2018: The Year of the Sweater

As I embark on a new year of knitting and spinning, I am slowly letting go of some habits I acquired last year.

For the entire year, I was knitting to deadline. Every month I cast on, knit, and bound off a Honey Cowl. It has taken a couple of weeks to let go of that sense of the need to maintain a certain pace. Now I can relax into the feel of a yarn and the rhythm of a pattern. The yarn from Uist Wool that I’m knitting with now is textured and rugged. It doesn’t slip easily through my fingers. When I pay attention to the yarn and go a little slower, I enjoy the knitting more.

When I was knitting gifts for students, I learned to keep my knitting out of sight at school. Now, a knitting project sits on my desk at school more often than not. When I need to take a step back from the demands of my day, when I need a little perspective, I knit for a couple of minutes. It’s restorative, the equivalent of taking a few deep breaths.

Dreaming about my fiber pursuits in 2018, I feel like a kid in a candy store. There is so much to choose from, so many different things I want to try, so much more to learn. There are books to read, swatches to make, fiber to card and spin, KALs to join, Instagram challenges, sweaters and shawls and socks and baby things to knit. It’s all so enticing. Given that there are only twenty-four hours in a day, however, I’ve made a few choices.

For me, 2018 is going to be the year of the sweater. As I thought about what I most wanted to make next, sweaters rose to the top. I want to make some useful, wearable, attractive garments–and learn a few new techniques along the way. My goal is four sweaters, one of which will be a sweater vest. I am not holding myself to this goal; it’s just something to aim for. Here are the sweaters I have in mind:

  1. Lovage. I’ve knit almost ten inches of the body of this sweater. I love the look and feel of the 4 x 4 rib.

2. Cockatoo Brae. Started a long, long time ago. I’m really looking forward to knitting and wearing this sweater.

3. Lopi sweater made from wool I bought in Iceland last summer. I have a number of patterns I’m considering, but I’m drawn to the idea of designing the yoke myself.

4. A button-up sweater vest. This will be made from the yarn I’m spinning from Bloomers, the Jacob Sheep.

Along with the sweaters, I plan on knitting more socks and more baby things. And I’d like to finish the Nordic Wind shawl I’m knitting from some of my first handspun. I’ll need to spin more fiber to make it as big as I want it to be.

I’ll be continuing to spin the fiber from Yellow House Cheese, as well as the remaining Jacob fiber. I’ll spin what else I need for the shawl. And then I’ve got a Shetland and a Gotland fleece to scour, prep, and spin…plenty there to keep me treadling and learning at my wheel.

Here’s to a woolly 2018! Alons-y!

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