Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Trying new things

I'm dreaming kind of large for my knitting in 2006 -- challenging myself to try new things in my knitting. So I've been writing up a set of knitting goals for the year. I decided to share them here because I'm sure a little Gentle Prodding will be required later in the year:
  • One - knit at least 2 sweaters creatively, without a pattern
  • Two - knit, finish and wear at least 2 sweaters for myself (meaning.. don't allow the sweater to linger in the nearly-finished state for months or years). This is where I think the Prodding might come in.
  • Three - learn what modifications to make to make sweaters that fit me. It's not just sizing up -- I'm pretty sure I could use some shortrows?
  • Four - Use my knitting library for inspiration and education towards more independent knitting, not just as a dragonish Hoard.
  • Five - finish Master Knitter Level I before June
  • Six - visit other SF Bay knitting groups beyond my local SnB and Knitting Meetup.
  • Seven - knit more from stash -- some of that yarn is feeling pretty unloved and I miss it, too.
  • Eight - shoot and manage my own knitting photos
Big dreams, as I said. Some of them feel a little outside my reach, but I'm looking for ways to break out of a set of habits I seem stuck in. In 2006, I want to stretch a little. So I'm plunging right in this month.

Let's start with : visiting other knitting groups and managing my own phoots. Here's a shot of me knitting with the San Mateo Knitters. The group meets every other Wednesday and has a Yahoo group to keep in contact. I got to knit with sis-in-lawwizknitter and made excellent progress on my Sideways Sock Yarn Baby Sweater. And I invented a new outfit to wear with my beloved swirled Koigu hat.

And as you can see.. I posted the photo to my new Flickr account. It's kinda rough taking on the photo management & my transition to flickr is not complete. Working on it, though. The librarian in me loves the way Flickr relies on tags to connect my shared photos to other people's photos with the same tags. I've been working up a controlled vocabulary to use for tagging. I'm really surprised I can't find one to lift from some other knitting/cataloging geek. If anyone finds a set of flickr tags you like for knitting, please let me know!

Ok, onward. Last Monday, I got turned on to "Knitting from the Top" by Barbara Walker by the topic at our knitting guild meeting. Hey, wasn't that a goal? Yup, knitting creatively without a pattern!

Diana taught our new South Bay TKGA guild how to make knit-in set in sleeves. I really loved both the technique and the yarn I choose to knit my sample in. I've got some decisions to make to get this sweater to fit any actual child, but I think it just might work. And if I've got the proportions wrong, I will rip this little test out and try again with a raglan shape. Love the colors, love the yarn, love the independence of making my own decisions.

And finally.. knitting from stash. I've been digging into my knitting library for inspiration and randomly choose Zoe Mellor's book "50 Baby Bootees to Knit". So I knit one -- from stash! Although I was tempted to use about 10 little strands for intarsia star motif, I ended up blazing through with 2 strands of each color. I like the results much better than I expected.
Alert readers will have noticed the two goals I haven't yet tangled with: knitting for me and the dang Master Knitter thing. I guess those must be the scary ones. Time will tell.


Anonymous jeni said...

Looks like you off to a great start! I'm looking forward to seeing that top-down sweater, I love the colorway.

January 24, 2006 6:54 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Great goals! They should keep you pretty challanged for 2006.

January 24, 2006 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Cookie said...

Excellent goals! I'm moving over to Flickr as well. So far I love the ease of it! Are these knit in set-in sleeves the same as in Knitting Without Tears, or is it different? I tried those once, and they fit a little weird.

January 24, 2006 10:34 AM  
Blogger Abigail said...

I need to do number 3 also. My top down cardigan was a lesson in that. It's still not finished and I have a feeling that when it is, it won't hang right on me because I too could use some strategically placed short rows.

If you find a class on "designing sweaters with strategically placed short rows" let me know. ;)

January 24, 2006 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoa! Quite an list of projects! If anyone can do it, you can! I'm going to have to break up my year of sock making by doing some little "things" in between. You may be getting more dishcloths. I just finished Adam's socks-he may not get them until his birthday. Next I think I'll make Shirley's. Mom

January 25, 2006 11:20 AM  
Blogger Wiz Knitter said...

For short row shaping ideas, White Lies Designs are pretty good. That's kind of what Joan is known for. Might be worth studying a couple of her patterns to get a sense of it.

Repeat after me, knitters: "I will occasionally knit something for me."

January 26, 2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

What a cute bootee! I almost bought that book in Saratoga last year. Thanks for the report on my bag, too!

Hey, are you a librarian too? Where do you work?

January 26, 2006 7:12 PM  

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