I’ve never been fond of resolutions, but I do seem to love these sorts of review posts. (I ignore my personal blog 364 days a year, essentially posting only on my birthday every year.) And now that we’re all of the WHAT IS TIME ANYWAY mindset, in which it’s hard to remember if something happened last week or a decade ago, looking back over a year’s worth of knitting projects seems even more grounding somehow.

It’s tangible, this craft, unlike my writing work. And tangible feels stable, if only for a moment.

Here’s a recap of my 5th year as a knitter:

Hours spent knitting per day: I’m spending more and more time in the kitchen lately (I am never going to be a food blogger, but I did add a page to my site for recipes I was sharing repeatedly), and even so I’m also staying up later than I did last year, so I’m probably still around 5-6 hours of knitting per day (on average).

Bins of yarn under my desk: 5 (same as last year!); each with cedar in the bottom and locking lids; yarn separated by color.

2021 projects completed: 44*

  • sweaters—5, including 1 sample knit and 1 dog sweater (this is the first year there were zero sweaters for me in the mix!)
  • shorts—1 pair, a sample knit and my first lower-torso knitting project
  • sweater adjustments—4-5, including one of my sweaters for which I added length to the body and several dickeys added to existing dog sweaters (as you do)
  • socks—8 pairs, 5 of which were gifts
  • neckwear—7
  • hats—3
  • blankets—3, all for the #WelcomeBlanket project, all went to MODA in Atlanta
  • mitts—1 pair, a sample knit
  • candleholder cozies—8
  • washcloths—2
  • garden baskets—4

* The math doesn’t totally add up because the dog sweater dickeys were all lumped into one project page…

And, since numbers alone rarely tell the full story, a few knitting highlights:

  • I continued last year’s “knitted hugs” project, making a lot of gifts for friends near and far (one is still, fingers crossed, en route to Italy as I write this).
  • I published a collection of three patterns, which were also my first experience with a tech editor (something I will 100% continue).
  • I worked proper intarsia for the first time, using two different hacks for intarsia “in the round,” and though the learning curve had a steep upward slope I think I’ve got the hang of it now.
  • I took a fabulous class about using spreadsheets and formulas to make garments that will custom fit just about anyone simply based on measurements they enter. I have never been a math person, and there is something so terrifically satisfying about watching spreadsheets spit out numbers that work. It feels damned close to magic.
  • Unfortunately, I hit a gigantic stumbling block out of the gate with my first sweater design using that spreadsheet method (the same stumbling block others in the spreadsheet group, including the instructor, have encountered), so the pattern I had intended to release in December is on hold.
  • That pattern is one of the Jewish holiday sweaters I designed with my co-conspirator, Pam. There are two others that got prototypes made, and another that’s just been knocking around in my head, so fingers are very crossed I can make at least one of them happen this year.

On the other side of the coin, 2021 was the year I stopped using Ravelry on a many-times-per-day basis. The site bungled its new design so badly, excluding countless folks with a design that induced migraines, among other things. And, even worse, they blamed the victims. I’m one of the fortunate users who doesn’t get headaches looking at the site, but it feels less welcoming to me when it’s not inclusive. I’m never on the Rav forums anymore, I don’t participate in Rav events, and at this point I only use it to track my stash and projects. There are a couple of sites in development that may replace Rav, so I’m looking forward to their launches.

The fiber community continued to both enlighten and enrage, though I’m pretty quick to unfollow and block anyone in the latter category. I’ve been doing a lot of listening and trying to elevate BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other voices that are too often silenced. It’s a privilege to be in a position to continue learning something from this community every single day—I’m so thankful for the opportunities to grow and do better.

As I zero in on my 50th birthday, those opportunities feel more and more like the gifts they are.

If you want to peruse previous instalments of this series, you can find them all here.

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