Abandon/Control


As a student, my year follows a slightly different cycle from the average person’s. My “year” officially ends with the end of the fall semester, and while I certainly mark the new calendar year January 1, my “year” doesn’t actually start until the start of the spring semester. In between is a short, blissful period of abandon. A period where I can do what I want, as I want, without restriction.

This past year, proper abandon didn’t start until after Christmas (giftsgiftsgifts), but even that mandate to knit was self-imposed. Thus the bloggy silence these past weeks has been my absence from routine, from duties, from all distractions except the ones I chose, and it was absolutely magnificent.

As of tomorrow, that period is over, and it’s time to return to control, to order, to obligations, limitations, deadlines–all those things that ensure the proper functioning of society but not necessarily the well-being of one’s spirit. My room is straightened, my school supplies purchased. All that’s left is to look back on the year past.

Resolutions. At the beginning of last year, I resolved to do a great many things. Some I did, some I did not. I did read two of the unread books in my library–I did not read the rest. I did not knit a steeked cardigan, but I did continue to knit from my stash. Browsing through my Ravelry project page, I was floored by how much I had knitted, and how much I’d learned from these projects.

Socks: I knitted two pairs of socks this year, the Latvian Stockings and the Ponyo Socks (toe pictured inside-out above). The latter, actually Nancy Bush’s Lichen Ribbed Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks, are so named for their color and because I began knitting them when I went to see Miyazaki’s Ponyo. The Ponyo socks were my fourth pair for myself, and it wasn’t until I’d finished them that I realized that by following the pattern strictly, I was making the heels too short. I feel sort of silly that that one took me so long to figure out, but I guess I can look forward to my next pair of socks being much better-fitting than their predecessors!

Sweaters: Without intending to, I knitted a whopping five and started two others. After so many sweaters, in so many styles and yarns, I finally feel I’ve got a good handle on this class of project. My Garter Yoke Cardi was a sort of sampler of colorwork, raglan and circular yoke shaping, and waist shaping. In the course of knitting (and reknitting) the Graphite Shrug, I discovered that I am not a standard shape (and how to tweak patterns accordingly). Lesson from Thundercloud Cardigan: I really and truly cannot stand finishing work. That was my only multi-piece sweater, though, and as a matter of fact, all but one of the rest were raglans. My troubles resizing Monita’s Retro Duotone Cardigan (shown above) and my Graphite Shrug highlight that this is a tricky style for me to rework, but I only had one real dud out of the whole bunch: Wendy Bernard’s Yogini Bolero, aka the Undercover Bolero because I never could bring myself to blog about all the trouble it gave me. It’s adorable–don’t get me wrong there–but I really didn’t like working with the hemp yarn, and after all that yarn wrangling, the sweater came out too small to fit not just me, but also both of las hermanitas!

After such an eventful year, I don’t have any new resolutions, but I’m looking forward to putting my new knowledge–especially knowledge of fitting–to good use on new projects. Here’s to a happy, yarn-filled new year.

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