New Year’s knitting resolutions

I enjoyed Megan’s ‘best of 2008’ that I wanted to write one myself.

Clockwise from the top left: Jaywalker in Lorna’s laces, DROPS design vest, Tatami, sock swatching tube, dyed yarn for vest, natural dyed yarn feather and fan scarf, bobbins at cold harbour mill, my stash, Mr Bump beanie, Headigan, Hop Scotch Sock, knitted potato, Woad plant, Knitted Apple, Natural dyed yarns, Mosey legwarmers.

1. Your best FO of the year

Headigan! Although this garment isn’t the most complicated thing I have ever knit, I really, really love the two yarns I used in it, and the pleasing construction of the design. Frogging my calorimetry and knitting it along with the beautiful handspun that Liz gave me was an immensely satisfying process and the hat has been brilliant during cold months.

2. Best FO of the year made by a blog you link to (or through Ravelry).

The most inspiring things I saw on blogs this year include Katie’s incredible Seraphim shawl, Kate’s amazing Owls sweater and this totally stupendous Very Hungry Caterpillar cardigan. I love what Katie did with the natural-dyed yarn, the shaping she put on the garment and the fantastically decadent size of her shawl. I really enjoyed the elegance, simplicity and fine construction of Kate’s Owls and the Very Hungry Caterpillar cardigan appeals on its careful attention to the details of Eric Carle’s illustrations and is duel mastery of fun and knitting.

3. Best yarn you tried

100% Wensleydale yarn from Julia Desch’s farm. It is so silky and I love that I have met the sheep whose fleece it was spun from.

4. Best new book/mag/pattern of 2008

Best book of 2008: Cat Bhordi’s new pathways for sock knitters. I absolutely love this book and the empowering knowledge it contains.

Best magazine: The Twist Collective is absolutely brilliant. So many stunning designs and a really inspiring, coherent vision…

Best pattern: Francie, by Rebekkah Kerner I mean, what is not to love with this beautiful construction?

5. Best new knitting fibrecraft technique or gadget you tried in 2008

Natural dyeing with stuff from my garden

6. Top 5 inspirations–what five things inspired you the most over the past year?

My blogroll. The blogs I read are constantly providing new inspiration for both my knitting and my writing.

Ravelry. This year I have fallen deeply in love with the joy of Ravelry and the ability to look through my friends’ queues and to browse the forums for new ideas has opened up the world of published patterns in ways that nothing else can. I think the ability to browse finished objects and share speculations on projects with othe

The trip I took to Sussex in October to investigate regional knitting, small-scale production and rare sheep breeds totally opened my eyes and hands to a whole new way of thinking about my knitting.

My garden. The colours, textures, sights, smells and seasons in the garden have been a constant source of ideas.

My time spent at Prick Your Finger with Rachael has introduced me to a lot of artists who work with yarn and given me a lot of new ideas about the way we think, write about and make with, yarn.

7. Designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year

I can’t narrow this down to just one, so I’m going to put a few here!

Ysolda Teague. I really love the time and thought that Ysolda appears to put into writing her patterns. Although I find the designs perhaps not so suitable for my body shape and size, I really enjoy knitting her notions and I admire immensely the dedication with which she is carving out a knitwear-designer career for herself. I enjoy the distinctiveness of her designs and the care with which she writes her blog. I also enjoy reading about the various techniques that she links to in her patterns, and I think she is more thorough than a lot of pattern-designers.

Liz. I am really inspired by the growing list of patterns Liz has on Ravelry, and by the industriousness with which she knits and designs things. I love seeing Liz’s knitting on the rare occasions when I am able to get to Oxford for Bluestocking meet-ups, and I am still enjoying knitting the hopscotch socks, even though they appear to have fallen foul of a terrible case of Single Sock Syndrome.

I am also impressed and inspired by Megan’s designs. Reading about her journey in spinning, designing and pattern-writing inspires me to organise my own thoughts into patterns for publication.

1. I have decided only to buy Independant, UK-produced yarn from small-scale producers this year for my projects and to knit through the stash I have from other countries and major, commercial yarn-producers.

2. I want to dye more of my own yarn, for personal projects, using plants from my garden.

3. I aim to get articles and patterns published in several places including The Zine I’m working on, (see next resolution) an online knitting publication, and a printed magazine.

4. I want to get the first edition of The Zine out before summer!

5. I aim to master at least 2 techniques in the Cat Bhordi book enough to be able to improvise custom-made socks for myself.

6. I am resolved to read more Elizabeth Zimmerman, more Debbie New and more Cat Bhordi. I love the crossovers in their books between practical knitting techniques and philosophy.

7. I want to finally record the first edition of the podcast I’ve been planning since October.

8. I want to meaningfully integrate knitting into my arts practise and exhibit some sound/knitting work at some stage during the year.

9. I want to develop on and improve the knitted vegetable workshop, as one income-strand for me.

10. I want to do the colourwork course that I downloaded months ago!

11. I want to earn enough money from articles, commissions, art exhibitions etc. to be able to replace my camera with an SLR. As much as I love my little point and shoot camera, I miss the ability to fully control depth of field, aperture, f-stop etc. and it is time to make an investment.

12. I want my writing to improve through regular practise.

That is a lot of knitting accomplished in 2008 and a lot of stuff planned for 2009. Before I forget myself, here is where the sweater has gotten to. Please excuse the stains on the mirror and the generally poor quality of the photo. See resolution no. 11.

Time to start knitting the arms…

5 Responses to New Year’s knitting resolutions

  1. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » Because I felt like it…

  2. Pingback: The Domestic Soundscape » Blog Archive » 2009 in knitting…a tangled yarn

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