1. Your best FO of the year
Beaufort hat in RYC wool silk. I’ve got more compliments on this hat in the two or so weeks since it’s been finished than on everything else I’ve made put together. I love the yarn, and I love the pattern which looks a lot more complicated than it is. I’ve now made 3 of these hats.
2. Best FO of the year made by a blog you link to
Soo’s alpine lace scarf. After seeing this scarf I knew I was going to have to buy Victorian lace today at some point. Soo knits the most gorgeous lace – her sarcelle scarf and neibling shawls come close runners up.
3. Best yarn you tried
Well everything was pretty much new to me this year as I only started knitting and crochet in late 2006, but I think it would have to be Sublime Cashmere Silk Merino.
4. Best new book/mag/pattern of 2007
I’m going to put VLT here because I only found out about it early this year. I didn’t even own it till a couple of weeks ago but all the preview pics I’d seen and seeing pictures of people’s FOs made me want it. I also borrowed it from the library for a few weeks.
5. Best new knitting technique or gadget you tried in 2007
Stranded knitting with one yarn in each hand – knitting english-style with the one hand and contintental with the other. I felt really chuffed when I learned to do it.
6. Top 5 inspirations–what five things inspired you the most over the past year?
Knitting blogs in general. Without these I wouldn’t have got far with my knitting and definitely would not have considered designing.
Ravelry for similar reasons to knitting blogs and more. I particularly love how you can look up a particular jumper pattern and see everyone elses versions. It has helped me several times to decide whether a pattern will look good on me as well as the skinny model in the book/magazine.
Buttons from Earthenwood studio. They were one of the first things I raved about on this blog and they inspired one of my first garment design concepts (still being made) . I have so many other half-formed ideas I want to use the buttons and beads for.
Yarn. So many yarns I look at almost tell me what they want to be. I crocheted some alpaca recently and that is practically calling out to me to be a series of drapey garments. Jo sharp alpaca kid mohair had definitely got to be some kind of large-scale lace. Lanaknits Hempwol wants to be textured and cozy.
Lace both knitted and crochet. I love most forms of knitted lace and I love experimenting with different crochet lace patterns. I love it in fine laceweight and also in heavier yarns.
7. Designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year
The goddess herself Eunny Jang. She seems to design for my body shape and I love how she takes traditional techniques like fair-isle and takes it from a boxy ski sweater in to a gorgeous form-fitting garment like Ivy League vest or Autumn Rose Pullover. I WILL knit one of her designs this year.
8. Knitting resolutions for 2008–what’s next for you and your blog?
a. Get a design published in 3 areas – online, in print and self-published. Hopefully more than one in each. I have a few possibilities on the go at the moment so hopefully this won’t take too long to happen. Watch this space.
b. Fix Ivy. I made Glenna’s Ivy in the first half of 2007. Either Glenna prefers roomier sleeves to me or my guage went a bit mental, but either way the sleeves are way too big for me at the upper arm. I will rip them back and re-knit them because at the moment it just sits on the shelf un-worn and that has got to be a knitting crime!
c. Experiment with a faster method of knitting. I felt really comfortable and natural doing the continental knit stitch when I made my endpaper mitts, but I have been put off learning to purl continental style because it seems so awkward. I may try the Norwegian purl method or some kind of combined method.
d. Knit and crochet more for me. Lace, jumpers, tank tops (I call them vests), I have knit a lot of presents this year but not a whole lot for me – I don’t even have one wearable jumper/cardi that I have made yet.
e. Try at least one of the following yarns: Blue Sky alpacas suri merino, Alpaca with a twist Fino, Artesano alpaca 4 ply alpaca.
f. Focus at least equally on crochet design as well as knitting. I don’t think there are enough crochet patterns out there that I’d like to make. I’m going to try to design a couple – particularly garments and perhaps a combination of knit and crochet.
g. Experiment with crocheting laceweight yarn – I want to be able to crochet beautiful delicate lace in the same kind of style as fine knitted lace.