After the first day of the year in a haze of sleep deprivation & airports, I am finally back in MA!  While it wasn’t the best vacation ever (see previous, whiny post), it was great being with my family & friends again. CoffeeBoy and I also made some decisions about our future, which makes us both feel better about coming back to life & reality again.  Mostly, both of us feel very stagnant in our current living situation, so now we have a goal to work for in the new year.

But how was the previous year in knitting?

I had approximately 50 knitting projects total (there are 42 according to Ravelry, but there were some I didn’t put in there – some dishcloths for one).

Some highlights:

I made a lot of socks

19 pairs, in fact. That’s up from 8 last year.  Which makes sense, given I now commute on a train 2 hours a day & sock knitting is perfect for it.

The original Reversi Socks

The original Reversi Socks

Most (13) were for me, 3 were for CoffeeBoy, 3 for other family members.  I also think that, in addition to the train commute, my Harmony dpns have added to my love for sock knitting.  I have become a dpn-only person, thought I have tried 2 circs & didn’t like it. 
Punk Rock Commuter Socks

Punk Rock Commuter Socks

I do have a long size 1 circular needle to try magic looping but I haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I like my dpn rut.  I pretty much stuck to top down heel flap basic stockinette socks although I did try a couple of patterns and lately have been doing a short row heel instead of my flaps.  Most were basic wool/nylon blend but I did branch out with some bamboo, silk, alpaca, and tencel.     

Movie Knitting Socks

Movie Knitting Socks

I, understandably, only wear handknit socks now (the exception is when I work out, I have little thin cotton socks for that).  It’s hard to pick favourites but I think my original Reversi socks turned out the best (though I sadly shrank them & they are no longer mine).  
Not Quite Knee-Highs

Not Quite Knee-Highs

The socks I probably wear the most are my Punk Rock Commuter  Socks, my Movie Knitting Socks and lately, my Not Quite Knee High socks (perfect to wear with my snow boots – they don’t slide down as much).   I do wear almost all the socks I completed for myself – some of the more boring ones are good for when I should be a bit more professional at work.
My sock plan for 2009 – well more socks!  With my commute lasting until at least March (if not longer), I should be able to get a  few more pairs done.  If I should  not have to do the daily train commute, I will probably still end up making more socks than anything in 2009.  Unless I fall in with dishcloths or something (unlikely, I like them I just don’t LOVE them)

I made a sweater in 2 weeks

Opulent Ragalan

Opulent Ragalan

Big accomplishment this year.  I made a total of 4 sweaters in 2008, 3 of which I wear frequently (sorry Blue Gable)  but my favourite is definitely my Opulent Ragalan, made for the Ravelmpics.  I still love this sweater, it looks nice for work over a collared shirt and keeps me very warm with out a lot of bulk (I love my Cozy sweater too, but it does add a lot of bulk to my already bulky body.  Still very warm – in fact, I have it on now)

I haven’t finished as many sweaters this year (key word: finished.  Many were frogged or simply abandoned).  I think part of it is the upswing in sock knitting and part of it is my weight gain over the past year makes me depressed about making sweaters.  I need to get over it and get my ass to the gym more often.  Anyway, my next non sock project is going to be using my Valley Superwash yarn I got during my trip to Webs.  I’ve almost decided on Amelia for it, but I also may go with something I’ve wanted to make for a very long time – The Nantucket Jacket.  I’m also planning on making the Sunrise Circle Jacket this year and maybe finally finish Mr. Greyjeans and Cables & Os – two sweaters I love but can’t seem to quite finish.  And I’m quite sure there will be many many more sweaters coming out this year that I will fall in love with but never make

I gave in to the Clap.

Clapotis that is.  After knitting it & now wearing it, I understand why nearly everyone in the knitting world has made this – it is a perfect accessory.  I probably wear it the most out of my scarves, because it’s so wide it covers my 

Silky Clapotis

Silky Clapotis

 face in the freezing cold, but I also love to have it for indoors – for instance it was wonderful to have on the plane because when I was cold, I could wear it as a shawl.  It also made a nice pillow. 🙂  And did I mention how much I love Malabrigo Silky Merino?  Love love love it so much, I’m tempted to make another one.  Even CoffeeBoy likes this project- although he keeps trying to convince me to make more for a gifts.  I’m sorry, I’m very selfish when it comes to these kind of projects – this one cost me $50 for the yarn and a month knitting on it non stop.   I do think a couple of girlfriends would like it, so I may just do that but…I need to decide if it is worth it to me to want to invest all that for something that may not be appreciated.  See?  Very Selfish.
I made a total of 3 scarves this year by the way.  I just don’t like making scarves all that much – one was even just a neckwarmer.  Seriously, sock knitting has ruined all big projects for me.

I joined a few yarn clubs for the first time

4 of them – Lotus Yarn’s Punk Rock Sock Club and Big Ass Yarn Club, Blue Hands Fibers’s Ravelry Sock Yarn Club and Scout’s Swag.  I loved all of them for different reasons – well, I’ve only received one shipment of Scout’s Swag so far.   

Lotus Yarns Big Ass Yarn Club

Lotus Yarn's Big Ass Yarn Club

But I’m not sure if I’ll join any this year, at least not right away – I am just not going to buy yarn unless I need it for a project already in mind and I definitely do not need any more sock yarn!  Call it a resolution, call it a yarn diet, call it whatever you want, I really just want to cut back on my stash.  It’s getting me a bit stressed out, having all this beautiful yarn and not using it yet!  I’ve only made a couple of things from my yarn club yarn – 3 projects out of 16 shipments so far. (the Punk Rock Commuter socks above,  Rainy Day socks and my Blissful So-Called Scarf & Hat).  Only one I may join is if Melanie has another Lotus Yarn club, otherwise, no clubs for me.  

Um, that may change.  I’m not very good with resolutions.  And really really tempted by pretty sock yarn.

I completed a year long project

I finally finished my year long project – this one was very special for me, as my Grandmother has always crocheted me blankets & I wanted to finally  make one for her.
Moms cat Mulan shown here for size.  Or because I couldnt get her off the blanket.

Mom's cat Mulan shown here for size. Or because I couldn't get her off the blanket.

 While this got very tedious to work on after awhile, I’m so glad I finished it.  I sadly, was not able to see my Grandmother over the holidays – weather ruined everything! – she will be getting this very soon from my mom.
Grandmas blanket.  Yes, that is still Mulan up there.

Grandma's blanket. Yes, that is still Mulan up there.

I started this in February, and worked on it off & on all year.  A month ago I realized I should probably finish it, so I kicked it in high gear and finished in time for Christmas, although of course it ended up not mattering as much since she won’t be getting it right away.  It’s the basic log cabin blanket, I used about 1.5 skeins of 5 different colours of Cotton Ease on size 8 needles.  If I were to do it again (very unlikely), I would probably use a different yarn – 2 months after I started this, KnitPicks came out with Comfy, which has a similar blend of yarn but much much MUCH softer.  Still, I think this will be durable & keep my grandmother’s legs warm nicely.

2008 knitting summery:

(don’t you just love Ravelry?)

19 pairs of socks 

7 hats/headwraps

5 toys4 sweaters

3 fingerless gloves/mitts

3 scarves/neckwarmers

1 blanket

probably 8 unblogged/unraveled projects – dishcloths, etc.

(I was going to do approximet yarn usage verses yarn added to stash but my excel is not working at moment.  The approx yarn added was over 20,000 yards though – eek!)