Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: A Look Back in Time - A Beginner's Adventure in Knitting

I thought it would be a great time to look back on my knitting adventure. What I’ve learned, attempted, tackled, and accomplished. Yes, I was once classified as a beginning knitter earlier this year. As most of you know, I started knitting garments back in February of this year. I spent months before, contemplating what should be my first knitted garment. I needed to challenge myself and step away from scarves and wristlets I felt comfortable with. I looked through many magazines, books, and patterns on the Internet. I was looking for a “beginner” or “first project” patterns. Nothing appealed to me. I went on a personal field trip to a few local yarn shops (LYS) to see what I could find. That’s when the whole knitting euphoria started and my real love of yarn began.

I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time, when I was approached about a job at a yarn shop. I was quite taken back, but took it as a complement to be given such an offer. Little did I know that a few weeks later, I would be laid off from my full-time job of almost 10 years. I graciously accepted the LYS offer (thanks to Jill and her great judge of character) and I had no idea of where this new adventure would take me.

I’ve spent many hours knitting this past year and I have many finished projects to show. Sometimes I would start at 4 or 5 am in the morning and knit for two hours or so. That would be the quota for the day. If I didn’t get a chance to knit in the morning, I would get the chance in the afternoon for an hour or two. Since I worked at my LYS, I may or may not have had the chance to knit. My knitting time might be for an hour or two after I completed my yarn shop duties (e.g. assisting customers, fixing mistakes, straightening yarn displays, setting up POs, ringing up customers, etc).

I’m not a fast knitter since I knit the English way. You know...the swing method. :) I would definitely classify myself as a consistent knitter as I always get the appropriate gauge. I’m also consistent in the area of TNT (tried and true) patterns. If I really, really, really like a pattern and get wonderful end results, I would be knitting another version (or two or three or more). Yeah, I did go crazy over the Shrug This! pattern this year.

This will seem weird, but I’ve actually kept track of all my knitted projects for 2009. Thanks to Ravelry, I have a journal/diary of all my knitting adventures. From completed projects to projects that are sitting in limbo. I’ve also kept track of the yarn yardage and mileage on a spreadsheet. Amazing...close to 8 miles of yarn was knitted. As a number, it doesn’t seem like much, but if you laid out 8 miles of yarn and started to knit and walk...that’s a lot of yarn!

What have I accomplished in 2009?

- I learned to knit the pieces for a sweater and cardigan
- Seams - did a lot of seaming actually enjoyed the process
- Tackled lace patterns
- Tackled difficult patterns (e.g. Intermediate)
- Joining and Knitting in the round
- Consistent stitches that resulted in getting correct gauge majority of the time
- Sweaters, cardigans, socks, hats/berets, purses,
- Fixed many knitting problems (for myself and others)
- Taught classes
- Developed extensive yarn knowledge
- Met some wonderful knitters
- Enjoyed my knitting adventures
- Completed 19 garments and 14 accessories

So now, here I am...10 months later as an intermediate knitter. I have a lot to show for this year and quite a bit wiser in the knitting arena. I have no problems or fear with fixing other people’s knitting mistakes, even mine. I look at it as a challenge. I know so much more about yarns than I could ever imagine.

A month ago, I’ve had to leave my fun yarn shop job and pursue a full-time position. A new career. As much fun as I’ve had, it was time to move on. I have had a lot of wonderful knitting experiences under my belt. Still, I have much more to learn.

What will 2010 bring me? I’m not sure. I do not want to start a “to do list” of projects and be bound to it like I did in 2009. I need to do something different. I need to be a different knitter. I need to be an exploratory knitter. Here is my basic plan and what I would like to accomplish:

- More difficult knitting projects. In order for me to keep knitting and learning new techniques, I need to pursue more challenging projects.
- More quality projects. I need to choose my patterns/projects wisely. Since I now have a full-time job, my knitting time has been drastically reduced. My time must be spent on learning new techniques and future projects need to be wearable.
- To continue knitting daily. If I can squeeze in 30 minutes of knitting time, I’d be really happy.
- Learn to knit with two or more colored yarns.
- Take more field trips and visit many more yarn shops in my area and in my travels.
- Start knitting my Christmas gifts earlier. No more 30 days of marathon knitting.


1 comment:

quiltaroo said...

Hi Susan! Happy New Year!

What an impressive list of achievements you have for last knitting year! And what a good idea to list it all like that, doesn't it feel G O O D ! It's immediately a positive springboard for making plans for the year ahead.

Which, I hope will be a wonderful year - full of happiness and creativity.

Very best wishes to you and your family,
from Tracy