I’ve been saying it for a few years now, but it’s gotten so “time doesn’t mean anything anymore” that I completely forgot it was my knitaversary until several days later, which does not mean the craft is any less central to my daily life. It’s still the focus of nearly all my spare attention and a reliable source of joy.

In looking back over the past year’s knits, I’m a little surprised to see that the overall tally is so much lower than last year (23 compared to 47 the year before). I’m still not doing this for the numbers, though, so it’s not a negative assessment—just a measurable reminder that my attention was turned to other things more this past year than the year before. I’m still doing most of the cooking, I’m volunteering once a week now (more on that later), and I got much less knitting done on the 2023 road trip because Mom relinquished the driver’s seat more on this trip.

All in all, though, I’m really pleased with the things I made, including two sweaters for my mother (that she adores) and seven pairs of socks gifted to friends and family. One of them was even a men’s size 13, by far the biggest socks I’ve made thus far—and they fit perfectly! I’ve used the same pattern for socks more than 25 times now (that’s a Ravelry link, FYI), and it hasn’t failed me yet.

Here’s my annual review of my knitting life over the past year.

Hours spent knitting per day: I think I’m knitting a little less per day than I was last year, maybe 4-5 hours per day on average lately.

Bins of yarn under my desk: 5 (This is unchanged for many years now, although I did do the reorganizing I mentioned last year. I moved the “background yarn for something” to occupy half of the multicolored yarn bin, so the bin of more interesting black/gray/white yarn is easier to rummage through. The orange/red bin remains overstuffed, even after I moved the yellow yarn in with the blue/green yarn. I have a couple SQs of orange yarn in there, so as soon as I can start on one of those projects it won’t be quite so ridiculous.)

2023 projects completed: 23, although several were sort of group projects on Ravelry, in that I made (for instance) four sweater ornaments that are listed as one project

Samples completed: 3 (one short-sleeved pullover for Chrysalis Yarns and two cowls for Ritual Dyes)

  • blankets: 0
  • cardigans: 0
  • cowls: 3
  • dischloths: 0
  • hats: 3
  • headbands/wraps: 3
  • mitts: 0
  • ornament sweaters: 8
  • pullovers: 7, including two for my mother, one for a friend, and one sample
  • shawls: 1
  • slippers: 0
  • socks: 11 pairs, 7 of which were gifts
  • stuffies: 0

Some non-number notes from the past year:

  • I started work on the most involved cable project I’ve ever done, a sweater with cables almost all over the front and back, and I am so happy with how it’s going. I was sailing toward the part where I’d join the arms (it’s a bottom-up design) when I realized that without any bust darts it wouldn’t fit me the way I’d want it to… And it’s just too nice of a project to have it be not-quite-right. I’ll be taking an online class in a few weeks to learn to add bust darts to an all-over pattern, so I’m feeling confident that I’ll be able to finish the sweater soonish.
  • That cabled sweater uses yarn I got on the 2022 road trip with Mom, and I’m glad it didn’t sit in my stash for ages. I still have a few SQs that have been in my possession for too long, so I’m hoping to start another project later this year (when the cabled one is done) using one of the older SQs.
  • I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I don’t really want to learn how to do all the grading required to design garments, but it turns out I don’t need to. There are people who will do the grading for you, which is a thing I only learned recently, and which I will gleefully take advantage of when my budget allows.
  • In the meantime, I still haven’t released the hat pattern that was inspired by the carvings of the Nasrid Palace, something I was kind of hoping to do last year. And that’s fine. I’ll get to it someday, or I won’t, and I’m going to give myself grace either way.
  • I started volunteering at Rose Haven Day Shelter & Community Center in downtown Portland this past summer. I co-lead the yarn group on Friday mornings—we teach people to knit or crochet, we make pom poms, and we sit and chat with folks who are also working on projects. It’s become one of my favorite parts of my week, full stop, and has reminded me why I liked working in the nonprofit world so much in my early post-college life. Being in community with people who embody compassion and kindness so deliberately and enthusiastically reaffirms my faith in humanity… And that’s something we can’t have enough of these days.

For previous installments of this series, click here.

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