Saturday, December 31, 2005

wrapping up 2005 knitting

I wanted to make sure I recorded some 2005 FOs that were lying around that I never blogged about, for my own knitting journal purposes.

Fiber Trends Felted Clogs: Two balls Lopi, knit single strand, then felted. I made the Women's Large, and even with much felting, they came out a bit large. I skipped the double sole. I'll make these again, in a Women's Medium, and add the double sole this time, although these are perfectly functional, just not perhaps as comfortable as written. It is a fun pattern to knit--it does require trusting and paying attention to the directions, but if you trust them, it turns out remarkably well.

And, of course, a DW cloth! This and a smaller cloth went with some Red Dirt soap to a friend in St. Louis as well. I was able to finish up a leftover skein of Sugar and Cream with this set.

My favorite knitting project? I think it has to be Clapotis. There were a couple of false starts, but once I actually got going, it was fun. It is simple but it looks so sophisticated, undulating there on the bias. Yay for Kate Gilbert's pattern, and a shout-out to the Clapotis Knitalong Yahoo Group, for helpful tips, a yarn database, inspiring photos and best of all, a spreadsheet to keep track of all those rows.

Knitting project in the frogpile? Actually, I have the back of a crochet cardigan in the frog pond, a big pile of pretty Patons Katrina. I'll turn it into something knit.

I'll remember 2005, knit-wise, because this was the year my skills took a giant leap. I was still pretty timid at the end of 2004, but thanks to a class with
Beth in January of '05, I started to pick up confidence. (Beth? That sweater? A very lovely woman is going to finish off the left side for me, where I got frustrated after a few times with getting the sleeve to fit properly. But I am determined to wear it THIS WINTER, if we ever have winter again here in OKC).

The Horseshoe Lace scarf was a real turning-point. I did lace, I read charts, it's a lovely piece, but after that, I really didn't want to use acrylic much anymore. I was avoiding the "real stuff" out of fear of, I don't know, wasting it? Hurting it? Spending that much $? Afraid of building a stash, then abandoning knitting like other hobbies? All of the above? But afterwards, I kind of knew I was committed, or that I should be committed, and I've been more willing to let others know I was knitting, to knit in public with other knitters, and to invest in good yarn. It's worth it to me.

I found that as much as I'm glad I know how to crochet, knitting just seems to fit my hands better. With crochet my gauge was always off, and my tension would change dramatically from the first row to the fifteenth. I could never make a perfect square. For whatever reason my tension is much more even and constant with knitting. So it goes.

I discovered that the company of knitters could help make transitions easier, and I'm so thankful to the Oklahoma knitters who have been so welcoming. Moving in the middle of life is tough, and I am so grateful for your company and inspiration.

Knitting has made me more conscious of the choices we make with what we wear, and what we buy, and how we buy it. I have no desire to live some sort of "back to the land" life, I'm thankful for good mattress, and indoor plumbing, and microwave ovens. But I do think as a culture we have gotten a little too far from the basic production of everyday items, and it's good to be reminded of what working to clothe oneself and one's family might feel like. It's hard work, but satisfying in a way that I don't much get in an automated, takeout, ready-to-wear kind of world.

Blessings to my fellow knitters and may your yarn skeins be easy to wind and free of knots in 2006!


At 10:41 PM, Blogger Annie said...

Don't worry. We'll have winter again. That is quite a list of knitting projects. I loved your scarf and thought it was absolutely to die for. But I am not brave enough to try one.

Now, what is on the agenda for next year?

At 11:08 PM, Blogger Procrastiknitter said...

Blessings to you too Emily. I agree with Annie though, what's on tap for next year??

At 7:23 AM, Blogger see-through faith said...

beautiful - but what else would we expect from a beautiful woman of God

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Beth said...

Emily, I'm so glad I was able to help you in your journey. I know I've seen you come so far this past year, and while I'm sorry you're not here anymore, I'm glad that knitting has helped to ease the transition. Happy New Year!

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Thanks all, and I'll have some thoughts on next year--I mean this year, soon!


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