Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knitting Projects - Looking Ahead to 2008

Over on Ravelry, I posted a question that bears further exploring here on my blog, especially since I'm in that end-of-year ruminating place, and I'm temporarily unemployed, so have some free time to think about these things:

Okay, I'm throwing this question out there. Since I'm currrently in a reassessment mood, I know that immediately after Christmas (and in my case even before), I'm getting that organizational fever. The "goal oriented" part of me is cleaning out, organizing, reassessing . . . and looking anew at what projects I'm going to be doing in the new year. I even took a fresh look at my Ravelry queue and tried to reorder them by what I'm realistically going to try to do during 2008.

This question has also prompted me to re-read last years blog entries and completed projects. My primarily goal each year is to GROW, as a person, as a parent, as a wife, as a friend, as a knitter. In terms of knitting, I've really expanded my skills and horizons. In February, I completed my first freeform project, a vest. Also faced lace head-on by completing my first shawl - the Forest Canopy Shawl, and promptly and utterly fell into shawl LOVE. I intend to make at least a couple more shawls next year.

Last summer, I learned to do at least rudimentary crochet, I learned to make a foundation row, a slip stitch, single crochet, double crochet, half double and triple. I still don't feel comfortable reading patterns yet, or doing anything very complicated, but I feel good to be able to just do it!!! Big mental hang-up overcome by becoming bi-craftal.

Next year, I intend to complete some UFOs, including Wrap Me Up and the Einstein sweater. I want to create some long-admired "oldies but goodies" patterns I've been wanting for a long time, such as the Klaralund (Noro), perhaps in Spring I'll finally do a "Sitcom Chic" cardigan. I've had my "Vintage Vest" kit that I bought from The Studio sitting in my closet for a year now. I bought it at the last retreat.

The projects I was LEAST satisfied with last year were the two pullovers I made. Yuck! I wear neither one very often and they just aren't worth the time and money invested in making them. This should tell me something: I don't like the look of pullovers on me - and they are too hot for me at this hot-flash age. I need something I can throw off quickly when my internal theromstat rises.

Added Note Later: The fact that I don't like pullovers brings me to the sudden realization that it probably is NOT a good idea to make Klaralund. Much as I like it, I probably won't like wearing it. Hmmmmm. Maybe I can turn that Noro Yarn into a cardigan instead of a pullover.

My personal goal this year was to wear more of what I make. I succeeded in doing this. My three favorite projects last year NO QUESTION, was the huge carpet bag I made, as well as the Forest Canopy shawl, and the denim jacket/knitted sleeves that I made. I wear/use these three projects constantly. I also made a real effort to wear something I knitted to almost every knitting get-together I attended. This made me more aware of making things I really enjoy. I felt freer to scrap or dump any project that wasn't bringing me joy in some way - either in the process or the end result.

That end-result focus led me to consider what I really like to wear regularly including handknitted: shawls, jackets, cardigans, socks, VESTS. So next year, I'm making more shawls and vests for my own private consumption and delight.

Since several of the 2008 projects I've bookmarked are Modular in nature, I predict that I'll be doing more of that next year. (Unless I try it and get totally disillusioned with the technique - see note about not knitting anything I don't enjoy - this is the fun part of my life, after all, remember?)

One thing I'd like to undertake, for the first time, is a bit of Charity Knitting. I've always been a selfish knitter, but I'd like to make a few more knitted gifts for others, as well as for charities, whether it's a prayer shawl, or . . . I don't know what quite yet. I'd like to at least explore it.

While I still am not declaring a stark and total Yarn Diet for 2008, because being too harsh on myself usually backfires, I am seriously going to buy even less new stuff and try to focus on using what I have before undertaking major new yarn purchases.

What are you considering? What are your top knitting targets?


KelInCal said...

VERY thoughtful post and, omigosh, I have some thinking to do!

If I were to answer right now, I'd say I see more bags and cardigans in my future - even though I haven't finished one of either yet. :D Shawls, too. I haven't knit one yet and I'm in the mood.

Elysbeth said...

What is the rose hearts shawl?

You've set such a nice example I may have to consider the same thing.

Any chance you could steek the front of the pullovers and turn them into cardigans? (This is nice for sweatshirts too)

Have you seen the shawl over on Wendy Knits? Or the Solace Shawl?

ChelleC said...

Actually I'm already rethinking what I said about wanting to make Klaralund - you know why? I just listened to myself and rethought what I said about hating pullovers when I wear them. So what makes me think I will like Klaralund as a pullover any better? Huh? I'm rethinking what I'll do with that yarn, maybe Butterfly (a cardigan) instead?

Ellen Bloom said...

Insightful post! Congratulations on your yarn-accomplishments. Best of luck to you in the coming year.

Me? I'd like to complete all my WIPs!!!

Diana said...

Chelle--I'm glad to find you again, too. I've wondered about you over time and wondered if you were on Ravelry--found a Chelle and wasn't sure it was you!

Congratulations on the job. I had one of those interviews where I wanted to cry, too!

And now I'm laughing because 2007 was my year of lace and of the shawl too. Sounds like we're still on similar paths.

Happy holidays.

Laura said...

While reading this post, I had the same thoughts as elysbeth. If you like the yarn and the pattern, it'd be easy to turn the pullover into a cardigan. If you want, I'd love to help you with this. I'm pretty good at chopping up a pattern to suit my own purposes. :) I LOVE changing patterns, since it's a puzzle to solve.

ChelleC said...

Once a project is finished - as in the Plain Vanilla Pullover and the Reynolds Smile sweaters that I don't wear, I don't want to ever work on something again once I've finished it. I get too bored to do that. I'm always looking ahead, to other knitting adventures.

On the other hand, in planning future projects, I will definitely remember, now that I realize it, that my preference is for cardigans rather than pullovers.

Thanks for the ideas though. You girls are creative and talented.