Friday, December 31, 2010

A goal for 2011

I'm not much for annual resolutions - those are more of an hourly thing for me - but I do like to look back at what I've accomplished in the year I've finished and think what I'd like to do in the new one coming. It's always a surprise to see what I've done, do you find that? Often I have to make a list and then go over it with a friend, who inevitably remembers a lot more than I did.

Here's what made me happy in 2010:

Making just enough socks that I only have to wear non-handknit ones when the situation demands the cotton athletic variety.

Making a cardigan for myself.

Finishing (very nicely if I do say so myself) a really huge project sample for Kathi's new book, which you'll be able to see in all its gorgeousness in about 6 weeks.

Seeing three of my own patterns in print.

Passing my driver's test on the first try in spite of simultaneously having to knit most of the stuff mentioned in the last two points.

Finishing another really huge project sample we shouldn't talk about now but was a big deal to do, falling as it did when my mum was starting to have health crises (which are, thankfully, pretty much under control now.)

Learning to spin on a spindle, and scoring a wonderful second-hand wheel.

Sometimes I have to look at a list like that to feel better about what I didn't do, which is hand over the story my writing mentor asked me to write about 18 months ago. I'm just not in a place mentally where I'm free to write these days, and while I am very, very happy with that story and its related ones, they all need more work. I'm so grateful that I can knit and sew, and so very grateful for the blogs that allow me to write about knitting and sewing while I wait for my fiction brain to reopen for business.

Other cheering things: as Kathi frequently tells me, writing knitting patterns is still writing. And as my mentor very generously told me this week, there is no expiry date on talent.

And that thought, my friends, leads me to the year that's coming. There are a lot of things I'd like to do in it, the most immediate being:

giant woolly collar!

insanely warm hat!


Though right now we're having warmer temperatures, which means I'll drop those to the bottom of the list again and regret it Wednesday when my chin re-freezes.

Less urgent but what I'd like to look back on fondly this time next year:

socks for Ady, who never knows where her next handknit pair is coming from

samples of the four patterns I wrote up a couple of months ago

the hat I want to design with Helena

another pair or two of boot socks, and perfection of the pattern I made for the first pair because I really like the way they look and fit

the Mariner Pullover I keep obsessing about


(okay, this is a biggie)

I want to learn how to use my spinning wheel. Not just to use it, but to use it with confidence. I want to spin everything that is currently in my fiber stash - which is a lot, way more than I could get through in three months with my spindle - and turn it into yarn I can actually knit with to a consistent gauge. Yes. I want to spin a ton of yarn.


the spinning will take a little bit of time every day for a year, so we won't even factor that in. Mariner - probably two months. All the others combined - three, maybe four months.

Which leaves six months to play in.

Okay, deep breath, because there is one more thing that might not be so very much fun to do all the time I'm doing it, but that I know I will be thrilled to have achieved (and to use) when it's finished. I'm talking up there with the whole driver's license thing.

This time next year, I would like to be able to say I knit with the finest yarn I own, the microscopically slim laceweight hand-dyed by Emily in the most gorgeous grey-blue shades on a base of alpaca, cashmere, and silk.

And I would like to have knit with it a Haapsalu shawl, using patterns published in the book I first posted about exactly one year ago today (how's that for ironic?)

There, I said it. Even though I do think it would be a super good idea if I made very sure that 2011 is above all a peaceful year. I mean, it's just lace, right? And it's not like I didn't learn to knit with sock yarn after 20 years of aran weight. I can totally do this.

Anything crazy you want to do in 2011?


Yarn Envy said...

After crocheting for a year I am picking up knitting and surprisingly it is turning out pretty good.

My resolutions for next year is to finish the knitting project I am on, which shouldn't take that long if I keep with it. To get a drop spindle and pick up spinning which is something I have been wanting to do for month now. I would also like to be more productive in fiber related stuff and at school which is namely to stop procrastinating so much. THAT is the crazy part and hopefully I can make some headway there.

I really enjoy your blog and it looks like you have some mighty neat goals for the new year. Wish you luck on those :D.

heklica said...

You've accomplished so many things this year, you can really be proud of yourself!

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks heklica - I know you pulled off a ton of stuff this year too! and ohhhhh, Yarn Envy... spindles are super addictive and fun! In my experience they do not help with non-fiber-related productivity, but it's hard not to love that part about them ;^)