"If I can keep all my resolutions, this
will definitely be the best
year ever. I almost wish it was the year 2000 again because that was
more than a new year--it was a new millennium. And these resolutions
- Marissa Moss, Amelia’s Must-Keep
Resolutions for the Best Year Ever! 2008
A few days after New Year's, my husband Rody and I were in a busy
waiting room at the University of Iowa Dental College. Our youngest
daughter Lelia had a check-up.
Rody had settled into his morning's Wall Street Journal and I had begun
knitting. Spread out on my needles was the fresh start of a healing
shawl I had frogged the night before. My re-knitting had to do with
trusting the pattern’s recommendations – varying the number of increase
stitches to allow the shawl to hug the shoulder--something I didn't do
the first time, but had vowed to do this second round. The shawl
pattern was an easy one, mostly stockinette stitch. The already long
rows of straight knitting freed me to observe the room. People watch.
She walked in with husband. A garter stitch headband in a gay red
held back her thick dark curls. They sat across from us. We smiled a
hello at each
other. Then, minding my waiting room etiquette, I left them alone,
returning to Rody and my knitting.
Later, on her way out, we chatted and exchanged seasonal
Neither of us introduced our spouses. We had met only recently at the
local yarn store and I wasn't sure of her name. I'll bet she didn't
know mine either. And it didn't matter. We knew our common bond.
"A knitter?" Rody asked after she left.
I nodded my yes, making a recommended increase on the shawl.
"It's like tennis," he said. Correctly pointing out the club-like
aspect of my changed knitting world.
Not that long ago, before blogs, Ravelry, Facebook and newsletters
this one, I was a person who knit. Back then, it was a solitary
pursuit, almost never done in the company of other knitters. These days
I define myself as a "knitter," and feel, like so many others, a part
of huge global community that includes those I happen to met in my
hometown, or on a blog from Finland. Our club membership is the passion
we share. So I knew when I was thinking about my 2011 knitting goals,
so were many other knitters.
This December, the knitter's World Wide Web buzzed with our
declarations, confessions, vows, promises and pledges. Many of the
public proclamations resonated with my own hopes; finish UFOS, master
new techniques, organize the stash, knit the stash, bust the stash,
donate the stash, knit for others. Knit more. Socks. Cowls. Sweaters.
It's mind boggling how much we knitters aspire to do. To the list of
this year's knitter's goals, I'd like to add a few modest ones of my
own: Learn to darn and put my basket of broken socks back into action
this sock-wearing season. Keep my knitting a peaceful, quiet place.
Accept my mistakes and move on without stress--like re-knitting the
healing shawl. Enjoy my yarn and needles. Pay attention to the pattern.
Take careful measurements. Make useful gauge swatches. Label and save
"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey
that matters in the end," wrote Ursula le Guin. Resolutions can be
helpful on our knitting journey. Serving to remind us of our starting
points, alerting us to our arrival at our destinations. And to help us
on this path, I've made a handy commitment card. A gentle reminder,
small enough to carry in your work bag. From my knitting spot in Iowa
City, Iowa to wherever you are in the knitting universe, best wishes
for Happy New Year.
Knitting Help for the New Year
Cowl or Crochet
Socks: If this is
year, you are planning to master socks and need help,
Visit the Video Library
in the LionBrand.com Learning Center, scroll
down to "Knit Socks" and check out these video tutorials to help you
through all aspects of socking knitting: casting on and working cuffs,
working the heel flap, turning the heel, picking up gusset stitches,
decreasing for the toe, and closing the toe with Kitchener stitch.
Pullover. You can also use up your stash with this—add
Mittens. A good pattern to start understanding mitten basics –
cuff, gusset and thumb.
Gloves. Gloves are a little trickier than mittens.
This very cute pattern is for more experienced knitters. It's on my
2011 "to knit" list.
Stash Busters Afghan Recipe:
Use these easy, basic patterns to bust your
stash: Knit with two strands of yarn on large needles to desired size.
Mix types of yarn if you like. If you want the afghan to be machine
washable, be careful that all yarns used have the same washing
Delightful Tweed Baby Blanket. To make this a full size afghan,
repeat last row until you have 198 stitches (instead of the 99
stitches specified in the pattern). Then follow the pattern as written.
"My Blankie". To make this a full size afghan, cast on 120 stitches
(instead of the 60 stitches specified in the pattern). Then work until
piece measures 72 inches from the beginning (instead of the 36 inches
specified in the pattern).
5 1/2 Hour Throw. Combine a couple of strands of yarn with a big
hook for an afghan you can make in a weekend.
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