I know it's a little late for a Year in Review. What can I say, we've been a bit distracted round here.
We're night-weaning Eden. Hopes for unbroken nights of sleep glimmer before us like heat on the highway, but right now we're in a black comedy of midnight bed-hopping, 2am buttered toast, and morning tea at 5:15. Robby looks ashen (sorry, sweetie). I don't know how I look because I gave up looking in the mirror around the time we night-weaned Emmet (he's six now), but I'm sure it's not good.
Back to the year in review. Hmm...There's been plenty of introspection here, deep gratitude and uncomfortable truths. It has been an unforgetable year in all senses. But, you know, tonight I'm going to keep it simple and write about something from this year that gave me pure, unalloyed joy: knitting.
Knitting, I love you. You do it all. You calm my nerves without side effects. You clothe my family in warmth and color. You afford me the joy of small, secret yarn purchases before picking up the kids from Grandma's. You satisfy my need to be productive even when sitting on the couch watching Downton Abbey. Thank you, knitting! I really don't know what I'd do without you.
I knit all the time and pretty much anywhere, including at stoplights. If I pass a day without having a knitting project to pick up, I feel noticeably adrift. The only time I don't feel like knitting is when I'm really sick. This is how I know I should be in bed. No desire to knit? Time for bedrest.
When I find a pattern that I like, I tend to knit it several times. I like to get to know it from all sides: I try different yarns and make little changes in the pattern to see what happens. I also like repeating patterns because I start to memorize them and can refer less often to the pattern, which is helpful for someone who knits while nursing and reading picture books aloud.
Here are some of my beloved patterns from last year:
(All links are to patterns on Ravelry, a free networking site for fiber folk. You can find me on Ravelry here.)
Taking the award for most frequently knitted is the Quynn hat. I made this hat for my three children, my friend's child, my brother, my sister and myself. It's easy, satsifying and really cute. And it keeps your ears warm. My favorite iteration (first, below), for a sweet birthday girl, made use of many of my odds and ends and leftover bits to create the candy-colored stripes.
I also spent a lot of time with the Greyhaven Cowl, making it four times and loving it more each time. This pattern taught me to knit lace. I started out with stitch markers between each repeat of the lace pattern, holding on for dear life. On the second go, I decided to forgo the markers and found it easier to see the pattern and intuitively find my way through.
This pattern, I really, truly love. The Griffin is a totally clever and snappy vest for kids that features one of my favorite yarns, Kureyon by Noro. Delightful knitting, with new colors always coming along to keep you interested.
I entered the cold of November with matching Lyalya balaclava hats for the boys. (Which was nothing compared to my friend who knitted one for each of her three children and their dolls!)
And for myself...
As I assemble these photos, I remember not only the joy of finishing these projects and seeing them worn, but the times and places in which I was knitting. The Madigan on the road to California, the Lyalyas on the tarp at co-op day, the first Griffin in the spring, obsessively knitting after bedtime. It's all in there, wrapped in the stitches. What riches! It's been a great year.