Hello, makers! I’m wishing you all a very Happy New Year!
With 2018 approaching, I had the idea of posting a chronological knitting Year in Review. I relished the idea of seeing all my knits pictured together in a single post. Due to time constraints, I decided, however, that the knitting of 2018 might just as well be served by a more selectively reflective round-up of 2017’s knitting favourites. These are projects that not only stood out for being memorable ‘firsts’ for me (cheers to trying something new), but were projects that taught me a lot of valuable lessons during this first year “back” to the craft.
So, here’s a wistful look back on 2017’s Top 3 Knits.
Number 3: Sydanmäa Mittens
I love a good mitten, and I love a good, wearable knit that does what knitting has long done best: keeping you warm in cold weather! (among other things). These mitts are getting a lot of wear on this visit to Canada where local temperatures are expected to drop to -29 C come New Year’s Day. In a cold, cold world, warm woolen mitts make braving the outdoors possible, and seeing cables on those mitts reminds you that a little beauty can still flourish on those relentless and unforgiving winter city-days. My very entry point into knitting was a strong desire to make interesting and useful things; every time I slip these puppies on to wait for yet another tram or bus on yet another slush-covered and blustery Toronto street-corner, I’m reminded of why I started to need knitting in the first place.
Number 2: Welcome Blanket
A harsh social climate can be trying, too. From this project, I learned that knitting has a social life and purpose; craft can be a source of collective hope and comfort as much as it is a practice in the cultivation of individual happiness. Like any good medicine, the act of making things has multiple benefits.
As an immigrant, and as a child of immigrants, I loved being part of a project that brought together knitters, crocheters, quilters, and other crafters to make a positive social statement about immigration. As of the end of the Welcome Blanket exhibit, the project had received over 2000 blankets (2088 to be exact, and maybe still counting). I’m a little happier, at 2017’s end, knowing that 2000 blankets are going out to 2000 people with messages of warmth, support, and welcome just because someone had a great idea that others believed in enough to support.
And, in 1st place: The drape front sweater
In terms of knitting projects, I think this one takes the cake for providing a challenge and delivering on some valuable knitting lessons. I aimed high on this one with the goal of producing an entirely recycled and wearable sweater in time for #summerofbasics. While the project didn’t go exactly as planned, this project taught me how to work a basic garment pattern and how to make some quite major modifications (in this case, eliminating the “drape front” and going for a simple knit-tee). I also had the chance to try my hand at some beginner yarn-recycling. For this, garment deconstruction and seam-ripping could have been lessons on their own, and frogging and processing yarn without getting lost in the tangle was good practice.
By the end of it, I wound up (pun very intended) with a slightly lop-sided but versatile wearable. I hope that 2018 offers more opportunities to do another recycled sweater. There is a lot of beautiful and affordable fiber out there waiting to be salvaged and reworked. I can’t wait to find it.
How about you? What were your favourite creative projects of 2017?
Which projects will you return to, for sure? Which ones are you excited to try for the first time? And what are your New Year’s crafting resolutions, if any? Do tell in the comments!
Warmest wishes to you for a joyful 2018! 😀