Posted on December 18, 2004 at 2:19 pm

The imminent end of the calendar year inspires the impulse to summarize the previous twelve months, often in list form.  Wendy has been posting links to good book lists, so I felt perhaps that it might be time to offer a couple of lists of my own. Maybe I’m jumping the gun here, because the turn of the year isn’t for a couple more action packed weeks, but I have been thinking about what characterized this year as far as my knitting goes, and since this blog was so integral to whatever conclusion I might come to, I thought I’d parade my thoughts in front of you here, and then ask for your input.  I am curious about what you’re thinking, and I could use a little help catching all the juicy stuff I might have missed in my rather limited reading ecxperience. I mean, geez, there are 600 knit blogs now?  How can I posssibly keep up with all of that and have a life?  So scroll to the bottom and point me and anyone else reading along in an interesting direction.

First, a few highlights from my personal knitting bag:

1. This was the year I learned finally how to make a sweater fit.  I still don’t know how to predict how it will look on my body, but at least I’ve conquered the impulse to just make everything enormous. 

2. This was the year I learned to do all kinds of fiddly little knitty things like tubular cast -on, short-row shoulders, magic loops, and knitting backwards; skills I knew existed but never understood the practical applications for.  Now I know.

3. This was the year I learned to spin.  It was a reluctant lesson I submitted to only under the most intensive peer pressure, but like a novice sky-diver, I can’t believe I ever doubted that it would be fun.
You look skeptical.  It was the sky-diving/ spinning simile, right?  Okay, I admit I lack the authority to cite sky-diving as a comparable experience, but I’ve seen the Amazing Race: the first thing all thos econtestants say once they touch down is "I want to do that again".  Same thing with spinning.  You just can’t believe how much more satisfying making and working with your own yarn can be until you’ve flung yourself out of that plane.  Still skeptical?  Try it, then get back to me.

4. This was the year I found blogland.  I started reading in January, instantly became obsessed, and put my own two cents in by March.   Keeping a blog has helped keep me motivated to finish something once I’d grown weary of knitting it (see: linen drape sweater and/or neck down sweater).  If you are about to suggest that it looks from where you’re sitting that I still have problems finishing things since there are currently six projects on the needles, then I would reply that you should have seen the pile of UFO’s from this time last year.  Three of them are among the neglected six.  If you were not going to say such a thing at all because you too have about six things in your knitting basket and that would be the kettle calling the pot, then you, my dear, are my sister ! (or brother.  Hey, that would be cool.  I’ve never had a brother before).

So now that we are on the topic of blogs, and all things bloggy,  I have several favorite things from my reading of the blogs this past year to share with you. 

1.  All hail to all of us who knit with small children and keep them happy and safe.  Blogging helped me overcome my sense of isolation with my own little guy.  I don’t know what I would have done otherwise; go to the playground more?  Yeah, well.  Who needs more swing pushing in their lives?

2. My favorite knit objects are many, including the menagerie of the zoo-along , Wendy‘s many many fair-isle sweaters, Mare‘s colour-saturated everything, the great gift of the Afghan-Along run by Kay and Ann, the many Charlotte’s Webs that graced my screen in many hues from sunset to coral reef (all hail to Rob and Matt for their artful enabling) It was perhaps the most compelling thing for me this year, keeping up with all of the knitting going on. 

3. My favorite post of the year remains Stephanie’s "I am a knitter" installment in her odyssey of knitting Ryan’s Dublin Bay Socks, closely followed by her fantasies of running away with Prince. (it was a good week to be reading Yarn Harlot: go remind yourself, I’ll wait).

4. The opening of Knit Happens and the re-opening of Threadbear.  I don’t know exactly where they are,  somewhere near D.C., in a distant blue state called Michigan, but I loved reading about all the plans and the gnashing of teeth and the painting of spaces in preparation, because I think we all shared vicariously the fantasy of having our own yarn playground; And now I have two more items on my list of places to visit before I croak.

5.  New knitting buddies.  I used to have a couple of girlfriends in town with whom I got together to knit with every once in awhile, but this year thanks to the blogs I found two regular groups; one I never miss, and the knitsmiths who only have to put up with me every couple of months.  That I am thankful for, and also for people who stumble through here, regularly or not, because like an itinerant Ba’hai, I know that no matter where I go on this continent, or Paris for that matter, there would be someone I could meet for coffee and a row or two.  This is, I think, the greatest gift of the year.

Now, here’s your chance to weigh in.  What was your favorite moment of the blog year?  Was it something someone said, knit, photographed?  Post it here–or write your own entry on your own blog and tell me about it so I can read it–and let’s review the year as a community, because that’s what we are! This isn’t a competition (sorry, no prizes, only my esteem)  it’s just a chance to recommend something I might have otherwise missed.  And Thanks!