…To not be making things is to be dead. — Donna Druchunas, comment from Melanie Falick’s blog.
Greetings dear Unravelers and Happy New Year!
Welcome to a new year of unraveling… one which I plan to continue exactly as we have been… sharing peeks into our making and what we are reading (or have read!) I look forward to our posts… our community of making is the best part of my week! I love to see what you are making (you all inspire me!) and what you are reading (you all help me add to my TBR list as well!)
This week, I will be sharing some stats of my year of making! Some might say it was not the most productive year… but I am happy with my time spent making and I am excited to see what I will make this year! Right now, I don’t have much on my radar… I want to finish the Great Cabled Sweater that I started last November… I am close, I have begun the second “front” and after that I just have the collars to knit. Happily, I took excellent notes on how I accomplished Pocket #1 so Pocket #2 has been a breeze! Once that is completed (and it is!) the knitting is a breeze of ever shortening rows… the right front should be done SOON! Then the Great Seaming can begin… which I am a bit nervous about, to be honest! I don’t seam much… but I do know how and I know how to “set a sleeve” in for sewing… it can’t be that much different in knitting… right?
My first “finish” of 2024… the last circle was completed on the 1st!
I did some swatching in December… a bit of “gift” swatching! LOL Steve picked his favorite and I will soon cast on a vest for him! It is a vest with some new techniques as well. Learning something new is always a good thing!
Swatch #3 was the winner… a marled mix of the two above!
But my year of making was very good! And like my Best of Reading, this list will work up to my favorite make of the year! So let’s get started!
- I finally finished a crochet scarf (and have not used it once.) This speaks volumes about crochet in my life.
- I crocheted one Bucket Hat… I wore it once. I think that it is safe to say that I have moved beyond my crochet fad.
- I did some sewing this year… I made 3 sweatshirts. I love them. They are in the rotation on the regular. I also sewed a “pencil’ skirt… it got some wear in the warmer months but I don’t think the skirt is a “good” style for my “bottom heavy” body type.
- I took classes for painting… and I painted some. But this last class confirmed for me that I need to go in a different direction than classes. I am not sure if the path forward includes painting… maybe it does, I do not know. I do know that I need to jumpstart my own creativity…. find my inner artist and give her permission to fail… or succeed…
- I did some “improv” quilting and sewed some Heart Coasters for us to use in February.
- I knit 5 pairs of socks… not a great number, but perhaps just enough. Although, I am contemplating knitting 6 pairs this year (heaven knows I have MORE than enough sock yarn to easily accomplish this! And I might have even stumbled upon some inspiration to make it fun!)
- I managed to do some spinning last year… and I KNIT with what I spun multiple times! I confess that my favorite handspun knit might just be a Hitchhiker! Or my Hitch On The Move knit with handspun *and* commercial yarn. I want to spin more this year but something might need to shift off my list to accomplish that with any regularity.
- I did have an epic spinning/knitting project last year… I knit a Saglan with handspun yarn. I love this sweater so much. I wear it All.The.Time! It fits well! My yarn is wearing well! And it just makes me so happy to wear it!
- There was LOTS of hand stitching last year as well! One Temperature Project and one set of hand stitched autumnal coasters. Honestly, the Temperature Project became a bit of a drag… There was no impromptu sitting and stitching with this thing. I needed to have written down the highs and lows for the day… iNotes FTW here! I am NOT doing another temperature project this year… but I really love the result I got after stitching diligently all year! My favorite stitching time though was the “do my own thing” stitching.
- As the year began to wind down, I gave in to the lure of sourdough with success this time! (For me, the third time was the charm… as well as the sourdough “house” to regulate temperature!) Since my success, I have been baking weekly loaves and I love it! I love every part of it… the process is slow… and I like that slowness. It has become a mindful practice… I love the intervals of being alone with the dough and the quiet!
- Gnomes… there were so many gnomes this year! I also knit some trees for those gnomes, some birds, and a rabbit! The gnome count for the year ended in the double digits! I love the December Mystery Gnomes, yes plural! They are perfect additions to Gnome-Land! I sent a good number of gnomes out into the world (one for each of my grands!) And, then came Mean Gnome Greene! Knitting gnomes brings such delight… I expect there will be more gnomes this year.
- My best knit of the year however, is a simple skirt (but such a smart pattern!) I wanted to knit another, but the yarn gods did not smile on my second attempt. I plan to rectify that this year… I need another in my wardrobe!
And there you have my year of making and here I am in a New Year… New Opportunities… and I am so excited!
Lord Gnapier, on the right, with his dear friend Mr. Gnettles. The 2023 Mystery Gnomes!
Mean Gnome Greene, with his trusty Terrible Towel, sporting his favorite jersey… #55! He is now living on Steve’s mom’s mantle!
What about you? What are you excited about as we begin a New Year?
As always, if you wrote a post to share please leave your link and thank you!
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!
I absolutely love Vicki’s posts of her Blog in Review. She shares the first line of the first post of the month, as well as her favorite photo of that month!
I am not sure what I enjoyed more: re-reading the blog posts or looking at all the pictures of the month!!
December 31st, I completed my last stitching, in the last month of my yearlong project.
The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within. William C. Bryant
The weekend was kind of a chaotic blur.
Bring sunshine on fragile stems
On grey, rainy days
… this morning the lilacs are all open!
I am not sure one could pack more into a regular weekend than I did this weekend!
Greetings Unravelers, Summertime and the knitting is varied!
Yes, it’s that time of the year when it seems the weekend is almost all work!
For me, this was truly the Summer of Reading (Thank you, Mary for organizing another amazing Summer Book Bingo!)
Welcome to the Vacation Unraveled where there is not much making of anything but memories going on!
Happy November!! Or should I say NaKniSweMo!?!
This image should be a reminder of how I should start every day – really.
That is all I have for this year! I wish you all a Happy New Year and I will see you back here on tomorrow with my word for 2019!