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New Year Resolutions

Most people will make a New Year’s Resolution for 2012.  We want to lose a few pounds, save more money, drink less coffee and be more organized.  But what are your New Year’s Knitting Resolutions?  I’d like to share a few of ours with you, along with the resources to help you accomplish them!

1. Knit for yourself! Now that you have the feeling back in your fingers from the last-minute-holiday-crunch knits, sit down and find a pattern that you want for you.  Even if it’s as simple as a new scarf.  Think of the time you will have to fit in knitting for yourself.  If you only have an hour or two a week, think of a spring or summer shawl so when you are done your project, it will be the right season to use it.  Here are a few to consider….

knitforyourself

2.  Make a gauge swatch.  I am notorious for not following my own advice on this one.  I often go blindly into a project.  I learned my lesson just a few weeks ago while making a Christmas gift for my niece.  I switched a yarn in a pattern for a slouchy hat.  There were very few differences between the two yarns, fiber content and put-up were the only things that jumped out at me.  My slouchy hat ended not fitting my niece but fitting my husband and I can’t talk him into wearing a purple hat with a touch of glitz.   Check out this article from knitty.com on the importance of and how to knit a gauge swatch.

3. Use your stash! I tried to use my stash this year for all of my holiday knitting and will try to continue to do so.  I ran out of masculine colors and only had to purchase a few balls! I am left with mostly baby yarns so I am hoping for a very long, cold winter so I will get news in the spring that I have some babies to knit for.  I am going to use some for charity but I will get to that later in this post.  There are some wonderful things you can do with those one or two skeins you picked up.  If you have 100% wool, felt, felt, felt! Small coin purses, small bags, small bowls and headbands.  Have a baby or wedding shower to attend?  If you have cotton, consider washcloths.  I have one that a friend made me almost 10 years ago.  It was in my wishing well at my bridal shower and it may be the only linen that hasn’t needed to be replaced! Hats are a great way to use up the stash too.  Here are some pattern ideas you can try.

stash1

4.  Finish the projects you start.  I’ll admit it, I have 3 wips in my inventory for about a year now BUT I also started and finished at least 20 others this year.  Will I ever finish those other 3? Hopefully, maybe, well, I can’t answer that question.  There are some great reasons why this should be a resolution you keep.  First is if you get to the end and realize you need just 20 more yards, it may be impossible to track down the dye lot.  Second is while I always try to have a couple pairs of needles in each size, they do me no good if they are tied up in a project I’ve been procrastinating on, then I am off to buy another set or borrow from one of my many knitting buddies.  Which isn’t so bad I guess as I get to see all the new arrivals at my LYS.  Third is the most obvious, that baby will grow right out of that sweater you started.  I am going to choose my projects more carefully and think ahead to make sure I have the time and supplies I need to complete them.  Try looking up your patterns on Ravelry and get real world tips, advice, materials lists and pictures of finished products.

5. Knit for Charity.  I know so many of you are already doing this and it’s such a wonderful opportunity to use your talents.  I send scarves to a local homeless shelter.  I can get them done in one or two nights while I’m watching t.v. and it’s a great way to use your stash.  Check with your local yarn shop, they will likely have a program set up for donations of all sorts.  Here is a list of just a few organizations we have had contact with….

Chemoclothes.org

Bob’s Blankie Brigade

Project Linus

Hair Flair for Hope

Stitching for America

6. Use your technology! Did you know there’s an app for that?  Use your smartphone for more than Angry Birds!  I use my iPhone for everything. There is a free app (called Needles) for cataloging your needles so you know what you’ve got on hand.  It can also direct you to the nearest yarn shop when you are on the go!  Vogue Knitting and Knitting Daily are available too.  YouTube is a great resource for how to videos on just about everything.  I’ve used it to learn a new stitch and how to knit with the new ruffle yarns.  You can also find yarn reviews there.  I can’t talk about technology without mentioning Ravelry.  If you haven’t joined yet, get on it! It’s a fantastic resource for everything yarn, patterns and the people who love them.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday and the gang here at Plymouth Yarn wish you a very Happy New Year.

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