Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Knitting 2012

I'm running rather late with my knitting summary for 2012 and have chosen a rather strange day to write it. It's currently 42 degrees celsius (about 107 fahrenheit) in Sydney with a dry, hot wind. Not really the kind of day when knitting springs naturally to mind. But the new year inevitably brings with it thoughts of planning for the rest of the year and an implicit review of what was achieved in the past year. I have to conclude that I've achieved much less knitting than I hoped for. Fewer, and less significant items than in 2011, and that was already a decrease on 2010. I made a single resolution for knitting in 2012, which was to knit as whim and fancy led me. Unfortunately, whim and fancy have not proven to be productive leaders and I think I might have to choose a more ambitious strategy in 2013.

So, what did I achieve? I completed 16 projects in 2012. All of them might be classified as 'accessories' or small projects. Six shawls and scarves, four pairs of socks, five hats and a baby cardigan. As for 2011, most of my knitting has been given away to friends and family, though I have achieved some additions to my wardrobe that have been well and constantly worn. I've also participated in a couple of group knitting projects that have been great fun - a jointly produced Wollmeise baby blanket for a friend, and knitted bunting for the NSW Knitters' Guild stall for the Royal Easter Show.

So, to continue the tradition of previous years - my awards to myself for my knitting. The prize for the project of which I'm most proud goes to my Summer Hat

Summer hat 1

This is Jared Flood's Seasons hat pattern, bought as a kit in the 'summer' colour-way. As I commented at the time, I'm not a very skilled colourwork knitter. I can't knit ambidextrously and so changing colours while preserving the needed tension is difficult for me. But this hat worked well, with no puckering or obvious tension issues and, to my great pleasure, the inside was as neat as the outside. Maybe I can now attempt a more ambitious colourwork project.

The most favourited of my projects on Ravelry was, by a huge margin, my Big Shawl.

Large shawl 1

This is a minor modification to Stephen West's Transatlantic shawl. I'm not even sure I could call it a modification as the only change was that I kept knitting till I thought the shawl was the size I wanted. I've worn the shawl many times. It's large enough to wear it crossed in front with the long tails tied behind my back. This is unexpectedly elegant (if a bit eccentric) but also wonderfully cosy. Just what I wanted.

The Big Shawl was a close runner-up for the prize for the most worn item, but in the end nothing could rival my Textures scarf, knitted to Heidi Kirrmaier's Windward pattern.

Windward 4

Unexpectedly, the brilliant mustard colour of this scarf suited me and seemed wearable with many of my clothes. I loved it and received many compliments from others. I want to knit this pattern again as it is so easy to wear almost anywhere. I could even wear it with jeans if I had any.

And finally, the prize for the project that was most fun to knit. There is no doubt that this was the 'bunts' I knitted to contribute to the NSW Knitters' Guild's string of knitted bunting.

Bunt circle

There were several weeks before Easter when almost every knitter I knew was knitting bunts. Even people who initially were uninterested in the project were caught up in bunt mania. It was a wonderful way to use up odds and ends of sock wool in all colours and combinations. And we had the satisfaction of seeing the very lengthy strings of colourful bunting that resulted. Great fun.

So, I'm not really satisfied with my 2012 knitting output. I like the things I've produced - I'm even very happy with some of them. But I don't feel I've challenged myself with my knitting or achieved anything major. Left to themselves, whim and fancy distract rather than inspire. I'm not sure just yet what I'll do for 2013. I think I need a bit of a knitting plan, but I don't want the kind of plan that becomes a tyranny rather than a guide. I'll have a bit of a think and report back.


Lynne said...

Some lovely, useful projects there, even if you are not pleased with your overall output! I wish you success in putting together a plan for 2013 and implementing it.

Rose Red said...

For what it is worth, I think the Big Shawl totally counts as a garment! There's a lot of knitting in that item!

I love your prize giving to your knits too, I must remember to do that for 2013 - in fact, I might just do it for last year too!

Brendaknits said...

Wow! Such fun knits. That's the most important thing for sure - have fun. The numbers don't matter.

Anonymous said...

Prize giving for knits is a fabulous idea. I am so keen to cast on a windward - I might just do that tonight.

DrK said...

i will be interested to see your strategy for next year.i was thinking of adopting a 'whim and fancy' approach myself... i think your prizes have been awarded most judiciously, definitely all worthy winners in my book. I love the transatlantic best and am inspired to make one for myself, and i am proud of the bunting. it was the hightlight of our easter display and wouldnt have happened without you, so you get a Community Engagement award from me on that one as well :)