Thursday, January 01, 2009

in retrospect

as you may have noticed, 2008 was the year of the sweater. i'd set myself the challenge of knitting one sweater each month, and for the most part, i managed to stick to the challenge (apart from taking some time off over the summer). so what did i manage to achieve?
there were a few roaring successes - the sweaters from january & february are definitely my favourites of the whole year, & by now they've been worn so much they're (sadly) starting to pill a little.

january sweater 1
january - my own variation of a free drops pattern

tangled yoke button detail
february - the tangled yoke cardigan from interweave knits

other successes...

waves in the square full shawl 5
april - waves in the square shawl by sivia harding

the mithril coat 1
the summer sweater, a.k.a. the mithril coat - pattern made up by me

september - cable pattern from juno (rowan magazine #40), with the rest made up by me

for the RSA (also successes)...

march sweater detail 2
march - pattern made up by me, with help from elizabeth zimmermann

december - pattern made up by me

one not-so-successful sweater (i'm largely indifferent to this cardi, and am more than likely going to rip it & make something else with the yarn, as i haven't worn it once since the photoshoot!)...

october - the sunrise circle 1
october - the sunrise circle jacket by kate gilbert

and, a couple of abject failures. may's sweater grew hugely after it was washed, and although i've worn it a couple of times (in the house over pjs - never in public!) the yarn has started to shed enormously to the extent that wearing it for an hour or two results in piles of blue fuzz throughout the house. & although this might be knitting sacrilege, i'm actually going to bin it (sorry!).

may - everyday tweed by marie grace (this is not an accurate representation of how the pattern should turn out!)

and november, which looked quite nice until i put it on - the armholes are oddly sized, and the overall fit isn't at all flattering. the yarn is salvageable, though, so i'm going to rip it out & make something else instead.

november edging detail
november - eyelet front vest from vogue holiday knits

& the final tally? ten sweaters - eight for me, and two for the RSA (hm - maybe the RSA deserves more knits than that next year?). & of those sweaters, six were fabulous, one was indifferent, and two were... well... utter rubbish.
i expected to learn something over the course of the challenge. & as it turned out, i've learned something quite unexpected. the sweaters that i didn't like & never wore were the ones that i knitted by sticking to a pattern written by someone else. and most of the sweaters that ended up being the best ones of the year - and by that i mean the most flattering, the most comfortable, and the most frequently worn - were actually the ones where i had invented the "pattern" myself, or where i had worked from a pattern that i had made huge adaptations to. & it turns out that despite my own knitting insecurities, i actually do know (mostly) what i'm doing - what looks good, what fits in with my life, and most importantly, what works knit-wise.
so with that in mind, here's to 2009 - the year of knitting experiments, where my challenge will be to listen to myself, ignore my insecurities, be creative, and "knit on, with confidence and hope". happy new year!!


Kathleen said...

I am extremely impressed that you managed to complete so many lovely full sized garments in the last year. Happy New Year to you! x K

RooKnits said...

An amazing achievement to knit so many garments in one year. Congrats!

Jeanne said...

That is very impressive! I was happy to get one sweater done last year! I hope you have a wonderful 2009!

TangledFrog said...

Wow! What amazing accomplishments. Well done for setting such a challenging goal for yourself!

Vonnie said...

I've had a sweater for my toddler son on the needles for FOUR MONTHS. I'm completely shamed by your prolificity, well done you! And such beautiful work too :)