i am an historian by training, ridiculously attached to all things Past, fascinated by what happened when and what it was like, always trying to find the connections, the passing of meaning down through time. ive started to think however that this is not always a good thing. it means i have real trouble letting go of the past, that i am still heavily impacted by things that have happened, and worse, that i let my fear of the future get in the way of today. i dont make resolutions, and i am not doing a 2010 retrospective, because in many ways, including knitting, 2010 sucked. i find myself not interested in reliving it, or fishing through it for the good bits, analysing the bad or trying to retain the bits i want to take with me. i just want it to be gone, and i want to start over. i can feel my attitude towards things shifting a bit, and if they are not resolutions, than i at least have goals for how i want to approach this year.
the main goal is honesty, and i mean that in a number of ways, but mostly i mean it in the context of being true to myself. too much of my life has been spent doing what other people expect, need or want: the oldest daughter, the good girl, the big sister, the smart one, the black sheep, the scapegoat. enough already. im just me, imperfect and flawed, but a good hearted human whos just trying to do her best. im sick of fake people, fake friendships, and am taking steps to wipe them from my life. im sick of people who only want to spread hurt and judgement, and i know i cant control those people, because they will always exist, but i can change how i deal with them. and im a lot more about looking after me this year. i know that sounds selfish, and it doesnt mean i dont care about others, but im sick of apologising for myself where ever i go. i have the same right to breathe, to be happy, to shine, as everyone else, and im going to do more of the things that help me do that, and less of the things that dont.
this applies to my knitting as well. 2010 has been a really good year for my Growth as a Knitter. there were many started, and failed, projects, and many things i finished that i really dont like. there is only one cardigan i actually wear, and too many mistakes with yarn and patterns were made. but it has helped me change the way i approach my knitting in 2011. this is how it goes.
firstly, remember me making a big deal about the shetland project? well, thats taken a slightly different turn. im not being so rigid about it anymore, and the stonington shawl is in hibernation, mostly because i realised i was missing out on other things. i thought that i could avoid new pattern and yarn overwhelm by retreating into the past, but i was wrong. when i did pick up new things last year, they were unplanned, ad hoc, and usually failed. not this year.
the shetland project has become contemporary again, starting late last year with jarod floods girasole. i conquered the circular cast on, and am still in love with this amazing pattern and this beautiful yarn.
this project made me realise i dont have to knit only ‘authentic’ shetland patterns to be knitting in a historical tradition. history isnt something that has stopped, dead, in the past. history is the connections between people through time, and jarod knows this i think, the way he makes shetland traditions live again, in a new way. this has inspired me to rethink my stash, and my approach to my stash as well. i cleaned it up a bit before i went overseas and i realised that things i had bought only a year ago now had lost their shine, the colours not really being ‘me’ or having faded from fashion quickly. i am no fashionista, but i am not in my anecdotage either. i would like to make things that take advantage of contemporary patterns, of beautiful seasonal colours.
so i am knitting from stash this year, unless something spectacular comes along, and in case you think that sounds boring or old fashioned, i am talking mostly about the rather large amount of stash i have acquired in the last 6-9 months. to help with this process, i have a plan. i dont do deadlines well, but i do need to be more thoughtful in my approach, and this plan is a guideline, more than a set of must dos. its also long, so its a wishlist as well, to keep me on track!
it starts with a new knitting journal
and a loose plan in the front
which includes 2 maybe 3 cardigans, large shawls in the shetland tradition, plus smaller more fashion oriented shawls and scarves, 2 hats (new for me) plus plenty of socks, the 6 from our-not-so-personal sock club, plus the ever present regia boy stripey socks (good for car knitting). i would also like to make trent a new jumper, and im going to frog and restart cobblestone. i have the yarn for all these projects, its wollmeise, mad tosh, berocco, blue sky alpacas, string cashmere, koigu, and lovely gift alpaca from paris. its the good stuff in other words, and im not going to apologise for that either. lifes too short, and im not going to compromise on my yarn purchasing anymore either. given i dont drink and dont smoke, i think i can afford to have yarn snobbery as my second vice (chocolate being my first!).
i started the journal today with my first 2011 project, the shur’tugal socks from s62011 sock club.
these are in malabrigo sock, ravelry red, that i got in san francisco.
i am really looking forward to knitting with the american yarn, as a living reminder of my most excellent US adventure! to that end i have also swatched and blocked the madeline tosh pashmina in ‘vintage frame’ in preparation for the ‘leaving’ cardigan.
my gauge is a bit off but i will do the maths tomorrow (one new project per day will suffice i think!), but the yarn is absoutely sublime.
far and away the nicest stuff i have ever knitted with. so 2011 has a lot to look forward to. trying new things, taking new directions, and knitting what i want with the best i can afford.
simple, really! may it be as blessed for you as well.