Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Knitting Year, 2004


Here's the promised summary of the year...

We're off to the country today, so silence falls until later in the week. No computer there, the Debbie Bliss "Maya" ribwarmer to knit.

The Year's Knitting

This is my NINTH annual summary of the year's knitting. The previous ones have been posted to the Knitlist (and also printed and saved), but I think my discursive style is better suited to this medium than to the new, leaner, fitter Knitlist.

I bought or was given 52 balls or skeins of yarn this year, and knit or gave away 102 -- a personal best. You wouldn't think it to look in the cupboard. I was surprised to note that the yarn-out total is divided precisely equally: 51 knit, 51 given away.

I own 22 pairs of unknit socks. There's one (just started) on the needles,of course. I finished only four pairs this year. I realised, belatedly, only this year that Stahl, the makers of Socka Colors, have merged with someone with the result that the dark, manly variegated Socka Color shades I love are for the most part available no longer. I put out an appeal on the Knitlist and acquired some skeins by purchase or exchange, and others as gifts from dear friends. Some of my acquisitions are only two balls each, and I prefer to knit gents' socks long in the leg, which requires half of a third ball. So some people will have to have toes of a different color, from the oddball bag. The current pair, for Grandson Thomas the Elder, will be such a pair, of a gorgeous dark bronze Lang Jawoll yarn.

This was the year of Koigu, for me, and of Elizabeth Zimmermann, in particular Elizabeth's Percentage System (EPS), the system she devised devised for constructing a sweater.

Stash Reduction

A Dr Who scarf of Shetland jumper-weight oddballs

A "shape-it" scarf for myself from "The Knit Stitch" by Sally Melville, of some very old yarn called Jaeger "Winter Ribbon". Love the scarf.

The "Round Trip" jacket in Noro Kureyon, from the pattern in Knitter's Magazine, Fall, 2003. The yarn was bought in November, 2003 so only just qualifies as "stash" -- the technical definition of which is, any yarn owned and not on the needles on the night of 31 December/January 1 of any year.

A moebius scarf for myself in luscious alpaca from Honey Lane Farms (www.honeylanefarms,com), a gift from Gail Roger in 2003.

A striped Koigu sweater for my grandson James, from my extensive Koigu stash. The pattern is on my website,

A shawl for (as it proved) my new grandson Thomas the Younger, of Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace in the shade "Watercolour". This project involved finishing a whole skein of Helen's Lace -- a serious achievement. I did that in 2003, too.

A striped Koigu sweater for nephew Theo, from my extensive Koigu stash. EPS.

A striped Koigu, sort of a scaled-down version of Theo;s, for grandson Mungo, because he admired Theo's in the making. Another EPS. Finished on the last day of the old year.

Stash Reduction in Progress

I'm working on a Fair Isle jacket for daughter Rachel from my extensive Shetland jumper-weight stash.

Yarn Bought Within the Year and Promptly Knit

The Harmony jacket, a Candace Eisner Strick design from I did it in a child's size to enter in the "child's cardigan" class in the Home Industries Tent at the Strathardle Highland Gathering in August. I thought I was guaranteed a gold, but it was unplaced. My family still think I wuz robbed, but that's because they are admiring the pattern rather than judging the knitting. It fit granddaughter Rachel fine, and she seems to like it.

The "striped fringe" scarf from a recent issue of Interweave Knits -- Winter '03? The yarn is Louet Gems Merino, the same as the Harmony jacket... I used leftovers from both to knit a Baby Surprise for grandson Thomas the Younger.

A Wonderful Wallaby for grandson Fergus in some Rowan 4-ply Soft which I bought in the summer in the Liberty sale. The design had to be re-thought for the finer yarn, and once I had the wallaby pouch finished I abandoned the pattern altogether and retreated to EPS.

Prompt Knitting in Progress

I fell for some Debbie Bliss "Maya" in November, a month when my resolve is at its lowest. It's currently my country knitting, taking shape as an EZ ribwarmer.

Stash Enhancement

Two skeins of Lorna's Laces "Helen's Lace" in the shade "Pioneer". I intended it for Thomas the Younger's shawl, but decided it was too gloomy for baby-wear. It's a wonderful shade, though, so I hope I'll knit it this year.



  1. Hi Jean

    It's nice to read of all your knitting adventures here on your blog. I enjoyed your comment on the Knitlist that you did not enjoy the non-symetry in the Starmore design you were currently working on and ripped the thing. Hope your ribwarmer is progressing well at this point, and Happy New Year!

  2. Anonymous12:56 PM

    Honey Lane Farms has some nice alpaca. I was in Friday Harbor this summer and I resisted buying their alpaca but I bought one of their scarf patterns. At that time I was deluded that I had enough stash and I wouldn't buy yarn until I cut my stash down considerably. That promise held until I moved to England.

    Julianne in Chester