At the beginning of this year, I decided to sign up to the “10 in 2010″ group on Ravelry (to knit 10 projects in 2010). Time has ticked on, and I’ve sort of been following the list of projects I put together to knit, but sort of not. Someone on Ravelry summed it up very well when she said that choosing which 10 in 2010 projects you’d knit at the beginning of the year was like fixing your lunch the night before. You don’t fancy it by the time lunch time rolls around. I quite agree. A lot of other projects have ended up being knitted too, in addition to this list!
Given it’s now the end of June, I think it’s time to do a little review of the list I put together at the beginning of the year, to see where I’ve got up to, and what I ought to tweak. I have already knitted more than 10 projects this year, but as I recall, the 10 in 2010 group was put together to help ‘bust the stash’ (or enhance the stash!) and get us to use different yarns and knit different things and in so doing learn new techniques as well. No two projects were allowed to be the same.
My list at the time was:
1. Rosemary’s Middle-Sized Jumper. In llama/merino. Intention here was to knit a jumper in-the-round (up to that point I’d only knitted one project in-the-round), and use llama yarn, which I hadn’t used before. Status: Done. Result: Yum!
2. 3/4 length sleeve pullover in Cleckheaton’s natural cotton, from the winter 2008/09 issue of knitsimple. In cotton. Also in-the-round… difference for me was to knit a project in cotton. Status: Done. Result: Still don’t like knitting cotton that much.
3. Hat, for me. Done. I’ve ended up doing two, actually. One in alpaca, one in merino. Using different fibres and different techniques (one is English rib knitted flat, the other stocking stitch and in-the-round), Result: It’s funny how they’ve both ended up looking fairly similar in style…
4. Dress for my niece. In 100% wool. This is the top-down pattern I talked about in my last post. I have only knitted one other top-down project, so this will be another learning curve. Status: next project off the blocks.
5. Hat and gloves for my cousin. Done. Although the gloves went to my sister… In angora merino (hat) and Stansborough Grey (gloves). Usage of different fibres.
6. Intarsia diamond pattern tee by Pat Menchini from the June 2009 issue of Simply Knitting. In Stansborough Grey. Three-quarters done. It was meant to be so that I could experiment with intarsia, but I’ve got horribly frustrated with the stitch orders refusing to cooperate. I think it’s the extra colour running through the diamond that my brain isn’t coping with. Very strange. Also, I’ve chosen to use very subtle colours that do not stand out when you are knitting – so the two greys look very similar, and the green just disappears into the grey when you knit at night (which is when I do most of my knitting). Very frustrating!
This is the same wool used to make those magic elvish cloaks in the Lord of the Rings… so I’m almost wondering if there isn’t just a bit of magic in the wool and it does make you blend into the background, the way the colours are behaving with my eyes!!
Anyway, I’ve copped out and decided to re-knit the entire thing in plain grey and be done with it as a plain grey vest. It will still be lovely, and I’ll tackle intarsia another day.
7. Balaclava for Eric. In merino. Challenge here to design a balaclava to exact specifications (instructions were for an exact copy as the one in the movie E.T.). Status: Done. Result: One happy boy.
8. A black mohair tunic for me. This has fallen off the radar. Instead I’m going to use the mohair for a coat for my step-mother. Which will be another challenge as I’ll have to design a pattern for it… and in mohair. Groan. Status: I guess I’d better start it soon…
9. Cyril Squirrel-Fox soft toys. Christmas presents. Just something different to do from a garment. Status: Will do them later in the year. (Probably the week before Christmas!)
10. Jumper for my other niece. Unfortunately, my sister just loves the dress I knitted for my niece when she was little, and wants me to knit another as the original is now the size of a tunic top (and my niece still wears it!) So when I suggested a jumper, my sister requested another dress instead. I think I’ve pretty much settled on the girl’s dress in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of knitsimple. It’s quite similar to the dress I’m going to knit for her sister (see point 4 above), only this one has a delightful cabled panel for the waist, and you knit the dress by first knitting the waist panel sideways, then picking up from the waist and knitting upwards for the bodice, and then picking up from the waist and knitting down for the skirt. So this will be a new thing I haven’t done before either. Status: Start soon. Probably as soon as I complete the first dress.
And, I also added two other projects for the possibility I might be feeling energetic:
11. Top-down cross-over top by Cathy Carron from the Holiday 2009 issue of Designer Knits. Still want to do this. I was thinking merino mohair, which I haven’t used before. And it’s also knitted in a way which is less than traditional (from memory, you knit two long panels and then cross them over and join them at the back to make the bodice front).
12. Heritage Cardi from the Winter 2009 issue of Interweave Knits. In pure wool. Fair isle pattern. Another colourwork ”first”. (When I was a teenager, I fearlessly knitted quite a number of colourwork jumpers, but of course, that was many moons ago now… and I’ve had a long break not knitting between then and now and it seems I’ve lost a bit of confidence somewhere along the way). Status: Done. Result: A bit of confidence restored.
To summarise, six out of 12 done, two projects swapped out, and one slightly altered. That’s not too bad – about on target given we’re halfway through the year. However, I need to add some more to this list as there isn’t a possum project in the list yet, so I shall add:
13. My Clasica Coat (and no, it’s not cheating!).
It’s quite interesting. At the beginning of the year, 10 in 2010 seemed a reasonable amount of knitting. But now, it feels a bit pointless in a way to even count this list. Because by the time the end of this year rolls around, I’ll have knitted a lot more than 10 projects. Probably more like 30 projects. Because I’ve also signed up to IntSweMoDo (12 sweaters in 2010), there are a few others to knit too! Plus family and friend knitting… plus fanciful ‘me’ knitting…
So was there any point in signing up to 10 in 2010? On the other hand, would I have been as focused on my projects had I not committed to this group? And would I have forced myself to learn different things and use different techniques to knit projects? Most likely not.
Not for the first time, I thank the fantastic founders Ravelry, and all the wonderful knitters who populate it with such fun and inspiring things to do. Without Ravelry, or its creative members, I doubt that knitting would have been as fun as it is now, and certainly, it has motivated me to push the boundaries of my knitting experience further and further with every project I do.
So keep up the excellent work, good people of Ravelry! The universe of knitting is definitely a better place for you.