Monday, January 4, 2010

Year in Review

Thanks to the data-gathering power of Ravelry, the overpowering urge to reflect as the calendar turns over, and the unclouded nature of hindsight, I am better able this year than any other to ruminate on the previous year. Some thoughts, a bit scattered:

1. Knitting

I started and finished 37 projects in 2009, and worked on but did not finish the ever-present blanket. That comes out to an average of one project every 10 days! Granted, one of those projects was a holdover from 2008 (the blasted gloves), and another one I started in 2009 but had no hope of finishing (the wedding shawl). 21 of those projects were made with handspun yarn, and 7 were made with yarn that I also purchased in 2009. I think I was much more productive this year. Sadly, there was a distinct dearth of socks (only 2 pairs, compared with 6 in 2008).

1a. Gift Knitting

In 2008, I knit 2 gifts for Christmas. This year, I knit 17. This is astonishing to me, and I even knew I was knitting a lot of gifts. Some took longer than others. Some projects became obvious as soon as I saw the fiber or yarn, and for others I agonized over finding a good match of pattern to color, weight, and texture. I began the first gift of 2009 on March 22nd, and finished the last one on December 30th. Here's some of the gift FOs:

Mom's Fingerless Gloves
Mom's fingerless gloves

Dad's Lab Mousie and Petri Dish with growth
Dad's Lab Mousie

Dad's Petri Dish

Mom-in-Law's Hat
Laurel Hat

Aunt-in-Law's Cowl
Snail Cowl

Brother's Hat
Cotton Koolhaas

There was lots more gift knitting, but this was the home stretch, made from the yarn I grouped together in this post. Knitting all those gifts was very rewarding to my self-esteem and checkbook, but I don't know that I could have done it without the large amounts of free time I had this fall.

2. Spinning

I dug through my stash on Ravelry and last year's blog posts, and compiled a list of all the skeins I spun this year. While doing this, I realized that I really ought to label or tag my spinning stash with the date I spun it. It'll be helpful the next time I get bitten by the contemplative bug, and will also serve as a good way to guilt myself into knitting handspun that has been marinating in the stash for a very long time.

I spun 46 individual skeins of yarn, for a whopping total of about 10,900 yards. For those of you keeping track, that's a little over 6 miles (almost 10km!) of yarn spun. The big-ticket items were easily my gray fleece yarn and two laceweight projects, each with over 1,000 yards. This, again, is shocking to me. I attribute very little of my productivity to myself, but entirely to my lovely spinning wheel and the fabulous colors that arrive at my door each month from Kristine and Adrian.

3. Designing

This year I officially entered the world of knitting design (by the way, you still have a few days left to nab the Snow Chains Mittens for free!). I've said all I need to say on the designing process for now, but I'm excited for the coming year. Creativity on this level doesn't come to me often, but I'm glad it did this time.

4. Stashing

Ravelry data-mining gives me 55 new stash entries for 2009, 2 of which got gifted, 11 of which got used up in projects, and 38 of which are handspun. That includes the new fleece. Again, I see the effects of two fiber clubs here (which account for 24 of those new stash entries), along with a significant amount of knitting from older stash.

In review, I would say that the economy's pressure is obvious in my activity this past year. I am spinning more, stashing less, and knitting more from my stash. I've been incredibly lucky that I can get a lot of crafting activity through spinning. I can easily imagine that if I weren't spinning, I'd have actually made a serious dent in my stash this year by knitting with that free time instead. I would say that my proudest moment from 2009 was finishing my handwashed, handcarded, handspun, and handknit Halcyon sweater. That was an epic goal, but broadened my skills immeasurably. I can't wait to see what happens in 2010. Maybe I'll finally finish the mitered squares!


Tracey said...

beautiful holiday knits. i'm sure you've made 17 people very happy.

happy new year!

Jen said...

You should be pleased with your accomplishments in 2009. Love the little mouse, precious!