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Looking Back: A Productive Year
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Looking Back: A Productive Year

2006 has been a good year – a highlight year that I will remember always. I made changes in my life that I am proud of – finishing graduate school, and finally making a positive change for my health. Throughout this year, I have also worked hard on my craft: I have become a better knitter with each project, and hope to continue this path into 2007.

Elizabeth posted this interesting questionnaire, reflecting back on her knitting this year. I enjoyed reading her answers, so I thought I would give it a go as well ;)

  • What is your absolute favorite project you've ever knit (one that fulfilled both process and product)?

My Lace Knee Highs. That was a complete process knit. They took me several months to finish, and I am so darn proud of that lace. There are no mistakes, as I fixed them as I went along. I wear the socks often, and love them more and more. I find myself just staring at them when I wear them.

Lace (Not So) Knee Highs Lace (Not So) Knee Highs Lace (Not-So) Knee Highs Done!
  • Which of your handknits do you wear the most often?

Socks and scarves. I wear my socks several times a week – probably wearing my Heelless Sleeping Socks the most of all. I also wear my scarves nearly every day in the winter. My favorites from 2006? My Noro Transitions cowl, and my Multidirectional Scarf. The sweater I wear the most? Probably Cherie – she is new, but matches so many things in my wardrobe!

Trekking #108 Socks Full Frontal Noro Transitions Cowl Scarf knotted in front Cherie on Me
  • What was your favorite gift to knit?

I have knit several gifts this year, and I enjoyed them all so much because I used that craft time to think about the person I was making it for, so there is no favorite. I started the year off with a sweater for Kris, then made a shrug for my sister, some socks for my mom, a tank for my other sister, and then loads of Christmas goodies that you can't see quite yet… now I think my dad needs a handknit…

Raglan Cardigan with Zipper One Skein Wonder Mom's Socks Ballet Camisole
  • Which of your handknits are gathering dust your closet?

No knits made in 2006 are gathering dust in my closet (anymore… see next question). However, there are some 2005 knits that I am planning to rip. They are too big for me now, and I realize that I could reuse the yarn to make a much better garment. Klaralund was a favorite of mine, but it does not fit right now, and would serve me much better in another form. My Balmoral cardigan was an ambitious project for a beginning knitter, and it shows. While the cardigan still fits (when I cinch the waist cords) it is poorly constructed. I used one of my favorite yarns for it (Dale of Norway Sisik) and I can use the recycled yarn for another knit.

  • Which of your handknits have you gotten rid of?

In August 2006, I ripped two sweaters that were "gathering dust" in my closet. Both no longer fit me, and I wanted to reuse the lovely yarns. I ripped my Hourglass sweater, only completed in February 2006, and worn on a few occasions. My Tempting sweater was second on the list to rip, finished in spring 2005. As stated above, more ripping is probably on the way…

  • If you've knit socks, what is your favorite pattern?

I have knit 10 pairs of socks – and 4 of them have used the same pattern: a FiberTrends pattern called "Hellen's Favorite Socks". It is easy and customizable, and well-suited for handpainted and self-striping yarns. As a whole, my favorite patterns are ones from Nancy Bush's book – specifically Knitting Vintage Socks, Knitting on the Road, and Folk Socks. I have only made one pair of Nancy Bush socks thus far, but have two more of her patterns on the needles now…

  • What would you like to make in 2007?

The list is long. I have a lot of yarn, and many projects floating in my head. Specifically, I want to make more socks – doing something similar to Sundara's Master Study on Nancy Bush patterns. I would also like to learn more about lace, as I have very little experience, and possibly cast on for my first lace shawl. I also want to continue work in cables and colorwork, making sweaters, mittens, and socks with these features.

Norwegian Stockings Ene's Scarf Patons' Classic Hoodie Greek Mittens
  • What have you learned about your craft in 2006?

Taking the time to do a nice finishing job – it is totally worth it every time. Soaking, blocking, air drying, meticulous seaming… The knitting can be beautiful, and then ruined by shoddy finishing… with each knit, I am getting better.

  • What events/sites have you particularly enjoyed in the blogosphere in 2006?

The highlights of my year were definitely Project Spectrum, and Socktoberfest. I was absolutely thrilled that so many of you (thousands!) joined me for those fun events and projects. Thank you so much for making them so special! So much creativity, and so much beauty! It was a real pleasure, and I am thinking about what the next year holds for both of them…. stay tuned. I have also taken part in some fun knitalongs, like Summer of Stash, the Summer of Socks, Trek Along with Me, as well as NaKniSweMo and Norovember. These were fun ideas, and I actually produced something to show for it!

If 2006 is any indication… 2007 is going to be a banner year! :)

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38 Responses

  1. hpny knits

    a wonderful idea looking back. I have started a similar thing here- I call it: clean up the UFO and flash the FO.
    I love many items on your to do list. looking forward to see them materialise.

  2. maryse

    a great questionnaire but i couldn’t even begin to respond. i did enjoy reading your answers though.

  3. Dana

    What a well written overview of 2006! You are talented!

  4. Mintyfresh

    You really did have a good 2006. I fear my answers to the questionnaire would be quite lame.

  5. margene

    You knit so many wonderful projects this year Lolly and it’s very smart of you to reknit the projects that didn’t work. It was a banner year, in large part because of you and PS. Next year is bound to be a banner year in Blogland.

  6. Sarah

    Wow, you managed to fit a ridiculously productive year into that beautifully succint post. You know, for most people, having just managed Socktoberfest would have been enough — but you managed to do that and Project Spectrum, plus do all that knitting. I’m impressed!

    I’ve been reading your blog since Socktoberfest and I always enjoy it — thanks!

  7. Dorothy B

    A very beautiful knit of a year. I’m learning about the finishing properly too. I’m hoping to have all that down before I begin sweater knitting. Probably won’t though.

  8. Jennifer

    You had a very successful year of knits! Next year should be very fruitful as well.

  9. bySarah

    Cool questionnaire Lolly!
    I hope my 2007 is half as productive as your 2006…and that I actually get to chat with you at knitknite one of these days!

  10. heather

    wow now that is a productive year! i loved seeing all your projects all over again.

  11. Stacey

    What a great year……it’s fun to look back and see what great things you’ve accomplished!

  12. Janet

    I love your retrospective here! You’ve done SO MUCH knitting this year in addition to all the other things you had going on — proof that one MAKES time for her passion!

  13. Claudia

    Great questionaaire – and great answers.

    I too have been realizing that it’s all in the finishing. Unfortunately this is the least talked about issue within knitting. We all discuss yarns and patterns and stitches, but rarely how to sew in seams, where to start sewing, how to block, etc. I have looked for books about it and found a couple but still unsatisfying. Lolly (or anyone?), is there any you recommend?

    Thanks Lolly, for the inspiration and motivation you have provided me all this past year! :-)

  14. gleek

    you did have quite the year! i can remember it all now through your answers to these questions. what a nice way to look back on it all :)

  15. Jody

    You have made so many gorgeous things this year! Isn’t is fun to look back and remember all the knits you’ve done?

    I think I’ll answer the questions for myself!

  16. AmyDe

    What a great review! You are so right about finishing. While working at the shop we offer finishing/seaming classes that no one ever wants to take, but then they gripe and complain and are generally dissatisfied with their sweaters because of shoddy finishing. Maybe I’ll put “make finishing tutorials” on my 2007 list.


  17. Leslie

    I loved reading this!!! And I’m totally with you on improving the discipline it takes to make the finishing as fine as the knitting! :)

  18. Amber

    What a wonderful post! Thank you for the link to Sundara’s Master Study for socks. What a wonderful idea! I may have to do that as well. :)

  19. Jenna

    It’s so fun to look back and see your body of work and progress from this year. You’ve made so many great projects, you should be very proud. I was thinking about doing something like this, as I did one last year.
    I hope your knitting in 07 goes to even greater heights!

  20. Elizabeth

    I’m so glad you did this meme – I really enjoyed reading your answers. Enjoy the rest of 2006 and happy knitting in 2007!

  21. catrin

    A Merry Christmas to you and Kris! Take Care!

  22. Amy

    What a great recap of the year in knit – looking forward to seeing how 2007 knits up for you! :)

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  23. KellyFaith

    You had a GREAT year. I just started knitting December of last year and, so far, I have yet to knit anything for myself. If only my friends would stop having those babies, then maybe I could knit something more adult….maybe even something for myself for a change! Anyway, I am impressed with the amount of knitting you completed this year. You are an inspiration.

  24. elizabeth

    Wow, Lolly, you’ve knit so much this year. I can’t wait to see what you knit in 2007!

  25. Lain

    Love the idea of this questionnaire! I will be doing one of these. Great answers… and LOVE the lace knee-highs!

  26. Lain

    Just had to say again… congrats on your weight loss! And I love looking at your list of things to knit… I need to do that, too. :)
    I can tell you are an information sciences specialist… :)

  27. tiennie

    Oh, sorry to do this to you but you’ve been tagged! Read my blog for more info!

  28. Leah

    I love the list! It’s great to get a reflection on what you did this year! I may just steal it myself!

  29. sydney

    Great list! You should be very proud of yourself. I could do a better job of finishing too. I know how to do, it’s just that I don’t often take the time I need to take.

  30. Nora

    You’ve created some beautiful pieces. You ought to be proud… x

  31. Amy

    You truly were productive. You’ve inspired me to figure out what I’ve knit this year. And uh… maybe, possibly finish some stuff, too.

  32. cairi

    You have been tagged |I want to know 6 weird things about you!

  33. mrspao

    Great meme – congratulations on all that knitting and weight loss in 2006.

  34. Nonnahs

    Wow, it must be really gratifying to be able to look back at all you’ve accomplished (knitting-and-other-wise) over the past year. I don’t feel as though I’ve been nearly as productive, but I have high hopes for next year!

  35. Kate

    Not at all related to this post, but I saw this recipe and thought of your earlier post about pomegranates – http://cupcakeblog.com/index.php/2006/12/pomegranate-grapefruit-cupcakes/

  36. Kim H.

    I’m a new reader and so enjoy your blog. I am losing weight too, and in response to what keeps you motivated, I had a couple tips that have helped me: only eat what you LOVE, period. Although not always possible, I do the best I can at this. I find if I enjoy my meals and planned snacks more, I’m less likely to want to munch elsewhere. When I am having a particularly hard day and can tell I will have the munchies, I microwave a bag of 98% fat free kettle corn to leave out in a bowl. Also, try to eat something every 3 hours. This has dramatically helped me. I eat an apple, string cheese, veggies, whatever, and the cravings have been reduced dramatically. Thanks to everyone who left comments. They really helped me. To 2007!

  37. Zarah

    2006 was exciting for me too – my first fiber festival, my first time to visit DC, and I got to meet the famous LOLLY! =)
    You have made some really beautiful things this year, and you’ve inspired all of us with your wonderful ideas and writing. Keep it up! Merry Christmas!

  38. Jessica

    I ripped my tempting sweater too. Something about the off-the-shoulder and the bow looked so appealing, but never quite fit into my lifestyle. :)

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