Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Year-End Round Up

First, a little business. Here is a previously-unbloggable FO, now given to my little sister for Christmas:

"work shoes" for my work-from-home sister with the cold-extremities

Pattern: Log Cabin Socks from Handknit Holidays
Yarn: Artyarns Jazz, less than one skein

Last year around this time was when Mo, Ann and I began toying with the idea of a group blog. All the year-end entries were especially inspiring to me, and I loved the idea of having a blog to look back on my progress as a knitter over a year.

For 2006, I am taking a somewhat thematic approach to my round-up.

Nuts-and Bolts/Techniques: I added a lot of new skills to the arsenal this year, and many were in service of sock-knitting. Until 2006, I had knit two pairs of socks total: one toe-up pair with a too-tight cuff, and one pair of cuff-down knee highs for Rosebud with a too-tight cuff. Enter EZ's sewn bind-off, and the 16 pairs of socks I knit this year have comfy cuffs. I also learned magic loop, various provisional cast-ons, and different methods of heel construction.

2006: The Year in Socks

I saw the light of the top-down raglan this year, making 5 sweaters from the top down (one is currently in progress). And the latest new skill that has made the knitting flow a little easier must be cabling without a cable needle. I also did a little lace knitting this year, and plan on knitting more lace in 2007.

Designing: This is the year that I dipped my toe into designing pond. I began with minor tinkering of projects because of gauge, moved into modification of patterns, and ended up with a few projects being pretty much my own. I discovered this year that I am not a designer with a pencil and calculator, but I can design on the needles, or execute an idea with a little inspiration from another pattern.

Stashing: 2006 has been a banner year for yarn! In 2006, I knitted with Koigu, Lorna's Laces, and Socks that Rock for the first time. One major disappointment was Brown Sheep Cotton Fine, which bled unevenly in the wash and smelled terrible when wet. My favorites were Malabrigo and Schaefer Anne, but you will see me returning to lots of the yarns I used this year.

2006 saw the dawn of the Great Stash Explosion here at XRK Northern HQ. The yarn even got a room of its own. It became so oppressive that it launched its own KAL. Thanks to the KAL, though, I have learned to make peace with my stash. I learned that a well-edited stash filled with an inspirational selection of yarns is a true joy. I definitely knit with a lot of stashed yarn this year, and have learned that eventually, I will find the right project for the yarns in the stash.

Favorite Project(s): Malabrigo Raglan, STR Widdershins, Schaeffer Anne Forest Canopy Shawl.


HPNY KNITS said...

great review- wonderful projects of 2006!
here here for the "make peace with the stash!"

Anonymous said...

AND you met some famous people (the yarn harlot comes to mind).

AND you realized how valuable you are to the montco sit-n-knit group.

AND you let your light shine everywhere!

may 2007 bring you joy on the knitting-go-round.

Sally said...

Wow, 16 pairs of socks! I'm impressed. Happy New Year to you, my dear friend - if not for knitting, we would not have met, and my life would not be as satisfactory as it is now. Long-live community knitting!

iSeL said...

What a productive year. Can't wait to see what 2007 will bring!

Dave said...

What a lovely -- and progressive and productive -- retrospective!

Mo said...

Sounds like a great year!

Dorothy said...

Love the socks for your sister.

It looks like you've made a lot of progress of the year. I like the Malabrigo Raglan best. I think the colour is what grabs me.

Ashley said...

Oh, those Log Cabin socks look so snuggly--I have to make those!

What a productive year you had! Don't you love looking back on all the stuff you learned?

Lolly said...

What a fabulous yearfor you, my friend! YIt has been a real pleasure seeing all of the projects again - some for the first time, since they happened before I started reading your blog. I love your projects. Your Malabrigo sweater is so beautiful, and I am so incredibly impressed with your sock collection! I only managed 8 pairs in 2006, but I am ready for more in '07!

I look forward to seeing what knitterly things 2007 holds for you ;)

Anonymous said...

The year-end round-up is a very cool idea. Looks like 2006 was a great year for you -- can 2007 possibly measure up?

Anonymous said...

A great review of your year, and what a year it was. Congrats on all the knitting accomplishments. Here's to an even better 2007.

Anonymous said...

I heart my new socks! They are super snuggly and warm, and if you look closely at the photo, they are SO beautiful. The cabling is sturdy and lovely - I love how it's sort of offset all over the sock. They are also super thick, and are champs at keeping my cold little feets nice and warm. Thanks Sis! And rock on in 2007.

Ann said...

I'm with the Sis -- Rock On Liz!!

Anonymous said...

I had instant "I WANT THOSE" when I saw your sister's socks. Luckily, I have that book! These are definitely on my to do list for 2007. Love the way you all are summing up your 2006 knitting.