Accountability 201

January 1. New Year’s resolution time! Frankly, I’m still reeling from the fact that I accomplished my resolutions from 2018. While I’m on this accomplishment high, let’s start a new list for 2019!   

Techniques. First and foremost, I want to learn to knit brioche. This technique has intrigued me for awhile, but I’ve never taken the time to learn it. There’s a cashmere brioche scarf kit I saw on Mason-Dixon Knitting awhile back that I have been coveting ever since. But since I don’t know how to do brioche, I haven’t pulled the trigger on buying the kit.  (That, and it’s pretty pricey…because, you know…cashmere.) Following one of my Knit Stars 3.0 classes, the desire to learn this technique became even stronger. The teacher, Veera Välimäki, designed an exclusive shawl pattern for the class, and it includes brioche. Now, I’m not a huge fan of shawls, but this one has me intrigued. It looks like it would be a great technical exercise. So, I’ll state the goal of wanting to learn brioche and make Veera’s Bixbite Shawl. Additionally, I’d like to master some new (to me) cast-on and bind-off techniques so I’m not constantly using the same ones. And I want to learn Norwegian knitting, specifically how to do the Norwegian purl. Another of my Knit Stars classes was taught by the legendary Arne & Carlos, who demonstrated that technique…I’d like to master it and use it while knitting a pair of their Norwegian mittens. (Or, master the technique while I knit the mittens. Whatever.)   

Organization.  This next one I’m pretty sure is going to be my bête noire resolution…I need to deal with my yarn stash. There are three parts to this resolution: (1) organize all of my yarn, and store it in such a way that I can easily find what I’m looking for, (2) knit up or donate at least 50% of all non-inventory stash yarn, and (3) clean out part of my basement to give me enough space to store my newly organized and culled yarn collection. This isn’t going to be easy. Or fun. But it needs to be done. A couple of years ago, I sort of started this project by bringing all of my yarn up from the basement, entering it all into Ravelry (complete with pictures), and putting it in various bins (sort of organized, but not well enough) before moving it back to the basement. Except the bins are all kind of stacked on each other, and whenever I go down to find anything other than inventory yarn, I end up hunting around for quite awhile before finding what I need. And since then, new acquisitions have been haphazardly stacked around these bins. I need to clear out a proper space and design a system that allows me to easily find the yarn I need, with the ability to easily add new yarns.    

Project goals: I’d like to knit more for myself this year. Specifically, I’d like to knit myself at least two sweaters. The first one I’d like to make is the Milkweed sweater by Julie Turjoman. I saw a sample at the WEBS fall retreat in September, and it was as if Julie had seen into my soul and designed a sweater that had everything I wanted! V-neck, split hem, pockets, ¾ sleeves…and the fabric has a beautiful texture. I bought all of the yarn to knit it, but haven’t started it yet. I’m taking a Gansey sweater class in March, so maybe that’ll be my second sweater. Or maybe Sweater #2 will be the Hintermost cardigan by Bristol Ivy…she did a gorgeous job with that design…it has all the couture finishes that elevate a handknit item to something beyond amazing. I’d also like to make the Transatlantic Travel Ensemble by Fiona Ellis for my Dolores Van Hoofen (for those not in the know, Dolores is a knitted stuffed sheep, the creation of one of my favorite teachers, Franklin Habit…I knit up my Dolores kit a couple of weeks ago, but have yet to knit her an outfit…of which there are many!). My plan is to bring Dolores with me across the pond in March, so naturally the Transatlantic Travel Ensemble seems like the best outfit to start with.   

WIPs. I’m happy to say that I came out of 2018 with only one WIP hanging around…a pair of Transversal Socks that I started back in May. (Okay, technically I came out with two WIPs, because at 10:00 last night, I cast on a new project to keep in my car in case I find myself somewhere with time to kill…but I really count that as a 2019 project. It’s a pair of Ann Budd’s 8 Stitches Per Inch Socks for my son, knit in Berroco Comfort Sock.) I’d like to finish both pairs of socks this year. One more thing…I have an ancient UFO hanging around that I am NEVER going to finish. It was going to be a blanket, and I couldn’t stand it (miles of K2 P2…what was I thinking??), so I stopped knitting it about 3-4 years ago. This year, I’d like to finally tear it out. I’m not necessarily going to commit to knitting that yarn into another blanket this year, although it’d be nice if I found the time. Should I do anything with the yarn, let’s just agree right now that I’ll be entitled to bonus points, shall we?   

Last but not least, I’d like to continue going to retreats and taking classes. This will be an easy resolution to keep. I’m already registered for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March (I can’t WAIT!) where I am taking 4 classes, and plan to sign up for the WEBS fall retreat again in September as soon as registration opens – that’ll be 4 more classes. Plus, I have already signed up for the 2019 installation of Knit Stars (10 classes). Who knows what other classes fate will put in my path this year?    

Okay, so scanning back over everything I just typed, that doesn’t really sound like a lot of knitting projects for a whole year…but keep in mind, these projects are all to be done around my orders. Last year, I completed 93 projects, of which only 11 were personal projects (by personal, I mean either for myself or for friends/family). I’ve listed 7 projects above that are for me or my family, and that doesn’t include my vague “knit up or donate 50% of what’s in my yarn stash” resolution. That last bit could be my undoing…especially since I don’t think I have a realistic idea of what yarns are currently lurking downstairs. They may be breeding and multiplying as I type this. Stranger things have happened.   

Wish me luck!     

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