Saturday, December 31, 2005

2005 in Review

I am sure many of you have a habit of taking stock at the end of each year. For the past few years, I have made it a ritual to review the year by perusing my journal and diary. The strange passing of time can easily make me forget all that happened within a 12-month period. It helps so much to keep the events of my life in perspective. I have kept journals and diaries for about 25 years now and they are invaluable to me. Now I have this blog and that just makes the whole process even more fun!

Since I returned to knitting with a frenzy (the past couple of years), I wanted to keep a visual journal of my work. Last year was the first year that I actually bundled up nearly everything and put it in one place. If you haven't done this, you should. It will astound you. It's too easy to forget all your work when it is either in several places all over the house, or as with you more generous folks, scattered all over the country/planet as precious gifts to others.

The first thing I did this year was to round up all the sweaters I made for Fred and for me over the past three years. Since adult-sized sweaters (and afghans) are the most time-consuming, it's really impressive to see all those hours of knitting piled up together! Embarrassingly, I have not knitted any of my family members sweaters recently. There are a couple of reasons for this. All the sweaters you (sort of) see here, except for four, are pattern samples for Figheadh. One of those four is an Alice Starmore pattern (as seen in the fickr photo page--click on the fun box to the right!), one is a Debbie Bliss pattern that turned out badly because I used cheap yarn (the blue one on bottom right), and two of them are experiments which never became actual patterns. Sweater knitting continues to be a challenge for me--sweaters for big people, that is. The first few I knitted were quite funny, and I only just now feel I am starting to get the hang of it. Family, you WILL get sweaters from me, but I am trying to get more proficient. Hang on! Until then, please be content with socks, mittens, bags, hats, scarves, & (soon to come!) gloves. (Mom & Sis, I intentionally do not mention here the sweaters I knit for you in the 80's. Ahem. Strange specimens.)

The next thing I did today to take stock was to do the rounding up. Except for 4-5 pairs of socks either given away or now sitting in shops as models and the Noro pair I gave Mom, here is my knitting from 2005.

Since this is a new blog, I thought I would also post the pic of my 2004 work (last year was the first year I did the rounding up). Boy, am I glad I did, because it made me realize something. I need to do more felting in 2006! The 2004 bunch includes 14 felted items; the 2005, only 3?? Can that be?? I LOVE felting. You'll definitely see some felting in the 2006 collection, folks.

2004 stuff--well, most of it!

...which brings me to my next point. When I made the photo album (again, see flickr!) I did not put in all the samples you can see on the Figheadh website. Everything on the site (except the beauties on the gallery page, of course!) is knitted by me, That is not as impressive as it looks, because it took me a couple of years to amass that stuff.

I hope the 2005 collection is the last one that will include only samples from me. Heads up, testers! I want to use some of your samples this next year. My little hands can only knit so much! There are about 30 patterns I want to get written, tested, published and ready to sell in 2006. We currently have 7 tests in progress and 5 about to start. We're well on our way!

Okay, let's recap. In 2005

1. I wrote up 32 Figheadh Yarnworks patterns.
2. We launched the Figheadh Yarnworks site.
3. I found my testers on the Knitter's Review & TKGA forums.
4. The 30 of us got all those patterns tested, edited, rewritten & published!
(Thank you testers!)
5. Figheadh got wholesale accounts!
6. People found our site and actually ordered our patterns!
7. I learned the Magic Loop & knitting in the round on 2 circulars, & entrelac!
8. I taught a child to knit (keep knitting, Claudia!You're a natural.)
9. I became an associate member of Professional Knitwear Designers Guild.
10. I happily got to do a whole lot of knitting!

...and that's just the knitting-related parts. Such a great year!


And who do I have to thank the most for all of this? Who is my partner, my strongest supporter? Who good-naturedly puts up with all the craziness of the knitting obsession around here? Who commutes two hours every weekday to a job he doesn't love (to put it politely) so that I may have a measly parttime job, leaving time for the Figheadh? Who maintains the website and gets me through the trying times? Who is the one who suggested that we do this in the first place, because he believes in me so much? Who has put his own dreams on hold so that we could get mine going? The Fred, that's who. My love, my darling husband. Thank you so much, sweetheart. You do not hear this enough.


Next year (which starts tomorrow--gosh!) is going to be even more awesome! I hope to be making another post like this one this time next year, and for many years to come.

Everyone have a fantastic New Year's celebration! In Gaelic...

Bliadhna Mhath Ur!

See ya next year (hyuk, hyuk!)


Amie said...

and Bliadhna Mhath Ur

Impressive work! I could probably top that only if we counted unfinished projects in whom I lost interest with six rows to go....

emy said...

Wow! You have sure accomplished a lot...great job!