibe lately. ~ I do think that I'm doing better with this. I just washed the shrug that I made for DQ earlier this year and I was so surprised to see that the yarn still looks really nice and shiny with no pilling even after quite a bit of use. A well used item that keeps it's appearance up is a sign that the choices were all sound.

6. Design a wrap - I don't care for triangular shawls and I find that most wraps are just one motif from start to finish. I want wraps with a bit of excitement. I've been thinking about this a lot and the Alpine Lace Shawl that I made in 2008 is one of my most favorite pieces. Keeping track of the motifs and having no rest row made it so engaging. I want to feel that challenged again. ~ Fail. I never even got started.

The next goals are stash related. As usual, I find myself looking at the stash and feeling like it's a little out of control. I'm not sure that I can realistically see myself reducing it much. I know myself better than that. But I do think I can get it under control a but.

7. Try to limit most purchases to events - visiting a new yarn store on vacation is an event. Rhinebeck and MDS&W are also events. I can't say that I won't buy anything on other occasions but I want to try to limit the just because I want it purchases a bit. ~ Fail. My stash grew unreasonably this year. I need to remember that my hands can only knit so fast and stop buying yarn for stuff I'd like to knit "someday".

8. Buy with a purpose and write it down - I really want to limit my purchases and stop the impulse buys but I know that they're going to happen. There will always be yarns I can't resist. A more realistic goal is to limit my purchases of heavier weight yarns to what is needed for a specific pattern and when I make those purchases I need to catalog them and the intended project in Ravelry. Use the tool for all it offers. ~ I do this a little more but still not nearly enough.

9. Spin some of the accumulated fiber - I just need to get back to spinning in general. ~ Fail. I did spin a wee bit but not nearly enough.

10. Knit more of the stuff in my queue - I've already bought the yarn for most of the projects in my queue so if I knit from my queue it ought to reduce the stash in a really satisfying way. ~ I think that I'm doing better with this.

So here is the 2010 productivity in pictures...

Finished in 2010

In 2010 I knit:
12 pairs of socks
1 felted bag
2 hats
2 baby sweaters
3 pieces of lace
1 pair of mittens
1 cowl
1 pair fingerless gloves
1 steeked doll hat

and I crocheted
2 kippot
1 sneaky reaper
11 potholders

Not bad at all.
In the coming year my biggest goal is to enjoy everything that I do. That includes the blog. Knitting and blogging are supposed to be fun. When coming up with a post is stressful then it's just no good. This said, my goals for 2011 are:

  1. Blog happily - If I don't have time or inspiration then I won't feel guilty about not posting. I still hope to post most days but I won't stress the occasional off day.
  2. Knit what is needed - I am shamelessly stealing this from my friend Carole because it fits my state of mind perfectly. There will be gift things and baby things and keeping warm things for many people I love and I will knit them all with pleasure.
  3. Knit 6 pairs of socks - I really just can't imagine not knitting socks since my whole family loves them so much. I just don't want it to get obsessive. If I can knit 12 pairs in a relatively quiet year then 6 pairs should be do-able in a busier year. No stress - just warm feet.
  4. Start the kippot for Stinkette's Bat Mitzvah - It's just over a year away so, keeping in mind all of the other big stuff going on this year, I'd better start this sooner rather than later since this is really the only firm fibery commitment that I have. Stinkerbelle has big plans and she'd be crushed if I couldn't do for her as I did for her sister. Thankfully this is one job that soothes my soul so I'll enjoy every minute of it.
  5. Spin more - I still really want to get back to spinning and get better at it.
  6. Finish a few UFO's - this is always on my list. This year I can add Que Sera to my list of UFO's since it's lingered for quite a while.

That's it for my list. Do you have one? Whatever you knit in the new year, I hope it's happy and successful.


margene said...

Your projects from last year show a very accomplished knitter (and crocheter)! Nice work!
Your goals for this year are sound. I'm going to try your advice on a blogging when it feels right.

Carole Knits said...

Your mosaic is full of beautiful things! I think looking back and looking forward are really great ways to evaluate our goals. Good luck with yours!