Year-End Review

Last Wednesday, July 15, 2015, marked the one year anniversary of my second yarn fast. Thursday, I skipped town in favor of a new life. Just kidding! I took the family on vacation. I didn’t end up meeting my goals because I am still working on the Jade colored blanket for Miss Matilda, which would be my twelfth project for the year.

A lot has happened over the last 12 months: I’ve redirected my career path a time or two, had to make some unfortunately necessary (and costly) home repairs, and set my sights on moving away. The last year has been unpredictable and, maybe, something I needed. It has also been hard and emotionally draining for a number of reasons, the first being stuck in a house I hate, in a town I’ve outgrown. I’ve lost direction and motivation in my knitting and taken too much time on singular projects, though that’s normal, considering.

For me, knitting is emotional. I always tell people the more stressed I am, the more projects pop up. When the knitting stops, take notice because that’s a bad thing. But the knitting never really stopped, it just slowed down. A lot. The Rusty Venture took an agonizing amount of time to finish and, though I have theories, I’ll just leave the “why” a mystery.

I don’t feel like a failure because I still didn’t buy or obtain any more yarn. In fact, I managed to organize all my yarn, including the dreaded acrylic stuff. More than likely, I’ll see if my kids’ elementary school could use the yarn. Otherwise, I will be making some very interesting blankets and afghans.

Aside from not meeting my item goals, I’d say this year-long yarn fast was a success, on the most basic level. I will be thrifty in my future purchases. I have 3,000 yds. of fingering weight yarn to buy for another Husband sweater, and I have to decide on a sweater coat to make, then I have to buy that yarn. It turns out, my trend is to lust after items using way more yardage than I’m used to buying at one time. Ok, that’s kind of not true. I’ve purchased, maybe, three or four bags (10 skeins/hanks) of yarn at a time but, painfully, I don’t have enough of any of it since I’ve partially used those bags for other projects. Ok, that’s not quite true, either. I have one bag of Cascade 220 Heather I could use for a sweater coat but I’m not sure the cabling would be seen through the heather. Maybe I’m just being a a big old baby and I should just suck it up and make the coat out of the stuff I have. But I DEFINITELY have to buy new yarn for the 3,000 yd. Husband sweater. It is a FACT I don’t have enough of any single color of fingering weight yarn to make that sweater.

To be honest, I enjoy the task of using only the yarn I have. It presents a unique challenge. It becomes more than what I WANT to make because the I WANT mentality got me into this mess. Let’s be honest, I buy yarn because it’s pretty and I have no idea what I plan on knitting, but I must have it. Gross, I know, but true. Transitioning from what new things I could make with new fictitious yarn to making something from yarn and patterns I already have is refreshing. I get to ransack my pattern collection, and, surprisingly, see how Ravelry breaks down the categories in their database. For instance, I have a great sweater coat pattern that is listed as a cardigan, not a coat. Interesting.

Another fun challenge is resisting the urge to stripe. I’m not against stripes. In fact, adding stripes to a basic garment is fun, but some patterns were not meant to stripe. And, so far, I’ve managed to resist striping, altogether. I think, Maybe I could, then I think, I could find something better matched, and the search continues. I might be anti-stripe, but I’ve recently been daydreaming of a grey and red number that makes me smile. I just need to figure out the shape.

I hope I don’t have another yarn fast in my future. I think a knitting challenge is in order, at some point. I’m pretty sure, with some careful planning, I’d be able to out knit my previous record of 17 completed projects in one calendar year. In the future, though. I need a break. I need to remember what it’s like to knit for fun. What it feels like to get bored and cast on another project, maybe four or five, with the complete understanding that they will all get done in due time.

I have a baby blanket to finish, and a few more in the queue. I must go.

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