Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Knitting 2013

I've been putting off writing this post because I'm rather embarrassed by the paucity of my knitting output in 2013. Only eleven completed projects, which is significantly fewer than the sixteen items of 2012, and that in turn was fewer than 2011. A definite downward trend and rather pitiable compared with some of my knitting friends. (See, for instance, the amazing output from MissFee who proves the adage of already busy people being the most likely to achieve additional tasks).

Still, I've decided to continue the blog tradition I seem to have established of awarding prizes for my year's knitting. At the very least, this makes me reflect on which items of knitting have worked in various ways.

First, the award for the project of which I'm most proud. This goes to my Northmavine Hap, made to Kate Davies' impeccably written pattern from a mixture of beautiful Shilasdair yarn and destashed Isager yarn.

I'm proud of this mostly because I persisted with it, and persistence is not a quality I often exercise with my knitting. I had several false starts while I tried to find the perfect pattern for the yarn, and then some major adjustments to find the ideal size for the shawl. The ideal size proved to be Very Big, which then involved lots of knitting. It's big enough to wrap in front and tie behind which makes it very easy to wear. Because it's light and squashable, but also warm, it's ideal for travelling. Knitting time well-spent.

Secondly, the award for my project most favourited on Ravelry goes to the Sempervivum shawl designed by Jared Flood.

This shawl has particularly fond associations for me, as the pattern and Loft yarn were a gift from knitting friends when my activities were somewhat limited by a hip replacement early in the year. I suspect part of its 'liking' on Ravelry is due to its being one of my earliest projects for the year, and also to Margarita's great photos of the completed shawl.

Thirdly, the award for the most worn project. The Northmavine Hap is a close contender for this category, and probably deserves a special mention as it saved me from freezing when inadvertently caught by a snow storm while transiting through Dallas. But, while I've not been able to count exactly, I suspect the real winner is Georgie Hallam's Little Butterflies cardigan that I made for my grand-daughter.

Although Brisbane has mild winters, the difference between day and night-time temperatures can be large, so you need a go-to cardigan most winter evenings. This one has been much-worn and, I hope, much-loved.

And finally, the award for the project that was most fun to knit goes to...the Windward scarf I knitted in stripey Noro Seku yarn.

What's not to like about this Heidi Kirrmaier project? Stripey yarn knitted up loosely in two-row stripes (you can never have too many stripes). Simple geometric shapes joined together. A straight-forward pattern I'd knitted previously. A lovely combination of colours.

Inevitably, thinking about last year's knitting brings thoughts of next year's knitting. Of course I want to be more productive - what knitter doesn't? I think the best way of achieving this is to finish some of the part-completed relatively major projects, so that's my first goal. Then, a practical goal. I want to knit another go-to cardigan for my grand-daughter. And finally, I want to face up to the unadventurousness of my knitting and learn some new techniques and challenge myself. Initially I'll do some colour-work, but over time I'd also like to master some of the wonderful knitting variations such as those described in Britt-Marie Christoffersson's Pop Knitting.

Reading over these goals they seem manageable and straight-forward, but they'll require some persistence and dedication. Not qualities that come naturally. It's not the kind of comfort knitting that distracts me so easily. Let's see how I go.


missfee said...

I love your kate davis shawl and happy to know I contributed to the first two shawls in some small way - what you have is definitely quality over my quantity and only crochet took me over the line last year....

Rose Red said...

I think I commented last year that I was going to steal your FO prize awarding idea, and of course I didn't. Maybe this year! For what it's worth, I agree on all of your decisions, the Northmavine Hap especially if for no other reason than all those ends! You deserve a prize for that!

DrK said...

all worthy winners. im particularly impressed by your persistence with the northmavine hap - definitely worth a special mention. and i suspect people favourite that shawl on ravelry because its gorgeous and looks beautiful on you in that colour. again, i admire your persistence with this one when i gave up long ago. i think you will achieve whatever you set your mind to this year, and the results will be beautiful.