As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, over the last few months I’ve been thinking a little about the projects and techniques that I’d like to try my hand at this year. While I have always been and remain an impulse knitter, and attempts to stick to lists generally end in dismal failure, there are a still a few of things that I find my mind returning to.
Cables: I honestly don’t know why I don’t knit more cables. I love the way that they look, but more than that I am fascinated by their construction. The interest developed while I was slogging away on my Sylvi – though the process was somewhat never-ending, by the end I really did have a vastly improved feel for how cables worked – and it never really left. So I suppose this particular goal is threefold: I’d like to knit more cables, I’d like to knit some untraditional cables and I’d like to try my hand at designing some of my own.
Easy to wear garments: I suppose in some ways this goal sounds a little bit daft, or at least like it’s stating the obvious to a moronic degree, but bear with me. You might recall me posting about how one of my main regrets of 2010 was that I didn’t really knit any garments that I fell madly in love with. Well, I’d like to do better in 2011. I want to knit more clothes that make it into my everyday wardrobe, that I pluck off my shelf because I love them, that go with the clothes I wear, that are my style and suit me. Harder than it sounds, I think. But hopefully a little bit of careful planning will work wonders, as will thinking long and hard about patterns before I start knitting them.
Steeking: I am going to try steeking, even if I have to knit something just for the sake of steeking it. I just want to try it for its own sake. Not much else to it!
A New Scarf: As I’ve been knitting away (somewhat obsessively) for about five years now, it’s probably not surprising that I have quite a few scarves. The very first item I knit was a garter stitch scarf and I’m very happy to say that I still wear it; the quality of the knitting is not fantastic but it’s wide and made from warm, good quality wool, so it remains very wearable. It has even received good reviews from friends who have borrowed it. However, the embarrassing truth is that my current go-to scarf is, gasp, shop bought. The fact that I bought it in Italy and it is super warm and lovely is not a good enough excuse for this. I want to make a scarf that I can’t wait to throw on (once again, I am stubborn and difficult). Alas, this may mean making uncharacteristically neutral colour choices – in order for something to be a go-to scarf, it has to go well with a range of outfits – but that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
Designing: I’m going to endeavour to knit at least two items from my Awesome Blue Notebook. I’m sure that many of the people who create their own knitting patterns, or even just like to have a place to jot down inspiration when it happens, have something along these lines: paper or a notebook where they can do a quick (and in my case often appallingly bad) sketch of an idea before it flits out of their heads again. Mine is my Awesome Blue Notebook.
Don’t ask me why I picked a book with lined paper – not the wisest choice in hindsight! At any rate, I’ve had this notebook since the early days of my knitting life. Over the last few years it’s grown full of my own ideas for designs, quick drawings of knits-in-the-wild (i.e. garments that I have instantly coveted after seeing them on other people) and various other flights of fancy. This year I’m going to try and put at least two ideas from the book into practice. I haven’t decided on candidates yet, but I know that I’m definitely going to have fun doing so; reading over the thing is far more entertaining than it probably should be.
The Inevitable Stash-Related Goal: My yarn stash is uncomfortably large. This is great in some ways. For example, during the times when I have had exactly $0 to spend on recreational things, I’ve still been able to knit to my heart’s content because of previously stockpiled supplies. But the fact remains that I have more than I need. Much more than I need. So why not just stop buying yarn? Well, a few reasons. For example, when I have the money to do so, it’s always tempting to simply buy shiny nice new yarn for a project so as to have exactly the garment you want, to avoid the mathematics involved in yarn substitution, and so on. So the stash languishes. This is even worse because my tastes change, or more to the point, as time goes by they move further and further away from the yarn I own.
All this aside, there’s also the fact that I have some truly lovely yarn tucked away in my wardrobe and I should bloody well use it instead of letting it sit there reproachfully. So, in 2011 there will be stash knitting. Shouldn’t be too difficult: I actually did very well on this front in 2010, so all I need is to keep in form!
There you have it! To be honest, I have little-to-no interest in coercing myself into accomplishing these goals; knitting is my hobby and I do it for fun, not to fulfil obligations, even when they’re obligations I’ve set myself. But hopefully, fibre related willfulness aside, I’ll at least manage to a few of them. If nothing else, it will be fun to look back in December and see whether or not these things influenced my project choices. Yay, public shaming!
In other news, I have recently finished a project! The only problem is that it’s been ridiculously hot over the last week and when it’s 40 degrees outside, the last thing you want to do is drape yourself in a woollen shawl, even if it’s only for a few minute’s worth of photos. But the weather has finally cooled, so a finished object post should be just around the corner!