2018 in the rear view mirror
One of the innumerable reasons I love Ravelry is that it gives me a way to keep track of project details—what, when, how much yarn, for who, and because I have access to that data set, I can look back on the year to look for trends, look for gaps, and imagine what direction I want to take in the new year.
Here’s what 2018 looked like:
11 adult sweaters
5 kids’ sweaters
3 adult vests
2 kids’ dresses
1 pair socks
1 pair mitts
Of the 43 items, all but the throw were started and finished this year. (The throw was started in August of 2014, bringing down the overall average completion time by juuuuuust a little!) (Looking at my phone photos, it looks like there were a few projects I missed logging; further sleuthing may be needed.)
In the shop, we brought in Berroco, Blue Sky Fibers, Knitted Wit, Knitterly Things, and Earl Grey Fiber Arts, along with many new yarns from companies we were already working with.
And we held 22 project classes, in addition to weekly Beginning Knitting sessions, twice-weekly Social Stitching, and a number of informal knitalongs.
All in all, a good year of stitching with great fibers and good friends!
Just a pile of Malabrigo. (Mostly the super squishy Worsted, with a little bit of Lace and Caracol.) Some Rios and Rasta (plus a little more worsted) are on the way.
Sirdar makes some of the nicest easy-care baby yarns out there, and we just received Crofter DK, Rascal, and some solid Snuggly in the sport/DK range, along with Baby Blossom DK, and Baby Blossom Chunky (including several colors that don’t feature pink in the self-patterning “flower” portion). Sirdar is also the distributor for West Yorkshire Spinners, so we also restocked a few colors of The Croft (a great speckled worsted weight sweater yarn) and the two Christmas colors of their self-patterning sock yarn (Holly Berry, and Fairy Lights).
One of my core beliefs is that we are all connected. This takes so many different forms, and part of my experience as a shop owner is being part of a community of store owners who only rarely get to meet face-to-face—maybe at a trade show, perhaps on a stolen vacation, occasionally after retirement. We form real friendships, celebrate one another’s successes, brainstorm about tough problems, and extend a hand when someone needs encouragement.
A few days ago, Lisa, of One City Market in Rogersville, Missouri, shared some thoughts on New Year’s “yarn diets” on her shop’s Facebook page. She spoke to the effects of those sentiments on shop owners, but also had some thoughtful ideas about the role of shops in creating community, and about how craft is an expression of a joyful life. Responses to her post were generous and open-hearted, and customers who came into her shop the following day hatched the #loveyourLYS2019 hashtag.
Read Lisa’s post here, and if you spot the hashtag online—on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, now you’ll know how it started.
Now, let’s get to making stuff!
Black Tea Mitts
Earlier in the fall, I made Thea Colman’s Black Tea hat for my son’s friend, and I wanted to make coordinating mitts as a holiday gift. Since a pattern doesn’t exist from Thea’s own pen, I used the World’s Simplest Mitten pattern (which we’ll be using in the Magic Loop class in January), and incorporated the smaller cable from the hat pattern. One of my favorite things about a great, basic multi-gauge pattern is how it allows for variation, without having to start from scratch every time.
Yukon Campfire Hat
I often knit a new hat for my spouse, right under his nose. Our schedules are so different at the moment that keeping this project secret required very little effort. For the Yukon Campfire Hat (one of our gift patterns from Plaid Friday), I used the leftovers from my Fernet Branca sweater. While he claims to like it, he’s not the most cooperative photo subject….