First… my final finish for 2021… Leave Gnome Stone Unturned… aka Gnombleberry and baby Gnewt!

Baby Gnewt is to die for!

That pocket tho’ and even though my duplicate stitched tree does not look like a tree far away… it sorta does close up!

Now onto my Year in Review Post! Ha!

It has been a much calmer year for making. I did not feel any compelling urge to knit.all.the.things. And although I do still have some UFO’s that I had hoped to complete… I didn’t. More on those UFO’s shortly but what I did finish does make quite a nice list:

  • I knit 3 pairs of socks, 2 hats, 2 and a half gnomes (the latest of which are Gnombleberry and baby Gnewt – who counts for the half a gnome), 7 sweaters (of which 2 were test knits), 3 shawls (1 of which was a mystery shawl!), and 1 cowl.
  • I did some sewing in 2021 as well. I sewed 2 pairs of pants, 1 Esme Tunic, 1 set of coasters, and I did some repair work on existing things in my wardrobe. I also made 7 hats for Winston. AND!! There was One Awesome Advent Calendar for Vivi and Winston!
  • 2021 found me to be a sporadic spinner but!! Some of the things I knit this year were made with yarn I spun during the year… which was a first for me. I have quite a stash of handspun but I rarely knit with it. I would like to increase this sort of making in 2022… and I am looking forward to a January Base12 spin (yes it is a month late, but my finger is almost healed and I am planning some spinning time each week in 2022 and that “Advent spin” will be the perfect thing to kickstart a new habit!)

So The Grand Totals: 18 knit items, 13 sewn things, some sewing repairs, and a handful of spinning.

Now for the important bit… what did I learn?

I learned that if I do not have a “need” for an item… it loses its shine. Next year I am committed to not doing any “Ooo, its shiny and everyone is doing it” making. (These account for each and every one of the UFO’s that I have hanging around… I will finish them…hopefully!) The “Ooo, its shiny and everyone is doing making does not fit well with where I want to go next year. I have a closet full of sweaters that I don’t wear. I have more shawls than I can ever wear… even if I wore a different one every day for the remainder of the winter season I don’t think I would exhaust my stash of shawls. I have written a reminder quarterly on my calendar… no new sweaters or shawls…PERIOD!

Socks, though, are a different story… hopefully 2022 is going to find me upping my mending game. I have several pairs that have worn-out heels and I really like the socks so I’d like to find a way to repair them that keeps them wearable (not with a weird looking and highly uncomfortable mended patch.) But if that does not work, then I am not going to feel guilty about tossing them… it will make room for me to make another pair.

The big take away from 2021 is that it is challenging to be a maker with a full closet… so my goal for next year is to expand on my making. Some months ago, I signed up for a series of composition art classes (thanks, Kym!) but to date, I have not done one single thing in any class in the series. However, I have been working on preparing a place to do those classes as well as gathering supplies and I am eager to get started…so you will absolutely see a change in in what is made here at AsKatKnits in 2022.

I hope that whatever you are making in 2022, you will continue to share here with us all… because I think that no matter what you are making sometimes you just need to unravel it a bit… and this is the space for that!

My reading update is a bit more of a challenge, but I think I have figured out the best way to share it all with you.

I set a reading goal at 125 books and I did not make that goal (and I am unlikely to make the goal in the time I have left in 2021) But… I am not upset in the least at only reading 119 books this year because I set the goal to challenge myself… and it was a challenge! However, I think I read better books this year… I gave myself permission to “quit” a book that was just not working for me. This year I added 5 books to the “not for me” category on Goodreads and I experienced not one moment of guilt over any of them.

This year I found 45 books to be worthy of a 5-star rating… so almost 38% of the books I did read this year were very worth reading. And of those 45… here are my favorites:

  • Most Memorable: A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, Braiding Sweetgrass, and Finding the Mother Tree
  • Life Changing/Mind Opening: Wintering, Four Hundred Souls, The Sum of Us, Good Talk, and What Strange Paradise
  • Incredibly Beautiful Writing: Almost anything by Niall Williams, almost anything by Elizabeth Strout, almost anything by Isabel Allende, and everything by Louise Erdrich.
  • A Discovery of Poets: Margaret Noodin, Sharon Olds, Elizabeth Alexander, Pádraig Ó Tuama, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  • Calgon Take Me Away Books: The Gabriel Allon Series
  • Read With Us because without them I’d never have read: Shuggie Bain, Unsettled Ground, or Matrix. (and for me, 2021 was the year of discovering how much better a book can be when discussed with friends!)

You can see all my 2021 books here. Aside from the Read With Us category, I limited my highlighting books that got a 5-star rating but as you can see there were a good number (49) of 4-star books as well!

The good thing about so many of these books was that they were suggestions that I got from all of you! And I really hope that we continue to inspire each other with good books to read in 2022.

As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link below and thank you!

I will be back with you all next year! I wish you all a very safe and Happy New Year!

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