Tuesday, January 05, 2016

A First FO and Looking Ahead

Things are now back to normal, sadly. I'm already missing vacation, but it's also good to be back in my own bed and surrounded by my stash.

We got home at midday on Saturday, and after I unpacked everyone and got through all the mail, I managed to get over to my LYS for a bit, as I do most Saturdays. It was great to see everyone and catch up, and I also finished my colorwork cowl while I was there (not a hard thing to do, as I only had half a round to finish grafting)! Here it was fresh off the needles, with my LYS's table full of yarn as a backdrop:

It's now been blocked and is awaiting its photo shoot so I can finish up the last pieces of the pattern. With any luck, I'll be able to do all that this coming weekend so I can get it in layout and send it to my tech editor.

As it's the beginning of the new year and the time of year when a lot of people are making resolutions, I thought I'd set out a few goals and aspirations for my knitting and designing for 2016. I don't really like to make resolutions because they're usually broken within a few weeks, but goals and general themes for the year seem more reasonable and more likely to actually be accomplished. So here is what I'm thinking for the year ahead:
  • I am planning on keeping up with my designing, but I'm going to try to be a bit more reasonable about the number of patterns I hope to publish. I still can't believe that I met my goal of 17 for 2015, and I very much doubt I can do it again, so I'm setting a more reasonable goal of 12 for this year. That's one a month, and considering that two are already with third-party publishers, I'd say that's very achievable.
  • As a subset of those 12 patterns, I'm hoping to publish a collection of patterns around a particular theme. This has been an idea I've been kicking around for quite some time, and I already have some notes and ideas written down. I need to flesh out the ideas a bit more, do some swatching, and solicit some yarn support to get this moving. Ideally, I'd release this collection in the fall/early winter, so that gives me most of the year to get it done.
  • More generally, I really want to make a concerted effort to knit/spin down the stash this year. I won't even bother to try to knit or spin up my stash entirely, because I'm fairly certain that I've reached the SABLE stage, but I'd like to at least knit up yarn that I bought with specific patterns in mind years ago and that has been sitting in the stash unloved ever since. I won't say that I won't buy any yarn in the coming year (I might have to for some design purposes, for instance, and I'm still planning to go to MDSW), but I'm going to try to use stash yarn first. The same goes for my fiber stash. I have a ton of unspun fiber, including two fleeces and remnants of a third, and while it's doing a great job as insulation, there's no reason not to spin it. I'm still in one fiber club that's ongoing, but I'm going to try not to buy any more fiber until I've got the fiber stash under control.
  • I'm hoping to keep up with my blogging schedule. I've gotten into a fairly good rhythm with it and put up three posts a week (about mainly knitting on Tuesdays and Thursdays and about spinning on Sundays). While I know I'll likely adjust the schedule from time to time, keeping those regular days on my mental checklist helps me to stay accountable to myself in a sense. 
    While some of you might say it's cheating, I did bring home some new yarn from my LYS on Saturday (I'd say technically I hadn't yet stated my intention to knit down my stash, so it's kosher). This is for my first sweater of the new year, Jennifer Dassau's Evenlight, and it's Blue Moon Fiber Arts Targhee Worsted in the colorway Deep Unrelenting Gray (a fabulous colorway name, isn't it?).

    I swatched on Sunday night and washed it yesterday, but it looks like I'm going to need to swatch again with a larger needle, a US 8, specifically. That's several sizes larger than I usually use, so if it works, the sweater will likely fly off the needles. (Or at least I hope so -- it's been cold here and I wouldn't mind another layer!)

    1 comment:

    1. Hoping this will be one of those new patterns for 2016. I've been meaning to try colorwork and this likes like a fairly easy introduction to that, plus I like the cowl.