Friday, January 1, 2010

Hello 2010

Nothing like a new year and a new decade to get you thinking about past mistakes and new resolutions!
In the past few years I have made resolutions that I kept, by making one resolution I could follow all year long. One year, for example I studied herbs, took classes and planted gardens, read books etc. It was a whole year immersion.
This year I am resolving to do two things: improve my knitting and improve myself. A little bit sweeping but let me explain.
As I reviewed the kitting I finished in 2009 this is the list I came up with:
4 pairs of mittens
7 sweaters
2 afghans
13 hats
3 stuffed toys
5 scarfs/shawls
7 pairs of socks

Of the items that were meant for me, there really were only two scarfs and one hat, the summer scarf and the purple multi color scarf and the white Who? hat that were actually worn all the time. (This is not counting socks) So it seems my choice of projects left something to be desired, but what was the cause of me making all these mistakes? I blame the Internet. Why not!

I really discovered the Internet knitting community in the past year plus and became a little intoxicated with it, sort of like the yarn fumes the Yarn Harlot is always blaming for her increasing stash. It's so great to find thousands of people that share your interests, when for years you thought you were the only person left in the world who knit. The patterns, the podcasts, the blogs, the knitting retreats, the sock clubs, the knit-alongs and the festivals and conventions! Who knew there was so much going on out there. It became easy to get sucked into the enthusiasm for say a Clapotis, when two years ago I would have laughed at this design. (Disclosure: I have made 1 and have yarn for another)

So as I was cleaning up the craft room, I took an honest look at what I had gotten myself into in the past year and how to avoid letting myself get sucked into making things I really don't like in 2010.
So this new year I will:

1. Not join in anything! No knit-alongs. I joined my first Knit-along in 2008 on the Lion Brand site to make the Tree of Life Afghan. That was such a resounding success that I kind of went nuts for knit-alongs, but have discovered they are not all created equal.

The Lion Brand site knit-along actually had help with the pattern, was easy to follow, people didn't get caught up in personal discussions that had nothing to do with the knitting that was going on . It was helpful and supportive, exactly what a good knit-along should be.

Knit-alongs on Ravelry tend to be the same, but I joined too many and was unable to keep up or have time to knit other items that were more important to me.

I joined several groups on the KnitPicks community site and again , too many to keep up with. Also this site has a few people that comment continuously, even if they are not making the items in the knit-along and make the strings too long to look through for information pertaining to the knitting. I'm sure they are lovely ladies with only the best intentions, but I don't have the time they seem to have to read hundreds of posts. I received a snarky comment as a reply to one of my posts, and although it was only one, that's all it took for me to no longer post on the site.

2. I will not think I am going to knit a bag of any kind. I have yarn I purchased for 6 bags. Market bags, fair isle bags, Sipalu bags, I have not started one and never will. I am re-purposing the yarn. What was I thinking. I hate purses, never carry them. Or if I do, it is a big serviceable tapestry bag that holds the earth. Plus all of the patterns were very complicated and 4 were cotton which I dislike knitting . Internet fumes!

3. Taking classes. I took 3 classes last year at my LYS and they were very successful. I learned to make socks, made a beaded scarf and the Lizard Ridge afghan. All good. However on the week-end retreat, there were 4 classes and I only finished 1 item, the bunny for Angel. (I finished the cowl, but Frankie chewed it to pieces). I will probably finish the Entrelac scarf, but no retreats in my future. Too many other projects I want to get through first.

4. Take a deep breath and count to 1000 before I buy the works for a new project. I'm not making any promises to go on a yarn diet or only knit from the stash, but I really want to think before I act, stop impulse buying, it never works for me. (I just checked out the Knitpicks site and there are 3 new kits I want to buy)

5. I made up a project list for the first quarter of the year. It is very loose and has plenty of wiggle room. I've left time for birthday knitting. What this does is put the projects I most want to finish in the queue. Now I just have to stick to it.
6. Improve my knitting. I want to try new techniques and improve on others, most notably colorwork. I think this is going to be the immersion knitting of this year. I also want to spread my wings with new sock patterns.
Improving myself:
Keep on the healthy weight loss that I have started. Get to my goal weight this year.
Read more. I have kept track of my reading for the last three years on a spreadsheet and whether I just haven't recorded the books I read this year or I haven't read as many, I am way down in my totals.
I have given this list a lot of thought and I really think I can keep to the resolutios. We'll see what 2010 brings!

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