Oh boy, after such a long hiatus since my last post, I really ought to have something really great for you, loyal readers, oughtn’t I? Sadly, aside from my use of the underappreciated contraction “oughtn’t,” I must suggest that you prepare yourselves to be profoundly disappointed several times over. Let’s just say this post is not going to be voted Post of the Year. I predict disorganization, non-sequitors, self-aggrandizement, irrelevance, and dullness. At least it will be overly long. Ready? Let’s go.
DAYS HAVE BEEN MADE
First off, a heartfelt thank-you to everyone who bestowed a “You Make My Day” blog award upon me. I had a couple of crappy days last week, but receiving the news that I make a few people’s days simply by posting some nonsense to my blog once per presidential administration or so actually made me feel pretty good. Thank you so much, Brooke (Drunken Monkey Knits), Emily (Yarn Miracle), Claire (New York Minknit), Minty (Pepperknit; more on her later), Hanna (Ever Green Knits), Allison (The Whole Ball of Yarn), Specs (Specs Knits), and Adriana (Friends Knit Together). I’m going to go ahead and be unoriginal — but sincere! — here and tell you that you all genuinely made my day.
As a rule, I don’t generally do memes on my blog. However, there are definitely a goodly number of bloggers out there whose hilarious posts have the power to make my day, and so I throw the names of just a very few of those out there in case you’re looking for some new blogs to read.
Earthchick – This is the most under-read blog in the knitblogosphere, in my hyperbolic opinion. Earthchick is talented, thoughtful, and a freakin’ laugh riot. She also consistently cracks me up in her comments on my blog. If you do nothing else today, add her to your Bloglines.
Nova – Go for the knitting, stay for the pie. Go for the lovely photography, stay for the adorable kiddo. Go for the creativity, stay for the seething jealousy that everything she makes is cuter than everything you make.
The A.D.D. Knitter – Her awesome sense of humor would make my day even if I didn’t have an automatic fondness for her because we share an alma mater.
Minty Fresh - I’m guessing the overlap in our readership is already pretty high, but I have to mention her because last week she made it her personal mission to make my day (it’s possible that I suggested that if she wanted to make this list she was really going to have to earn it). I was in New York for work, and during our evening together Minty bought me a cream puff (that’s not a euphemism for anything, I swear), found me the perfect fabric for a little craft project I may do one of these days, and insightfully bossed me into buying three skeins of gorgeous Koigu at Purl Soho. Oh, also she has a great blog that she has been posting to at an alarming rate recently (she has achieved quality and quantity, damn her), so the two of you who don’t already read it should start.
TWO MINOR FINISHED OBJECTS
Shifting gears, I might as well tie up loose ends by posting a couple of finished objects from back in December. I sat down and made this hat in one evening using stash yarn (Wool of the Andes). I didn’t really have a particular pattern or vision in mind, so I just started knitting.
I have to tell you that I originally intended this hat to be for a homeless guy who took up residence just outside a parking garage near my office for several weeks this fall. He was there every morning when I got off the bus, and as the weather got colder, I thought about how easy it would be to make him a hand-knit hat. Feeling mighty pleased with myself for having this charitable impulse, I cast on that night. Unfortunately, I had less yarn than I thought I did, so I was either going to have to use some random supplemental yarn that wouldn’t fit with my color scheme, or have it come out smaller than planned. Because I am a terrible person, I chose aesthetics over charity and, as expected, it came out too small — definitely too small for the homeless guy. Also too small, it turned out, for Matt, my backup plan for the hat. Nothing to do but keep it for myself, then! So much for charitable impulses. The guy hasn’t been there in a while now, which is kind of good for me because I would probably feel guilty walking past him wearing his hat.
These are the Merino Lace Socks (Ravelry link; login required) from Favorite Socks. The yarn is Claudia Handpainted, colorway Antique Jeans. As seems to be the case for me with most all-over lace patterns, I find that I don’t like these finished socks as much as I thought I would. I’m not sure what it is, but somehow they don’t look elegant on my feet; they just make my ankles look kind of chunky (although I think Matt did a good job minimizing that in most of these photos). Also, it doesn’t help that in spite of very careful, repeated counting, I managed to knit one fewer pattern repeats on one leg than on the other. Oh well, I won’t be wearing them with shorts for at least a few months yet.
Why bother going to the trouble of slapping up these fairly non-exciting finished objects? Maybe to get some closure before posting my
2007 KNITTING RETROSPECTIVE
Stop giving me that exaggerated look of incredulity. I know it’s February. I won’t dwell on it, but I did want to put up a quick accounting of my knitting accomplishments in 2007, almost entirely for my own benefit. Mixed in with the finished objects are some of the knitting highlights of last year: knitting on the beach in Grand Cayman, doing a crappy job of dyeing yarn for the first (and so far only) time, and spending time with bloggers Ashley, Minty, Laura, and Erika.
In 2007 I made 2.5 adult sweaters (one was begun in 2006), 2 short-sleeved tops, 4 baby sweaters, 5 hats, 9 pairs of socks, and 1 stuffed turtle. Not actually too bad, given that the goal I set for myself last year was to knit mostly sweaters and socks (the latter because I get bored on the bus otherwise, the former because I have a deluded opinion of my own knitting prowess).
The logical thing to do after a retrospective is a look ahead, I bring you my
2008 PLANS AND GOALS
The theme of 2008 is going to be: knitting. I know, it’s bold. But I really do want to knit more this year. Doing this means that I am going to try to be disciplined about making myself set aside my laptop sooner and more often, so you might see me around the internet a little less this year. I am still committed to posting at least once a month — in fact, I have a fair number of posts in the queue at the moment — but I want to cut down on my internetting time in general to make room for more knitting. Because it turns out I love knitting. Did you know that about me?
My knitting plans aren’t going to be nearly as structured as last year. I have already added quite a bit to my stash, so the theme can’t be “knit from my stash.” I have knit 2.5 hats, 2.5 stuffed animals, a sock, and a miniature sweater, so if anyone can discern a theme there, please do let me know. I am thinking that I will not hold back from indulging my secret pleasure: knitting baby sweaters (Laura recently suggested that this might be my calling) — they’re so cute and quick and since people are always procreating, they’ll all find homes eventually. But I am not making any sort of official commitment to that. So the theme isn’t to knit particular types of things; the theme is just to knit a lot of them. Want a concrete goal? I would like to increase my knitting output by roughly 50 percent this year over last year, as measured by a convoluted formula that takes into account pattern complexity, size of project, amount of frogging, number of needles sat upon, and swear words uttered. So if you notice less of me on the blogs/Ravelry/knitting message boards, it’s not that my anti-social tendencies are taking over; it’s because I’m knitting furiously away.
AWKWARD WRAP UP
And so we’re off and running in 2008 (as of five weeks ago)! One highlight so far was the Super Bowl sale at Yarns at Lace Wings (everything 40 percent off in the first hour). By using a $50 gift I’d forgotten I had, for almost nothing I managed to pick up 10 balls of Berroco Pure Merino, 4 balls of Mission Falls 1824 cotton, and these five balls of 100 percent silk (Laines du Nord Mulberry Silk). I have never knit with 100 percent silk before, and while I adore the way this yarn looks and feels, I’m not sure what to make. I have 680 yards. I don’t think I really want to make a shawl/stole/scarf, which seems the obvious choice, but I’m not sure what else might be appropriate. Any ideas?
This was definitely one of my lamest posts ever. (And I forbid any of you from very kindly trying to claim otherwise in the comments or I will ban you for life.) Just think how much better all my future posts will look by comparison, though!