Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 sweaters (and other stuff)

At the beginning of this year, I resolved to knit seven sweaters, one of which I designed myself, which turned out to be the only knitting resolution I unequivocally kept (the rest were a flat out failure, or else need to be judged, um, charitably). Though I really enjoyed branching out this year into tiny sock yarn socks and lacy shawls, sweaters have always been my most satisfying knitting projects; also, this year, it's kind of cool to see all the photos of the different places we were living when I finished them! The first sweater is one of the last thing I knit in Japan: Snow White with Noro Cash Iroha. I miss our tiny Japanese backyard. 

After Snow White, things in Japan got too busy for me to knit, and then too hot while I was traveling in Vietnam and India (too hot is also why I whacked off about six inches of hair right before leaving Hanoi). I was in serious knitting withdrawal by the time I got to Iain's house in Scotland, which nonetheless does not explain why I felt the compulsive need to knit this Snowbird sweater in ten freakin' days. But I did. The photo above was taken in Iain's family's backyard the day before I left. Of all the sweaters I made this year, I wear this one the most, though I am quite embarrassed to say that I have still not woven in all the ends. 

I knit this Streamside cardigan in Los Angeles, where - in Iain's absence - I discovered the amazing time suck that is Netflix instant streaming and figured out how to use a remote control on my camera and take photos of myself, myself. I'm so productive when my boyfriend is in another country. 

I never posted about this but this also happened, I swear! I designed it myself and it mostly came out the way I imagined, but it needs a button or something. I have vague plans of fine tuning this and making it into a real pattern, but they're pretty vague. I count this as fulfilling my New Year's resolution because I did wear it out in public once or twice, but it was definitely not my most satisfying knit. 

I liked my first Cecily Macdonald Glowick sweater so much that I made a Goodale too, out of the madtosh pashima that never became a February Lady sweater, and finished it right before we left for Peru. I'm not a huge fan of this sweater. It hangs funny, and I know I keep saying I'll fix it, but I don't really know when that will be. Can't argue with the color, though - yay, Tart! 

Are you seeing sort of a theme with these poses? I have no idea what this pose is - maybe I'm so busy admiring my handiwork I can't be bothered to look at the camera? If I was on America's Next Top Model, the judges would totally mock me for my lack of posing ferocity and I'd be eliminated right away. In any case. Boe was a test knit for the amazingly talented Anke, and I absolutely love it, even though finishing it in Peru meant that I was't really able to wear it in the weather there. Also, I started knitting it in San Francisco on the BART train, and then I dropped the ball and it rolled down the aisles and under seats right as the door to my stop opened and I had to run after it, and it was one of those really frantic moments when I'm pretty sure I looked like a colossal idiot to everyone else on the train. The photo is from our host family's house in Peru, which was still being built. Our lovely host mother told it me was muy linda, and I felt really special. 

The other Peru sweater and probably my favorite of the whole year - a Tea Leaves cardigan in the most beautiful yarn on the planet. Iain took these photos of me in front of an Inca wall, which is probably way cooler than the sweater itself. 

So those were the sweaters of 2011! (I also started this Acer cardigan, but it quickly fell by the wayside when we started backpacking - there was no way I could cram a sweater's worth of yarn into our already crammed full shared rucksack.) In general, they weren't really as satisfying as the sweaters of the year before. So many short sleeved projects made me feel like I was cheating (plus I can't really wear them now that I'm finally in sweater weather), and I'm kind of meh on most of them. Next year I think I just need to make a few long sleeved, worsted weight cardigans that button all the way up that I can actually wear, especially since it's looking like I'll be living someplace cold. 

When I wasn't knitting sweaters, though, I was designing! I published four patterns this year, which doesn't sound like a lot but there was a lot of behind the scenes knitting and unknitting and things that never became patterns, so it did suck up a fair bit of time. The first pattern, published in early January, was Thisbe, above. 

This pattern was actually published in an actual, real-live magazine, and I am so lame about blogging while traveling that I never actually blogged about it until now. SO LAME, I know. And now that issue is long off the shelves. But in any case, these Ivonne mitts appeared in the second issue of the UK magazine Knit Now, and despite my relative radio silence on the matter in blog form, it was one of the most exciting moments in knitting I've ever had, as well as the one that reassured my father, who I was living with at the time, that all that time I spent knitting and vacantly watching Netflix instant streaming was, in fact, productive.  It is worth noting that the photo above is actually my submission picture and that the thumbs have changed, and also that I think I'll be able to sell the pattern myself eventually, so if you like it, you're in luck! 

The other thing I spent a good amount of time working on this summer was this Phaedra hat. Yay, things with leaves. 

And finally, there was Naiya, a free alpaca cowl pattern I managed to write in Peru, mostly because I wanted an excuse to use my pretty skein of squishy alpaca yarn from Cusco. And that's it, for 2011! If I didn't have as many satisfying FOs as I would have liked, it's only because I was too busy traveling or designing, and I can't complain about any of that. If you like any of these patterns, use the coupon code happy2012 before January 2nd on Ravelry to get 25% off any pattern! Except for the free ones, because they're already free. Happy knitting, and goodbye to an awesome year! 


  1. what a beautiful woolen year !

  2. It's such a treat to see/read your recap and to be able to admire all your beautiful handiwork. I love your photos (looking down and all) and am in awe of all the wonderful FOs you accomplished in 2011. Happy 2012!

    1. Thank you so much! Happy 2012 to you too, I look forward to seeing what you knit :)