Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Bright blue sky above vibrant green Sonoran Desert plants, Bartlett Lake, and far away mountains

IMG_9735Here we are, everyone. We made it into a new decade. Did you all get through 2019 ok? Last year was a hard one for me. I said that about the year before last, but somehow last year got harder. Good things came, but not without a fight. I am so grateful to all the friends and family who were there for me even when I was a total drag to be around.

Nothing to gain by wallowing in the tough times, so I’ll fish out favorite memories.  Peanut’s first snow (over Memorial Day weekend no less)…finding a local group of knitting friends…my first camping trip in 20 years with my little family and a friend.  My second year as a knitting teacher.  I am so grateful to every person who has attended one of my classes for giving me their time.  There are definitely still days when I am just waiting for someone to bust in the classroom door and shout “Get outta here, you’re no knitting teacher!” But I try to remember that teaching is a skill like any other and I can only get better.

Speaking of growing, it was very overwhelming to witness the knitting world as a whole growing in response to conversations about diversity.  For all the people who spoke up for inclusion, and those who used their privilege to support diverse voices and advocate for more inclusive practices, there were truly distressing tantrums.  I have only just begun to learn about these topics and have no great epiphanies to claim. Earlier this year I was foolish enough to expect that I would have meaningful and important things to say, but now I realize the best I can do is keep up with the conversations that are happening, be mindful of which companies and designers get my money, and to focus on amplifying the voices of those who really do have meaningful words to share.

Through it all, there was the knitting. Twenty-one projects, 7,075.1 yards knitted, 1758.5 yards given away.  I had fun with hats, dug into my pile of long-term WIPs, and discovered the joy of the crop top.  Seriously.  Throw on a skirt and you’re done.  The only downside is they don’t make much of a dent in the stash.

Almost all the yarns, I’m proud to report, came from American dyers or American wool. It felt really good to know where my yarn came from, what practices informed its production, and to support artisans in my state.  It also felt good to say goodbye to the yarns that didn’t bring me joy.  Getting to a place where I can say goodbye to yarns that just aren’t working has taken me *years* and is incredibly freeing.

2019 was the fifth year I have tracked my stash, can you believe it?  If I didn’t have the spreadsheets, I wouldn’t.  I think that calls for a list, don’t you?

2018: 15 projects, 9,743 yards knitted, and 17,074 total yards moved out of stash
2017: 25 projects, 7,485 yards knitted
2106: 36 projects, 12,737 yards knitted
2015: 33 projects, 8,697 yards knitted

2016 was pretty awesome.  So much knitting, so many FO’s.  I did it once, think I can do it again?

For all those lovely FOs, most of the times when I was frustrated and didn’t have the time to knit, I bought yarn.  There were approximately 17,373 yards’ worth of times like that, and though knitting happy hours and crafternoons got me through 50%, that remaining 50% is in the stash, with similar percentages of previous years’ purchases.

So that’s the year that was. The good, the not so good, and the yarny.  Thanks always to you, dear readers, for sticking around.  Hang tight and next time I’ll share my project plans for 2020!

3 responses to “Looking Back, Looking Ahead”

  1. So glad you are back. As another Arizina desert dweller, I get so much inspiration from your knitting blog. It is a real trick to knit garments for our summer weather lol.

    Where do you teach knitting? I am always looking for classes to improve my skills. I do have a LYS close in Mesa and do go to classes there as I find one that inspires me.

    • Thanks Marsha! That’s really kind of you, I struggle to balance my desire to knit snuggly things with the reality of Phoenix heat!
      I have two beginner classes at Tempe Yarn and Fiber in January and February, after that I am taking a short hiatus. Please check back in the spring!

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