Friday, January 20, 2012

My Life in Stitches: My Life in Stitches 2011 Review

I had an interesting fiber year in 2011. When my husband left to serve his one-year deployment, I thought sure I would read a ton of books, but that wasn’t the case. It seems that most of my leisure time went to into knitting. At the beginning of 2011, I only had four completed projects on my Ravelry page. I started and completed 29 projects in 2011.  Yay, me.

Here is my official My Year in Stitches review, the good, the bad and the ugly style.

The Good
Most Helpful Technique Learned: LIFELINES!!!!!
Hindsight is twenty-twenty. One of my knitting friends, Jill, told me about lifelines at the beginning of the year.  The technique is when you run dental floss through a row of your stitches as you knit it. It’s helpful because if you make a mistake, you can rip the work back to the lifeline and all the stiches are on the floss and easier to pick up. Jill told me, but I must admit I was a little slow in putting it into practice. Like several projects slow. But when the above-mentioned Milky Way started kicking my butt, I did a lifeline…and kicked myself for not trying it earlier. Would have saved me a lot of heartache.
Favorite Project: [Three-way tie] Milky Way (Sheryl Thies, Nature's Wrapture), Daybreak (Stephen West) and Fetching (Cheryl Niamath, Knitty, Summer 2006)

Milky Way
This is my favorite project to wear. The color makes it versatile to wear with multiple outfits. And the fiber, (cotton, rayon and silk) is the perfect balance of dressy and casual. And it’s uber warm!

I love Daybreak for two reasons, the colors and that it’s a simple pattern with dramatic results. I made two Daybreaks this year and loved them both.
Daybreak #2

Fetching makes my favorites list because it was instant gratification. I started one day while I was sick in bed. It barely took me 12 hours to finish it. And again, it’s one of those projects that’s really easy but produces dramatic results.

The Bad
Most Frustrating Project: Milky Way Scarf (Sheryl Thies, Nature's Wrapture)
I thought I was going to lose my mind on this one. This is not a social knitting project! I had a complete meltdown at a knitting group meeting because the twisted stitches in this pattern. It wasn’t a hard stitch, it was just one I had to pay attention to…which often I wasn’t and had to go back a rip out huge chunks at a time. The pattern is so defined that it wasn’t one you could fudge you way through your mistakes. This project drove me to the brink of sanity.
Project with the Biggest Design Feature (aka mistake): Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl (Southern Selkie)
It’s a good sign that something has gone wrong with a project when you have an entire skein of yarn left over when you’re done… and you weren’t supposed to have it. I bought the yarn for this shawl while in Indianapolis during the ACFW annual writers conference.  I loved the color and it was on clearance. Win-win, right? I’d added the Ginkgo pattern to my favorites before I left, so it was a match made in heaven…
Until I finished the shawl and couldn’t figure out why I hadn’t used the amount of yarn the pattern called for. It was a big problem with a simple solution: READ! I was supposed to go up two needle sizes when I got to the lace section of the shawl! Of course, the shawl turned out way smaller than it was supposed to and I hardly ever wear it because it’s so small. I kept threatening to rip it out and redo the lace on the correct size needles. Maybe that will be on my 2012 knitting year in review.

The Ugly

Project with the Worse Fit: (Two-way Tie): Swirl (Andrea Weinrick) and Ellen's Knit Hat (Ellen Harpin).

Swirl was my first pair of socks ever. I made them for myself so my feet wouldn’t get cold while I was praying. I was very proud of myself for conquering my fear of socks. I started before my husband came home before for R&R in July. I was so excited to show it to him, but I didn’t bank on his reaction. He didn’t say anything at first, but his face (my husband has very telling facial expressions) told me that he didn’t like the sock. After a few minutes of examining the sock, he asked, “Is this for a reindeer?”

The sock on the right is for the reindeer.
Needless to say, my feelings were hurt, but I pressed on and finished the second sock. But in finishing the second one correctly, I realized how bad the first one was. All I could do was laugh. The only way to save it is to rip it out and do it over. Maybe I’ll only rip out the first reindeer sock.

As for the Ellen’s Knit Hat, my husband was the victim of the bad fit. I was knitting hats for my church’s clothes closet and my husband told me he wanted a black hat with a green stripe. Of course, I decided that I would give him the hat for Christmas.
I put a very generous green stripe on it. Unfortunately, the top of the hat was about four inches longer than the top of his head. Thankfully, it will be easier to repair than the socks. 

1 comment:

Brian said...

You are totally hilarious. Very well written…as if I expected less. I love your creativity; it pulled many different emotional responses. I’m still laughing as the reindeer socks.