1.blue Alladin, 2.rubies for the new year, 3.sea shells, 4.orange, 5.vicky, 6.pea pods, 7.little lace Holly, 8.Linnea, 9.birdie scarf, 10.rose, gray and lilac, 11.baby blue, 12.my Lily, 13.perfect for spring
I've had a wonderful year of knitting, after an 11 year hiatus. I've finished 22 projects. I have 4 in progress. I have a nice long list of patterns I'm looking forward to tackling in the future. I've had an immense amount of fun knitting this past year, and have learned a few things along the way. For example:
- While in Italian we only have one word for sweater, English has many different names for a woolen knit top: sweater, jumper, cardigan, pullover, shrug ...
- Make a swatch. Always. Without exception.
- If you knit in public, people will stare at you, and eventually will tell you that they too wished they had the time to knit. You'd think they'd ask you what you're making, but no, they just want to let you know that they're busier than you are - no matter that you've just sat together for the last hour on a train, or at the doctor's office, or waiting at your kids' classes ... you busy knitting, they totally idle. (Incidentally, this is something that doesn't happen as often when I'm crocheting, perhaps because crochet projects seems to the untrained eye smaller, as they're quite often broken down into blocks.)
- I still don't really understand the point of blocking as the last step to complete a knit. Is blocking just a sort of cosmetic measure to set the stitches (which, by the way, is unheard of in this country ... but then, we only have one word for sweater!)? If not, how does it affect the final shape of the handknit? Because, assuming that a sweater has a very long life, what happens to that initial blocking when the garment gets washed later on?
- Ravelry is a good resource for far more than pattern searching and recording/storing your own projects. Because I live in a yarn-free zone, and I have to make my yarn purchases carefully, I've used Ravelry's project archives by yarn/project type a lot, and when necessary, I've even contacted ravelers who've knitted a particular project already.
- Knitting is one of the most friend-oriented activities I know: it makes you want to knit presents for everyone (exactly half of my knits were gifts to friends).
- Pinterest is a great way to discover beautiful patterns (My knitting board is here)
- There are a lot of wonderful free patterns out there, but I also like buying them, thus contributing to the work of designers. However, I tend to be thrifty, and buy patterns only when I know that I will want to make that pattern multiple times.
- Garter stitch tends to grow considerably with wear and blocking/washing. Sometimes several inches, in fact, as I had the misfortune to discover. So when you measure your piece in progress, be very conservative.
- If possible, measure your work on the recipient well before you finish it.
- You can learn pretty much anything you need to on YouTube, and I'm forever grateful to all those wonderful people who take the time to share their knowledge. Apart from how to make specific stitches, I found very useful the tutorials on how to join properly pieces together, both in garter stitch and stockinette.
- I love knitting lace, cables and fair isle. Endless stockinette or garter stitch patterns tend to frustrate me.
- If you leave your work in progress on hold for an indeterminate time, don't trust your memory. Always write down project notes. When I picked up my Cora cardi the other day, after a several-month hiatus, I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to remember where I was with it!
- I don't seem to like the color yellow. Or at any rate, I've never knitted (or crocheted) anything in yellow.
Yes, it was a fun year of knitting, with plenty of mistakes, and loads of rewards. I'm really looking forward to more knitting this year. Knitting has also helped me learn something I suspected all along: never hold a grudge with life.