Friday, January 25, 2008

2007: Knitwise and Otherwise

January is almost over, and I still haven't posted a 2007 retrospective. I take solace in the fact that I am not the only one. I keep putting this off, because it seems a bit daunting. But I already have 2008 FOs stacking up to be posted, and my categorical mind just won't allow me to post them until 2007 is properly done with. So here we go.

2007, knitwise, looked like this:


2007 Knitting Mosaic


A pretty good year, I'd say. The stats:
accessories: 2 (wrist warmers, Calorimetry)
hats: 2
dishcloths: 2
clogs: 2
vests: 2
socks: 6
sweaters: 4
shawls: 1
total: 21

What surprised me was to see how many things I had actually knit for people other than myself. I think of myself as a selfish knitter, but when I counted it up, 11 out of 21 of the things I made were for other people (a respectable 52%), and 5 of those were for non-family other people (a respectable 24%). Can I quit feeling guilty now? We'll see.

The big news of my knitting year was probably my Gothic Leaf Stole. Actually, I had a bit of a knitting trifecta with back-to-back knits that made me particularly happy: the Gothic Leaf Stole, the Lace Leaf Pullover, and the Gathered Pullover. Very gratifying accomplishments, all of them. Surprising how fast both sweaters went, and how long the shawl took.

The big disappointments of the year were my Tempting pullover (which didn't fit me), and my Easter vests for the boys (one of which didn't fit either boy and the other of which just looked plain ridiculous with its purple stripes and unintentional ruffled edges). I feel like I am getting a better and better grasp, though, on fit and other issues, so at least I'm learning.

Not pictured are several items in hibernation: My Old Man's Zippered Raglan (started in October 2006!), Tomtens for both boys, Cathy's purple socks (soon to be brought out of hibernation), Syrian Shoulder Shawl, and my Chevron scarf (which will possibly be ripped and restarted with different colors). In addition to the socks, I hope to move the Tomtens back into circulation soon, as I would love to have them done for spring.

I suppose this isn't a very inspiring assessment of 2007, all these lists and stats and notes to self. So be it. Overall, I'd say I'm pretty pleased with how 2007 went, knitwise. I am feeling pretty solid with my abilities as well as my capacity for picking what would be worth spending time on. In the future I see more of the following for me:
- cables - love me some cables!
- lace - crazy for the lace! (5 of 21 things this year had lace elements)
- shawls - I'm a little surprised at how much I love knitting shawls
- sweaters - I find myself thinking about sweaters ALL the time. I want to make a lot of them.
- child knits - so satisfying to produce a whole sweater or a pair of socks in a very short period of time
- socks always on the needles
- maybe my first colorwork (what's the hold-up with this? what's my fear? I'm going to get over that this year)

2007, sewing-wise, looked like this:


2007 Sewing Mosaic

Frankly, I'm a little astonished.

The breakdown:
skirts: 5
tops: 7
pants: 1
pj pants: 5
hats: 2
totes: 4
softies: 3
costumes: 2
stockings: 6
quilt: 1
puppet theater: 1
total: 37

I think this was the year that sewing really clicked for me. The Wardrobe Refashion challenge kept me committed to making my own clothes, even though I haven't posted there in about six months. (And even though I've made no clothes for myself since October, I am still on a no-buying-clothes spree.) My confidence in handling the machine has grown by leaps and bounds, and I can definitely see a difference from the year's first project, a black corduroy A-line skirt, to the year's final project, a puppet theater and matching case.

I mostly love the things I made this year, and I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. I really lovelovelove several of the tops I made, and am unreasonably attached to the garden pants and the lace-trimmed pj pants, and will always maintain a special place in my heart for the simple A-line skirts (with especially big love for my fall version). But the big news for me this year, sewing-wise, was my first quilt. It represented the accomplishment of a long-held dream for me, and I am truly mad for it, flaws and all. I have it on my lap every night, as I knit. I have lots more quilts dancing in my head but haven't had the time to actually make them. But I definitely have the bug.

My sewing seems to come in cycles, in proportion to how strong my knitting addiction is at any given time. I do have lots of sewing plans for this year, and the stash to go with it. We'll see if I can pry my fingers off the knitting needles long enough to accomplish them anytime soon....

So that's 2007, knitwise and sewing-wise. Otherwise, I will always remember 2007 as the year I almost lost my son. In other words, the year that radically changed me, in ways I still can't fully name. In a way, all the crafting has been a coping for me, so I'm glad I have it. I'm glad I have you, too, blog-friends, as you have made this journey so much more fun, and inspiring, and meaningful. You were a terrific support in the aftermath of Little Buddha's accident, and you remain a terrific support as I continue my handmade adventures. Thank you, friends!

9 comments:

Adrienne said...

WOW you had a great year!

Land of Sunshine said...

The knits and sewing look awesome. The tops all look great. I'm trying to get the nerve up to sew some tops and skirts!

Mintyfresh said...

You did excellent this year! I love all the sewing stuff--definitely gets me to thinking and planning . . .

Christopher Chandler said...

Very productive! I'm wondering if your hat count might be underestimated though (and yes.. I have been wearing it!)

Felicia said...

Looks like a fabulous crafting year :)

CurlyBrunette said...

I am not sure if you mentioned this before but I cant remember so I'll ask: What brand sewing machine do you use and would you recommend it for a sewing beginner? Your knitting and sewing are beautiful and what a productive year 2007 was for you!

Kelly said...

Such productivity! I've only recently discovered your beautiful blog (have I commented before? I can't remember!), and I look forward to what 2008 brings!

Rachel said...

WOW. That is quite a year, crafting-wise. I don't know how you get all that done, with two boys and a job to boot.

I have to admit deep amusement about your knitting goals for yourself this year, which can basically be summed up as: everything. Cables? Check. Lace? Check. Colorwork? Check. Sweaters? Socks? Kid knits? All check.

By the way, in the competition for last 2007 roundup on the internet, I beat you by well over a week. :)

ionadreams said...

Great inspiration! I might have to get out the ol' machine and give it a good oil.